Better Business Intelligence Reporting

When ERP systems started emerging in the 90s, businesses embraced them as they held out the promise of improving their business processes with an integrated set of tools and applications. Now, with the introduction of vastly improved Business Intelligence (BI) reporting software, like Solver’s BI360, organizations are finally provided with a way to make educated decisions based on real-time information.

BI360 is an Excel-based reporting application with predefined templates and user-defined reports that run live on Microsoft Dynamics GP. Metrics from other data sources (spreadsheets, cloud, in-house databases, etc.) can also be included. The easy-to-use report writer provides financial professionals with detailed reporting capabilities in a variety of layouts and presentation formats, providing a 360-degree view the organization’s overall health and arming the executive staff with the information they need to make better and timelier decisions.accnet

BI360 dashboards unify the organizations most important assets: its people and its data. Using convenient, web-based dashboards, your people have a way to visualize trends in the data, identifying issues, and ultimately driving success.  With BI360, you can create your first dashboard and see results in minutes — not weeks!

Today’s ERP applications make it easier than ever to view real-time, daily cash flow and budget-versus-actual reports.  BI360’s budgeting module is a flexible budgeting, forecasting and modeling solution without the typical long implementation and high cost of other legacy planning software.

At Accountnet, not only do we work with our client organizations throughout the process of ERP selection, software integration and implementation, we also assist post-rollout, providing assistance with internal change management, training and support.  When clients engage Accountnet, they know we have the experience to hedge against project cost overruns and they won’t be stuck with ERP software that doesn’t meet their unique business needs. Our industry-specific expertise helps our clients achieve measurable business improvements and a real return on investment. Contact us for a free consultation around your ERP and business intelligence reporting needs.

Microsoft Dynamics GP Can Ease Year-End Drudgery

The end of each year may find everyone in the office celebrating – except for those employees in the Accounting Department that have to deal with preparing tax reports and W-2s, printing and mailing everything out to all the appropriate recipients. Or those in Benefits fielding inquiries from employees who want to know how much vacation and/or sick time they have left. The end of the year can be very stressful for staff responsible for any kind of year-end reporting, but with the right tools, though, these chores can be completed accurately and on time.

A good enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, like Microsoft Dynamics GP, makes it easy for everyone in your organization to enter the data all year long. Capturing and organizing all your payroll and related data means a lot less fuss and worry at year’s end, and the sophisticated business intelligence and rich reporting functionality available through MS Dynamics GP means year-end reporting can be another thing to celebrate.

In addition to the support provided by your Value Added Retailer, like Accountnet, the Microsoft Dynamics online community has a wealth of resources to assist, including the Microsoft Dynamics GP Year-End Closing Blog Series for 2013 and this comprehensive video presentation “What’s New in Year-End 2013.”

Interested in making a move to Microsoft Dynamics GP in 2014? Contact us at Accountnet for a free phone consultation.

You Purchased an ERP System and Your Employees Won’t Use it – What Happened?

Over the 17 years that Accountnet has been a leader in the accounting software industry, we‘ve seen the competitive landscape change drastically.  As systems become more complex, overly aggressive integrators and VARs tend to make outrageous promises to potential customers just to close a sale. Most of these vendors fail to recognize the most important aspect of an ERP implementation: the software itself is only half of what is needed to be successful.

change-aheadObviously starting with good software, like Microsoft Dynamics, is a prerequisite for a successful ERP implementation, but the reality is that your internal workflow processes and organizational issues are the most important things to address when deploying an ERP solution. Key among those processes and organizational issues is user adoption – that is, making sure your employees embrace the new system and the changes it brings.  Many of our competitors provide their clients with canned training modules because they don’t concern themselves with user adoption – and they think about training as just a minor deliverable of the larger contract. Unfortunately, failing at user adoption will lead to failure of any ERP solution, no matter how well the software works.

Another reason companies fail when deploying a new ERP system is that they don’t have a grasp of the bigger-picture and don’t know where to begin when it comes to designing their system to meet internal workflow and operational needs.  At Accountnet, we differentiate ourselves by ensuring that our customers have clearly defined business processes that can be mapped to the transactional nature of the software. We help with this critical piece of planning so that your staff and management truly understand the new system, what is expected of them, and how it all ties together in a way that makes the company more efficient and effective.

Once the business processes and supporting workflow transactions are determined, you still need to define employee roles and responsibilities. Just because a staff member has been trained to create a work order or process an invoice doesn’t necessarily mean that they understand their place in the overall process. Moving to an ERP solution may involve significant changes to job roles, so it is important that you have a framework for defining and instituting these changes. Management and your HR department should be involved in this process.

