When Should You Upgrade Your Accounting Software? | Microsoft Dynamics SL

When a business pushes against the limits of its business system, once-simple processes like payroll and invoicing quickly become very complex and new business opportunities begin to require more complicated resource management and billing methods. About the time companies are calculating the ROI of software changes, many businesses run the risk of lost business due to a lack of capacity – which highlight the opportunity cost risk.

 

The best time to upgrade your business system is before your technology begins to limit your business; however, it can be tricky to figure out exactly when that is before it happens. Here are four questions you could ask yourself to determine whether your business system is still helping you grow.

Outgrown Software

      1. Is your data managed by copying and pasting? If any of your regular book-keeping routines require your bookkeeper to copy and paste numbers into master spreadsheet, your book-keeper is over-worked and the manual work increases your risk of data error. As a business leader, you should be worrying that the manipulation of data may create opportunity for error or that data was lost in the process. Microsoft Dynamics SL automates these processes, saving time. Since the data is only manually entered once and is automatically moved to all the right places, less error is guaranteed.
      2. Can you see the health of the business in a single view? Is employee time-tracking stored in a separate place from resource availability, and is invoicing stored in another place again? If all the data is stored in the cloud, data goes in once, and information can be pulled out in whatever format you need, whether you need hours posted to different clients at different rates, or you want to compare project estimates to your outsourced freelancer’s and employee’s billable hours, and view that against your invoicing, so you can determine whether you’re losing profits by missing out on change-orders.
      3. Can you predict the future? Are you able to do long-term resource planning or even view recent business growth? To forecast availability of resources or see where you’re being most profitable in recent billings you need your business system to deliver business insight. If you put all your data into the cloud, you get a master summary of the business from which you can continue the graph to determine your future.
      4. Would data loss or hardware failure destroy your business? Is your business data stored in the cloud or in files on a server in the back room? When have you allotted time and resources to manage the technology? Most companies keep putting off taking the time to update software, transition data, change processes, and update systems across the company. The perfect time to do these tasks, of course is the moment before a hardware failure, but of course nobody can predict that. Today more companies want less dependence on technology. By storing all your company data in the cloud, data loss is no longer an issue. Also your business has no hassle with renewing servers or software – software updates happen incrementally instead of having a massive upset to the business every few years.

 

As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Accountnet helps companies get up and running with Microsoft Dynamics SL. We don’t just install and configure the software – we train your accounting staff to use it to create the reports they need, so they can analyze data as needed. Our solutions give both technical and non-technical employees the information they need to do their jobs well — wherever they are, in whatever application they choose to use. Take the next step towards growth with Microsoft Dynamics SL in the cloud or on your servers—the choice is yours. Contact us at Accountnet to learn more.

 

Microsoft Dynamics Hosting and Microsoft Dynamics SaaS | Do You Need Cyber Insurance?

Every day in the US, 34,529 computer security breaches occur. Sixty-two percent of these cyber breach victims are small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) who are often vulnerable to these attacks. Awareness of the risk is growing, but many SMBs still face challenges in managing cyber security. Are you aware of data loss prevention best practices, and are you prepared should the worst occur?

Businesses are beginning to recognize that cyber security is extremely important. A Business Continuity Institute and BSI survey revealed that cyber-attacks and data breaches top the list of CEOs’ worries, with almost half saying they are “extremely concerned” about a potential data loss incident.

However, many companies are seriously underprepared when it comes to managing a data loss catastrophe and avoiding data loss. By adhering to data loss prevention best practices and having a managed backup and replication plan in place, your business can mitigate the damaging effects of a cyber security breach.

If you want to be fully prepared for every eventuality, you need to break through some of the biggest myths relating to data loss – and focus instead on a balanced solution that protects your company.

Click here to fill out our Needs Assessment form to see if SaaS is right for you.

Click here to fill out our Needs Assessment form to see if SaaS is right for you.

