Author Archives: Synergy Consultants

ERP: The Key to Growth and Efficiency

Synergy Executive Series – Article 4

The objective of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution is to unify and standardize business processes. This can be in financial management, project accounting, reporting, revenue recognition, and other accounting, sales, service, and customer management activities. Centralizing information makes it easier to collect, access, and manage data across the enterprise. Moreover, it helps businesses reap critical value from ERP through expanded visibility into data that can be used to better inform their business decisions and operational proficiency. But many businesses don’t realize how ERP is the key to their own business growth and efficiency.

For companies that have not implemented an ERP system, the top two reasons given are the perception that (1) the effort to implement is a daunting task and (2) the cost of the software and services is prohibitive. But for organizations that have implemented a best-in-class system, they realize these perceptions are not warranted. They discover there are several reasons a new ERP system is well worth it:

  • Any effort expended and cost are usually repaid with measurable and significant efficiency improvements. For example, Dynamics SL can deliver payback in as little as six months, and with Intacct Cloud financials, some organizations achieve payback in less than six months!

  • Many ERP solutions are scalable, allowing for incremental, phased rollouts.

  • A Cloud-based or hosted deployment of ERP results in lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and reduces the effort and cost of upgrades. With a Cloud-based system, it can eliminate upgrade costs entirely as they are included in the subscription fee.

  • With ERP, best-in-class companies are reducing operational costs by 20% and administration expense by 18%.

ERP provides the fiscal and operational system of record upon which you run your business. It serves to standardize, streamline, automate, and add visibility and transparency to your processes. In short, it empowers you to easily manage and make sense of mountains of data. To learn more, download the entire article, ERP: The Key to Growth and Efficiency.

Safe and Secure in the Cloud

Intacct cloud data center

We often hear attendees of our webinars and visitors to our website express their concern about putting their financial data in the Cloud. Some companies have already made up their mind. “Yes, we’re looking for a new system, but it can’t be cloud-based,” they say. Although there are good reasons for going with an on-premise solution in some circumstances, the truth is, most of the time people’s concern about cloud security is unwarranted.

If you’ve used Amazon, eBay, or Gmail, you’ve used a cloud application—very much like Intacct cloud-based accounting. The facts are in. Reputable cloud applications have better means to protect, secure, and back up your confidential business data than any small-to-medium company ever could in-house with an on-premise solution. For example, Intacct operates two redundant Fortune 100-class data centers and has built a specific set of operational characteristics that has helped to ensure the highest levels of availability, integrity, and security for customers for more than 12 years. Consider these guarantees:

  • 99.8% or greater application availability; actual availability is much greater
  • In case of major disaster, applications will be up and running again within 24 hours
  • Continuous local backups plus streaming backups to a remote disaster recovery center
  • Last 24 hours of transactions continuously preserved in Oracle redo logs
  • Maintains SSAE 16 (upgraded from SAS 70) SOC1 Type II audited processes and controls plus PCI DSS certification
  • Monitors application performance and responsiveness constantly from around the world
  • Monitors and manages system operations 24x7x365
  • Commitment to transparency, with real-time system status always available

If cloud security is a concern for you, that’s a good thing. Before deciding on a Cloud solution, look at what your Service Level Agreement will be (see 9 Services Your Cloud Vendor Should Guarantee). Establish your Cloud vendor’s system availability, response time, back up process, disaster recovery plan, privacy policy, and the recoverability of your data should you leave. You’ll find that Intacct can meet all these with a rational guarantee. To learn more, visit Intacct’s Buy with Confidence and Security Safeguards pages.

Synergy Prepares for Microsoft Convergence 2013

Every year, Synergy attends Microsoft’s Convergence, a conference designed for Microsoft partners and their clients. Convergence has a plethora of informative sessions and other creative ways Dynamics clients can learn how to extend the power of their solution across all areas of their business. They also get a first look at new product releases and hear about future plans for their software. Last year, 10 of our Dynamics SL clients attended Convergence in Houston, Texas.

