Accounting Software Shreveport

Business Process Challenges: Human Related or Software Related?

Posted by Adrian Montgomery on Thu, May 16, 2013 @ 01:12 PM
Business Process Efficiency

We are covering the eight steps to conducting a Business Process Assessment in this blog series.  Learn how to unleash profits by finding ways to work more efficiently.  In previous blogs we covered; how to compare current ERP systems to new goals, how to create a business process project management committee, who to nominate as the business process project management committee leader, how to develop a comprehensive business process anlysis document to measure and assess the existing business processes, how to define your milestone and project projections and how to prepare a project time line.

In our sixth part of this series we will cover how to determine if your business process challenges are human related or software related.  We will take into consideration technology, people and company organizational goals.  This part of the business process assessment targets results and goals of organizational tasks.  

First, we consider the current company technology business processes within each company department by reviewing the following 5 bullets:

  1. Business Process Automation Design
  2. Business Process Execution
  3. Business Process Integration
  4. Business Process Documentation
  5. Business Process Measurement
Second, we consider human related business processes:
  1. Strategy and Leadership
  2. Business Process Performance Training
  3. Business Process and Management Measurement
Each criteria above is measured on a 5 point scale, 5 being the best.  A score of 5 means the department has reached maximum efficiency, therefore the process cannot be improved, where a score of 2 would mean; business process improvement is needed.
This part of the business process assessment reveals business process performance problems, process management problems, performance improvement targets, measures against improvement efforts and assists to identify training needs.

Tags: MAS 90 and MAS 200, MAS 200, MAS 90, Accounting Systems, ERP System, Accounting System Consultant, ERP software consultant, Business Process Assessment, Business Process Improvement, business process consultant, ERP Consultant

Business Process Assessment: Compare Current ERP System & New Goals

Posted by Adrian Montgomery on Wed, Feb 06, 2013 @ 03:53 PM
Business Process Assessment

In this blog series we are covering 8 steps to conducting a Business Process Assessment.   If you haven’t looked into performing a business process assessment for your business, please read our series to learn how to unleash profits by finding ways to work more efficiently.  In our previous blogs we covered;  how to create a business process project management committee, who to nominate as the business process project management committee leader, how to develop a comprehensive business process analysis document to measure and assess the existing business processes, how to define your milestone and project projections and how to prepare a project time line.  

In our fifth part of this series we will cover in more detail why it is important to compare your current IT and accounting functionality against your newly identified requirements or recommendations based on the business process assessment.   We will also offer suggestions on how to create a matrix to compare each business process need against the capable functionality of your internal personnel and accounting, human resource, customer-relationship-management systems.

In our previous blog about setting milestones and project projections we gave the example of Ruth (the committee leader for the Accounts Payable department) who has identified several business processes that took up too much time and led to inefficiencies.  She is looking into possible accounts payable automation software as a solution to integrate with their ERP system.  The priorities of the AP department are to eliminate manual invoice processing, improve invoice approval process and automatically generate an electronic notification to recipient when payment is processed.   

Now let’s review how Ruth will use these next steps to 1) compare your current IT and accounting functionality against your newly identified requirements and 2) how to create a matrix to compare each business process need against the capable functionality of your internal personnel and accounting, human resource, customer-relationship-management systems.

Compare current IT and accounting functionality against newly identified requirements

Ruth has mapped out a business process for the check writing and approval in the Accounts Payable (AP) department.   She has identified a few areas that take up time and expense to the AP department’s resources.   Now she is comparing the existing accounting software and how the new areas for improvement will or will not work with their existing ERP solution.  She has reported back to the committee that there are several areas that are manual within their existing solution.  She has researched AP automation software and found a few add-ons or enhancements that integrate with their existing accounting and ERP solution that will help automate their manual and inefficient processes.     Ruth will explore the 2-3 ERP enhancements and report back to the committee her findings and recommendations.  She found one solution that seems to fit the best and is scheduling out demonstrations with the ERP consultant she works with to service their entire ERP system. 

