BTerrell Group Blog

The most important decision in accounting software selection is not what you think!

Posted by Brian Terrell on Fri, Apr 11, 2014

Summary of Findings BTerrell GroupI continue to be impressed by the software knowledge our prospects have by the time they engage BTerrell Group in a discussion about Intacct and Sage accounting software.  Obviously, the Internet is a great tool, and we do our best to provide as much information as possible to enable the self education of potential buyers.  When a prospect calls us, he or she needs reassurance they are on the right path as well as the experience and best practices we have learned through hundreds of similar engagements over the last 23 years.  We, on the other hand, need to develop an understanding of the business issues prompting the software selection process, and we need to prove to the prospect that we understand not only those issues but also the impact of solving them.  

One way BTerrell Group learns about a prospect's business issues is by asking a lot of questions and listening to the answers.  Later, we incorporate the knowledge we have gained in a document we call a Summary of Findings.  In a Summary of Findings, our consultants restate their understanding of the current issues facing the company, the impact of those issues, and the potential benefit of resolving them.  In addition, we attempt to quantify the potential benefit of the ideal solution.  Rob Johnson, the National Sales Manager of Channels at Avalara (the guys that make sales tax easy!), recently shared an example with me about how he, earlier in his career, was able to quantify an inventory shrinkage issue at a beverage distributor that resulted in a payback period of months instead of years.  Our calculations do not always turn out that favorably; however, a properly prepared Summary of Findings must include them.

In addition to resolving business issues like inventory shrinkage, what other benefits might be detailed in a Summary of Findings?  The possibilities vary as prospective companies vary, but they generally fall into these basic categories: increased revenues, decreased costs, or achieving some other measurable business objective (like obtaining a bank loan, for example). Specific examples might include:

  1. Reduction of accounting or data entry errors
  2. Elimination or reduction of revenue leakage
  3. Eliminating spreadsheet data and calculations
  4. Decreased costs of routine multi company accounting issues
  5. Increased productivity by integrating data sources in the transaction workflow

The Summary of Findings plays a key part in BTerrell Group's discovery process.  

This document states the business case for value, and prospects can be confident we understand the business issues behind the accounting software selection process.  In addition, it reinforces a prospect's research of our solutions.  Most importantly, a Summary of Findings assists the prospect in the most important decision a buyer will make in the software selection process:  the business partner selection decision!

If you are well on your way to deciding that Intacct or Sage software meets your business needs, please contact us today for assistance in your business partner selection decision.  It could be the most important decision you make!

Related Blog Post: ERP Implementation Success Factors

Tags: accounting software, erp software, software consultants

How to meet growing business needs without more accounting staff

Posted by Brian Terrell on Thu, Jul 25, 2013

Now that the economy shows definite signs of life, many businesses are growing and experiencing the increased resource demands that go with that growth. With the struggles of the recent past still in mind, decision makers may be hesitant to add more staff, especially in back office departments such as accounting and finance.  So, the question for many becomes:

Business growth and accounting resources

How do I meet the growing needs of my business without hiring more accounting staff?

I love this question!  For 22 years, I have enjoyed helping my customers do more work with less effort.  More work means more orders, more shipping, more invoices, more payroll, more purchases, more this and more that...with always, it seems, more people and more effort.  Being able to participate in helping accounting staffs do more work with less effort always makes me happy, but particularly now that most businesses still want to be very careful with new spending.  Many options exist to help in this area, but today I'd like to explore three area for consideration:

  • Application integration
  • Outsourcing
  • ERP technology

Application Integration

Application integration can be a key tool to help an organization do more work with less effort.  Look for business processes like keying data into one computer program directly off a report generated by another computer program.  Wasn't this data already digitized once?  Can't we investigate automating the transfer of that information?  That's application integration, and every function in the back office may reveal these types of opportunities.  Look for integrations that offer a one year return on investment.  Once you find them, get ready for not only a productivity increase but also the unintended benefit of greater accuracy.  That's what we call a win/win scenario!

Outsourcing

Also, now may be the time to outsource certain back office tasks like payroll reporting compliance.  Aatrix provides this service to Sage 300 ERP U.S. Payroll users, and it is true there was a bit of culture shock when first announced.  However, the long time Payroll do-it-yourself-er gets over that quickly!  No more buying, printing, stuffing and mailing W-2 forms as this can now be outsourced for $1.89 per employee!  Remember, the stamp costs 45 cents!  Sign up for an eFile package automating all federal and state quarterly reports for a price based on employee size. For example, it's $150 a year for 20 employees.  And, they'll keep a copy for you to print later when the worker's compensation audit rolls around.  Aatrix surveys their customers every quarter, and those surveys reveal a 98% satisfaction rate, so I'm confident this is a no-brainer for companies who consider payroll an in-house process.  

ERP Technology

Finally, technology offers a host of opportunities to do more work with less effort.  CRM automates the quote to sales order conversion process in addition to keeping track of opportunities, contacts, and customer service cases.  Mobile applications automate sales and field service data entry from the iPhone, iPad and Android devices that employees want to carry anyway.  And, a whole slew of connected services exist for both Sage ERP and Intacct Cloud Financials to streamline, outsource and automate key processes such as sales tax calculation, billing delivery, payment processing, and cloud-based document management and storage.  

As the economy continues to improve, our businesses enjoy the opportunity to produce more. The alternative was not fun.  The trick is holding the line on the amount of resources required to do that work, especially in the back office.  If careful, businesses may discover ways to increase accuracy, outsource non-essential functions, and reduce operating expenses even while they do more work with less effort!

To discover if any of these solutions are right for you, please feel free to contact BTerrell Group. We'd be happy to help you determine how to streamline your processes so you can keep your back office headcount manageable.

Tags: accounting software, accounting staff, erp software, accounting resources