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Solution Oriented Focus Approach to Adding Customers

Featured in Accounting Today, February 2011

 

Solution oriented focus approach to adding customers

A business solution implementation is a process where there is a goal orientated team approach – the end user at the client site and the implementation group for set up services. But it all needs to begin with a vision from the end user- not just for the future, but they must begin to plan out the roadmap to achieve their vision. The implementation team usually creates a project plan with achievable phases and goals. Separately from the vision, when viewing the entire solution, a technology agreement with proper expectations needs to be established to enable who is going to be responsible for getting the right moving parts to align together. All needs have to be mapped out including – licensing, updates, departments and location(s), account coding and timeframe. Everyone involved must consider holiday, vacations and any other internal or external projects.

The key to the success of the project, is to continually focus on the when, whom and why the solution is being set-up as this big change will be occurring soon. The time of the year is most important for the client’s success, whereas top managers enable their time frame and goals achievable for all. Some of those goals that coincide with timeframe are specific project and overall organizational needs. A successful business solution implementation begins with implementation methodology and realistic expectations that are set and managed throughout. For the implementation team, managing this change on schedule with success comes from experience. The end user chose that this experience will take them through beginning of the project through completion. Especially when multiple departments and various locations are involved and as more change occurs, trust plays an important part for the ongoing relationship for current and future projects.

Based on experience, here are several phases in the successful implementation of a new accounting system. At Accountnet, we call this our FORWARD methodology.

A. Review: “Analyze and Plan”- The first step is to conduct a thorough review of your organization’s requirements and processes, to identify what is working well and which aspects of the organization need improvement and or refinement. These requirements or goals should then be mapped into a project plan, becoming the driving forces behind your implementation.

B. Set-up: “Design and Develop”- Using the project plan produced in the Analysis phase, design your proposed new accounting system. Accountability is the process for all involved; adhering to the timeframe and structure the plans to be agreeable for all. Remember to be respective of everyone’s time. Anticipate other changes, and make the adjustments within budgetary plans.

C. Confirmation: “Training and testing” – Building on the test system and or utilizing data migrated from the legacy system. This step involves teaching end users the best practices and procedures for the new accounting system, insuring that any changes are worked out and verifying the maximum benefits are obtained. After the results of this testing and training period are reviewed and any corrections are applied, management should sign off on the new system (verifying that the work to date has been accepted).

D. Implementation: “Go live” – Working from the procedures developed in the Set-up and Confirmation Phases, the next phase is the completion of the final version of the new system (beginning with opening balances if not migrating data). At this point, the implementation team’s full resources are on-site and the team is ready to make the final transition to the new system.

E. Post implementation Support – After the successful launch of your new system, it is essential to provide or receive ongoing support. Online training, phone support and what’s new training sessions are examples of initiatives that can prove useful. It is also important to update the system regularly and proactively providing any training needed as a result of any changes.

Some of these core functions are ongoing activities, but are not limited to and must incorporate these following components for a successful implementation:

Software and Systems Support – Before the project proceeds, a thorough review of the existing infrastructure – an Accounting Technical Review (ATR) – must be completed. Software and systems support is ongoing and a recurring review of the current systems infrastructure ensures that the data (and any analysis of it) is delivered in an optimal fashion. Software and systems support also enables an opportunity to make specific recommendations for ongoing improvements to the hardware and software infrastructure.

Consulting Services – Get external consulting assistance as needed for any aspects of the internal review. This includes an Extended Relationship Analysis (ERA) and an ATR. Other consulting services include recommendations for best practices, details on the delivery of training and procedures, maintenance if testing, production and disaster recovery environments, and development of custom reports. A complete examination of your organizational environment may identify additional opportunities for improvements. Communication is everything.

Project Management – All aspects of the implementation must be tracked by the project manager, whose responsibilities include task assignments, resource availability, project documentation, budget and timeline oversight, and communication among the project’s team members.

It is so important that a company’s implementation team trust and communicate well with their ERP consultant team during the implementation process that we encourage our prospects to meet our proposed consulting team during the pre-sales process. This then helps to determine if the personalities involved with the project will work well together.

