BTerrell Group Blog

ACCELERATE! with Intacct: Accounting as a “Social Activity”

Posted by Keith Karnes on Tue, Oct 29, 2013

Intacct Advantage 2013It was our privilege to participate in Intacct’s Annual Users Conference, Intacct Advantage 2013, last week in Las Vegas.  The theme of the Conference was ACCELERATE!  Below, I share with you my key takeaways along with highlighting accounting as a “social activity” in more depth.

  • Intacct’s revolutionary product enhancements - recognizing accounting as a “social activity” (please read below for further detail).
  • Our interaction with partners and customers who are truly excited about enhancing their business operations and growth opportunities, through their Intacct implementation.  Just speaking about the future of Intacct created a real aura of confidence around our discussions.
  • Our partners and customers are excited to engage our sister company,  CodePartners, to create customized/integrated designs for their systems.
  • The focus to continue accelerating our marketing efforts to expand awareness around Intacct’s solutions.
  • The opportunity to drive benefits to customers through collaboration among the Intacct Direct Sales and Partner Channel Sales teams.

Accounting as a Social Activity… really?

Intacct Advantage Water Wall resized 600Wait! What about the stereotype of an accountant?

An introverted accountant looks down at his shoes when he talks to you;
but, an extroverted accountant looks at your shoes when he talks to you.

Well, we know this is not the truth about accountants!  

However, Intacct is pushing boundaries and creating the “Social Bug” which builds social media right into Intacct. This allows us to open the lines of communication, thus improving efficiency in our daily work.  This improvement builds a more collaborative workplace, allowing interaction within workflows.  Be on the lookout for more new features that allow the creation of schedules for routine workflows, like monthly closing schedules.BTerrell Group/CodePartners Booth @ Intacct Advantage 2013

We are excited that Intacct continues to "accelerate" and we are on the forefront of this growth. 

Schedule a free consultation with BTerrell Group to find out more about the features that enhance your everyday business experience and accelerate growth in your bottom line.

Tags: ERP, Intacct, cloud, cloud erp, cloud accounting software

What to Look for in Your Cloud Accounting Software Expert

Posted by Keith Karnes on Fri, Jul 19, 2013

Let’s begin to answer this question by determining what we mean by the term expert.  I think the only expert that makes any difference, or has any relevance, is the source that can and will actually assist you… who can bring credible information, experience and insights into your current needs. Following are some criteria to judge potential experts.

ExpertsExpert Criteria

  • Pedigree of the expert
    • What is their relevant experience?
    • What solutions have they actually been involved in?
    • Do they have a background that allows insight into or understanding of your business needs?
    • Do they have relevant professional credentials and expertise?
  • Representation
    Does the expert represent more than a single product or single solution? What is the universe of solutions from which the expert is drawing? Naturally, providers have a bias toward their own lines, however if multiple lines are represented, the expert may well have a broader view and ability to provide a wider range of potential solutions.
  • Existing customers
    Is the expert well respected by and have references from existing customers?
  • Business longevity
    While this is really just an extension of the pedigree above, evidence of “staying power” can be important. 
  • Support organization
    • Does the expert have the support organization to be able to support your business needs and growth in a timely manner?
    • What is the depth of the bench?
  • Relationship with cloud vendor
    • How is this expert perceived in their own area of expertise? Are they active with the vendor(s)?
    • Are additional information and resources available from the vendor when needed?
  • Are you comfortable with them? 
    This final question, while simple, is probably the most important question to ask. It lies on top of the other questions and includes the questions of reliability, integrity and ability to communicate.  The relationship with the expert during the process is crucial to allow proper discovery, so that needs are well defined and solutions are architected and ultimately deployed to meet your specific business needs.

Once you have determined the viability of your expert, then you can get down to the questions regarding the solutions they present. Note that very often, the credibility of your expert (or lack thereof) carries over into the solution proposed, as almost all solutions involve both a subscription service (from the provider) and implementation and configuration services, most often provided by the expert.

Following are some major areas of questions that can be used to evaluate the subscription service (SAAS) vendors. Note that many of the questions are the same or similar to those that should be asked for on-premise solutions and their related internal IT infrastructure components.

Vendor CriteriaCloud Accounting Software Experts

  • Business requirements
    • Does the vendor’s product fit your business needs and existing workflows?
    • Will the application grow with the ever-changing needs of your business as time goes by?
  • Reliability and availability
    • Does the vendor have references, case studies and third party assessments?
    • How many customers?
    • What about financial stability of the vendor?
    • Is there a(n) Service Level Agreement (SLA) for services and is there a disaster recovery strategy in place?
    • How frequently is it tested?
  • Security
    When using applications hosted by third party vendors, data security is paramount.
    • What is the vendor’s approach to service security?
    • How secure is the application and do independent security vendors vet the overall security of the product?
    • Are they SAS 70 Type II / SSAE-16 audited?
  • Data ownership
    • What happens to your data if you discontinue service?
  • Integration
    • How easy it is to integrate with other applications?
  • Customization
    • Can the application be extended?
    • Are there tools available to build new or modules or features?