Synergy and clients at 2012 Microsoft Convergence
At this year’s 2013 Convergence in New Orleans starting next week (March 18-21), we’ll be joined by 12 clients. One of them, Kevin Sullivan, CFO of Vista Engineering will be speaking at two sessions, “Getting Ahead with Microsoft Dynamics SL” and “Extreme Makeover! Dynamics SL Edition,” on how Vista Engineering has taken Dynamics SL to the next level. The keynote speaker at this year’s Convergence is Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations!

Attention QuickBooks ProAdvisors: How to Serve Your Clients Who Outgrow QuickBooks*

*and make some money in the process

QuickBooks ProAdvisors

Sometimes you QuickBooks ProAdvisors find yourselves in a bind. Most of your small-business clients love the ease and flexibility of QuickBooks, but some of your larger customers require more advanced functionality, automation, and financial controls. How can you help those larger businesses without losing them as a client?

One solution is to connect with Synergy. If graduating from QuickBooks is really in the best interest of your client, then considering the Intacct Cloud accounting system to replace it should be on their radar and yours. Last month, we shared the Top Ten Signs You’re Ready to Replace QuickBooks and how Intacct has been named “Best for Replacing QuickBooks” by Inc. Magazine, as well as being the preferred provider for the American Institute of CPAs. This month, we are announcing a special offer for QuickBooks ProAdvisors. You can earn a commission when you transition your clients who outgrow QuickBooks to Intacct Cloud accounting through Synergy.

To learn more how this works, download this QuickBooks ProAdvisor Offer Factsheet that includes 5 Facts to Ease the Pain of Losing a Client and 3 Ways Intacct Meets Your Clients’ Needs.

3 Essentials to Position Your Company for Profitable Growth

Synergy Executive Series – Article 3

Profitable Growth
Recent research shows CFOs are increasingly playing a significant role in strategic and operational matters to help their organizations make better decisions faster. Yet midmarket CFOs still cite challenges with this role. The 2010 Global Chief Financial Officer Study reports the following challenges identified by midmarket CFOs who are increasingly responsible for tightly managing their budgets while simultaneously positioning their companies for growth:

  • Over 40 percent of companies produce financial metrics manually
  • 47 percent are poor to average at anticipating external forces
  • Finance spends over 50 percent of its time on transactional activities
  • 50 percent lack a common planning platform;
  • 36 percent lack a common reporting platform
  • Nearly 60 percent are not satisfied with their operational planning and forecasting analytical capability

Business success is realized by efficient information analysis, reporting, and budgeting. By replacing slow and cumbersome manual processes with a project accounting and financial management system that integrates with familiar applications, such as spreadsheets, your people become more efficient and have faster access to critical information. They can spend more of their time on what’s important—capturing, assessing and sharing information that drives efficient operations, intuitive business decisions, and profit-driving performance.

There are three activities that lead to making fast, informed decisions that fuel success today and position your business for profitable growth in the future. Whatever business management solution you identify as best for your needs, make sure that the people within your organization are equipped to effectively perform these essentials using the most current and accurate information:

1. Monitor
2. Analyze
3. Plan

To read the full article on how a new system can deliver these essentials to project-driven companies, download Position Your Company for Profitable Growth.