The depth and scope of Accountnet’s corporate practice stem from the diverse experience of our consulting team, whom has more than 50 cumulative years of technical consulting, CFO-level expertise, accounting experience and service delivery. We are a consulting firm that also provides software sales solutions around ERP, procurement, distribution and budgeting with the latest technology and cloud solutions to fortune 1000 and other midsized companies. Organizations have relied on our advice to compete effectively in a global business environment. In some cases, the software is not discussed until the software needs are thoroughly reviewed. Our mission is to provide A-level service to everyone in the organization, from the accounts payable team to the CFO and upper management.

Accountnet, Inc. is based in Midtown Manhattan, New York City and supports the Metro N.Y. Area with several remote offices including Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Stamford and Halifax. Hundreds of nonprofit, finance, technology, government, healthcare and business services use Accountnet to help enable and realize their goal of a complete ERP solution in a streamlined and definitive fashion. John C. Peace is COO of Accountnet, Inc. and a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). He can be reached at www.accountnet.com or 212.244.9009.

Gold Certified

Accountnet, Inc. Attains Gold Competency for ERP in New Microsoft Partner Network
Accountnet demonstrates the highest, most consistent capability and commitment to Microsoft Dynamics ERP

New York, N.Y. January  9, 2011 Accountnet, Inc. a leading provider of high tech industry Enterprise Resource Planning ( ERP) for Microsoft Dynamics, has announced that it has achieved the Gold competency for Enterprise Resource Planning ( ERP) in the new Microsoft Partner Network.

The new Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) accreditations are much more stringent than the previous Microsoft Gold Partner status and promise to better represent organizations who have demonstrated the highest, most consistent capability and commitment within a specific business solution area.

Where previously the Gold Partner status reflected an overall capability, the new approach enables Microsoft partners to more clearly differentiate their business capabilities and areas of specialization. Partners who earn Gold or Silver competency accreditation can display the new partner logo that shows their specific areas of expertise.

“Microsoft’s partners are the secret behind our success, and we created the Microsoft Partner Network to help them achieve their business needs and drive deeper customer satisfaction,” said Jon Roskill, corporate vice president of the Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft.

Although Microsoft partners have up to 12 months to meet the new criteria, Accountnet met their objective in achieving the Gold competency weeks after the program was launched.

“The new gold competency signals that Accountnet demonstrated a significant level of industry experience providing services, software, and support for Microsoft Dynamics,” said John Peace, COO at Accountnet,  ”It also indicates that we have a solid customer base, our staff is highly trained, and our solutions are reliable, experienced, and endorsed by Microsoft.”

Accountnet, Inc. is an authorized Microsoft Gold partner for Microsoft Dynamics. Accountnet was incorporated in 1996 to offer a centralized solution to customers based in the Metro New York area. The company now has satellite offices in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Hartford and Halifax. Accountnet, Inc. won the “Excellence in the Area” Award for customer satisfaction and loyalty from Microsoft on October 4, 2008. Recently in 2009 and 2010, Accountnet was named in Accounting Today magazine’s as a Top Technology Pacesetter, defined as the best small and mid-sized business technology “service centers” in North America. Accountnet was also included in the top 100 VAR in the U.S. in Accounting Technology and Accounting Today magazine’s April 2010 issue.

Accountnet Customer Briefing

Thank you to all of our customers, sponsors, and special guests who helped make Accountability 2010 a remarkable event!

Notes from Accountnet’s Accountability 2010 conference held at Microsoft Customer Briefing Center are listed below.

Our goal is to enable the maximum long term benefits from the Microsoft Dynamics investment already made, and additionally to introduce other software programs to extend the Dynamics solution in place.

Additional Products Introduced

FIDO – FIDO is a web-based Silverlight4™ application that looks a lot like Windows Explorer or Microsoft Outlook. FIDO includes over 100 predefined views into your data. Just select one to view your Dynamics SL data. Filter, sort and group as you see fit. Then, if you like, you can export the results to MS Excel for further processing. If you’ve customized the view, you can easily save it for use in the future. You can also create your own completely different views!

ImageLink – ImageLink provides document management for Microsoft Dynamics. Scan documents to the Network or attach documents to application screens, then allow for all users to view scanned documents (Dynamics and Non Dynamics users),

ReQlogic – ReqLogic is 100% web enabled and allows for a workflow of approvals to be setup for Requisitions, Invoices, and Expense Reports specifically designed for Microsoft Dynamics GP and SL. Reqlogic reads the Dynamics database for vendor and inventory information during data entry. ReqLogic will then automatically create Purchase Orders and Payables Vouchers in Dynamics with the proper vendor and account coding identified once the proper workflow has been completed. A history of the approved document’s workflow is kept along with any scanned images or attached documents.

