Most companies start out with accounting software designed specifically for small businesses. Invariably, as your business grows and becomes more complex, entry-level accounting systems and ad-hoc processes can become a deterrent to business growth and profitability.
Change isn’t easy, and it’s common for businesses to become so immersed in the processes that run their operations that they may not notice that the accounting system isn’t as useful as it was when first installed. Cost and downtime concerns add to the tendency to put off upgrading and try to “get by” with current inefficient systems.
Financials are the most critical data that a business can track and analyse.
All major business decisions, from hiring to expansions, are based on accurate, up-to-date, financial data. If you want to grow your business, whether it’s by the number of employees or product lines and services, then it’s inevitable that you will outgrow entry-level accounting software.
Take a step back and evaluate whether your business is showing any of these signs that you may need to upgrade to a more powerful ERP system:
1. Transaction volume is increasing and regular business processes are eating up more and more staff time.
State Sports Centre Trust (SSCT) have seen significant improvements across their processes since implementing Microsoft Dynamics. Originally they had a purchase-to-pay process with 11 steps that burdened staff daily. Now the process has been decreased to 7 steps and have saved roughly 7 hours per week in administration. Creating an annualised saving of approximately $10,000 per year.
2. You have to wait for employees to audit the data and close the books to get the information you need.
What a time suck and source of frustration for all of your people! Your accounting systems functionality should be flexible – to provide your staff with the information you need, when you need it, in real-time.
3. You need to ask your IT department to build reports to get what you need.
With any accounting system, it’s important to have the right structure from the beginning to reduce the reliance on IT teams in the long-term.
Darren Cotton at The Pancake Parlour recalls, “Previously, we had to spend thousands of dollars for a consultant to rewrite reports. Now we have a system that gives us that flexibility and has saved us time and money too.”
Australian Industry Standards chose Microsoft Dynamics to improve their financial reporting. Finance Manager, Nadia Perry explains, “NAV has functioning analytic dimensions that other systems lacked. The EBS team was very clear from the beginning in explaining how these dimensions were used for project reporting. Also, NAV’s compatibility with Microsoft Office means we can easily convert project reporting to Excel, PowerPoint or Power BI. It’s not time-consuming and it also met our security needs. Cost was an important consideration in the decision-making process however, it was more the functionality that we were looking for.”
4. You are planning to add locations or facilities.
Without the right setup, reporting and measuring additional locations can be tricky and time-consuming. Melba Support Services manages seven residential care homes, via its Community Living Support Services, which assist 42 people, many with significant health and physical needs 24/7. Melba also owns a fleet of 17 buses, enabling them to get around and actively participate in the community. Over the past decade, Melba has seen significant changes in the disability sector, with the implementation of NDIS, the focus on disability care and delivering on a more personalised and individual level.
Melba engaged EBS to deploy Microsoft Dynamics to help them in a day-to-day capacity. Karen Gibson, Acting Business Manager at the time said, “With families and their funding, they need to know how their money is being spent, how much funding they have and how much they have left at a given point in time. To do that, we needed to report on an individual level. One of the main differences of an integrated system is that our information is now up-to-date and we know exactly where we are every day. We can get out our reporting in a really quick manner. If people have a query, we’re able to get into the system, right down to the invoice level, to what transactions are happening.”
5. Employees are reconciling accounts outside of the accounting system, or are creating other workarounds.
Ain’t nobody got time for that. The added time spent over a week, month and year culminate to make huge inefficiencies in your organisation.
Australian Industry Standards (AIS) finance staff had to spend two days every month to transfer and reconcile data obtained from external systems and then another two to three days to manually prepare month-end reports, including graphs and comparisons of actual expenditure against budgets.
Now, using Microsoft Dynamics, AIS have saved two days each month by not having to reconcile data transferred from external systems and two to three days more days per month by NAV’s automated reporting eliminating manual data manipulation. According to finance manager Nadia Perry, “What is most important is that we get a lot more detailed and in-depth reporting. Whenever the business requires any complex business reporting, we can easily extract those reports through NAV without a delay.”
6. Data entry and reporting errors are increasing.
As your business grows without reviewing your processes, it can be easy to run into trouble as the volume of transactions increase. Using an extension tool such as ebs-plus into your Microsoft Dynamics 365 NAV/BC ensures that importing data is easy and less prone to errors.
7. Reports don’t include the level of detail needed to make important business decisions.
Health and Wellbeing provider for Aboriginal people living in Victoria, VACCHO, has 84 separate government contracts to report funding on. Their previous accounting system was holding it back because of limited reporting capabilities and the need for extensive paper-based systems.
Peter Mitchell, Director of Business Services, says the greatest benefits of Microsoft Dynamics for VACCHO were strategic rather than operational. “Data is the new oil,” he said.
“The more information you can provide about the success of what’s going on, the more governments can demonstrate why they have invested in that area. NAV provides the evidence-based reporting that demonstrates the value of projects funded by the money we receive, proving to both governments and our membership that we have advocated for the right projects.
“But in real terms, we have gained immensely more value from NAV for this initial investment. Now, the accountants using our NAV system are not just about processing payments and payroll – their primary focus is on management accounting and analyst roles.”
Move forward with Business Central
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a multi-language, multi-currency business management solution that helps small and mid-sized businesses manage their financials, supply chain, and people to create experiences that delight their customers.
Don’t be held back by your current accounting system. Business Central is quick to implement and easy to use, with the power to support your business growth plans. Working with EBS ensures you can implement what’s necessary today in order to scale tomorrow.
“Credit to EBS, they explained the system thoroughly upfront, so we knew what the system could do… The key has been understanding the functionality upfront and structuring effectively to the business. I am really thankful for the support EBS has given in the implementation. It is not only the system but also the EBS consultants and the service they provide that has played an equal part in this successful implementation.” Nadia Perry, AIS.
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Terri McKinnon is the Marketing Manager at EBS. With a focus on delivering communications that support the EBS community and reflecting the company’s core values. Her breadth of experience sees her building out the communications strategy, and being hands-on in the delivery of the website, collateral, success stories, social media, and managing our events and customer user groups.