Many ERP vendors and project teams are relieved when they finally go live with a system – they consider the project “delivered” at that point. At Accountnet, our work doesn’t stop at launch. In reality, most user adoption issues are identified well after a system has launched, and most of the benefits don’t kick in for a few months, when all employees are comfortable with their new roles and how to use the system to manage their daily tasks.

If employees abandon the software and revert back to legacy processes, then the ERP is at risk of completely failing to deliver any value whatsoever. Having an effective change management plan will ensure that your staff is not only prepared to adopt the new system, but that they will continue to improve their individual and team performance in the weeks and months that follow. The investment in ensuring strong user adoption has returns that exceed the investment multiple times over.

Affordable Cloud ERP for Small to Medium Businesses

Cloud ERP Solutions | Accountnet | New York, NYNot too long ago, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software meant spending tens of thousands of dollars, and required months of customization and training, which made this essential business planning tool out of reach for small to medium sized businesses (SMBs).  But with the advent of cloud ERP solutions, like Microsoft Dynamics, young companies can finally take advantage of what is becoming a business-critical tool to help better manage and track production, order processing, cash flow, orders, payroll and much more.

SMBs have already embraced cloud technology for resource-intensive functions like data storage, web hosting and email, but many are still struggling to find solutions for managing day-to-day business processes. Failing to get a handle of these processes can hinder a company from moving ahead with the critical planning required to grow the business. Many SMBs start with QuickBooks and build on it, integrating spreadsheet solutions and/or third-party add-ons, cobbling together home-grown systems for managing finance, purchasing, sales, etc.  Even the best of these systems will present problems scaling, and they lack the robust tracking and reporting features that would offer management the necessary insight to make better business decisions.

Microsoft Dynamics GP is a great solution for SMBs that find themselves searching for an ERP provider, as there are no hardware purchase (which means a lower initial capital investment), it’s fast and easy to implement, and minimal training is required for anyone already familiar with Microsoft Office products. Dynamics GP provides incredible flexibility and allows your staff to access to the system regardless of their location. This, in turn, allows for greater collaboration across your supply chain or project team by giving them access to critical data in real time so that they can better plan their workloads and respond to changes or delays.

If your SMB is ready to make the move to better business planning using an ERP system, start by outlining the problems with your current set-up.  What gaps are you trying to fill by adopting an ERP (you may have different needs depending upon whether your company is manufacturing- or project-based).  Don’t be in a rush to choose, and make sure to get advice from the experts at Accountnet.  We’ve helped hundreds of clients spend less time struggling with outdated processes and more time strengthening vital client relationships and building their businesses.

Your Company is Growing – Is it Time to Invest in an ERP System?

Cost control is a high priority issue for small to medium businesses. Everything costs – staff, office space and equipment, inventory of materials or products you may sell – all these are necessary investments for future business success, but can also create negative cash flow and lead to excessive debt.

Enterprise Resource Planing SystemMany business owners are outside their comfort area when it comes to selecting accounting software and business automation systems.  Do we really need it? Is it worth the cost? ERP solutions can become very expensive once you add up the cost of the base product, customizations and add-ons, etc.  How do you begin to select a high quality ERP and determine if and when you will reap a return on your investment?

Start by thinking about your business’s tangible costs. These include what you spend on things like inventory, distribution, IT support and labor.  A good ERP system, like Microsoft Dynamics GP, can help you reduce your tangible costs by improving your operating processes. For example, better purchasing and supply chain management helps you avoid over-ordering and reduces lost inventory.  ERP systems also improve communications among and between employees and managers, which leads to greater productivity. Greater productivity from your work force results in quantifiable savings.  These are just two way that illustrate how using an ERP system can bring visible ROI very quickly.

But implementing an ERP for your business has benefits that are not as immediately obvious.  The insights gleaned from having a consolidated view of all your data allows you to make more timely business decisions. Some of the more intangible benefits may include:

  • Improved customer response time
  • Enormous savings of time and effort for data entry
  • Uniform reporting according to industry standards

Accountnet is a Microsoft Gold Certified partner and can help with the whole process of helping you move towards an ERP solution, from planning through implementation.  We work with you to determine your specific needs and select the right products, and then help customize, configure and train your team.  Because MS Dynamics products look and work the same as the familiar Microsoft Office suite, the learning curve is shorter which helps you reap the benefits faster than with other ERP solutions.

Contact us today for a free phone consultation and needs assessment.