Scribe – Scribe Insight has been specifically designed to support the effective deployment of a number of market leading business applications or Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms, including but not limited to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Salesforce, and SalesLogix. More specifically, Scribe Insight enables customers to quickly and seamlessly integrate their mission critical applications with other applications and data stores in the enterprise. The Scribe Insight product allows for the mapping of data elements between different software applications in order to provide real time data integration between the products.

Current Microsoft Promotions

Microsoft Professional Tools
Change and/or merge chart of account ids, account/subaccount segments, vendor and customer IDs. Professional Tools from Microsoft current promotion is 15% off three tools for $1,700. Valid until December 20, 2010. Contact Accountnet for a full list of Professional Tools available for your Dynamics product.

Holiday User Promotion
Purchase two or more additional Dynamics users and receive 20% off. One additional user is 10% off. Valid until December 20, 2010.

License Model Transition Promotion
Adding additional modules for a one time fee. 30% off until December 20, 2010.

Special Microsoft Referral Campaign
Participants may join, by actively referring Microsoft Dynamics prospects to Accountnet to receive AMEX rewards gift cards.

More and more Dynamics users want to extend and integrate other systems to the core Dynamics system. SQL reporting services, SmartLists Builder and Excel Builder training can enhance the latest version releases. Don’t delay. Contact Accountnet to plan today to become experts in these Business Intelligence tools.

Contact support@accountnet.com and watch for the release of the new website.

Accountnet will be closed Thursday, November 25th and Friday, November 26th in observance of Thanksgiving. We will resume normal business hours Monday, November 29th.

Please note however, we are always committed to serving our customers, so all emergency support requests will be supported.

After Hours Emergency Information:

For support requests please call Microsoft Dynamics support at 1-800-777-0521.

May your Thanksgiving and all the days ahead be filled with happiness, peace, and prosperity!

From the Accountnet Team

Five Steps in the Successful Implementation of a New Account System

Here are the five most critical steps in the successful implementation of a new accounting system:
Analyze, Plan, and Understand – Start at the beginning. The first step is to conduct a thorough review of your organization’s requirements and processes, to identify what is working well and which aspects of the organization need improvement and/or refinement. These requirements or goals should then be mapped into a project plan, becoming the driving forces behind your implementation.
Design, Develop, and Build – Using the project plan produced in Step 1, design your proposed new accounting system. The implementation team will need to construct a pilot version of some (if not all) of the modules that will become part of the new system; these will be used to validate the business processes and system functionality specified in the project plan.
Train, Test, and Accept – Building on the pilot system and/or utilizing data migrated from the legacy system, this step involves teaching end users the best practices and procedures for the new accounting system, to ensure that any bugs are worked out and the maximum benefits are obtained. After the results of this testing and training period are reviewed and any corrections are applied, management should sign off on the new system (verifying that the work to date has been accepted).
Implement and “Go Live” – Working from the protocols developed in Steps 2 and 3, the fourth step is the completion of the final version of the new system (and populating the new system with legacy data). At this point, the implementation team’s full resources are on-site and the team is ready to make the final transition to the new system.
Ongoing Support – After the successful launch of your new system, it is essential to provide or receive ongoing support. A help desk, webinars, and user group sessions are examples of initiatives that can prove useful. It is also important to update the system regularly, proactively providing any training needed as a result of any changes.
The five steps described above represent distinct phases of the implementation project, and they are executed in succession. Equally important, however, are those ongoing activities and functions that a successful implementation must include:
Project Management – All aspects of the implementation must be tracked by the project manager, whose responsibilities include task assignments, resource availability, project documentation, budget and timeline oversight, and communication among the project’s team members.
Systems Support – As previously stated, before your project can get underway, a thorough review of the existing infrastructure – an Accounting Technical Review (ATR) – must be completed. However, systems support is an ongoing venture. A recurring review of the current systems infrastructure ensures that the data (and any analysis of it) is delivered in an optimal fashion. Systems support also affords an opportunity to make specific recommendations for ongoing improvements to the hardware and software infrastructure.
Consulting Services – Get external consulting assistance as needed for any aspects of the internal review, including an Extended Relationship Analysis (ERA) and an ATR, as well as recommendations for best practices, details on the delivery of training and procedures, testing of the pilot and production systems, and development of custom reports. A complete examination of your business environment may identify additional opportunities for improvements.
Next steps:
Contact Accountnet, Inc. at 212.Dynamics or 212.244.9009 for Dynamics training requests or visit www.accountnet.com, to set up an Extended Relationship Analysis meeting (ERA accounting needs gathering). The more we know you, the more we can help. Leverage all of what GP 2010 can offer today, for the recorded demonstration please email jpeace@accountnet.com.