Seventy percent of SMBs who purchase cyber insurance from market-leading Lloyd’s of London are first-time buyers, so it is clear that businesses are now starting to take the risk of cyber security seriously and look for ways to protect themselves. However, businesses should be careful not to rely solely on their insurance policy in the event of a data loss catastrophe.

Cyber insurance is relatively new, still under development, and only available to cover some data loss costs. It can be beneficial in mitigating some losses but there are a limited range of providers, and no standard way to determine any company’s risk factors. This means there are still coverage gaps – which can leave SMBs at risk.

Cyber insurance might cushion the blow of financial losses to an extent, but no payout will recover the loss of business reputation that data loss creates. Following strict IT security guidelines within day to day operations is still the best practice for preventing catastrophic data loss.

Data Resolution is a SaaS and web hosting site. Accountnet provides SaaS pricing and hosting options for Microsoft Dynamics. As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Accountnet helps companies get up and running with Microsoft Dynamics. We don’t just install and configure the software – we train your accounting staff to use it to create the reports they need, so they can analyze data as needed. If you want to know more about data loss prevention best practices, or discuss your own managed backup and replication plan, you can Contact us at Accountnet and speak to our consultants.

Is Your Current Accounting System Hitting Its Limits?

Every successful business arrives at a moment in its evolution when it runs up against limitations that inhibit growth.  Maybe the office is too small to take on new, necessary staff members; maybe it’s the outdated IT systems that need upgrading.  Very often, small businesses start out using basic accounting software programs like Quickbooks.  At a certain stage they realize the may need a more comprehensive solution to manage financials, reporting, and payroll for their growing organization.

Quick Books or MS Dynamics GPThat’s when it’s time to test drive Microsoft Dynamics GP, which lets small and medium business better manage their operations and make informed decisions that help drive success. Quick to implement and easy to use, Dynamics GP gives your greater control over your financials NOW, plus the power to support future growth.  It brings together business applications, data, documents and devices so your team has access to whatever they need, wherever and whenever they need it.

From server to cloud—desktop to mobile— users get the same familiar Microsoft Office experience so they can use the tools confidently.  Role-based Dynamics GP gives employees the information they need to perform their jobs well, and the flexibility to let them stay connected and productive on the go.

Microsoft Dynamics GP’s capabilities include:

  • Financial management and accounting. Manage your company’s banking, cash and assets.
  • Business intelligence and reporting. Get real-time visibility into operations and analytics to track performance.

As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Accountnet helps SMBs get up and running with Microsoft Dynamics. We don’t just install and configure the software – we train your accounting staff to use it to create the reports they need, so they can analyze data as needed. Our solutions give both technical and non-technical employees the information they need to do their jobs well — wherever they are, in whatever application they choose to use.

Take the next step towards growth with Microsoft Dynamics GP. Contact us at Accountnet to learn more.

Accountnet Inc Receives 2015 Best of Manhattan Award And Accounting Today Magazine Top 100 VAR

Accountnet Inc. has been selected for the 2015 Best of Manhattan Award in the Computer Software category by the Manhattan Award Program. Each year, the Manhattan Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Manhattan area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2015 Manhattan Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Manhattan Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Manhattan Award Program

The Manhattan Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Manhattan area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

Accounting Today Magazine Top 100 VAR

Accountnet, Inc., an ERP provider and ERP consulting and development company announced today that it has been named to Accounting Today’s 2015 VAR 100 List for excellence and growth in the ERP industry. Each year, Accounting Today Magazine develops a special report featuring an exclusive list of companies from the extensive network of ERP VARS. The companies listed are recognized for their expertise in aiding customers through the ERP selection and ERP implementation process.

“We’re honored to be named to Accounting Today’s VAR 100 list again this year,” said John C Peace, COO. “We’re thrilled to consistently appear on the list due to our team’s hard work and customer-centric attitude continue to set Accountnet apart as an industry leader.”

