BTerrell Group Blog

How to Know It is Time to Consider Implementing a New Financial Management Solution

Posted by Keith Karnes on Fri, Mar 20, 2015

While there is no magic formula that calculates a company’s readiness for a new financial management solution, there are warning signs to be aware of in your business.

WarningSign

For example, CFOs might experience increased manual efforts to literally dig-out critical financial information, increased breakdown in controls , or the inability to provide strategic vision, just because they are bogged down in manual accounting tasks. System users experience increased usage of spreadsheets with limited functionality, limited access to financial data on-the-go, and limited integration between systems, causing manual data re-entry.

Nine times out of ten, when we meet with a company who experiences several pain points across their business, we find they also developed bulky workarounds for these problems. Frequently, a quick fix solves a problem in a pinch; but those quick fixes compound over time and require excess time and costs that could have been used better in other areas that align with the business’ strategic vision.

Typical pain points we hear when speaking with companies considering a new solution:

  • Lack of real-time access to financial data
  • Costs and personnel requirements associated with operating and maintaining current on-premise hardware and software increased
  • Infrastructure doesn’t support scalability/growth
  • Cumbersome reporting
  • Disparate systems
  • Staff compensating for technology that cannot accommodate growth or business change
  • Productivity and user satisfaction reduced
  • Challenges integrating multiple locations, business units, or currencies due to growth and expansion
  • Too busy with compliance to actually manage the business 

If your company experiences more than a couple of these pain points, consider investigating a change. Typically, by choosing a new cloud-based solution, such as Intacct, companies find value in three areas: business visibility, revenue gains from billing corrections and efficiencies, and cost savings from countless areas. On average, cloud-based financial management and accounting systems achieve a 75-500% annual return on investment! To discuss whether now is the right time for your company to choose a new financial management solution, contact us for a consultation.

Tags: Intacct

4 Reasons Why Intacct Is a Great Fit for SaaS Companies

Posted by Brian Terrell on Wed, Feb 25, 2015

As someone who has provided my client companies with accounting and finance software technology for nearly 25 years, I’ve seen good fits, bad fits, and downright ugly fits between a company’s accounting needs and the capabilities of their financial software. Sometimes, we encounter companies who have outgrown QuickBooks or another smaller, on-premise software program. Sometimes, we help a company recover from a software option that just wasn’t the right choice for their business model. And sometimes, our developers provide that “last mile” of automation to bridge functionality gaps. In all of that experience, I’ve seen certain solutions that seem to fit nine times out of ten. For a company developing and delivering software as a service, Intacct fits perfectly, and I’ll explain four reasons I believe that statement to be true.

perfectfit

1. Intacct is a SaaS solution. Who better to understand the accounting opportunities and challenges of SaaS companies but another SaaS company? Furthermore, SaaS companies believe in the SaaS model, so why not rely on Intacct to manage the finances of a SaaS company? Industry insiders trust Intacct, and the AICPA names Intacct as their preferred provider of financial applications. To further demonstrate reliability, Intacct publishes their uptime in real-time on their website. The 12-month average listed on the site as I’m writing this is 99.993%. As a trusted SaaS accounting and finance solution, Intacct fits other SaaS companies extremely well!

2. SaaS solutions utilize web APIs, and Intacct integrates with other best-in-class solutions. In fact, Salesforce, Bill.com, Nexonia, Zuora, and our very own WorkforceGo! transfer data seamlessly and easily through the cloud with Intacct. In addition, the Intacct Marketplace offers a wide variety of Intacct integrated cloud solutions to meet the unique requirements and business needs of growing companies.

3. SaaS companies that develop software, manage projects, and implement deliverables experience lots of revenue recognition challenges. However, Intacct end users easily and efficiently update revenue recognition calculations, manage changes, and more – all while ensuring compliance with SEC, FASB, and Sarbanes-Oxley standards. Did I mention no spreadsheets are needed?

4. SaaS contracts require contract term and terms management. With Intacct, client companies take advantage of Intacct’s flexibility to amend contracts midstream and represent those changes automatically in their financial metrics.

I understand that no two companies need exactly the same features, but software as a service companies trusting Intacct with their financial books and records build on a foundation designed for success. Contact us to schedule a free consultation to determine whether Intacct would be a good fit for your company.

Tags: SaaS, Intacct

Three Processes Where Spreadsheets Just Don’t Cut It

Posted by Keith Karnes on Mon, Feb 23, 2015

In a previous post, I covered that spreadsheets, while easy to use and familiar, pose many financial risks for companies and lead to costly financial mistakes. As a follow up, I want to explore three common processes that many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) manage using spreadsheets and how they could be improved by replacing spreadsheets with a dedicated financial tool such as Intacct.

Spreadsheet

First, let’s look at revenue recognition. For companies who sell physical goods, revenue recognition is pretty straight forward; but for those who sell intellectual property such as software or services, the process can become complex. For example, many times software and services are sold in one instance, but are provided over a period of time under specific terms and conditions. Complications arise when details of the contract change, making it difficult to keep the spreadsheet up to date and accurate. Even when a revenue recognition spreadsheet is well documented, it also can be difficult for anyone other than its creator to use, which can disrupt a key process for the company if that employee leaves his position.

