Category Archives: Financial Reporting

Need Dashboards? We have an App for that!


There’s a variety of ways for Dynamics SL users to build and view useful Dashboards for their teams. Dashboards are real-time user interfaces showing a graphical presentation of your company’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). They show both the current status and historical trends of KPIs that enable you to make accurate evaluations and informed decisions regarding your company’s performance.

Each user can have their own Dashboard that displays what is important to them. A Project Manager might view her projects’ performance or resources. An Executive might view total project work, top projects, and top project managers. A Sales Director might view sales by salesperson or by customer. Again, you decide what is important for members of your teams and set up Dashboards with user-based security so people only see what they are authorized to see.

Our own Donna Hurst and Kevin Graham recently taught a webinar that shows you how to set up Dashboards with Dynamics SL data three different ways—in Excel, SSRS, and Power BI. This helps you see the advantages of each and decide which type is best for your company or team.

Visit this page to access the webinar > WEBINAR: Dashboards in Dynamics SL

The Power of Dashboards and Business Intelligence

businessanalyzer

All too often, business data is hard to access and use. Without reporting software and dashboards, your ability to make sound business decisions is handicapped.

A Synergy solution delivers this business data utilizing Dynamics SL—along with some of the most advanced, modern analytical tools on the market. The result is accurate business intelligence about your customers, sales, projects, markets, finances, inventory, orders, and much more.

These analytical tools include SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), Business Analyzer, and Microsoft Power BI.

SSRS is a flexible and highly configurable report builder that creates executive dashboards that convey business intelligence. With Business Analyzer, you can gain powerful, role-specific insight through reports, charts, and graphs. Power BI enables you to monitor your business and get answers quickly through rich dashboards on any device. Like all of these tools, it transforms your company’s data into visuals you collect and organize so you can focus on what matters to you.

Finally, for more exacting reporting needs, there’s the third-party solution, Bi360 by Solver. It is a self-service business intelligence suite that combines a complete web-based and Excel solution with mobile apps, comprised of Reporting, Budgeting, and Dashboards. It also has an optional pre-configured Data Warehouse.

To see more examples of how these charts and dashboards display, visit Financial Reporting & Dashboards. To learn how you can obtain any of these tools for your Dynamics SL system, contact your Account Manager if you are a Synergy client or our Solutions department if not, at info@synergybusiness.com.

Overcoming New-Accounting-System Fears

Just considering a change to your project accounting and financial management system often results in having fears and anxieties. Will we be able to find and agree on the right solution? Will our implementing partner really listen to our needs? Will we find a good solution out of the box or will we need to do a lot of customizations? Can we continue business as usual, or will we need to make major adaptations? Will we be able to do financial reporting the way we need to without the hassle?

Rebecca Harrington, VP of Finance & Corporate Controller at Hydro Resources, shares how her company overcame their fears through good software and the expertise of their new software partner.

How to Overcome New-Accounting-System Fears


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.

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 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.

How Cloud Computing Can Transform Finance

CFOs Make Business Case for Cloud Accounting

When four CFOs were asked why they chose cloud computing for their companies’ finance functions, they divulged some eye-opening reasons. “We were looking for a quick and cost-effective implementation with solid maintenance and support,” said Craig Stack of ProKarma, a global IT company. “And we didn’t want to install and maintain any software or hardware.”

Mahesh Shetty, of Encore Enterprises, wanted to optimize their IT systems and get automatic software updates, without the need to purchase, install, and maintain new releases.

Ginger Gordon, of the management/consulting firm, Trading Partners, wanted better user access. “It became clear, in order for the company to have an efficient finance organization, we needed to find a way to share accurate and real-time information.”

Finally, Brian Singleton of Fitness Formula desperately needed to streamline accounting and reporting for their nine locations. Previously, they had to consolidate nine reports using Excel which took a full day. The Cloud option eliminated their labor-intensive and manual processes.

Improved productivity, real-time data access, insightful decision-making based on accurate data, reduced upfront costs in software, lower ongoing costs in hardware, and overall lower IT costs, summarized their reasons. To read their full story on obtaining tangible benefits from the Cloud for their finance departments, read this white paper from the Financial Executive Research Foundation called Building the Business Case for Cloud  Computing.

Masking the Social Security Number on your PR Check or DD Slip Form

How to change Social Security Numbers on Payroll Checks or Direct Deposit Advice slips to a Mask

by Donna Hurst

If you want to mask the SSN on your Payroll Checks or DD slips this is the way to make it happen:

1) Open Crystal Reports (Dynamics SL must be running to open).

2) Choose Open an Existing Report | More Files and press OK

3) Determine which report to modify by which check format you run:

    1. Laser Check by Employee ID : 02630.rpt
    2. Multi Stub Laser Chk – Emp ID : 02630S.rpt
    3. Laser Check by Pay Group : 02630PG.rpt
    4. Multi Stub Laser Chk – Pay Group : 02630SPG.rpt
    5. Laser Advice Slip by Emp ID : 02635
    6. Multi Stub Adv Slip-Emp ID: 02635S
    7. Laser Advice Slip by Pay Group : 02635PG
    8. Adv Slip Stubs Only-Pay Group : 02635DPG
    9. Multi Stub Adv Slip-PayGroup : 02635SPG

4 ) Browse to your DynanmicsUsr_Rpts, if *.rpt selected from step 3 is in this directory, open.  If it is not found, browse to the DynamicsPR  directory and open appropriate report from step 3.

5)  If the Field Explorer is not visible on the right side of the screen, open it by navigating to View | Field Explorer:

6) Expand the list of Formula Fields

7) Locate the SSN formula and right click on it, select Edit

8 ) Replace the entire code with the following text (copy and paste in the Formula Editor)

If {@MaskMode} Then

left({@MaskText},15)

Else

if GLSetup( “Country” ) = “CAN” then

“XXX XXX” + Right(Transform( {Employee.SSN}, “@R XXX XXX XXX” ),3)

else

“XXX-XX-” + Right(Transform( {Employee.SSN}, “@R XXX-XX-XXXX” ),4)

9) Press Save and Close

10) If document was opened from DynamicsUsr_Rpts, press Save to save the report.  If document was opened from DynamicsPR, select File | Save As… and save in the Usr_Rpts directory under the same name as it was stored in the PR directory.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Dynamics SL Reporting Tip: How to Change the Default Report Format

by Don Wachtveitl

A common question users ask is “How can we make the Multiple Stub Laser Check Form in Accounts Payable be the default report format on the Checks (03.620.00) screen?”

Report screens can have up to eight different report formats.  On the drop down box of the report screen, the formats are shown in the order they are listed in the Report Control Maintenance (03.620.00) screen of the Administration System Manager module.

To change the list order for Accounts Payable Checks, open the Report Control Maintenance screen and in the Report Number field either hit the F3 key and select report number 03620 or just manually type the report number.  Move the desired default report format name to the top field along with the corresponding report format number and move the others accordingly.  Make sure to maintain the combination of the Report Format Names with the Report Formats. When done click on the finish or save button and close the screen.