In a recent webinar hosted by Marty Schillaci, the CEO of The Resource Group, we conducted a poll to ask viewers about the length of their average monthly close cycle. Seventy-one percent responded that their close cycle takes an average of 10 days or longer. This is a common problem for businesses who might be overdue for upgrading their legacy ERP system to a more scalable cloud-based solution. Does your company require a week or more to complete the close cycle? If so, would closing the books faster benefit your organization?
1. Improve efficiencies and reduce costs
Improving efficiency and reducing the length of closing inevitably leads to a reduction in costs. You’ll be able to eliminate paying overtime, and you might be able to avoid hiring an additional worker. Additionally, improving efficiencies can decrease employee burnout, which is very a costly issue especially when it results in needing to rehire. You’ll also gain more time to do other work that you might have been avoiding – allowing you to get ahead on tasks rather than constantly playing catch-up.
2. Strategic decision-making
With a shorter month-end close, you’re able to access and understand important metrics sooner, enabling you to make decisions more quickly. The extra time your finance team gains can be put towards deeper analysis of your financial and operational metrics.
For multi-entity businesses that must consolidate their data across locations, quicker access to data is particularly key. But regardless of your industry, you’ll be able to make business decisions based on relevant data rather than relying on your gut instinct and what you think is the current state of your business.
3. Focus on the future
Fundamentally, the month-end close process is about evaluating history, complying with regulations, and making decisions for the future. However, machine learning and advanced analytics are in the midst of changing the focus of ERP from understanding the past towards accurately predicting the future. That’s why Sage Intacct’s “Finance 3.0” vision includes not just predictive analytics and continuous audit capabilities, but also completely getting rid of the month-end close.
Eliminating the financial close process might seem like a far-fetched proposition, but it’s actually already in the process of happening. Modern technology advances allow continuous accounting and auditing, so businesses have real-time insight into their operations and key metrics. This technology can be combined with machine learning and other technologies to guarantee accuracy and compliance while maintaining a complete audit trail.
Once your organization can access 100% of your data in real time and be sure that you’re complying with accounting regulations, the month-end close cycle will become largely unimportant. Rather than spending time focusing on the past, CFOs and finance teams will be freed to increase their technological expertise and leverage predictive analytics to fully understand the future.
What Does this Mean for Your Business?
If your finance team needs numerous days of the month simply to complete the close cycle, your systems and inefficiencies are limiting your business’s potential for growth. If you’re using a legacy ERP system that you know won’t support your company’s vision for success, it may be time to consider an upgrade to cloud-based ERP such as Sage Intacct. Additionally, an outdated ERP system can hurt your business by making it harder to recruit and retain fresh talent.
Has Your Financial Services Organization Outgrown Your Accounting Software?
If you want to consolidate hundreds of entities with the click of a mouse, automate inter-company transactions, and monitor it all in real-time on custom dashboards without extra software or IT support, then it may be time to leave QuickBooks, Dynamics GP and the spreadsheets behind.
But, considering the dozens of systems out there, what accounting software should you choose? What works best for financial services organizations?
Below are three guides that will help you identify the right accounting software for you and justify the migration to your executive team and board.
5 Signs Your Accounting System is Failing You in Financial Services
Has your accounting software become a barrier to your growth and efficiency? It's common to find that the accounting software system has not been updated, upgraded or even touched in years. An outdated—perhaps even unsupported—software platform can translate into unreliability, downtime problems and even security vulnerabilities.
In this whitepaper, you will discover five signs that your accounting systems is failing your organization. Here are just a few of them:
You're on an Old Accounting System Release
You're Held Back by Disconnected Systems and Processes
Next Generation Financial Consolidations for Financial Services
Consolidations have been a routine part of accounting departments for as long as most can remember. What has changed over time is the complexity and compressed timelines of consolidations.
