When should you step up to an ERP?

Not all the big fish in a pond use an ERP platform, but it can be an essential tool for SMEs wanting to scale.


IN BRIEF

The big attraction of ERPs is having a single database for all information; the drawback is that they are expensive and involve a learning curve for staff.

SMEs may find that accounting software and third-party applications can do the job they need, but not always.

A rising volume of inter-entity transactions is one sign that your organisation could benefit from an ERP.

When should you step up to an ERP? – Acuity Magazine

Practical signals that you need an ERP

Mindset aside, there are several practical indicators that an SME has outgrown its accounting software.

The first is a rising volume of inter-entity transactions. ERPs use a single database to handle multiple entities, whereas small business software is designed to manage the finances of a single entity.

A major advantage of an ERP’s single database is that it creates a common list of products, suppliers and customers shared by all entities. This can immediately solve the issue of managing stock on hand held by different entities or locations.

A single platform also makes it easier to see a customer’s full history in one place. An ERP will show how many products or services they have bought, their payment history, how often they open your marketing emails and any outstanding support tickets.

Taking a component approach to software

Sometimes it doesn’t suit a business to move to a single ERP. In trying to do everything, ERPs rarely do any one thing extremely well. As a result, the component approach to system building, often sold as “best of breed”, still exists in enterprise.

Sage, for example, sells Sage Intacct which handles complex, multi-entity accounting and relies on integrations with the Salesforce CRM and other specialised tools for other functions.

Financial management tools can capture data in multiple dimensions and then report on any combination of those dimensions. The tool can map account codes to a custom report for each funder and maintain it for the lifetime of the program.

This means you don’t have to export the information to Excel and manipulate it into the correct format each time you want to view a report. These dimensions include locations, departments, projects, grants and strategic objectives.

Financial management software also has the ability to blend financial data with non-financial data. This is extremely important for management, who typically want the ability to track outcomes.

Extract of When should you step up to an ERP? – Acuity Magazine – May 2021

Screenshot of the matching rules grouping feature

Sage Intacct 2021 Release 3

Release highlights include

Increased automation for matching rules – Cash Management

We automated matching rules even more to reduce reconciliation time. New operators expand filtering and matching capabilities and improved grouping options give you better flexibility to match multiple transactions.

Billing flexibility – Contracts

  • Use the Bill to option in an invoice run to automatically combine scheduled billing for contracts with the same entity, exchange rate type, and transaction currency into a single invoice for each unique contract line bill-to contact.
  • Committed quantity billing – Configure committed quantity billing on a line level based on your unique business operations. Get quick and easy visibility into invoicing with detailed costs and send invoices directly to customers.

New dashboards and insights

Include more (and more varied) information on your dashboards with new components:

  • The Billboard component provides an easy way to draw attention to relevant information for dashboard users.
  • The Custom Navigation component enables you to create a customized, linked list of menus that you use regularly for quick and easy access.
  • The Attachments Container component enables you to Include links that open attachments directly from the links.

Financial Report Writer enhancements

New normalized columns help clarify results that can be difficult to discern by showing whether negative or positive variances are mathematically favorable or unfavorable.

Easily identify a report and its contents in the QuickStart library. A new layout option shows what to expect in the financial report. Instead of live data, the rows display dashes where your figures will appear.

No need to remember to select alternate books each time you create a financial report. Simply set the GL configuration option to automatically default to Other Books.

Secure PDFs – Company and Administration

With a secure PDF, you can prevent tampering or alteration of your electronically printed documents, ensuring the accuracy and security of the transmitted information. The printed PDF has 128-bit encryption. No actions other than printing are allowed, including editing, signing, copying, extracting, or commenting.

Click here to get the comprehensive list of changes made in Sage Intacct during the 2021 Release 3, including the Release highlights video.

Choosing an ERP – Acuity Magazine

ERPs are the central nervous system of a business. And in a time of AI and technical innovation, they can be a smart move.


