Category Archives: Cloud Accounting

When You Need to be Wary of the Hype Around the Cloud


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It’s true that cloud-based ERP systems have major advantages. They can get you out of the IT business. Especially for start-ups, paying for a system with the software-as-a-service (SAAS) model can be cost effective when you compare it to paying salaries for an in-house IT Team and costs for hardware, servers, utilities, and backups. Moreover, a true Cloud system (multi-tenant and not hosted) makes upgrades minimally disruptive and basically routine as they take place in the background with no direct costs like the traditional upgrade model.
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When to Be Wary
On the other hand, oftentimes, true Cloud products haven’t grown up yet. They deliver fundamental functionality and some bright-and-shiny modern features, but still can’t compete with some tried-and-true on-premise solutions, which are actually just as “modern” or even more so.

One area where this is especially true is in project accounting, job costing, and government compliance. Cloud products tend to lack the depth of capability required for these functions. Seldom can Cloud solutions effectively deliver sophisticated allocations, complex job cost accounting (e.g. costing on the task level, etc.), truly flexible reporting, and indirect rate management for Cost Reimbursement government contracts.
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What Really Counts
The desire for a “modern solution” can blind people to recognizing a system that efficiently performs the critical functions they need. The answer is to realize, whereas there are compelling reasons to consider a cloud-based system, at the end of the day what counts is implementing a solution that truly streamlines your business.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and other cloud-based products are still relatively new to the market. Or, they are in a suite of products that may not have flexibility to integrate with critical third-party enhancements. If your core business is project-based—professional services, research, engineering, construction, make-to-order manufacturing, etc.—or you are in the federal/state government market, consider this: We have seen traditional on-premise systems like Microsoft Dynamics SL blow the emerging cloud or suite products out of the water… or should I say, out of the sky!
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The Best of Both Worlds
What’s more, if it’s the IT business you want to get out of, an on-premise system like Dynamics SL can be hosted in the Cloud to ensure you gain the essential Cloud advantages.

At Synergy Business Solutions, we help companies make the ERP system comparisons necessary to make the right choice. As a reseller of both on-premise (Dynamics SL and Dynamics NAV) and cloud (Dynamics 365) solutions, we are happy to assist you in your evaluation process. There is a time to be wary of the Cloud option and we help you discern when that time is and why long-standing modern on-premise systems often give you what you really need with or without hosting cloud technology.

Thinking Outside the Box to Find a Solution

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I came across a story the other day that reminded me how thinking outside of the box improves the chances of finding the best solution to a problem.

The Garden
An older gentleman lived alone in New Jersey. He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was difficult work, as the ground was hard. His only son Vincent who used to help him was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son, describing his predicament:

Dear Vincent, I am sad to say I will not be able to bring you fresh tomatoes. I’m just getting too old to do all that digging and won’t be able to plant my garden this year. I know if you were here you would be able to dig the plot for me, like in the old days. Love Papa.

A few days later he received a letter from his son:

Dear Papa, Don’t dig up that garden. That’s where the bodies are buried. Love, Vinnie

At 4:00 AM the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. The next day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Papa, Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That’s the best I could do under the circumstances. Love, Vinnie.
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As a trusted advisor and consultant to our clients, we are often called upon to help find a solution for a challenge or problem that may be causing inefficiencies in their accounting system. We take pride in our ability to think outside of the box to help find the right solution that will work for our client. Whether you are using Dynamics SL or Intacct for financial management and project accounting, you can count on the team at Synergy to think outside the box and find the best solutions for all of your accounting needs.

But don’t worry. We ensure it won’t entail the FBI or the police showing up at your door.

 

 

How to Become a Strategic CFO

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The role of finance departments, especially in small-to-mid-size companies, is dramatically changing. Traditionally theirs was a secondary role. They were locked into the tasks of keeping the books, paying the bills, and delivering historical financial information to executives. Moreover, they were bound by the constraints of using burdensome, non-integrated financial systems.

Today, because of the advent of fully integrated systems (some of them cloud-based and some of them on-premise) and their ability to access data from any web-enabled device, even smaller finance departments can stop spending most of their time on such tasks. Based on the unparalleled insights that come from having seamless integration, they can spend more time giving financial-management advice and identifying business opportunities. A CFO can become a strategic corporate asset to the company.

To learn the specifics of how, see the Accounting Web article, How Chief Financial Officers Can Become Major Corporate Players. It identifies advantages of modern ERP systems like Dynamics SL or Dynamics 365 to free up CFOs.

WEBINAR: How to Simplify Project and Financial Management through Cloud Solutions

Want to take the complexity out of complex projects? Need to integrate projects with financials? Join us at this webinar and learn about a simplified day-in-the-life of a project-driven company using a cloud-based system.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 10:00 AM Pacific Time

REGISTER NOW!

Experts in project management and accounting will share automated cloud solutions and client stories. You’ll learn how to:

  • Gain control and insight throughout the entire life cycle of your projects from bidding to billing.
  • Use resources strategically, address risks, and tightly manage costs.
  • Boost project performance and profitability through tools that make you more knowledgable and efficient.
  • Empower project managers with information they need to deliver successful projects.
  • Empower executives to monitor projects and programs through customizable dashboards and indicators.
  • Enjoy easy access, flexibility, and scalability through an affordable SaaS model.

Case Study – Renal Ventures Enabled to Grow, Has Superior ROI on Intacct Software

ROI: 154%
Payback: 12 months
Ave. Annual Benefit: $163,412

In this case study, Nucleus Research (an independent technology evaluator) tracks the deployment of Intacct for Renal Ventures, a dialysis services company. Nucleus Research found the implementation of Intacct cloud accounting resulted in increased productivity, improved reporting visibility and accuracy, and better positioning for growth. “By using Intacct, Renal Ventures was able to grow significantly without a similar increase in accounting staff,” the report states. 

With new streamlined processes, one centralized chart of accounts for all their clinics (rather than needing several databases when they were on QuickBooks), free accessibility regardless of physical location, and other benefits, Renal Ventures realized a superior ROI (154%), paying back their software and services expenditures in one year with an average annual benefit of $163,412! These numbers are a direct result of Intacct enabling them to increase both their executives’ and accounting-team’s productivity and avoiding new hires in finance despite an increase in work. 

To learn the details of Renal Venture’s major challenges, strategy, key benefits from Intacct, and how Nucleus Research calculated the ROI, download the full Intacct/Renal Ventures ROI Case Study.

Intacct ROI Case Study – Canto Realizes Stellar Results

ROI: 91%
Payback: 8 months
Average Annual Benefit: $47,039

woman_ps_firm2We at Synergy, often speak of the strategic value a company should derive from a new financial management and project accounting system. Beyond tactical value—changes like new functionality and integration—new software should deliver improved productivity, reduced operational costs, a good Return on Investment (ROI), increased customer satisfaction, and capability for growth, among other benefits.

In this case study, Nucleus Research (an independent technology evaluator) tracks Canto’s (a technical professional services firm) deployment of Intacct cloud accounting to replace its existing on-premise ERP solution. The results? Canto realized a superior ROI, payback of their software and services expenditures in only 8 months, and an average annual benefit of $47,039! These numbers are a direct result of Intacct enabling them to reduce IT costs, increase revenue recognition efficiency, increase productivity of employees, and improve data management.

To learn the details of Canto’s major challenges, key benefits from Intacct, and how Nucleus Research calculated the ROI, download the full Intacct/Canto ROI Case Study.

Keep in mind, this still doesn’t quantify the full benefits. As the report states, “Not quantified was the additional benefit Canto received from having better management visibility into current operational data for decision making.”

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

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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.

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.