Each year, the prestigious report not only ranks the top ERP VARs, but also examines the current trends and topics in the industry. This year, the report covered the challenges and opportunities faced by companies in the industry and discussed the increasing emergence and growing popularity of cloud ERP systems.

Infor F9: Excel Based Reporting Tools for ERP Systems

Over the past two decades, we’ve seen Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems mature from their origins in manufacturing to become a serious business tool for all sizes and types of companies across a range of industries. Microsoft Dynamics GP is an example of ERP that grew from of a desire to reduce dependencies on Excel spreadsheets and break down information silos. So it’s ironic that now, after having accomplished what it set out to do, ERP end-users want nothing better than to pull that data back into Excel.

It’s not really that hard to understand. The usual reason to pull data out of the system into Excel is to perform further manipulations and analysis.  If the information that is needed can be presented via the existing ERP interface and exported into the format needed for end reports, then that’s an easy solution. But if data needs to be sliced and diced and further processed, then Excel is probably the way to go.

We’ve discussed a number of Excel-based reporting tools for Microsoft Dynamics in recent months and today we add a new product to the mix. Infor’s F9 is a powerful financial reporting and analysis tool that dynamically links general ledger data to Microsoft Excel and presents a real-time view of business information with just the push of a button. No exports or manual entries are required, eliminating labor-intensive reporting and giving you more time to analyze data and focus on strategic planning.

Infor F9 Reporting Tools | Accountnet

The beauty of Infor’s product is that everything you know about spreadsheets can be applied to the reports you create using F9. F9 provides an intuitive interface so staff can learn how to use it in just a matter of hours.

Accountnet has helped a number of customers convert from Microsoft FRx to F9. F9 can do the things people like best about FRxand more. Our clients have found that F9 helps with business analysis far beyond what FRx could ever address. And most importantly, F9 uses Excel as its reporting environment and dynamically links to the live General Ledger, integrating with any accounting or ERP solution that FRx supports.

Download the datasheet, or contact us if you would like to know more about F9 or any of the other Excel-based reporting tools for MS Dynamics ERP systems

The Rise of Excel-Based Reporting Tools for ERP

Excel and ERPAs more companies adopt enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) to help them run their businesses more efficiently, the number of Excel-based reporting tools made specifically for ERP has grown exponentially.  It makes sense – Excel spreadsheet are widely used by almost everyone that needs to view and manage data, and using Excel allows individuals within an organization to set-up and view their spreadsheet data in a way that makes the most sense for them and their operational function within the company.

The idea behind Excel reporting tools (like BizNet, Solver’s BI360 and F9) is to empower employees – both management and staff – by giving them access to up-to-the-minute information in a form that allows them to view and manipulate the data according to their individual needs.

Excel has been around for decades but with the maturation of cloud computing, which allows for access to secure data storage wherever there is an Internet connection, it’s now possible to leverage the power of your company’s ERP system with analytical reports that can be built and run online, providing increased capabilities for collaboration. In today’s global market, where companies may be conducting business around the world and around the clock, implementing Excel-based reporting tools for your cloud ERP system makes a lot of sense.

But the potential benefits of Excel-based BI reporting tools go beyond being the ability access and report on real-time data.  Accelerated and improved decision making, increased operational efficiencies, identifying new revenue sources – all these and more ensure you are leveraging your ERP system for maximum return on investment.

Accountnet routinely helps clients find the right Business Intelligence reporting tools for their company.  Whether you are already a Microsoft Dynamics GP or Microsoft Dynamics SL customer, or want to explore how these ERP systems can help you run and grow your small to mid-sized business, contact us for a free Needs Assessment now.

 

Is Your Financial Accounting System Compliant?

