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Brian Terrell

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Sage Intacct 2018 Release 4 Functionality Improvement Highlights

Posted by Brian Terrell on Thu, Dec 06, 2018

Recently, we invited our local Sage Intacct clients to lunch and a discussion on the latest version of Sage Intacct’s award-winning cloud financial Sage Intacct Trialmanagement software—Sage Intacct 2018 Release 4. Sage Intacct continues to deliver additional functionality at a consistent pace – so consistent, in fact, that keeping up with it can be challenging. So, we work together with Sage Intacct and our customers to ensure we talk up new functionality in an end-user friendly way. That way, new features that can make an immediate positive impact get the visibility they deserve.

The highlights of Sage Intacct 2018 Quarterly Release 4 include:

 

Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning

To achieve business goals, companies need financial budgeting and planning that’s effective, collaborative, and strategic. Spreadsheets work great when a business is small and uncomplicated. But, as it grows, so do the needs for collaboration, security, and scenario planning. Unfortunately, until now most budgeting and planning solutions have been built to handle the needs of large companies. Budgeting and planning systems built for larger companies require big company budgets and resources to deploy, integrate, and maintain. This makes them unsuitable small to midsize organizations.

Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning is a modern cloud solution built for small to midsize businesses. It’s powerful, yet easy to use and deploy. Here are some of the benefits:

 

  • Fast deployment – Use your chart of accounts, dimensions, and actuals from Sage Intacct to get up and running in a few days.

  • Collaboration across the organization – Easily work with department heads on a common version of the budget and securely share departmental budgets and details.

  • Seamless workflow with financials – Get actuals from your financials into your budgets and plans with just a few clicks.

 

Interactive Custom Report Writer

Operational reporting allows organizations to manage every day needs ranging from tactical execution to strategic decision making. For instance, one might need to pull a list of invoices for a customer or track employee time on projects. Release 4 introduces the new Interactive Custom Report Writer, a modern visual reporting tool, that delivers ease and speed of report creation, an enhanced user experience, and the power to address complex reporting needs.

  • With this new module, one can build basic reports quickly and easily with live report data, hierarchical field selection, drag and drop, and automated formatting of subtotals. Data is personalized to individual visibility and permissions.

  • The modern look and feel pleases users. The reports are easier to consume with aggregated and summarized information and conditional formatting to draw attention to important data. Interactivity enables users to drill, pivot, filter, sort, and expand for more precise answers to their business questions.

  • Users have new levels of power to address complex needs with advanced features such as calculated columns with calendar and math functions, conditional logic with case and if statements, rolling sums and aggregations, and pivot tables.

 

Dynamic Allocations

Allocating indirect revenue and expenditures, such as facilities or shared services, enables decision makers to get a more accurate understanding of the performance of departments, products, projects, or other key dimensions of a business. Sage Intacct has long had transactional allocations that allow one to spread payments, receivables, or general ledger transactions as they enter them. But, to spread the amounts after the transaction was already complete, one had to gather the amounts to be spread and create an often-lengthy journal entry. These calculations were often done in spreadsheets outside of Sage Intacct, making it challenging to go back and understand the initial amounts and the method used if the backup data wasn’t attached.

With Release 4, client companies can generate allocations based on cumulative activity. With the new Dynamic Allocations module, users set up the source pool, basis (allocation method), and the target one time. Then for every period after, a simple press of a button dynamically generates them. They’re consistently processed every time, right inside of Sage Intacct. And, a verification page provides snapshots of the before and after for transparency into how the allocations were processed and their impact. So, everyone saves time on close activities, reduces errors, and streamlines audits.

 

Inventory Landed Costs and Replenishment

Whether one works in wholesale distribution or maintains inventory to serve clients, knowing the value of that inventory is essential to understanding an organization’s financial health. With Landed Costs, Sage Intacct users can calculate value based on specific business requirements and capture added costs such as shipping or value adds so that companies can get to a true cost of goods.

Maintaining healthy inventory levels requires a balance between serving customers and avoiding tying up excessive capital. In Release 4, Sage Intacct manages inventory across multiple locations and warehouses while using Inventory Replenishment to automate reorder policies by inventory levels and seasonality.