Develop a Matrix

Developing a matrix on an Excel spreadsheet is the most basic way to help the business process assessment committee and the ERP consultant easily identify what is the description of current business process in the AP department, for example.  It will also list all of the issues with current process and also list the recommendations for improvement of the existing processes.  Tracking these business processes is an essential step since there could be a long list to track across departments.  This will allow the business process assessment committee leaders to prioritize what processes should be improved on first.  Now you can sort by priority and set-up an action plan to improve the overall efficiency and profits of the business.  Your business process assessment committee and ERP consultants will be essential in starting the improvement plan moving forward.

Within one business process, like in the example of the AP check writing and the check approval process, there may be a combination of multiple processes that are common given different scenarios.  It is important to outline the various processes that are linked with one activity like check writing, for instance.  This comparison of current functionality with the requirements to change must take place across the entire organization.  This will involve investigating the resources and capabilities of personnel, the current ERP system including accounting, human resource management and your customer relationship management (CRM) systems.   With a little teamwork and involvement across departments your business is now on its way driving toward continuous improvement and maximizing profits. 

If there are inefficiencies eating away at your business profits and tying up costs it is best to detect them and eliminate them before more damage is done!  We have performed hundreds of business process assessments please contact us for more information.

Tags: MAS 200, MAS 90, Sage 100 ERP, Business Process Assessment, Business Process Improvement, Workflow, Process Automation, Busienss Process Automation, BPM, business process consultant, ERP Consultant

Business Process Assessment: Define Milestone and Project Projections

Posted by Adrian Montgomery on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 @ 04:51 PM
Business Process AssessmentIn our fourth installment of our eight part Business Process Assessment series we will be covering how to go about defining milestone and project projections and why is it important.   After reading our previous blogs, you now understand the importance of why your company should institute a business process assessment (BPA) in the first place.   You also understand the importance of selecting a Business Process Project Management Committee and have hopefully started developing a series of questions to establish how business processes are currently running in each department.  Once you have the answers back from each department, you will have a snapshot of what improvements need to be made and how to prioritize them in order of importance.  Now let’s review how to get started on defining milestone and project projections.

The objective of a Business Process Assessment is to challenge your business to strive for continuous performance and profitability.   Once the list of issues in each department is prioritized, you can now get to work on setting milestones for the objectives laid out in the plan.   This will help break things down into stages and monitor the progress.  If resources need to be allocated to accomplish a department’s objective then you will have a way to plan out what amount of time or money needs to be budgeted and spent to accomplish the goals.  Here’s a closer look at the next two steps in moving forward: 

Defining Business Process Assessment Milestones

Business Process Assessment Milestones help break up each department objectives with communication of issues and coordination of activities that need to be accomplished along with a tracking tool to manage toward success of each objective or project.  An Excel spreadsheet would be an example of a basic tool that is often used to track this progress.

  • Milestone = activities + required resources (funds or activities) + deadline + progress to date + status of activities
  • EXAMPLE:   Objective - Accounts Payable Department wants to improve check writing procedures to vendors – Owner - Ruth (AP department BPA committee leader)
  • Milestone Activity #1 – Ruth will investigate how current check writing and check approval process creates backlogs + deadline Friday, February 8, 2013 + progress to date = Ruth is interviewing AP clerks, managers and vendors and will report findings and recommendations to the committee.  Ruth will explore options on how to improve process based on findings.
  • Milestone Activity #2 – Ruth will report back to BPA committee findings and recommendations + deadline Wednesday, February 13, 2013 + progress to date = pending completion of Activity #1

Business Process Assessment Project Projections

Business Process Assessment Project Projections help companies achieve their goals and lower operating costs by helping to manage and prioritize multiple projects by department.  Project projections also help to ensure the proper resources of time (by role) and anticipated budget are allocated appropriately.  

