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

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.

    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.

    Accsys Consulting is 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.

    In complying with the latest advice, we have put in place procedures to minimise the risk of infection, including not conducting site visits to clients. Accsys Consulting has already transitioned 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 300/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 28 years.

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

      Sage Australia Business Index

      Sage Business Solutions Australia has recently released the Sage Australia Business Index 2013 which highlights many valuable insights gleaned from their annual survey of Australian Businesses.

      Below is an excerpt from the study:

      This Sage investigation into Australia’s business confidence in 2013 confirms that business conditions have deteriorated within the past year and the outlook for the remainder of 2013 remains bleak. Last year’s Sage Business Index highlighted a concerned, cautious business sector reluctant to invest, but prepared to do so once they believed economic conditions were improving. Unfortunately the attitudes and expectations expressed in the Sage Australia Business Index 2013 suggest that leaner times are afoot and the right conditions for investment have not eventuated.

      Within this challenging economic environment the Australian business landscape in 2013 is also being substantially affected by the use of mobile and handheld devices. Across both internal and external business functions, organisations are challenged daily by technological change, much of which is being driven by employees and the consumer. At this critical point in the mobile revolution, how businesses respond to and cope with this change will shape not only businesses themselves, but also significantly influence their likely future success.

      This report takes a detailed look at current business attitudes towards a range of subjects including:

      • Current and predicted business confidence levels
      • Concerns around economic issues.

      The report also investigates what is happening in Australian businesses in relation to three key technology areas: staff mobility; enterprise mobility; and business use of and demand for mobile applications and mobile optimised websites.

      Based on a wide-ranging market research program involving interviews with more than 400 business owners and decision makers across all business sizes, this report breaks new ground in providing a validated understanding of issues including:

      • Business policies, uptake and the perceived value and benefits of mobile enabling staff
      • Relevance, uptake and the perceived value and benefits of mobile enabling the workplace
      • Current uptake and future plans for businesses regarding mobile applications and mobile optimised websites.

      This study into the relationship between Australian business and mobile technology, and its examination of broader prevailing attitudes, provides clear insight into how Australian companies are operating today.

      Click here to download the document.

      Dixon Advisory chooses Sage

      Dixon Advisory is one of Australia’s leading independently owned financial advisory firms. Established in 1986, the organisation spent its first 15 years developing a small but loyal client base and a solid business foundation. In early 2000 management change saw Dixon Advisory embark upon a dramatic expansion strategy built around the delivery of family and self-managed superannuation services, financial planning, property and mortgage advice, estate planning and other related services. Within 12 years the company grew from three people to more than 350 employees.

      Today, Dixon Advisory boasts a client base of more than 15,000 families with a combined asset base in excess of $4 billion. The firm has offices in Canberra, North Sydney, Melbourne and on Queensland’s Fraser Coast. Following the establishment a few years ago of a strategic property investment listed Australian company, Dixon Advisory also maintains an international office in New Jersey, USA. All offices are connected via a private network.

      Adapting to growth

      Dixon Advisory is a company of two distinct phases. There’s the pre-2000 organisation with three employees and there’s the turn-of-the century firm that has powered ahead. The earlier version required cost-effective yet professional support tools and systems suitable for a small business. Key among these were multiple Sage ACT! contact management databases and a small business finance package.

      As Dixon Advisory grew, the directors were focused on ensuring that the personalised service levels provided to clients were not diminished by a larger firm – a client today receives the exact service model they did prior to 2000 (in fact now that Dixon has established economies of scale, clients receive even more personalised attention than in the past).

      As client numbers and business complexity grew however, the small business solutions were no longer capable of meeting all of Dixon Advisory’s needs. Client relationships were the backbone of the firm’s business, yet with numerous databases, there was no easy way to achieve a single view of the customer or to quickly understand all recent interactions.

      Andrew McPhillips, Director, Chief Technology Officer at Dixon Advisory explains, “As we started to get to 100 employees we found we had multiple people dealing with a client at any point in time across different services. To avoid duplication or inconsistencies with client communication, we needed an enterprise-grade CRM [customer relationship management] solution, one that would provide a central place for all client contact information, correspondence and documentation.”

      A Sage decision

      McPhillips began researching alternative CRM solutions. Out of all the options, one solution stood out: Sage CRM. Available through the cloud or for deployment as a traditional in-house solution, Sage CRM had the capacity, document management and workflow capabilities that Dixon Advisory needed.

      “It was a good fit,” McPhillips admits. “Cloud was very new and scary at the time so we adopted the on-premise model. The ability to build in workflows was a big attraction. Plus we were at a stage where we needed to upgrade our document management system. When we looked at the Sage CRM document management functionality, we realised it could manage 95 per cent of what we needed without the need for us to invest in a separate piece of software.”

      Other draw cards included a foundation of SQL Server, a technology that was already familiar for McPhillips’ team, and a web front-end which ensured the application would be easily accessible from all offices.

      To download the success story please click here.

      News

      Announcement of Business Name Change

      As our new website indicates, we have recently changed the name of our business from Longley Stapleton to Accsys Consulting.

      There has been no change in management and we will be providing the same products and expert services on which we have built our reputation since 1992.

      Our mailing address and telephone contact numbers have not changed.

      Emails should now be directed to firstname.lastname@accsysconsulting.com.au

      We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for visiting our new site, and we look forward to continuing to work with you into the future.