 

Revenue Recognition for Nonprofits

Nonprofits with revenue streams that cross over year-end or advance payments need to be mindful of the ASU 2018-18 accounting standard changes pertaining to revenue recognition. For example:

  • Conditional grants – non-profit organizations need to plan how to track deferred vs. recognized revenue as conditions are met.

  • Events, tuition or dues that cross fiscal years – allows users to correctly state deferred vs recognized revenue at year end.

  • Some nonprofits are actively trying to change their policies on collecting revenue to avoid dealing with the new standard because it is viewed as cumbersome. For example, they structure the sale of memberships or tuition so that they are only for the current year. But that might not be optimal for operations. Other organizations plan to track everything in external spreadsheets and then convert them into large year-end journal entries. This decreases your efficiency and increases the risk of error. It may also result in added time and increased cost during the audit process.

Release 4 introduces Nonprofit Revenue Recognition. The new module automates revenue recognition for the different revenue streams received and centralizes tracking inside the accounting system. Users can automate revenue recognition inside of Sage Intacct without the need for external spreadsheets. Also, client companies can collect revenue up front across fiscal years without the fear of extra work. Coupled with Grant Tracking and Billing, it’s easy to track progress on conditions required for recognition of grants. Consistent treatment of revenues by source will reduce errors. And with everything documented in one place, reporting to management, the board, and auditors is dramatically simpler.

 

Summary

Sage Intacct’s 2018 Release 4 includes another blockbuster list of functionality improvements. My favorite is the Interactive Custom Report Writer followed closely by Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning. However, the release packs in something for everybody. If you missed the most recent BTerrell Quarterly Release Luncheon on November 15th or just want to discuss this release further, please don’t hesitate to let us know at support.bterrell.com!

Sage Intacct Advantage 2018 – the future is bright!

Posted by Brian Terrell on Wed, Nov 14, 2018

BTerrell Group recognized for KloudGin Partnership 

Sage Intacct Advantage continues to provide an excellent forum through which all Sage Intacct stakeholders enrich themselves by building relationships, gaining product knowledge, learning best practices, and staying abreast of accounting software and technology development. Five professionals from BTerrell have just returned from the 2018 version of this well-regarded event, and the future for all Sage Intacct stakeholders has never looked brighter!

As always, Sage Intacct features information from and access to top Sage Intacct executives throughout the week-long event. Rob Reid, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, shared how Sage Intacct enjoys a 98% approval rating on G2 Crowd, the crowd-sourced end user review site that does not accept paid endorsements. BTerrell knows customers enjoy using Sage Intacct based on our own net promoter scores; however, the measurements collected and posted by G2 Crowd provide additional evidence both Sage Intacct and BTerrell are on the right track. In addition, Sage Intacct Advantage 2018 provided ample opportunity throughout the week for our group to sample informal, anecdotal evidence from others to back up Rob’s claims that customers are indeed happy.

Attendees always appreciate hearing from Aaron Harris at Sage Intacct events. This year, Aaron, who is Sage’s Senior Vice President and Head of Engineering and Technology, painted a future in which Sage Intacct promises to completely change the nature of financial audits. Audits continue to be projects summarizing financial history, which keep accounting professionals from lending strategic advice to their firms. How will Sage Intacct impact the future of attest and compliance work? According to Aaron, the addition of artificial intelligence and robotics to Sage Intacct’s always accessible cloud platform will create a continuous, proactive audit process greatly minimizing the amount of “looking back” required.

For BTerrell, we get excited when previewing new technology at Sage Intacct Advantage. This year, the Sage Intacct Interactive Custom Report Writer emerged from a year-long beta testing process as an included feature in the company’s upcoming November Quarterly Release. The new module creates a drag and drop powerhouse reporting tool that reorganizes and summarizes data with pivot tables and rich formatting tools. Over 800 attendees signed up for training on this highly anticipated module during the week-long event. In addition, Sage Intacct announced Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning to provide a collaborative planning tool that includes forecasting capabilities. Both of these products made a splash for everyone attending the conference.