Top 10 Signs You’re Ready to Replace QuickBooks

Outgrowing QuickBooks? Why Thousands have Graduated to Intacct

From QuickBooks to Intacct

Because it’s endorsed by the AICPA and has proven professional-strength capabilities, thousands of companies have moved from small-to-mid-market accounting solutions to Intacct Cloud Financials. The case for graduating to Intacct is even more compelling for QuickBooks users. Consider these ten signs you’ve outgrown QuickBooks. Intacct solves each of these issues. In your routine, you:

  1. Spend hours outside QuickBooks manipulating spreadsheets.
  2. Manage inefficient manual processes that reduce productivity and introduce errors.
  3. Lack timely information on critical business dimensions and must rely on manual workarounds.
  4. Have limited visibility into consolidated and operational details.
  5. Must depend on spreadsheets for reporting.
  6. Need to become fully GAAP-compliant or just need more control and auditability.
  7. Lack seamless integration with mission-critical apps, such as Salesforce, which increases manual tasks.
  8. Have difficulty managing multi-entity and/or multi-currency issues.
  9. Lack real-time visibility into project costs, revenues, and project profitability.
  10. Have inefficient, manual revenue management processes and experience revenue leakage as result.

Inc Magazine named Intacct “Best for Replacing QuickBooks.” It’s widely recognized as the best accounting solution for QuickBooks graduates. Get resources on the hidden costs of QuickBooks and how Intacct makes you more productive and delivers between 200% and 400% ROI every year with a three to six month payback time. Resources for QuickBooks Graduates.

3 Ways Modern Accounting Systems Remove Business Obstacles

Synergy Executive Series – Article 2

Traditionally, companies are slow to react to economic changes resulting in knee jerk, untimely decisions. How they view their accounting and business systems is usually no different, waiting until the pain is too great to endure. System crashes, multiple databases busting at the seams, and bad processes all lead to poor customer service and businesses being at a competitive disadvantage. Making a change to a company’s financial management and accounting system can solve these issues. Here are three ways a new, best-in-class system (e.g., Microsoft Dynamics SL or Intacct, depending on your needs) can transform a project-based business:

1 – Eliminate Information Silos – To manage projects more profitably, you need one system of truth—one view of your projects and value chain from start to finish. This single view will enable you to make better decisions based upon unobstructed accurate observance into finances from project P&Ls to operations and logistics. Without it, each department has their own truth which hinders effective decision making. Microsoft Dynamics SL or Intacct tears down the silos.

2 – Enable Standardized Processes – The achievement of your company’s strategic objectives is reliant on how well you can align your workforce with processes that will consistently deliver on those goals. Advanced business management systems like Intacct and Dynamics SL provide a solid foundation to help ensure your processes are consistent and repeatable—based on the best practices that apply to the ways in which your organization serves your customers.

3 – Empower Team Collaboration – Mobile and remote workers are the norm these days as well as the nature of professional services projects. The ability to manage teams using role-based and Web-based collaboration tools and communication portals keeps everyone moving forward in step with the project’s objectives and the activities of each team member. This is easily done in either Intacct’s Cloud-based platform or Dynamics SL’s web-based Business Portal.

To read the whole article, download: The Value of Modern Accounting and Business Systems.

9 Services Your Cloud-based Accounting Software Vendor Should Guarantee in Your Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Intacct’s Buy with Confidence Commitment is the Strongest SLA in the Industry

Accounting software vendors typically don’t offer guarantees. Synergy and Intacct‘s Cloud-based financial management and accounting (including project accounting) are different. Because our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model means we earn our clients’ business every month, through Intacct, Synergy offers the industry’s strongest and most comprehensive service guarantee.

Intacct Buy with Confidence

  1. Outstanding Availability – Intacct has a 99.8 percent system availability commitment and usually achieves 99.97 percent. For each percentage point below the target, they offer a 10 percent credit up to 50 percent.
  2. Disaster Recovery – Intacct’s Tier 1 data center is backed up by a global leader in disaster recovery. In the unlikely event that disaster strikes, your applications will be available within 24 hours while no more of two hours of data will be lost.
  3. Immediate Notification – We promise prompt notification for changes to system availability and delays in new product features.
  4. Rapid Response – We guarantee customer support acknowledgement within four hours and resolution or update within 24 hours.
  5. Product Quality – Intacct guarantees the product operates as documented and a clear explanation of a reported issue and when to expect resolution.
  6. Professional Service Quality – We ensure 10 percent fee reduction on late or over-budget services no questions asked.
  7. Communication Excellence – Intacct promises regular communication on product release roadmap, new features, scheduled maintenance, etc.
  8. You Own Your Data – If you decide to leave, Intacct helps you get your data out of their system and can preserve it on their system until you’re ready to migrate it.
  9. Employee Commitment – Intacct compensates employees on satisfaction and success of customers.