  • Project Projection = Projected project cost + individual task total cost + expended costs to date + balance to complete + pending costs + anticipated hurdles or delays to completion
  • EXAMPLE:  Objective - Accounts Payable Department wants to improve check writing procedures to vendors.  Owner - Ruth (our AP department BPA committee leader) has completed her milestone activities for project and has reported her findings and recommendations to the committee. Ruth has prioritized the next steps on how to improve the AP department check writing and approval process. Based on the committee approval and prioritization, it is determined that the check writing and approval process should be improved. 
  • Project Projection #1 - Ruth estimates that it will take her 2-3 days to explore recommendations for improvement to the current process + this will take her away from her normal duties which will require overtime pay or an AP clerk temp will be hired while Sally the AP clerk backs Ruth up + $1,200 is allocated to hire a temp or pay for Ruth’s overtime + pending costs will be tracked + Ruth may need to purchase an ERP system add-on or total system change to automate process =  1 week is the goal for Project Projection #1  completion
  • Project Projection #2 – Ruth determines that the check writing and approval process is wasting the department’s time totaling 10 hours per week with their current manual process and Ruth is exploring ERP software check writing and approval enhancement options that will integrate with their Sage 100 ERP software system. + Ruth will take 1 day to explore options and review estimated costs + pending costs TBD ($2,000 to $4,000 is estimate for ERP enhancement add-on) = ERP enhancement for Sage 100 ERP software recommendation will be presented to committee in 1 week

Project Projections help organize the costs and success of each individual activity for each department in your organization.

You may have heard the saying, “It is wise to begin with the end in mind.”   If you don’t have a clear and defined destination from a leadership perspective and within the leaders of each department, it is very hard to have the whole team rowing with you in the same direction.  Your milestones and project projections will serve as a guide to measure where priorities fall within each department.  Working to develop a Business Process Assessment and culture within your organization will help your business improve how it works together to facilitate change and continue to evolve as a high performing and profitable business.  Working at all levels of your business through department committee leaders will enable leadership and accountability for results throughout your organization.  

 Contact us to learn more about our free 30 minute ERP software needs assessment.

Tags: MAS 200, MAS 90, Sage 100 ERP. Sage 100 ERP Accounting System, Business Process Assessment, Sage Needs Assessment, MAS 90 Needs Assessment, MAS 200 Needs Assessment

4 Easy Ways to Create a Sage 100 ERP Invoice from Sales Order Entry

Posted by Adrian Montgomery on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 @ 04:48 PM

Sage 100 ERP PartnerQuestion:  How exactly is a Sage 100 ERP (formerly MAS 90, MAS 200) invoice created? 

Answer:  A Sage 100 ERP invoice can be generated in one of four ways.

Generally we will have an order placed in Sage 100 ERP either by the phone, imported or keyed-in.  Let's assume someone calls in and orders something, we take the order number, the order date, we'll create a Sage 100 ERP customer or choose an existing customer.  We enter a PO number if one is supplied, we apply a ship date, denote what warehouse it ships from, we assign the sales tax class, terms of payment, ship method and who placed the order.  Then we assign the product items to the order.  Once we assign the items to the order the tax is applied and the shipping is added if applicable.

4 Ways to Create a Sage 100 ERP Invoice

  1. The simplest way to create an invoice is to go directly into Sage 100 ERP invoice data entry and invoice the sales order
  2. Another way to turn a Sage 100 ERP sales order into an invoice is to communicate to the shipping department to ship the product.  Once the shipping occurs accounting can create the invoice to send to the customer.  
  3. Another way to create a Sage 100 ERP invoice is to come directly into shipping data entry and the shipping department can indicate what items on the sales order were shipped.  This automatically creates a Sage 100 ERP invoice.
  4. Another way to create a Sage 100 ERP invoice is to auto generate the invoice.  When we use the auto generate invoice feature we can invoice one or many sales orders at a time.