BTerrell_KloudGin PartnershipFinally, Kloudgin recognized BTerrell for our partnership to bring their cloud-based, fully integrated Field Services application to Sage Intacct users. Kloudgin enjoyed a prominent position on the always expanding tradeshow floor, and we enjoy walking around to meet these many third-party software providers that add value to the Sage Intacct ecosystem. Don Zelezny, Director of Business Development at BTerrell Group, accepted the Kloudgin Partner Recognition award from Kloudgin’s own Julie Stafford.

The support Sage Intacct receives from software development firms world-wide provides additional incentive to attend Sage Intacct Advantage and place a face with a name.

We’ve been attending software publisher events for over 27 years, and Sage Intacct Advantage 2018 ranks as one of the best produced events we’ve ever seen. Once again, the people, the technology, and the culture make it clear that the Sage Intacct future continues to shine very brightly! nally, Kloudgin recognized BTerrell for our partnership to bring their cloud-based, fully integrated Field Services application to Sage Intacct users. Kloudgin enjoyed a prominent position on the always expanding tradeshow floor, and we enjoy walking around to meet these many third-party software providers that add value to the Sage Intacct ecosystem. The support Sage Intacct receives from software development firms world-wide provides additional incentive to attend Sage Intacct Advantage and place a face with a name.

Tags: Kloudgin, Sage Intacct Advantage

UiPath: RPA Continues to Accelerate Finance and Accounting Transformation

Posted by Brian Terrell on Fri, Jun 08, 2018

Procure to pay, order to cash, record to report, controllership processes, finance transformation. Do these sound familiar? And do these processes involve predictable manual work, as well as large data to be processed and collected? As the answer is likely to be yes to both these questions, you are probably aware of the headaches they produce. As for the solution? Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is estimated to have a global potential of 44% in Finance and Accounting. With proven results for many front runner companies, RPA is guaranteed to smoothen the way business operations are managed.

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Tags: RPA_Lead_Story

What’s the “Milestone Method” of Revenue Recognition?

Posted by Brian Terrell on Sun, Apr 08, 2018

Back in April of 2010, the Financial Accounting Standards Board published new accounting guidance for calculating an often challenging method for milestonerecognizing payments on certain forms of revenue. Published as “ASU 2010-17: Revenue Recognition – Milestone Method (Topic 605)”, and discussed in draft abstract form in “EITF 08-9: Milestone Method of Revenue Recognition” on RevenueRecognition.com, the method allows vendors to recognize revenue at the time that a contractual obligation has been fulfilled, instead of applying revenues systematically throughout the term of the contract. However, because of the complexity of dealing with contractual incentives, such as bonuses, the milestone method outlines a few criteria that must be met.

One of the key points in this methodology is that a milestone must be an event for which there could be ‘substantive’ uncertainty for achieving this event at the time of contract signing. Although ‘substantive’ is a key word in this process, it still involves a matter of judgement considering either the vendor’s performance to achieve the milestone or the added value of the delivered item or service resulting from the achievement of the milestone. Most businesses may have some projects that may fit into this method of revenue recognition, and others that don’t. As such, an agile financial management solution that can manage variable revenue recognition models can help clarify and streamline these efforts. Contact BTerrell Group for more guidance with identifying and managing varying revenue recognition models. And, if you are concerned about the transition year difficulties imposed byASC 606 – Revenue from Contracts With Customers, we can help you get ahead of the game there, as well!

Tags: Intacct, ASC 606, revenue recognition

TechRepublic: How to implement robotic process automation: 3 tips

Posted by Brian Terrell on Sun, Apr 08, 2018

Robotic process automation (RPA) has the potential to to create major improvements in cost, quality, productivity, and speed of business operations, according to a recent report from The Hackett Group.

The technology—which analysts began studying about five years ago—offers the ability to deploy quickly, with reduced dependency on IT for implementation and support, according to the report. Some vendors have claimed to use RPA to deliver as much as 60-80% in savings. The automation technology can also reduce errors common in human-performed work, and allow companies to refocus their human talent on higher-value tasks, the report noted.

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Tags: RPA_All