Over the last 15 years, changes to legislation have altered the healthcare and financial sector’s IT requirements. Legislation like HIPAA and HITECH introduced the need for more secure management of patients’ electronic records and increased documentation for any practices that involve electronic patient records.  These changes impacted IT system requirements for the financial services industries in similar ways.

complianceStricter regulation of the financial services sector was enacted as the electronic transfer and storage of information permeated the industry and the wider world in the early 2000s. While retail customers have always had an expectation that businesses accepting credit cards would keep their data secure, corporate accounting departments and financial services companies never really had to tangle with data security IT issues. But economic crises and scandals over the past 15 years have pushed lawmakers to require better records management standards of financial services companies and have called for more transparent disclosure and reporting, and more oversight of the auditing process.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was passed in response to corporate scandals like Enron, WorldCom and Tyco.  SOX, as it is known familiarly, was meant to discourage auditing malfeasance and to make it more difficult for businesses to misrepresent their financial health to the public. Under SOX, companies must preserve five years’ worth of financial records and maintain a stable records management system.  They must also restrict access of financial data to designated employees or contractors.

The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, known as Dodd-Frank for its two sponsoring legislators, extended the reporting and disclosures requirements of formerly unregulated financial institutions. Like SOX, Dodd-Frank didn’t address financial services IT directly. However, it did require that these institutions satisfy the new reporting requirements around compensation, investments, sources of funding, etc. That meant that many IT system needed to be adjusted to make sure the way they create, store, and transfer company documents is in compliance.

Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank require that companies provide more access to regulators, more honest communication with the public, and increased financial transparency. Many small and medium sized financial services companies lack sufficient IT resources and knowledge to build and maintain an IT infrastructure with the right combination of security and openness.  Accountnet works with SMBs in the health and financial industries to ensure their financial accounting systems’ compliance with all government regulations.  Contact us for a free Needs Assessment – let us help you determine the right solution for your unique business needs.

Five Reasons that Project-Based Companies Love MS Dynamics SL

Projected-based companies (for example, creative agencies, construction firms, professional services, government contractors, etc.) have special requirements when it comes to enterprise resource planning (ERP).  For each contracted project, these companies may need to provide status updates, cost tracking reports and detailed billing data that complies with industry-specific regulations.

Microsoft Dynamics SL accounting software helps these types of organizations streamline their business processes, estimate projects accurately, and gain insight into operations and performance across departments. Moreover, Dynamics SL is fully integrated with other Microsoft business applications that small to medium business use on a daily basis.

Here are just five reasons why our professional service customers — and other project-based business clients — prefer Microsoft Dynamics SL ERP software:

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  1. Dynamics SL allows you to manage projects with more flexibility.  Most ERP systems aren’t built for managing project-based businesses, and most industry-based solutions do not include the robust accounting functionality of Microsoft Dynamics. MS Dynamics SL combines the best-in-industry project-based software and superior accounting capabilities.
  2. Microsoft Dynamics allows you to connect your project management to your project accounting.  Two-way data integration between your accounting and project management tools provides you with access to complete project-based data including resources, budgets and allocations. Up-to-the-minute information is kept current in both applications to reduce data entry and ensure accuracy.
  3. Microsoft Dynamics is designed to work with Microsoft Office products such as Outlook and Excel – and the interface and experience are similar. These are tools that your employees are already comfortable using and can adapt to quickly, reducing training time and expense. Staff can get started right away using role-based menus, quick lists and activity panels that make it easy to view and prioritize tasks. Enhanced search features also allow you to easily find what you need, providing histories of recently-viewed reports and screens.
  4. Your employees now have remote access to data.  Convenient web-based applications keep people and departments connected and ensure that your projects run smoothly, regardless of how the team is dispersed. Using Microsoft Dynamics SL’s Business Portal, employees can complete project-related tasks such as assigning resources, creating budgets and approving project transactions – all from their web browser.
  5. The beauty of ERP systems is the ability to share information with your whole company, with special role-based permissions. Use a single screen to get a consolidated and comprehensive view of orders, requests and customer information and eliminate the need to organize digital document libraries or piles of paper. Dynamics SL can also help eliminate silos that prevent collaboration across the enterprise and can ensure that data is viewable using in familiar formats such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Adobe PDF.