A Better Way to Run Your Business – At Synergy and Intacct, we have a commitment to deliver superior financial applications and project accounting, real-time data visibility, an on-demand platform, easy administration and configuration, the highest rate of customer satisfaction, and the lowest total cost of ownership.

3 Ways to Save Time and Your Sanity Through a New System

Synergy Executive Series – Article 1

Whether you’re a professional services, project-driven, or software/SaaS company, improving organizational performance should always be on your radar. One way to do that is to employ an adaptable ERP system (financial management, project accounting, revenue management, etc.), either Cloud-based or on-premise per your unique situation, to automate processes, shorten time to close, and generate accurate reports for better decision making. This article in our Executive Series, shows you how this can be a reality not a pipe dream for your company.

1 – Automate Workflow and Processes – The root of poor, manual processes is a lack of integration in your system. This leads to spreadsheet hell–when a unwieldy number of spreadsheet versions, collaboration challenges, errors in formula models, and a lack of a centralized record of changes leads to long, punishing hours of work. It can also lead to you questioning your sanity. The outcome is less accurate information and long closing times. The answer is to automate through integration.

2 – Shorten Times to Close – Long times to close are caused by things like spreadsheet hell. With an integrated system with access to real-time, accurate data (one version of the truth), close times can be halfed or less. The right new software system delivers this.

3 – Develop Flexible Reporting – By switching from a transactional process to a dynamic system, mid-sized companies have been successful at reducing the time it takes to generate customized reports by at least 20 hours per month. This means, among other things, they can quickly identify why costs are high in a certain area and solve a problem before it impacts profitability. The result is confidence. Again, a new, integrated system makes this possible.

To read the whole story of how to save time and your sanity, download Turning Insight into Action: It’s a Matter of Time, and visit the Synergy Microsoft Dynamcis SL and Intacct pages.

TCO Studies Reveal Hidden Costs of Traditional Software

Why Moving to the Cloud May be Your Top Choice

According to Gartner, the annual cost of owning and managing software applications can be as much as four times the cost of the initial purchase. Moreover, companies can spend up to 75 percent of their total IT budget just to maintain and run existing systems and infrastructure. These facts alone should drive buyers to consider a Cloud computing subscription model rather than an on-premise ownership model for their financial management and project accounting system. A white paper on understanding total cost of ownership (TCO) spells out the full facts. Here is a summary of its major points. If you are evaluating software, this is a must read.

  • Executives need to do a TCO analysis with an apples-to-apples comparison. Beware. It’s not just comparing the initial license price of on-premise software to the Cloud annual subscription fee. There are hidden and intangible costs you need to consider.
  • Understand the five compelling reasons to adopt Cloud applications. These include extending your IT budget, getting a truer account of “people costs,” the advantages of on-demand scalability, greater vendor accountability, and the ease and lower cost of receiving automatic, rapid, and continuous software improvements (Intacct’s upgrade schedule is once a quarter!).
  • Consider additional intangible costs in your evaluation. These are, by their nature, difficult to measure, let alone see, but they are no less real and are a critical factor in your TCO analysis.
  • The common assumption that there is a breakeven point years down the road where traditional software becomes cheaper is not necessarily true. The white paper cites IDC’s findings: When correctly factoring in staffing resources and upgrade costs, an organization often never hits this “crossover point.”

To read the whole white paper and get up to speed on hidden and intangible costs of the on-premise model and the benefits of the Cloud, download Moving to the Cloud: Understanding the Total Cost of Ownership.