5 Reasons Why You Should Replace QuickBooks

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When your business grows, you should celebrate—not suffer. Try telling that to the finance team that’s still trying to make QuickBooks work. It’s just too basic to handle growing organizations with evolving needs. So your team might be compensating with inefficient workarounds and spreadsheets. And you may realize you can’t rely on your basic reports to be of any strategic use. That’s a lot to pay for a “low cost” solution.

This e-book discusses the top 5 warning signs that your company may have already outgrown QuickBooks, including:

  • Challenging Report Preparation
  • Disconnected Critical Systems
  • Missing Audit Trails and Controls
  • Lengthy Month End Close
  • Inefficient Manual Processes and Spreadsheets

You will also learn about the benefits of graduating to a next generation finance system, including:

  • Eliminating spreadsheets
  • Enhanced productivity
  • Instant visibility
  • Seamless Integration
  • Better security
  • Improved revenue recognition

If your company is facing any of these challenges, download our free e-book today to learn more by filling out the form on the right. If you would like to speak to one of our experts about helping you decide whether your company is ready to graduate from QuickBooks, click the here to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Five Reasons Cloud Accounting is Becoming a Top Choice for CFOs

Cloud Accounting Blog LogoWhile many aspects of traditional accounting remain the same, where this process is managed has changed drastically.  Cloud accounting is becoming a strong suitor in the market of finance technology, and is quickly rising up the ranks of favorite choice for CFOs, COOs, CEOs and CIOs that want to streamline their business.

Why are so many accounting professionals choosing to move to cloud-based accounting?  Here are the top five reasons.

  1. Rapid growth.  Business is booming, and corporate officers need the ability to keep up with real-time financial information about their company.  The automatic updates bring banking and the ledger together in real-time.
  2. Low maintenance.  With a system that is only set on the computers in the workplace, businesses find that they have to keep throwing more people into the mix to keep up with the changes that constantly need to take place in their system. The ease of not having to buy, store, and maintain software is a breath of fresh air that helps the accounting department work more efficiently.
  3. There is only one version.  If there is a glitch in the system, the vendor can fix it for all customers simultaneously.  Say goodbye to the long waits on the phone when the system isn’t working properly.
  4. Payroll is streamlined.  The ability to seamlessly and immediately integrate payroll information into your finance system will provide you with real time insights into one of your larger costs.
  5. Access anywhere.  The top reason so many are turning to cloud based accounting is that it can be accessed anywhere with internet access. on any device….PC, MAC, Tablet, Smartphone.

To learn more about what cloud accounting can do to help your business run more efficiently, please contact the Cloud Accounting Blog.

CFOs – Tired of Doing Bookkeeping? Learn How to Become More Strategic

Cloud Accounting Blog LogoFor many years, CFOs were burdened with antiquated finance systems that had one core focus, closing the books and producing a set of historical financial statements for the month.

In many companies, finance and operational systems, such as manufacturing, customer service, payroll, time and expense and project accounting were run on completely different platforms. This created significant silos of information that too often could not be easily combined into a unified view of the company.

For any type of ad hoc or operational reporting, CFOs had to rely heavily on the IT department that was tasked with maintaining, supporting and backing up all of these disparate systems. Too often IT was far too busy to be able to turn around these requests in a critical time frame.

How did finance respond? Spreadsheets. However, too often these spreadsheets were filled with errors.

In fact, Ventana Research estimated that thirty five percent (35%) of all spreadsheets used in corporate finance had errors. You can download the full Ventana Research report here.

With the advent of new tools and technologies available through cloud accounting, the role of the CFO has transformed from a reporter of past results to a strategic resource. How?

  • Real Time Insightscloud accounting systems are real time, providing up to the minute data
  • Seamless Integration – all critical operational system feed data into the finance systems in real time so that all operational results and metrics can be seen at all times
  • Robust , User Driven Reporting – financial and ad hoc reporting tools are easy to use and enable finance users to easily develop critical management reporting
  • Workflows – help streamline previously inefficient manual processes and reduce errors
  • Dashboards and KPIs – provide real-time metrics for Board level and upper management, so that the CFO can proactively inform, rather than reactively respond.