The traditional approach to consolidation, still used by many companies today, includes a blend of human capital, manual processes, and different technologies to bring data and information together to form the basis for consolidation. This multi-stage consolidation process is time consuming and error-prone, no matter how well organized, communicated, or executed the process becomes.
A better way comes from leveraging leading cloud financial management systems. The characteristics of this type of configuration include four critical differences:
A Scalable Accounting Foundation Enables Automation
Supporting Faster Growth
Managing the Consolidation Process
Learn how these differences in a cloud accounting solution compare to a legacy or outdated accounting system.
Driving Performance in the Family Office: 3 New Approaches for the Data Driven CFO
Decision-making processes have relied on fact-based, data-driven management information. In this whitepaper, learn how family offices are transitioning from a periodic, ad-hoc reporting paradigm to real-time reporting.
An Aberdeen study found that 64% of family office business managers have seen their decision-making time shrink over the last year. In another study, Aberdeen found that 28% of those business managers said they needed data to make decisions within an hour of a business event; another 42% needed information within a day. That doesn’t provide much time for finance to supplement the decision-making process with supporting analysis.
In our white paper, CFOs will discover three new approaches to increase efficiency, accuracy and data clarity within their single or multi-family office.
Halstatt is a family-owned investment firm that started from scratch but, with are now currently managing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of real estate, equity investments, and various businesses.
A few years ago, Halstatt had a unique opportunity to plan and execute upon an entirely new accounting infrastructure. The company needed to build a back office that included accounts payable, general ledger, and an entire finance department. The search was on for new accounting software.
Halstatt wanted to implement cloud-based accounting software because it offers speed and efficiency which are critical, no servers or IT team required and upgrades are seamless.
Halstatt had a clear vision of what the system needed to do and Sage Intacct met these requirements.
Sage Intacct Implementation
Halstatt's implementation of Intacct includes:
Chart of accounts
Dimensions: providing vertical and horizontal views
Halstatt is now more efficient in everything they do from GL to reporting.
Consolidation & Grouping
Consolidation and grouping features are also important. For example, Halstatt owns a professional park with multiple buildings that required a stand-alone view from the investment firm. Sage Intacct allows Halstatt to create the stand-alone view while not compromising features or making the system overly complicated.
Fair Market Value Reporting
Halstatt needs to report on the fair market value of its assets on a quarterly basis. As an investment firm, it needs to track and understand asset valuations, quarter over quarter and year over year. The management team needs to distribute this report to the board regularly.
To accomplish this, Halstatt created groups in Sage Intacct for finance reporting and used a separate company to track valuations. By only using the asset side of the general ledger and a dimension, Halstatt can easily and efficiently present this data. Some of the benefits are:
Updating assets allowed access to graphing on the dashboard
History was also available
This wasn't the original intent of choosing Intacct, but it works great for valuation tracking. Halstatt's chief investment officer used to spend 70-80 hours trying to gather this data on a quarterly basis. Now, it's instantly available in Intacct.
Halstatt's controller tracks the following on his financial dashboard:
Balance street: overall and by location
Budget versus plan
On his portfolio dashboard, he tracks:
Analysis by fund
Key metrics tracked:
Current consolidated cash
Net income YTD
Net income MTD
Request a Financial Services Accounting Software Demo
Our Sage Intacct product experts have put together a financial services demo so you can see all of the above for yourself. Contact us to book your demo today.
As Millennial's take start to take up more and more percentage points of the workforce, due to those before them retiring, there will be a growing need to shift toward their working style. This means clunky, outdated, on-premises, legacy systems will slowly become a negative mark on your company. The younger generation of modern workers have grown up on computers. Arguably, the first generation to grow up with the Internet as a daily staple (depending on where you draw the line). They are used to quick, responsive software that is intuitive and can be accessed from anywhere and any device.
An outdated technology stack can be a negative mark on your organization when you are trying to hire the next generation of finance professionals. Technology is such an integral part of the younger workforce’s lifestyle. They want the experience to be pleasant and familiar, and most importantly, leading-edge technology.
