Archives for January 2016

How Small Businesses Can Benefit from ERP

When we hear the word “enterprise” we think of big corporations with multiple departments and offices and thousands of employees which is one reason why small business owners have been slow to come around to thinking about implementing Enterprise Resource Planning systems for their businesses. They equate the meaning of “enterprise” with the size of the business, when in fact their small businesses are also enterprises — albeit on a smaller scale.

How Small Businesses Can Benefit from ERPIn large companies, ERP systems automate and coordinate many of the complicated business processes (including financial/accounting and human resources) that keep the business operating. ERP systems provide essential capabilities for corporations that may be servicing millions of customer and employing thousands people. It’s natural for the small business owner to look at those systems and think, correctly, that they are overkill if they only have a handful of employees and are limited in terms of what they can invest in IT solutions.

But with the growth and speed in adoption of cloud computing, ERP systems like Microsoft Dynamics GP have been rolling out product offerings that better fit the needs and budgets of small businesses that typically use multiple, separate systems to handle accounting and operational processes. (Many of Accountnet’s clients were using a combination of QuickBooks, Excel and some sort of project management software, which led to a lot wasted time, duplicate data entry and stifled growth.) With cloud-based subscription pricing, the cost of ERP is now within the reach of SMBs and business owners are starting to think about ERP as an operating expense rather than a capital investment.

Deploying on the Microsoft Cloud provides SMBs with increased flexibility, lower up-front costs, enterprise grade infrastructure and support and increased mobility. Cloud-based ERP makes it easier for businesses to reduce infrastructure, hardware, and IT management costs and easily scale up or down as needed.  Cloud ERP is also quicker to implement, so your business can be up and running in hours instead of weeks with staff securely accessing business data from virtually anywhere, on any device.

Research carefully to determine if ERP is right for your business, and then compare a few potential systems and vendors. Accountnet is a Microsoft Gold Enterprise Resource Planning Partner and can help you with implementation of cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics GP, plus ongoing training and support as your business grows and your needs change. Call us today for a free consultation and needs assessment.

 

Project-Based Businesses Need Project-Centric ERP

microsoft-dynamics-sl-capabilitiesOne of the biggest stumbling blocks that project-based companies encounter when implementing an enterprise resource planning system (ERP) is that most accounting software isn’t built for project work, and most project management systems lack robust accounting tools, making it difficult to determine the profitability of projects. It’s not surprising that many companies can’t really tell you which of their projects were the most profitable off the top of their heads; to figure it out would take a tremendous amount of time and effort exporting and correlating data between disparate systems.

That’s because most ERP systems are designed to book revenue/costs against an accounting code, so costs and revenue may not be accurately allocated to individual projects and even if they are, information becomes siloed with no easy way to analyze or compare to other projects. What happens when you have expenses that touch more than one project and how do you handle overhead charges that need to be distributed over a group of projects? If these types transactions are recorded in general accounts or misallocated it will reduce the accuracy of any profitability reports.

ERP systems designed specifically for project-based companies, like Microsoft Dynamics SL, can help by allowing businesses to book revenue and allocate costs at the project level. The Project Allocator feature of Dynamics SL allows you to gain precise control over project finances by creating flexible, multi-tiered hierarchies to reflect labor rates and billing structures, You can automatically allocate charges and revenues, account for work-in-process, transfer or consolidate transactions and record accurate data for billing and posting to general ledger accounts.

Having these tools allows you to really understand your project profit margins and determine which are worth trying to duplicate. Conversely, project profitability reports can help you understand which types of projects are not worthwhile – or maybe you may want to avoid or that would need to be better evaluated in the future in terms of budget.

Download the Microsoft Dynamics SL 2015 Functionality and Product Capabilities brochure to learn about the other features your project-based business could benefit from. And contact Accountnet if you would like to discuss your specific needs. We have helped hundreds of government contractors, advertising agencies and management consulting firms deploy project-centric ERP systems.

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016

The next release of Microsoft Dynamics GP is set for April 2016.  Here’s a glimpse of some of the new features you can expect.

MS-Dynamics-GP-2016-Roadmap

HTML 5 Client Interface

In keeping with the need to provide a great user experience via mobile devices, Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 introduces an HTML5 interface, eliminating the need for Silverlight to run the Dynamics GP Web Client.  Now users will be able to use Microsoft Dynamics GP from any device that supports HTML5 web browsers so they can take advantage of all its functions from Android, OSX and Linux, using any number of popular browsers like Safair, Chrome and Firefox. The new HTML5 web client delivers only the visual interface to the device while all the computing functions are done at the server level, so it is expected to improve ERP performance via the cloud.

Business Intelligence Reporting Enhancements

BI Reporting will continue to be a critical feature for management and with the advent of GP 2016 Power BI Reports will be made available right on the home page to give your team a quick snapshot of the data they care about the most.

All-in-One Document Viewers

The new All-in-One Document Viewers will allow users to view all related inventory or sales documents for a transaction in a single window. All-in-One Documents will be accessible from the Customer Maintenance area, sales inquiry windows, navigation menus and the home page.

SmartList Enhancements

A number of changes to Smart Lists will please GP 2016 users, such as the ability to export and import SmartList definitions from SmartList Designer, and to create a new SmartList from a Favorite using Designer. The new functionality is much more convenient than having to remove unnecessary columns from the default SmartList.

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 will also include a number of enhancements to the core product, including project integration of purchasing requisitions, the ability to change workflow conditions, attaching documents for project expenses, enable credit card payment types for check run processing, HTTPS support (to allow for viewing Management Reporter over secure connections), multiple page scan and an increased field size for Distribution Reference.

Contact Accountnet for a demo of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 today!