Five Reasons to Look Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 for Your Growing Business

Known in a previous incarnation as Microsoft Great Plains, Microsoft Dynamics GO 2013 is a cost-effective ERP solution designed to meet the needs of your growing company. MS Dynamics GP integrates all of your business functions (supply chain, accounting/finance and more) into one, easy-to-use software package that is the best in its class and truly affordable.

Here are five reasons why you might want to take a look at Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013:

  1. Familiar Look and Feel.  Everyone hates having to learn new systems, but MS Dynamics GP 2013 looks and works exactly like the other Microsoft products (Outlook, Word and Excel) your employees use every day.
  2. Enhanced Functionality with Free Modules. The Dynamics GP 2013 Starter Pack includes many modules that you used to have to purchase separately.  With the rollout of MS Dynamics GP 2013, each user now has access to all of the modules included in the Starter Pack.
  3. Flexibility of Implementation and Room for Growth. MS Dynamics GP 2013’s out-of-the-box functionality can get up and running quickly and can be deployed on your own servers, in the cloud, or in some combination.  And if your requirements change down the road (as they will, when your company is growing) additional modules are available to serve a wide variety of business needs.
  4. Leveraging Data for Better Business Insights.  MS Dynamics GP enables you to integrate and automate your financial and operational processes, and makes it easier for your employees, vendors and customers to share information and insights with one another.  This allows you to glean insights that can help streamline productivity and save money.
  5. Web Access. Dynamics GP’s web client provides you employees with easy access to the data they need no matter where they are, via PC or mobile device.

For an overview of some of the features in Dynamics GP 2013, check out this demo:

And call us if you want to know more about how Accountnet can help your business get started with Dynamics ERP!

Five Tips for Adopting an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Successfully implementation of an ERP solution is a team effort involving your CFO, CIO and key players in your organization.  To make the most of this essential technology, make sure to follow these five tips:

MS Dynamics ERPSpend time planning.  Enterprise Resource Planning software provides management capabilities for finances, human resources and payroll, manufacturing and supply chain, project management and more.  Within your organization, the departments handling these functions are probably using their own processes and systems, so if you are thinking about adopting an ERP solution, such as Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains), you should start by devoting adequate time to the planning phase, conducting a thorough needs assessment.  It’s important to understand the details of your company’s various business processes as these are all likely to be affected by an ERP implementation.

Get buy-in earlyEqually important to your ERP planning is the need to prepare employees for the coming changes.  If you can’t get your staff to use your ERP solution, then you’ve wasted your time and money.  Include as many people as you can during planning phase by asking all levels of management and staff for their input.  What data is important to them, how are they currently collecting it and what challenges do they face with their daily analysis and reporting needs? Knowing the answers is important not only for selecting the right ERP system, but also for engaging employees and demonstrating they have a stake in a successful ERP implementation.

Devote time to training:  Make sure training sessions are tailored to meet the needs of each department or function, so that staff understands which parts of the ERP they will be using.  Don’t overwhelm by trying to make everyone understand all the capabilities.  Providing training sessions that are more job-specific and relevant make it easier to learn and boosts employee confidence.

Don’t overcomplicate things:  If users become frustrated with overly complicated software, they will eventually abandon the system.  Easy-to-use software, like MS Dynamics GP, with a user interface that looks and operates like the familiar Microsoft Office products, allows for customization that allows users to see only those functions they need.

Choose a reliable ERP software providerSelecting the right vendor is another important factor.  Accountnet has helped hundreds of companies adopt an ERP solution that matches their business goals and has deployed it according to our clients’ timetables and within their budgets.  We are Gold Certified Partners for Microsoft Dynamics in New York City, serving the Northeast from Boston, MA to Washington, DC.  Contact us today for a free needs assessment or to learn more about Accountet’s services.

Improve Organizational Performance with ERP Software

With the American economy showing signs of recovery recently, it’s a good time for businesses to start shifting their focus from cost reduction to improving organizational performance.  Of key important to professional services firms and other project-centric companies is the need to identify trends that can be used to make informed business decisions going forward.  Decisions around new market opportunities, acquiring and retaining customers and perfecting operational processes are all affected by the quality, accuracy and timeliness of the information on which they are based.

ERP Software | Accountnet | New York, NYThe information you need to monitor and drive your company’s performance can be overwhelming and difficult to collate across multiple systems. Your ability to expose relevant data and turn insights into action will determine how successful your company will be as the economy continues to improve. If you don’t currently have Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, you are likely relying on multiple databases and processes to track purchase and invoice requisitions, employee expenses, and project costing and accounting.  Getting a “big picture” view can be quite a challenge, not to mention time consuming.