Please watch our short video tutorial demonstrating all 4 ways to create a Sage 100 ERP invoice from sales order entry.

 

Tags: MAS 200, MAS 90, Sage 100 ERP, Sage 100 ERP Sales Order, Sage 100 ERP Invoice

Is it possible to automate Sage 100 ERP sales order entry?

Posted by Adrian Montgomery on Tue, Sep 04, 2012 @ 01:49 PM
Data Entry Work From Home

Does your business consume valuable employee resources keying in orders? 

If so, consider two alternatives to this practice. 

One:  Set-up a Sage 100 ERP integrated e-commerce website that integrates the orders back into Sage 100 ERP.  Not only will you save time not entering orders, but you could also have invoice history on the site.  Customers can view their invoices online thereby culling down the customer inquiry phone call to your business. 

And two:  use EDI services with customers that are EDI-compliant.  This practice also integrates into Sage 100 order entry.  Now your valuable employee time can be spend adjusting and approving orders contracting your order processing time and making your business more profitable!  

Tags: MAS 200, MAS 90, Sage 100 ERP, Accounting System, Sage 100 Sales Order Entry, Accounting Software

Six Common Accounting System Selection Mistakes

Posted by Adrian Montgomery on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 @ 02:19 PM
Accounting Systems

Selecting an accounting system is no small task.  There are so many accounting systems available which one is right for your company?  Today we'll discuss common accounting system selection mistakes and how to avoid them.

Accounting Systems Selection Mistake #1:  Failure to establish a solid technology project management committee.  Establish a manageable technology project management committee where each company department is represented.  It is important the needs of every part of the company are considered.  Try to keep this team under 7 members.

Accounting Systems Selection Mistake #2:  Failure to perform a detailed needs assessment with a qualified local accounting systems expert. Needs assessments can reveal performance needs, instrumental needs, conscious needs, unconscious needs, organizational needs, individual needs and causes for needs.

Accounting Systems Selection Mistake #3:  Failure to develop a comprehensive business process assessment.  This process documents the measurement and assessment of the existing business processes.  This can come in the form of a checklist defining a weighted value of importance to the individual business processes critical to the company.

Accounting Systems Selection Mistake #4:  Failure to define your milestone and budget projections.  It is important for the technology project management committee to prepare a project time line and prelimminary budget.

Accounting Systems Selection Mistake #5:  Buy on emotion instead of fact.  Everyone has opinions.  It is important to make a rational fact based decision based on your needs assessment and business process assessments.

Accounting Systems Selection Mistake #6:  Too much focus on the ERP initiatives and lack of focus on other important business initiatives.

According to a 2011 study conducted by Panorama Consulting Solutions titled: ERP Failures and Lawsuits: It's Not Just For the Tier 1 ERP Vendors, ERP failures for Tier II and Tier III ERP implementations are just as likely to fail as Tier 1 implementations from SAP or Oracle.  The reasons for failure can be related to employees having trouble acclimating to the new system, versus malfunctions in the software itself.  So the goal is simple:  choose the right local accounting systems expert and the right accounting system by matching company needs to the software capabilities and including every department in the fact-based decision making step-by-step accounting systems selection process.

Picture available on Hiking Artists.com Flickr photostream

Tags: MAS 90 and MAS 200, Sage Software, MAS 200, Sage 100 ERP, Sage 100, Accounting Systems, Accounting System, ERP System, Accounting System Consultant

Sage CRM Sage 100 ERP: How to Manage Contacts

Posted by Adrian Montgomery on Thu, Jun 07, 2012 @ 11:57 AM

Sage CRMWe are excited to announce our new video on Sage CRM Sage 100 ERP highlighting how to manage contacts and more...

 

 

  • How do I add contacts in Sage CRM?
  • How do I send a mass email to a group of contacts in Sage CRM?
  • How can I see Sage 100 ERP contacts displayed in Sage CRM?
  • How can I select a group of contacts to be reflected in Sage CRM?