IN BRIEF

ERPs run multiple departments within big businesses, from accounting to supply chain and more

ERPs have the option of different ownership models: on-premise or private cloud.

Choosing an ERP – Acuity Magazine

Paying for an ERP

An ERP is often compared to the central nervous system of a business and switching from one ERP to another is a project that every CFO dreads. Along with software costs, such a massive project inevitably impacts operations, productivity and revenue.

Today’s ERPs have the option of different ownership models. You can still buy an ERP licence to run on your own servers, a model often referred to as on-premise. Or you can run the same licence on servers in an outsourced data centre operated by an ERP consultant, called private cloud.

The biggest news in the past decade has been the rise of cloud-based ERPs, where the software runs on servers operated by the software company itself. This is called public cloud, software as a service (SaaS) or multi-tenanted software.

At first glance, the public cloud ERP is the most attractive. A company no longer needs to worry about the capital expense of buying expensive servers or paying for IT administrators and security experts.

Under the public cloud model, the ERP software company is responsible for upgrades, so all public cloud customers are always on the latest version.

The big dollars are not in the actual cost of the software or even the hardware or infrastructure. It is in the risk and the disruption and the cost of those upgrades.

John Leonard, Oracle

Don’t change the suite – add a component

Changing to a new ERP is a massive project. Instead, why not keep your old ERP and add separate tools for your business processes? (A little like adding new cushions to your lounge suite to support your back, rather than buying a whole new lounge.)

Technology constantly swings between recommending a fully featured suite and building your own stack of components. The argument for the suite is less complexity and fewer headaches; components, however, will give you newer features faster.

Salesforce, which started out selling its highly successful cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software, has now replaced the sales function in many ERPs. In fact, the term ERP today refers more to finance and inventory rather than customer relationship management or human capital management (an industry term for human resources).

The ERP industry is indeed experiencing a swing from suites to best of breed in separate components, says Gary Katzeff, Sage’s General Manager, ERP, Australia & New Zealand.

“There are absolutely pros and cons (to both approaches). But if a vendor can provide, say, 80% of your requirements out of the box in one solution, then you generally will get a better experience as a customer than if you have to pull together multiple solutions.”

ERP software companies are creating more modules designed for specific industries to hit that 80% threshold. For example, Sage’s cloud-based accounting and finance management software Intacct has enjoyed success in the not-for-profit sector by focusing on multidimensional reporting and faster consolidations.

Intacct has a grants module that tracks government grants and funds management. It also integrates with Salesforce to handle directed donations from individual donors.

If the weakness of suites is slower and lumpy innovation across modules, in components the problems are typically in the complexity and cost of integration. Here again, there is good news. Integrations are getting easier thanks to standardised application programming interfaces (APIs) on public cloud applications.

Extract of Choosing an ERP? – Acuity Magazine – Sept 2020

We are still here to help

In these uncertain times, Accsys Consulting wants to assure our clients that we continue to be available to support you and your organisation.

Our thoughts are with those affected by the COVID-19 virus and we wish them a full and speedy recovery.

As I am sure you are, Accsys Consulting is monitoring the situation closely. We are abiding by government restrictions and following the guidance of other authorities.

Accsys Consulting will again transition to working from home procedures and we will continue to provide ongoing support as usual.

For the many clients outside the Canberra region this will be business as usual, for those in the Canberra region, this will not impact our ability to support you during these times.

No one at Accsys Consulting has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and should this occur we will take the necessary and appropriate actions.

If you need support or you need assistance getting remote access to your Sage Intacct, Sage 300 or Sage CRM environment please call us on 02 6282 3300 or contact us using the form below.

Our commitment to you, is that you can expect to receive the high level of professional and personal support that Accsys Consulting has been providing for the past 29 years.

    Details will only be used to provide support. You will not be added to a marketing database.