So with this knowledge in mind, if your business is using Microsoft Dynamics® GP or a similar on-premises, legacy accounting software solution, should you invest in upgrading? Or, migrate to a more modern user-interface, cloud-based solution like Sage Intacct? While Dynamics GP is a very powerful and a customizable ERP solution, the days of these dinosaur systems are dwindling. There will not a be catastrophic event like an asteroid slamming into the Earth signifying the reign of legacy software is done, but it there will be a slow and steady decline of end users. When an end-user retires, there is likely not going to be replacements.
Modern financial professionals are going to be learning the cutting-edge software that will grow with them as they continue on their career. When evaluating whether to ‘Upgrade’ or ‘Migrate’ your legacy system keep this in mind. If you keep delaying the asteroid hitting your business, you will be faced with a war of attrition. Your Dynamics GP end-users will continue to retire with no replacements to fill their roles. If you are considering the switch to a modern ERP solution, a modern cloud-based solution like Sage Intacct will grow with your users, both green and veteran.
To learn more about upgrading Dynamics GP or migrating to Sage Intacct, contact The Resource Group. We are a long-time Partner for both Dynamics GP and Sage Intacct. We can help you make the right decision for your business needs now and in the future.
CFOs of asset management firms, including both single and multi-family offices, need to manage the organization’s assets to ensure operational efficiency and maximize investment resources. Understanding both your operational finances and your investment mix is key to successfully driving growth for the firm’s portfolio. Whether you’re making decisions about staffing or considering long-term investment strategies, it’s important to have an accurate, detailed understanding of key metrics. With a Sage Intacct dashboard customized for financial services CFOs, you can access important data from anywhere on any device, and understand it in a glance.
For wealth and asset management companies, the CFO needs to have a good understanding not only of the investment portfolio, but also the daily costs of operating an organization. Sage Intacct dashboards make it easier to understand metrics related to every aspect of the firm by showing them in real time using personalized visual aids.
1. Track a wide variety of KPIs
Sage Intacct’s dashboards can be easily customized without IT intervention to track key performance indicators. Just choose your dashboard elements in order to track cash, stocks, hedge funds, bonds, private equity, AUM, valuables/collectibles, and more. Have constant access to real-time information that can inform strategic decisions. Because of Sage Intacct’s robust multi-entity management, you can consolidate entities however you want and then view the data however is convenient for you.
2. Easily choose customized visuals
Visual indicators such as arrows and color coding make it easy to compare current trends with prior periods. You can also add numerous types of charts and graphs so complex data can be easily understood at a glance. Conditional formatting can make it easy to see if a particular metric changes or crosses a predetermined threshold.
3. Drill down for underlying data
Sage Intacct’s Financial Report Writer makes it easy to create custom reports showing each investment or expense by month. These reports can be displayed directly on your dashboard, or linked to visual graphs and charts. Every element of the dashboard allows CFOs to drill down into its component parts and transactional details, just by clicking on the block. You can view the tabular data behind a KPI at any time, and from these tables you can continue to drill down all the way to the source transactions and underlying data.
4. Add approval components and other workflows
A financial services CFO needs to make big decisions for the health of the firm, but a lot of the job is also completing the daily flow of approvals and other routine tasks. Sage Intacct dashboards allow users to add approval components for items such as expense reports or journal entries, so you can view and complete these tasks without needing to navigate to a separate window or task pane.
In Gartner’s “Critical Capabilities report for Cloud Financial Management Suites for Midsize, Large and Global Enterprises”, for the 3rd year in a row, Sage Intacct received the highest product or service score for the Lower Midsize Enterprises use case with a 4.63 out of 5.
You’re always looking for new ways of streamlining business operations while providing a superior level of customer care. The secret behind achieving this perfect balance is often found in integration. Any time that you can combine two or more components of running a business to the point that they work together seamlessly, it’s going to have a positive impact on your operations.