Reduce IT Costs with Microsoft Dynamics GP

Build business value at lower IT cost on the Microsoft platform.

Now, more than ever, IT budgets are under close scrutiny. With Microsoft Dynamics GP, however, you are not just giving your business powerful analysis tools, you are also giving your IT team the flexible and familiar platform it needs to take charge of its budget and empower your people.

Microsoft Dynamics GP can help you reduce IT costs and facilitate user productivity:
Comprehensive out-of-the-box functionality meets your specific business needs without adding cost and time to the implementation process.
Rapid implementation tools reduce time and expense getting you up and running quickly.
Leverage your existing IT assets, such as Microsoft SQL Server and the Microsoft Office suite. And with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, you can bring advanced search, business intelligence, and workflow capabilities to Microsoft Dynamics GP – and your business.
Personalization tools help you to extend the system without expensive customizations to give users an experience tailored to their unique needs.
Customize efficiently and cost effectively without development or programming knowledge to tailor information views and automate routine tasks.
Integrate with non-Microsoft applications using Microsoft Dynamics GP connectivity tools and easily connect with external data sources using Web Services.
Choose a deployment model that works for you. Whether its on-premise or partner hosted, Microsoft Dynamics GP delivers a solution that you can count on now and into the future.
To learn how other businesses have used Microsoft Dynamics GP to lower IT costs call Accountnet.

Next steps:
Contact Accountnet, Inc. at 212.Dynamics or 212.244.9009 for Dynamics training requests or visit www.accountnet.com, to set up an Extended Relationship Analysis meeting (ERA accounting needs gathering). The more we know you, the more we can help. Leverage all of what GP 2010 can offer today, for a recorded demonstration please email jpeace@accountnet.com.

More Productive People and Processes with Microsoft Dynamics GP

When you connect people to the right processes across your company with a fully integrated business management solution that is familiar and easy to use, you are setting the stage for increased productivity. Microsoft Dynamics GP can help by allowing you to:

Gain access to the right information and tools with the RoleTailored interface of Microsoft Dynamics GP, which provides employees the specific information and functionality they need based specifically on their role in your company.

Free your people to focus on what matters most by automating routine tasks such as timesheets, expense reporting, sales orders, and more.

Make business information, reports, and documents readily available on intranet or extranet sites for more-productive collaboration among employees, customers, and trading partners.

Take advantage of Web-based requisition management capabilities, where employees can submit requisitions online, automatically routing them through an approval process across your organization.

Enable mobility and remote access by bringing relevant information to the hands of your people through portal-based access. Enhance collaboration with Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server together to implement workflows, advanced searches, and collaborative business intelligence.

Provide your people with a user experience similar to that of other Microsoft products to reduce training time and help people achieve their full potential faster.

Some organizations that have learned to use Microsoft Dynamics GP to improve the productivity of people and processes.

American Red Cross. Efficient operations help the American Red Cross succeed in its mission.

SchoolKidz. ERP software upgrade fuels collaboration and growth for online school-supply retailer.

Brookline Village. Retirement community modernizes software for efficiency and access to information.

Global Tower Partners. Wireless tower company boosts efficiency, profitability with integrated ERP solution.

Next steps:
Contact Accountnet, Inc. at 212.Dynamics or 212.244.9009 for Dynamics training requests or visit www.accountnet.com, to set up an Extended Relationship Analysis meeting (ERA accounting needs gathering). The more we know you, the more we can help. Leverage all of what GP 2010 can offer today, for a recorded demonstration please email jpeace@accountnet.com.