    Invoice Entry screen showing error duplicate invoice

    Stop Posting of Duplicate Invoices

    How can you do this automatically in Sage 300?

    How much time is wasted by your staff dealing with duplicate payments?

    Managers get upset as their budgets are hit with costs that can hang around until funds are recovered. Your staff are embarrassed about having to recover funds from suppliers. Then there is the time taken by your staff in dealing with this issue.

    Sage 300 prevent users from entering the same invoice number for the same supplier. However numbers may look the same but are different. For example 000123 is not the same as 123.

    First, have all staff trained in entering invoice numbers exactly as they appear on the invoice, including leading zero’s, hyphens prefixes such as ‘IN’. This will allow Sage 300 to correctly identify matching invoice numbers.

    Then Sage will alert your staff to already entered invoice. You can also have alerts for invoices with the same date and or the same amount.

    If you want help implementing these controls don’t hesitate to contact us.

    Invoice foooter showing pay now button

    Sage 300 2021

    Updated visual process flows

    Sage have redesigned Visual Process Flows so they no longer require Adobe Flash and in 2021 they are not editable.

    Accept payments through online providers

    You can now accept payments from your customers through online payment service providers such as PayPal and Stripe. Invoices can include a Pay Now button.

    Withholding taxes for sales

    In Tax Services, in addition to withholding taxes for purchases, you can now set up withholding taxes for sales.

    Use longer numbers for checks and deposit slips

    You can now enter check numbers and deposit slip numbers that are up to fifteen characters long.

    Specify customer account sets in O/E templates

    You can now specify customer account sets in Order Entry templates.


    To find out more about these features or to plan an upgrade just contact us.

    Customer screen showing multiple contacts

    Sage 300 2020

    Multiple contacts for customers and vendors

    You can now set up multiple contacts for customers and vendors. If you have integrated Sage 300 with Microsoft Office 365 or with Sage CRM, the new contacts are supported in the Sage Contact app for Outlook 365 and in Sage CRM.

    Improved help

    We’ve updated Sage 300 help to make it easier for you to find important information and instructions. Also, you can now use internet search engines to find information in the help.

    Use online bank feeds to reconcile bank accounts

    Bank feeds make it fast and easy to get transactions from your bank, and they’re supported by most major banks.

    General Ledger integration with Tax Services

    Integrating General Ledger and Tax Services allows you to enter tax amounts in G/L journal entries.

    Tolerances on Purchasing Workflow Receipt Entry

    Added the ability to have a tolerance percentage applied to Receipt Entry.

    Purchasing Workflow PO Change Orders

    Added a new screen, PW PO Change Orders. This screen allows users to process a PO change order on an already approved PO. The original PO is closed.


    To find out more about these features or to plan an upgrade just contact us.

    Global Search screen shot

    Sage 300 2019

    Global Search

    Type a name, description, number, or code in Global Search to quickly find transactions or records in your database. You can search for people, companies, transactions, accounts, and many other types of records. Now you can google your accounting system.

    Support for E-Invoicing

    Added support for E-Invoicing via PEPPOL (receiving) in the Document Processing Service in Payables Workflow. Allow suppliers to add invoices for you to approve, without having the enter the data, saving time and increasing accuracy.

    Quick Review for Payables Workflow approval console

    This screen can be opened by clicking the Quick Review button, The screen shows key information fields and the invoice side by side, saving time for more important work.

    Export Declaration Number field

    In Accounts Receivable and Order Entry, you can now enter export declaration numbers for individual invoice details.

    Tax Reporting programs for Australia and Singapore

    If you report taxes in Australia or Singapore, new programs are available to help you gather and prepare information that you need for tax reporting.

    Reverse Charges

    In Tax Services, you can set up reverse charges (also called customer accounting or self-assessed taxes) for purchases.

    Withholding Taxes

    In Tax Services, you can set up withholding taxes for purchases.

    Workflow In-process Emailing

    Reduce workflow approval processing time by turning off in-process emailing on the PW Options screen and use server emailing service.