This is why more businesses are investing in Salesforce and Sage Intacct integration. Maybe you’ve considered it but aren’t sure if it’s the right move for your business. Here’s what you need to know about integrating Salesforce with Sage Intacct today.
The New Power Couple?
Salesforce and Sage Intacct integration has become the new power couple of the business world. The combination brings together two of the most important cloud solutions for successful businesses and organizations. Salesforce reigns as a top cloud CRM solution while Sage Intacct is one of the best cloud accounting solutions on the market. When you bring these two together, the potential is enormous. Curious to learn more about how this dynamic duo works together?
Here are 5 of the most important things to know about Salesforce and Sage Intacct Integration
Of all the benefits that businesses and organizations gain from integration, efficiency ranks among the top. Operational efficiency increases as the integration streamlines the sale to cash process – meaning that integration allows invoicing and revenue recognition to be automatically triggered in Intacct once Salesforce indicates that a sale has been completed.
Integration also saves your staff time by eliminating duplicate data that often occurs between sales and finance departments, and reduces many common errors that occur during transmission of information when integration is not in place.
2. Broader Scope of the Customer Journey
In order to build upon your current client base, it’s important to understand the various components of the customer journey. The integration of these two cloud software programs can help you do just that. For instance, with integration you can easily track client projects from the early stages of acquisition to the end sale, allowing you to see the uninterrupted course of customer acquisition to long term relationship building.
3. Real Time Data
Sales and accounting departments need access to real time data to work efficiently and make important decisions. When these two departments aren’t effectively integrated, getting the data they need – when it’s needed – can be a challenge. Integration eliminates this common obstacle for businesses.
4. Greater Visibility for Your Sales Department
Sales teams are the driving force behind many businesses. The problem is they’re often left to work their magic without a deeper understanding of how their results impact the company’s financial bottom line. Salesforce and Intacct integration provides your sales team with a broader vision of the importance of their role in your company.
Often there’s friction (not to be confused with tension) between Sales and Finance. It isn’t that these groups don’t get along but that there tends to be lots of back and forth between them. Sales reps are often paid commission not based upon what they sell but what is collected. They are always eager to know what payments have come in. With a properly integrated system Sales no longer has to reach out to Finance – invoicing and payment history can be right at their fingertips.
5. There’s Value in Working with a firm that Provides Integration Services (and a Sage Intacct Partner)
Before you make a decision about Salesforce and Sage Intacct integration, one of the most important things you can do speak with a firm that provides integration services that can work with you to solve the challenges that are unique to your business or organization. If you’re interested in learning even more about the value of integration, contact Venn Technology or The Resource Group today.
We hear family offices complaining about increasingly complex ownership and multi-entity structures, making it impossible to manage client assets, reporting and month-end close without burning out their accounting team or having to hire additional staff.
Did you know that Sage Intacct has become the ideal accounting software for single and multi-family offices and wealth managers? It's used to manage over $500 billion in assets.
Sage Intacct's popularity stems from being able to consolidate hundreds of entities with the click of a mouse (at month end or any time), automate inter-entity transactions, and monitor it all in real-time on custom dashboards without extra software or IT support – so you can leave QuickBooks, Dynamics GP and the spreadsheets behind and not have to hire additional accounting staff to manage more entities or clients.
And month-end can be complete in hours instead of days or weeks.
Wake Up from the Nightmare
One of the biggest challenges family offices face when using accounting software that has a linear chart of accounts is that you need separate database environments for each entity, within each client. Then, once you create these separate entities, it becomes very slow and tedious to consolidate entities, meaning that monthly close can takes weeks.
We have one multi-family office that was using 40 instances of QuickBooks and 10 instances of Microsoft Dynamics GP to manage their client assets. They were mired in Excel spreadsheets and couldn't get a clear consolidated picture. With Sage Intacct and it's dimensional chart of accounts, you don't need a software license per entity and you can consolidate all entities in seconds - and the monthly close now only takes a few hours.