Microsoft Dynamics SL is designed to support the intricacies of these project-based requirements and processes – from financial reporting, job-costing, time and expenses, and purchasing materials and services – to managing subcontractors, supervising the workforce and gaining new business. And because it’s Microsoft, your long-term investment is backed by a commitment to ongoing innovation.

If you need assistance with selecting and implementing a project-based financial ERP system, please contact the experts at Accountnet. We are happy to provide you with for a free phone consultation and needs assessment.

 

Five Components of a Good Internal Control System for Small to Medium Businesses

When we talk about “internal controls” in business, we’re talking about the systematic measures put in place in order to conduct operations in an orderly and efficient manner. Internal controls act to safeguard a company’s assets and resources, ensure the accuracy and completeness of its accounting data, detect errors, fraud, and theft and produce reliable and timely financial and management information.

UntitledSmall businesses sometimes neglect internal controls, if they think about internal controls at all. But internal controls for smaller entities can be put in place, though they are more likely to be informal and carried out by one or a handful of people.  However, a few managers enforcing control procedures in a top-down fashion can produce a good internal control system for a small company.

Here are five components of a good internal control system for smaller entities:

1)      The managers at the top should be committed to performing key internal control procedures diligently.  It’s management’s character that shapes the control environment (especially in a smaller company).

2)      Management should be performing daily walk-arounds, collecting feedback on the effectiveness of the company’s accounting and operational systems.

3)      One or more governance committees might be created and given “hands-on” oversight involvement in the business’s activities.  Committee members can be tasked with monthly, entity-level control duties, for example, reviewing and approving supporting documentation against checks written.

4)     Management personnel should communicate internal controls through frequent interaction with the accounting staff.  The performance of basic activity-level controls (such as determining that all orders have been shipped and billed, that invoices are initiated only after shipments are made and that bank accounts are reconciled), should be documented for periodic inspection by management.

5)      An ERP system that limits risks of errors or fraud can produce better and more accurate financial reports.  Standardized reporting formats, password and processing controls should be included in accounting software.

At Accountnet, we work with our clients to involve them in the design, implementation, operation, evaluation, and improvement of their internal control systems. We provide “Good Practice Guidance” (GPG) to ensure that a business’s professional accounting and reporting can be used to improve its internal controls.

Download the Microsoft Management Reporter 2012 FactSheet (PDF).

Accountnet, Inc. Named a Top 100 VAR for 2013

Top 100 Logo (3)

 

Accountnet, Inc. has been named a Top 100 VAR for 2013 by Bob Scott’s Insights. The Top 100 are chosen from organizations specializing in the sale and implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and accounting software. The selection is based on annual revenue generated by each reseller. A special report that includes names of the organizations selected for this year’s Top 100 list, ranked by revenue, is downloadable at http://www.bobscottsinsights.com.

 

“We want to congratulate this year’s class of Bob Scott’s Top 100 VARs,” said Bob Scott, executive editor of Bob Scott’s Insights. Bob has covered this market for 22 years through print and electronic publications, first as technology editor of Accounting Today and then as the Editor of Accounting Technology from 1997 through 2009. He has covered the traditional tax and accounting profession during the same time, and has continued to address that market as executive editor of the Progressive Accountant since 2009. He has been informing and entertaining the mid-market financial software community via his email newsletters for 14 years, and has published this information via the Bob Scott’s Insights newsletter and website since 2009.

 

Acccountnet, Inc. reached the Top 100 by building customer relationships and customizing software solutions to meet the needs of  each client. To quote COO John C. Peace, “We have always stressed a consultative approach versus a ‘quick sales’ approach for existing customers as well as new clients. Instead of pushing a hard-sell approach, we get to know prospects and customers first so we can map out a solution customized to each business. The sales process takes longer, but we believe in the long run it leads to more relationships, mutual satisfaction between our firm and our clients, and trust.”