Each of these question areas have underlying and related questions that are specific to each engagement. Your cloud accounting software expert will be able to assist in further investigating these questions. More information on this subject is explored in this free whitepaper: Ten Questions to Ask Your Cloud Vendor by Diversity Limited.

In addition, at BTerrell Group, we welcome the opportunity talk with you regarding your needs and would like to give you a 30-minute consultation - FREE of charge - to determine if:

  • A cloud accounting solution is right for you, and/or
  • If we're the right cloud accounting software experts for you

Free Consultation

Tags: cloud erp consultants, cloud accounting software expert, cloud financial software expert, cloud

Is a Cloud ERP Solution Right for You?

Posted by Keith Karnes on Wed, Jul 10, 2013

Is cloud ERP right for you?Everyone seems to be weighing in with an opinion on this question, and often the “opinion” seems to be heavily weighted toward what solution the speaker has to offer. In truth, the relevance and accuracy of the differentiators for cloud versus an on-premise ERP solution need to be evaluated for each unique circumstance.

Here are some key differentiators for cloud-based ERP applications:

  1. Allow the business to focus resources primarily on core business functions, rather than to maintain an IT department to serve the ERP function. In other cases, where IT functions are a major central business component, to focus IT resources on providing value functions toward revenue generation.
  2. Allow scalable growth to match the business growth of the enterprise, via adding user subscriptions or necessary modules only as necessary.
  3. Technology solutions are current and architected specifically for delivery and usage on current platforms for mobility and accessibility. In addition, they tend to provide higher levels of usability and user friendliness.
  4. Generally ensure improved measures in back-up, data retention, and recovery. These functions are provided by the vendor system-wide, rather than having to be performed by each customer. Due to the potential risk, the cloud-based provider typically has a higher level of security than would be set up for an on-premise solution.
  5. Have short implementation time periods to actually reap the rewards of management information quickly and are typically compressed over alternatives, enabling early return on investment.

So, is a cloud ERP solution right for you?

The question should be posed in terms of what information is needed to run the business. What are the key drivers to the business success and how these key drivers can best be addressed. What are the best uses of time and resources internally, and what are best provided externally?

BTerrell Group is equipped to provide insights and solutions to help you answer these questions and help you identify the right solution to meet your needs. Contact us today to get a FREE 30-minute consultation to get started.

Free Consultation

Tags: cloud, cloud erp, cloud accounting software, Cloud Financial Software

Debunking the Myths of Cloud-based Accounting Solutions: Security

Posted by Keith Karnes on Mon, Jul 01, 2013

Over a period of time, we will address several of the issues or concerns raised about viability of cloud-based accounting (ERP) solutions.

Myth #1: Security is a problem with Cloud ERP

Debunking the myth that the cloud is not secureWell, that depends on the vendor and the controls that are in place in the cloud, just like security with an on-premise or hosted solution depends on the safeguards in place locally.

I am not certain whether it can be determined which solution is inherently more secure, rather the question is what resources are brought to bear on the security issue and how thoroughly are they enforced and practiced.

Here are just a few of the security features that a well-designed cloud-based ERP solution provider has in place:

Application Availability
  • Tier 1 Data Center
  • 7x24x365 monitoring
  • Mirrored RAID storage
  • Standby servers
  • Redundant network components and power supplies
  • Parallel redundant generators
  • Separate Herakles Disaster Recover backup site
Application and System Integrity
  • Tightly restricted access to production data (physical and virtual)
  • Real-time activity log tracking
  • Data redundancy built on Oracle infrastructure
  • Full daily backups to multiple remote locations
  • Transaction data backed up every 30-minutes
  • Option available to user to restrict user login to acceptable IP ranges

These are only a few of the details of security for a particular cloud vendor, Intacct. The focus here is to show that immense resources are invested specifically in security … certainly more resources than all but the largest Fortune-level enterprises can invest, yet due to the serving of many clients, the resource cost is effectively spread.

As you evaluate the relative security of the cloud versus your local security, be sure to do a thorough, honest evaluation.

More detailed information about Intacct’s Software as a Service: Performance, Availability and Security can be found here.

Tags: security, Intacct, cloud, cloud erp, cloud accounting software