Watch our quick video overview to learn more!

 

Tags: Sage Software, MAS 200, MAS 90, Sage CRM, Sage 100 ERP, Accounting Systems

Sage CRM Sage 100 ERP Calendar View and Task Management

Posted by Adrian Montgomery on Wed, May 30, 2012 @ 07:35 PM

Question:  Does Sage CRM sync with Microsoft Outlook or other calendar management applications?

Sage CRMSage CRM and Microsoft Outlook is completely integrated no matter where you start your task or appointment.  The information is a bi-directional sync so wherever the appointments are set-up they are synced with the other integrated application.  Bring over the contacts you need to view from Sage 100 ERP.  Book meeting rooms, assign people and resources to activities.  Manage employees by monitoring activity completion.  Set notification s management if tasks are not accomplished within the time specified.  View and notify managment of incomplete tasks.

Please watch Sage CRM's powerful calendar and task management by capabilities in the short video below:

Tags: MAS 90 and MAS 200, Sage Software, MAS 200, MAS 90, Sage Products, Sage CRM, Sage 100 ERP, Sage 100

Sage CRM Sage 100 ERP: Dashboard View Accountants Perspective

Posted by Adrian Montgomery on Fri, May 25, 2012 @ 01:54 PM


Question:  How do I set-up my Sage CRM dashboard to reflect the data I need from Sage 100 ERP (formerly MAS 90 MAS 200)?

Sage CRM

  • The purpose of the Sage CRM dashboard is for the user to get to all the information they access most frequently all in one spot.
  • You can have any of your Sage 100 ERP information displayed from the Sage CRM dashboard
  • Each Sage CRM user has their own dashboard view configured on a user by user permission basis.  Step-by-step instructions are provided.
  • Sage CRM users can access social media information of each contact in their database if a social media profile exists.

Please view our complimentary Sage CRM Sage 100 ERP accountants perspective demonstration:

 

Tags: Sage Software, MAS 200, MAS 90, Sage CRM, Sage 100 ERP, Sage CRM Dashboard, SageCRM

Sage Products Rebranding: Goodbye MAS 90, Hello Sage 100 ERP

Posted by Adrian Montgomery on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 @ 03:38 PM

Sage Products

Sage Software is rebranding products to focus on the Sage brand.  Classic Sage products names i.e. Peachtree, Accpac, Abra, MAS 90, MAS 200, MAS 500, Master Builder, Simply Accounting, and Timberline will no longer be used.  These historic well known brand names will be disposed by 2013 in favor of a new numbering Sage product brand based on market segment.  Please find a complete list of the current/former names and the new name to replace them here:  Sage Products Name Grid

This is no doubt an ambitious rebranding strategy that will work out in the long run for Sage products.  For example, it is my experience exhibiting in a MAS 90, MAS 200 booth at several vertical industry related tradeshows the attendees often don't recognize the MAS 90 or MAS 200 name, but do recognize the SAP booth or Epicor booth in close proximity. 

Sage has tried for a long time to get brand recognition in the US for the Sage name.  U.S. products like Peachtree, Accpac, Abra, MAS 90, MAS 200, Timberline, and Master Builder do have brand recognition without the Sage association.  I believe this rebranding strategy will go a long way in the minds of our customers and future prospective customers.  Hopefully this Sage numbering standardization  brand strategy to leverage the universal Sage name accross all brands will transcend the Sage brand association and increase awareness resulting in growing market share.  I also hope the warm and fuzzy Peachtree association will maintain it's peachy appeal as Sage 50 U.S. edition replaces the brand.

I am looking forward to a prosperous future marketing Sage 100 ERP, formally MAS 90 MAS 200.

Tags: MAS 90 and MAS 200, MAS 90 Shipping Software, MAS 200, MAS 90, MAS 90 EDI, MAS 200 EDI, Sage Products, Sage CRM