Interested in learning more? Click here to schedule a brief call with one of our recommended experts.

Drive Your Business with a Dashboard, not Intuition

Dashboard on a Tablet

Business Owners and Senior Management should be constantly monitoring the performance of their business.  Some managers may accomplish this by talking to the people who work for them.  Ultimately, however, management is called upon to make decisions, and they do so with the information they have available to them.   Often the biggest challenge is bringing all of the data together into something which can be understood.

Most business leaders want to base their decisions upon clear, reliable information.  But, this can be a challenge.  Information can be difficult to obtain in a timely manner.  The accuracy of the data contained in reports is sometimes questionable.  Management reports may be extremely detailed without providing critical metrics which are easy to locate.  So what do you do?

If you are a manager with some of these issues, I would urge you to clear your head for a moment and go for a spin in your car.  That’s right – turn on the ignition, be careful in the parking lot, put on your favorite music and go for a 30 minute drive.  While you are there, take a moment to appreciate the amazing information solution right in front of you – your car dashboard.

A car dashboard exhibits three powerful concepts.

Consolidation– my dashboard prominently shows me my speed, my engine temperature, the gasoline remaining in my tank, among other things.  Where does this information come from? Generally, I know – but not specifically, and frankly, I’m not that interested.  But to answer the question, the data feeding the three dials I mention above each comes from three distinct components, undoubtedly manufactured by three separate vendors.   Can you imagine if your car started behaving the way most IT departments do? “I’m sorry, but we can’t tell you how much gas you have left, because that information is in a different system.” I know what I would do. I’d get a new car.

Context – I’m not an auto mechanic. I have no idea what the correct oil pressure should be in my car, or at what temperature my engine overheats. Fortunately, my dashboard is color coded. When the dial goes Red, that is bad. I need to take corrective action to move the dial out of the Red, into the Yellow or Green.

Relevance – for some pieces of information, any kind of numeric measurement is not useful. I simply want to know if I should be concerned or take action. For example, the alert that tells me that I don’t have my seatbelt on (and the car is moving). Or the one that tells me that I need to check my engine.  Fortunately, the dashboard does not provide me with a diagnostic code – because I would not know how to interpret it.  But I do know how to respond to a Check Engine light.

Operating a business is not very different from operating an automobile.  In both cases, you are working with a sophisticated, complex system which has a lot of moving parts.  Further, you need to keep your eyes on the road in front of you.  Driving or operating your vehicle is not the time to be looking for information, and getting that information can mean having to take your car out of service, costing money.

Unlike automobiles, it’s up to you as the manager of the business to decide which metrics are Key Performance Indicators – the ones you need to keep your eye on to ensure optimal performance.  Therefore, recognize that you will need to address your organizational readiness to begin monitoring your business in the same manner.

  1. Define your strategy – have a clear understanding of what the critical metrics are, and remove data and information which is not important to monitor.
  2. Embrace Data Driven Decision making – organizations which have committed to data driven decision making take good care of their operational data, attending to data quality issues as they arise.
  3. Keep it Actionable – Your envisioned dashboards will need right-time access to operational data – depending upon what you are looking to accomplish, you may or may not need “real-time information”. What is important is that you have information in time to make a correction, and don’t spend time and money investing on technology capabilities which your organization does not need.
  4. Keep it simple – You’ll need easy to use tools, both for IT and Management – and there are plenty of them available today!

By implementing a dashboard, or set of dashboards for your business, you can expect to be able to apply better focus to the critical processes that drive your business, because “What gets measured gets done”.  You’ll make better decisions, and also make these good decisions in time to take impactful action.  Finally, dashboards can help you communicate your strategy and performance to your management team.