ERP software like Microsoft Dynamics can speed up the time it takes to gather information while also allowing you your executives to spend more of their time addressing more pressing questions. By employing a flexible ERP system, either desk-top or cloud-based, you can automate processes and generate reports to meet differing stakeholder needs.

Using an ERP system can help your company break through information silos to establish a single view of critical information as it applies to specific projects, resources, team members and customers.  Microsoft Dynamics is an especially powerful tool as it allows you to monitor and report on all information, activities, project budgets, costs and billings which can help improve financial performance.

Although cost reduction won’t likely disappear from your overall goals, the need to expand your focus to take advantage of growth opportunities is a must. The benefits of automating processes and workflows using an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is possibly the single most important step you can take to increase efficiency and help your company turn insights into action.

Miscrosoft Dynamics Helps Healthcare Providers Face New Management Challenges

While the country inches slowly out of the great recession, there are certain industries that are now undeniably blossoming. Healthcare is one such industry, due to natural population growth and rapidly aging baby boomers that find themselves increasingly in need of medical care. But with this growth comes significant challenges for healthcare providers — clinicians, researchers, and administrators alike. There is a greater need to track business data, automate transactions, share information and communicate effectively across different networks and communities of service providers. There are also special requirements around regulatory compliance. This can become quite burdensome if an organization relies on too many separate proprietary tools and paper processes.

ERP for Healthcare ProvidersA comprehensive financial and business management solution like Microsoft Dynamics is a great way to keep costs down and increase productivity, having proven to be an effective Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities. MS Dynamics GP easily integrates with current healthcare databases, such as billing and other clinical systems, and also provides supply-chain management, which is essential to providing high-quality care. Other healthcare-specific modules provide capabilities for dealing with complex pay structures, including shift differentials, varying pay rates, employees working in multiple departments and positions, and overtime rate calculations.

Additionally, the HR management feature allows providers to track applicant references, and offer self-service payroll and benefits management to employees, which relieves support staff of having to deal with paper-based data collection.

At the core of Microsoft Dynamics GP are the powerful tools available for managing financial data with strong controls, audit trails, the ability to build and automate financial, budget and forecasting reports. Microsoft Dynamics GP is truly a feature-rich tool and complete ERP framework that can help healthcare organizations implement best practices and procedures while achieving and maintaining regulatory compliance.

If you think your healthcare organization could benefit from an ERP solution, contact us.  We can help you determine if Microsoft Dynamics GP is the right choice for your company.

Microsoft Dynamics GP Satisfies More Customers

Become a Dynamic Business with Microsoft Dynamics GP

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 features many out-of-the-box modules to improve business efficiency. It delivers functionality, performance, and ease of use to diverse businesses around the world. From financials and human resource management to manufacturing and operations, Microsoft Dynamics GP brings people and systems together to help you run your entire business more efficiently and effectively. Whether you are an existing customer evaluating options to expand your solution with additional modules or a prospective customer considering making Microsoft Dynamics GP your company’s new business solution, this guide will provide a valuable overview of the product modules available within Microsoft Dynamics GP – grouped by business functionality – and the various packaging options available.

 

How to Buy Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013

Microsoft sells Dynamics GP through a network of both Silver and Gold Authorized Partners who provide planning, implementation, customization, and support services specifically to optimize the solution to each customer’s unique needs.

 

Easier Licensing

Licensing for Microsoft Dynamics GP is designed to help both small and midsize businesses jump-start their value with an affordable starting price, rapid implementation tools, and functionality. Perpetual Licensing simplifies how you purchase an ERP solution. The entire solution can be licensed “on the back of a napkin” with just a few components. Access to the functionality is through user licenses on a concurrent user basis and through two main components, the Starter Pack and the Extended Pack.

 

Integration Suite

Use the tools in this suite to import data from other applications. Each tool has a specific functionality for an individual task, such as Integration Manager–Distribution, Integration Manager–Financials, eConnect, and Web Services.

 

Modifier with Visual Basic for Applications

Modify the appearance and functionality of any Microsoft Dynamics GP or Dexterity-based third-party window, add new fields, change global resources to affect the entire application, and attach VBA code for less complex business logic.

 

When companies want value-added services from a Metro New York–based firm, they go to Accountnet. We are experts in the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics GP and can provide training and CPE credits. Because it is more flexible than Oracle and much more comprehensive than QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics GP is a solution you can grow with.  And because it comes with all the modules you’ll need, it is the obvious choice for your business management needs.  Your organization deserves the best – make it Microsoft Dynamics GP.

 

Call 212.244.9009 or visit www.accountnet.com to view the latest demo or to schedule an extended relationship analysis.