At the Microsoft Dynamics SL User Group Conference in San Diego this year, I also had a chance to ask Kevin Sullivan, CFO of Vista Engineering Technologies, what problems their company has solved since the implementation of Dynamics SL. He shares breakthroughs eliminating manual accounting processes and project overruns, improving cash flow, managing employees’ time and expense on projects, increasing profitability, and passing government accounting-system audits.
At this year’s Dynamics SL User Group Conference in San Diego, CA, I sat down with Misha Goloborodko and Julie Adelman to find out how Dynamics SL has empowered their organization. They shared breakthroughs in financial management, project accounting, and federal government contract compliance.
by Michael Camp
At our latest Dynamics SL user group in Seattle, I sat down with Tisha Cornwall, VP of Finance of Solutions IQ and asked her how Dynamics SL and Synergy has empowered their company.
In short, Solutions IQ needed a new project accounting and financial management system that could integrate their four existing systems into one and give them around the clock real-time visibility into their projects. In this video, Tisha explains how Dynamics SL and Synergy made it happen and how valuable their seven-year partnership with us is.
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.
Synergy Executive Series – Article 3
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:
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.
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.
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.
Gillespie, Prudhon & Associates (GP&A), a telecommunications engineering firm specializing in the design and implementation of fiber optic and microwave transmission networks, mobile radio systems, and other wireless technologies, faced a frustrating challenge. Their accounting system was not fully integrated and required manual work in order to provide clients with a complete accounting of their complex engineering projects. Moreover, their clients required four levels of accounting detail that their current system could not provide: the project number, the location of the work, the type of equipment being used, and the activity performed.
What did GP&A do? Learn how their problems were solved in this customer success case study.
“We would not be as successful today without Microsoft Dynamics SL and Synergy. Their integrated solution vastly improved our job costing, invoicing process, cash flow, and exchange of real-time data.” – E. Robin Smyth, President, Gillespie, Prudhon & Associates
Don’t miss the wealth of wisdom in this 5 Guides Resource Kit from Nuclear Research and Microsoft. Whether you’re researching ways to improve your project accounting and government compliance or searching for a new system, the 5 Guides in this kit put you on a proven path.
|1 – Independent Guide on Microsoft Financial Management and Project Accounting
2 – Top 10 Reasons for Choosing Microsoft Project Accounting
3 – Turn Your BusinessVision Into Reality
4 – Solution Capabilities of Dynamics SL
5 – What’s New with Dynamics SL 2011
“We now have one version of the truth. We provide information to clients, employers, and state and county government agencies with complete confidence in the validity of the data.” Christopher Huerta, VP of IT, Lifeworks
“With Microsoft Dynamics SL, we are more educated in the profitability of a project earlier in the process, which allows us to make key decisions on the next steps.” Brandon Hoog, Director, Harrison, Walker, & Harper