Archives for June 2014

Three Considerations When Selecting Financial Reporting Tools for MS Dynamics GP

BizNet Financial Reporting ToolsWhile many businesses using Microsoft Dynamics GP rely on the built-in report writer (or the Microsoft Dynamics Management Reporter product), there a number of third-party financial reporting tools available that let finance departments create customized templates that can be used to craft and deliver critical reports. Management needs data to understand the state of the company and make informed decisions to move the business forward.

There are several things to consider when searching for a report writer to work with Dynamics GP: what data source access options are available?  Is a web-based or mobile platform available?  How easy is will it be for your users to learn? A good reporting tool is essential for any business that wants to grow into a mature, competitive organization.  Understanding the different features and options will make it easier to choose one that’s right for your company.

Data access is a one important factor to consider. Does the reporting tool pull data from a data warehouse or proprietary source, or does it run reports live from Dynamics GP for real-time analysis?  A live integration mean that data doesn’t need to be replicated to a separate database (an additional expense), but depending on how many users are running queries performance might be affected. Management Reporter, Solver’s BI360 and BizNet all offer live integrations to Dynamics GP.

Consider Excel-based report writers.  Some software vendors argue that Excel is unsecure, and is generally too much trouble when it comes to linking and maintaining spreadsheets.  But many financial types have been using Excel since their very first job; Excel’s infrastructure and formulas are rooted deeply within the financial world. Excel-based report writers are also add-ons with enhancements that allow for greater collaboration, security and financial functions.  BI360 and BizNet both offer Excel add-ons that are easy for employees to learn.

Does your operation need a mobile solution? If your company does business around the globe (or even around the clock) you may want to select a product with web-based reporting modules.  Mobile reporting will continue to improve as Business Intelligence software manufacturers race to provide these products.  Web-based reporting is paving the way for mobile as more workers use smartphones to access office applications and providers that already have a web component are likely to be the leaders in the mobile revolution for accounting

If you need help selecting and implementing the right BI tools for your organization, contact us at AccountNet.  Call us at (212) 244-9009, or via our website, if you’d like a free phone consultation to discuss your business’s unique reporting needs

Considerations for Midsized Companies Implementing an ERP System

While ERP, or enterprise resource planning, has historically been associated with manufacturing or large consulting firms, many small to medium businesses (SMBs) are already running their own home-grown versions of ERP. They might be using systems for staff scheduling, supply ordering or financial reporting – most companies use a combination of one or more of these systems in the course of their everyday operations.

ERP is simply a way to use resources efficiently in an effort to reduce overhead and increase productivity and profit margins. The move towards integrating disparate systems into a comprehensive ERP solution, like Microsoft Dynamics GP, is just one way that businesses can better position themselves to deal with the challenges of growth and development.

Moving to an integrated ERP system doesn’t require a wholesale replacement of your existing systems. Accountnet has achieved excellent results for its clients through the integration of best-of-breed solutions with existing technologies. A few key questions that mid-sized companies investing in a new ERP system should be asking vendors:

  • Does the software integrate with any existing system already in use on the site?
  • Can the system be easily expanded down the road? At what cost?
  • Will staff be able to submit time and expenses?
  • Is it possible to add document management or a web portal for project management?

There are many options to consider when selecting ERP vendor. Should you go with an in-house or cloud solution, that is, the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, which generally involve lower start-up costs, reduced implementation effort, and a lesser need for skilled IT staff to support the infrastructure.

Another key consideration is flexibility.  A “one-size-fits-all” approach may not adapt easily to the changes your business will face.  Most companies seek to maximize the value of their software investments by building on existing platforms; in this situation, the skills and capabilities of your software vendor is vital to your success. Very few mid-sized businesses have the necessary IT resources to maintain existing systems and simultaneously take advantage of new technologies. As a result, partnerships between companies and their value-added resellers are crucial to delivering an ERP system that provides a great return on investment.

Contact us at Accountnet if you’d like to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics GP.  We can help you implement an ERP system that will grow with your company and are happy to provide you with a free phone consultation and needs assessment.