    Funds Availability pop-up screen

    Updated the Requisition Entry and Approval Console screens to use the new pop up forms released in Funds Availability.

    Multichannel Document Processing Service

    Added support for multichannel Document Processing Service invoice processing.

    Multiple receipts

    Multiple receipts to a single Payables Workflow-Purchase Order Invoice.


    To find out more about these features or to plan an upgrade just contact us.

    Accsys Consulting adds new cloud finance software to its portfolio

    Today we are excited to announce that we are expanding our product offering to include the cloud native product Sage Intacct.

    As a Sage Intacct partner, Accsys Consulting will sell, implement, support and develop enhancements for Intacct’s award-winning cloud financial applications. Accsys Consulting is aligning with Sage Intacct in response to increased demand for a cloud native financial management platform from its prospects and clients.

    Accsys Consulting selected Sage Intacct after carefully reviewing the cloud financial systems marketed in Australia. Sage Intacct is the first and only native cloud financial management software in Accsys Consulting’s product portfolio.

    Sage Intacct addresses your finance team’s needs by empowering them with deep functionality that automates even complex business processes. Reporting and dashboards provide interactive financial and operational analysis to help you to grow your business. Sage Intacct also offers an easy path to extend the solution by seamlessly connecting with payroll, customer payment processors, credit card and employee expense management systems, so that the entire organisation can stay on the fast track to growth. Sage Intacct focuses on delivering a solution that puts client success first, and that commitment has allowed it to earn;

    Accsys Consulting’s clients will also benefit from Sage Intacct’s reporting and analytics capabilities. Sage Intacct’s general ledger uses dimensions to capture the business context of transactions, operational measures, and budgets. As a result, companies can quickly create reports that analyse real-time business performance by business drivers without having to manage a chart of accounts with hundreds of segments. Sage Intacct’s financial and operational dashboards convey the big picture at a glance and can be tailored to the specific needs of each stakeholder.

    Sage Intacct will improve operational excellence and improve compliance with detailed customisable workflow approvals, to reduce repetitive data entry, ensure the correct person reviews transactions, and allow management to have visibility and insight of the process from Quote to Cash and Procurement to Pay.

    To find our more about Sage Intacct, please contact us or call our office on 02 6282 3300.

    Workflow Document Exporter

    Payables Workflow has been providing control of your payment cycle by ensuring all supplier invocies are approved by managers before they are posted to Accounts Payable.

    As a payment authoriser you know all the invoices are approved for payment, but you want just one last look before the payment is sent.
    Maybe the second authoriser is outside the finance team and wants to know what they are approving. 

    Need one last look at supplier invoices before payment?

    WD Exporter

    The latest update to Workflow Documents (the module that stores the documents for Payables Workflow) brings the ability to export documents in bulk into a single location. The documents can then also be reviewed by someone without access to Sage 300.

    How does is work?

    Accsys Consulting can provide an add on screen in Sage 300 that exports all documents for a payment batch or exports all documents for a supplier within a data range.

    Save time and effort by browsing the files in the folders and previewing or opening them without having to drill down through transactions.

    Functionality

    Users can select the folder where documents are exported and if they want a folder for each invoice or all invoices in one folder.

    • Folders are named with the Vendor Code and Document Number the exported files have the original name when attached to the Invoice for approval.
    • If all files are in a single folder the original file names are prefixed the Vendor Code and Document Number.

    The exported documents will be ordered in the same order as the invoices appear for payment when using generate payments.

    How do you get it

    If you are on Sage 300 2019 or higher with Workflow Documents Product Update 1 Revision 1 or higher, we can install the new screen. Contact us to ask for pricing.

    If you are on an eairler version of Sage 300 with Workflow Documents we can upgrade your Sage 300 to the latest verison and add the screen at the same time.

    Contact Us

    Either call us on 02 6282 3300 or send the form below and we will contact you.