More Problems Solved
Automate Inter-Entity Transactions: cut transaction data entry in half and eliminate the need for reconciliations by simply entering each transaction into the first entity's account and watch it auto balance in the other
Get Real Answers in Real-Time: get the most recent asset valuations needed to run your family office, on your phone or any device, anytime you need them – so that your clients get what they need as soon as they need it
Say Goodbye to Manual Accounting Labor: you deserve better than being mired in spreadsheets and spending hundreds of hours on consolidations, monthly closes and inter-entity transaction reconciliations. Upgrade to Sage Intacct today
Ensure Security & Privacy: you can restrict users by entity; Sage Intacct is SOC II Type 2 certified and has a variety of tool and procedures in place that are designed to prevent unauthorized programs, systems, and users from gaining access or control of system processes, resources, and data
GAAP Compliant & Audit-Ready: you can trust Sage Intacct to ensure all your ducks are in a row
Sage Intacct for Multi-Family Offices in Wealth and Asset Management - YouTube
Request a Family Office Accounting Demo
Our Sage Intacct product experts have put together a family office accounting demo so you can see all of the above for yourself. Contact us to book your demo today.
9 Awesome Features in the Sage Intacct R1 2019 Release
Modern business technology, especially when it relates to financial accounting, is currently changing so fast that it’s hard to stay up-to-date with everything. Here at The Resource Group, it’s our job to keep our clients informed of the best new features available to them in their software solutions.
The Sage Intacct 2019 R1 release includes lots of great new features. In fact, there are so many that it’s easy to get a little lost in all of the information available about the release. To keep things simple and show you the highlights, we’ve summarized 9 new and improved features, and provided links to corresponding Sage Intacct eLearning videos.
1. Bulk Actions for Journal Entries
You can now save time and take action for multiple transactions at one time. With the new bulk actions feature, you can multi-select journal entries in order to post, duplicate, and reverse multiple entries at once. This feature also allows you to test-post large batches of entries to make sure things match up.
The Cash Management Bank Reconciliation process has a new interface and provides a sleek user experience that facilitates reconciling high-volume transactions. Importing, comparing, and reconciling your bank statement is now faster and easier. The new Bank Reconciliation functionality includes better searching, filtering, and pagination so you can work on transactions across several pages and drill down into more detailed data.
Accounts Payable now includes a bill approval feature, which can be set up to require bill approvals from one or more users. Rule types can be based on value approval, named user, and transaction department; both Business and Employee users can approve bills.
4. Contracts Billing Based on Project/Task Percent Complete
Sage Intacct will now automatically calculate billings for fixed fee projects, allowing users to define the billing type on an individual contract line basis. Just set the project type to “fixed fee billing” or “fixed fee and expense billing,” then record the project or task percent complete, and Sage Intacct will automatically generate a billing based on the input. If there are multiple percent complete entries, for example with timesheets, Sage Intacct will generate a single percent complete billing entry based on the multiple inputs.
5. Project Enhancements: Billable Transaction Rules and Task ID
The 2019 R1 release introduces capabilities to bill transactions created by transaction rules. This enables a variety of new project accounting and billing scenarios with the system, such as cost plus billing, employee group based billing rates, and billing calculated labor transfer costs. You’ll be able to flag a post rule as billable, and it will be added to the sales invoice. Transaction rules also now allows users to create statistical entries that post to a statistical journal.
Sage Intacct has once again added more features and fine-tuning to the dynamic allocations feature within the General Ledger. There are now more options to streamline complex allocations which shift or split amounts within entities. These options include creating and generating group allocations, which allow you to process several allocations that occur on the same interval of time (such as month-end) with just one click. You can also now include multiple books in basis and source computations, extend period selections, flag entries for project-based billing, and more.