Next, a recent report from Ventana Research states that 75% of medium-sized companies are extensive users of spreadsheets in their closing process and 53% of medium-sized companies use spreadsheets to manage their consolidation process. Those numbers are staggering to me. Companies who heavily rely on spreadsheets for these processes not only require more time to complete their quarterly and monthly closes, but also have less time to take corrective action after reviewing financial reports.

Another common spreadsheet-heavy process used by SMBs is the time and expense process. Not only is this process frustrating and tedious for employees who supply the information and the accounting staff who re-enter the information, but it also doesn’t allow for timely approvals and can lead to inaccurate information. Expenses may be tracked by project, type, time period, or whether they are billable or not; these details compound to make tracking the information complicated. In addition, clients expect invoices to be accurate and transparent, but if errors from rekeying information occur prior to billing, problems arise.

While spreadsheets are easy to use and common for many finance professionals, sometimes they cause more harm than intended. If Intacct replaced spreadsheets in these three examples, companies would expedite revenue recognition, close their periods faster, and streamline the time and expense processes. By making the choice to eliminate spreadsheets, companies can save time, save money, and increase control over financial processes, thus providing a greater financial impact on the entire company.

Contact us to discuss your spreadsheet-heavy processes, and let us help you gain control and visibility in to your financials.

Tags: Intacct

Using the Intacct Platform to Drive Your Unique Business Practices

Posted by Keith Karnes on Tue, Dec 02, 2014

Intacct offers robust financials and readily adapts to most business requirements. However, there are some cases where companies require unique functionality to meet the demands of their unique business processes.

Luckily, Intacct offers a great tool called Platform Services to help meet this demand. The Platform is a toolset that allows you to add new capabilities or even build stand-alone applications outside the realm of Intacct’s standard functionality. I had the pleasure of presenting a session at Intacct Advantage 2014 titled “Using the Intacct Platform to Drive Your Unique Business Practices,” where we discussed specific examples where Platform Services would give you the edge you need.

In a recent example, BTerrell Group completed a customized collections module for a customer that enables them to follow up with past due accounts and offers increased visibility of the collection status to management, operations, and sales personnel. Specifically, they can now send emails from within the application and review comments and contacts directly from the customer records or from the particular invoice(s) in question. This is only one example of using Platform Services to drive your unique business practices.You can create custom reports, custom workflows, web services, automated triggers, custom objects, or even entirely new solutions that meet your one-of-a-kind needs.

The great part about Platform Services is the simplicity and speed of creating basic objects and reports. No programming experience is required! However, the more complex application you need, the more the skill level and support required will increase. For example, integrating Intacct with an external solution requires the expertise of a programmer, but an individual Intacct user could easily add a new object.

Here is a basic overview that I believe is the level of skill and support needed for various capabilities using Platform Services:

Skill Level Needed Capability Support Level Needed
Simple Extensions
No special skills

- Add new Objects
- Design simple forms and lists
- Write simple reports

Standard Intacct support
Simple Applications
Business Analyst or IT Staff - Design applications with data relationships
- Write complex reports
- Design application workflow
Intacct Developer Community
Rich Applications
Web Designer
(HTML + JavaScript)
- Add application logic
- Build custom pages and mash-ups
- Build portals
Intacct Developer Community
Advanced and Composite Applications
Programmer
(Any programming language)
- Add complex logic
- Integrate with external applications
- Use resources external to the platform to solve complex problems
Intacct Developer Community


As you can see, the more the complexity increases, the more you need a partner you can rely on to help you extend the reach of Intacct to meet your unique needs. We love helping SMBs reach their full potential with Intacct Platform Services. We not only offer complex integrations like Workforce Go! (Integrates Intacct with HRMS), but we enjoy meeting the one-of-a-kind needs of our clients. Contact us to discuss your business’ unique business needs, and we’ll work together to deliver the functionality to meet those needs, now and in the future.

Tags: Intacct, Intacct advantage 2014, platform services

Working with Intacct Price Lists

Posted by Kevin Yu on Tue, Nov 11, 2014

I had a chance to work with price lists in Intacct for the first time a few weeks ago. Overall, setting up price lists for items is pretty simple, but here are a few things I learned that might help you when setting up your price lists.

  • When setting up transaction definitions, the Special Price List will override the Initial Price List. If you are doing a markup or discount, the base price needs to be in the Initial Price List and the markup or discount needs to go in the Special Price List.
11-11image1
  • An item can have different prices on different days by setting start and end dates in the price list entry. The transaction date will be used to determine the price to use.
  • If markups or discounts can be applied to the item, the Fixed selection should be “N”.
  • Minimum/Maximum Quantity fields should also be populated.
11-11image2

 

If you have any questions on setting up your price lists in Intacct, please let me know.

Tags: Intacct