When financial periods are already closed, inventory costing adjustments can cause mismatches between the inventory subledger and the General Ledger valuations. Prior period adjustments for COGS is a set of new functionality that identifies these problematic adjustments, displays all recommended adjustment calculations in one page, and then creates the necessary journal entry adjustments to an open period of your choice.
You can now gain a more accurate and detailed picture of landed costs for the current period; it’s now possible to record your estimated landed costs for an item and later record and link the actual landed costs to your estimated costs. This increases visibility into your true inventory costs and what you had originally planned for those costs, allowing you to minimize the gap between planning and actual purchasing.
The Action UI is now the primary user interface for Sage Intacct. Many new features can only be accessed from the Action UI, such as Bank Reconciliation, Pay Bills, the Interactive Custom Report Writer, and Global Consolidations. If you haven’t switched over yet, now is the time to make your move.
Is QuickBooks Limiting Growth for Your Multi-Entity Organization?
If you’re trying to make QuickBooks work for your growing multi-entity company, you’ve likely struggled with the accounting solution’s lack of complex capabilities. QuickBooks works well for small businesses up to a certain point, but once an organization begins adding entities, it’s often time to consider upgrading to a new financial accounting solution. We’ve previously discussed 4 major limitations of QuickBooks for multi-entity accounting. In this blog, we’re delving into some additional multi-entity accounting functionality that QuickBooks can’t perform. Have you struggled with any of the following?
1. Building Custom Reports
With QuickBooks, building reports can be difficult enough with just a single entity and one set of reporting requirements. Once you have multiple entities, each with a separate set of reporting requirements, it becomes impossible to create reports without resorting to manual spreadsheets. With a more robust financial accounting solution, you can build custom reports to meet the exact requirements of each entity. Unlike in QuickBooks, a quality multi-entity accounting solution will allow you to easily build reports using multiple dimensions to track the metrics that matter most to you.
2. Working in Multiple Currencies
QuickBooks can’t process transactions in multiple currencies, which means you have to manually convert each transaction to your base currency before entering it into the system. With a multi-entity accounting solution, each entity can operate in its local currency, and automated currency conversion makes it easy to perform consolidations and gain financial insight.
3. Different Chart of Accounts for Each Entity
In QuickBooks, you can only set up one chart of accounts. This might work fine for some multi-entity businesses, but many find themselves using separate instances of QuickBooks in order to create a chart of accounts for each entity. This makes consolidations take countless hours as you manually combine data from each instance of QuickBooks into sprawling spreadsheets. With a financial accounting solution intended for multi-entity use, you can set up one chart of accounts or multiple – the system is designed to handle as many as you need.
4. Inter-Entity Transactions
Whether you’re using one instance of QuickBooks or multiple, inter-entity transactions are difficult to properly create and track while complying with accounting regulations and auditability requirements. With a more robust accounting solution designed for multi-entity businesses, it’s easy to properly create transactions between your entities in a way that meets your requirements, provides financial and operational insight, and complies with regulations.
5. Real-time Dashboards
Although QuickBooks does technically offer dashboards, the lack of multi-entity accounting capabilities within the system means these dashboards will be unable to show detailed metrics that matter to users within different levels of your organization. With a financial accounting system designed for multi-entity organizations, it’s easy to create customizable, real-time dashboards that show each user the level of data which matters most to them, whether that’s KPIs within a specific department of a specific entity, or a big-picture view of the entire organization.
Time for an Upgrade?
Is QuickBooks’ functionality simply not adequate for your growing organization? Don’t let it limit your growth any longer. An accounting solution such as Sage Intacct offers multi-entity accounting that automates consolidations and reporting while providing complex, real-time data via dashboards. If you’re interested in learning more about upgrading from QuickBooks to an accounting solution built for multi-entity management, contact The Resource Group to learn more about whether Sage Intacct might be a good fit for your organization.