by gfcpartners | Jan 24, 2023 | Business, Manufacturing & Distribution
QuickBooks is widely recognized as an accounting software that supports small businesses with managing accounts, inventory, payroll, taxes, expenses, and budgeting. For companies starting out, deploying QuickBooks is a good first step towards operational improvement. But there comes a point in each expanding company’s journey where QuickBooks doesn’t support the changing needs of the organization. Perhaps it’s an increase in manual processes and offline spreadsheets to track information outside of QuickBooks. It could be the need to add third-party software to handle repetitive tasks that QuickBooks is lacking. Maybe the data needed to make decisions isn’t available from QuickBooks. Or, reports aren’t actionable, with a snapshot of the past rather than a real-time view into your operation.
Additionally, many construction or project-based small businesses require more than QuickBooks to meet their needs right off the bat. We’ve worked with construction companies who have found QuickBooks hindered their operations due to the lack of project-based accounting features, field service, and payroll capabilities.
Our clients have often come to us frustrated with the limitations of QuickBooks, including:
- Limited functionality for job costing and progress billing.
- Inadequate reporting capabilities for tracking project expenses and profitability.
- Difficulty in tracking change orders and managing subcontractor invoicing.
- Lack of integration with scheduling and estimating programs.
- Limited support for multi-currency transactions and foreign currency exchanges.
- Difficulty in tracking retainage and progress payments.
- Limited ability to handle complex job-costing and inventory management.
- Inability to handle complex union compliance and certified payroll requirements.
- Limited ability to track and manage equipment and asset management.
- Limited support for construction-specific tax regulations.
If you’re using QuickBooks now and experiencing any of these frustrations, read how Acumatica, the Cloud ERP construction solution is helping construction companies solve issues and grow.
Compare QuickBooks to Acumatica for accurate project-accounting and construction software.
The pressure to stay up to date on current projects has been a thorn in the side of many contractors. Poor communication has derailed countless construction projects, causing them to finish late and over budget. Acumatica’s cloud ERP software tailored to the construction industry has advantages that QuickBooks does not. Here are a few:
- Real-time access to project data from anywhere, on any device.
- Modern accounting features can help you streamline and automate Accounts Payable workflows, such as entering invoices and obtaining approval for payments. Additionally, it provides real-time project costs related to labor, materials and equipment.
- Project Management allows both office and field teams to access current information from a central, streamlined system, improving field-to-office communication.
- Reduced response times with instant notifications and message alerts.
- Robust document storage – view and store important documentation such as RFIs, jobsite progress photos, and project issues.
- Ensure adherence to regulations by processing waivers, certificates, and status changes quickly. Additionally, create alerts for staff and vendors about expiration dates and other essential data.
- Customer Management offers real-time customer activity management (e.g. contacts, quotes, orders, invoices, payments, support cases and service calls) as well as a customer self-service portal.
- Adaptable workflows to automate, control and increase the efficiency of accounting and back-office processes.
- Thorough and up-to-date reports that keep you informed about the progress of each project.
- Comprehensive view of your business with Role-based Dashboards.
- Comprehensive Connections: Link with popular construction applications.
- Unlimited users.
Switching from QuickBooks to Acumatica Cloud ERP: A Big Change, But Worth It
When you look at the pros and cons, you realize the benefits that newer technology can bring to your business.
For example, communication – with the right tools, your field teams can complete their construction projects more efficiently allowing you to manage your projects more effectively.
We know that switching the system that you run your business on can seem like a risky, big endeavor. For this reason, partnering with an experienced solution provider is a wise choice. The team at GFC knows construction and ERP, and believes that Acumatica for Construction is a right-priced, low-risk solution.
Let us show you how a modern solution can give you the tools you need to grow your business, keep projects running smoothly, make your customers happy, and turn a reliable profit.
Read more about 5 Benefits of Cloud Construction Management and then give us a call to discuss your unique business needs.
Construction firms can no longer stay competitive by relying on paper-based processes, manual workflows, and an endless barrage of emails. Smart, forward-thinking firms are moving their businesses to the cloud. With cloud-based solutions, they’re finding the powerful communication tools and automated workflows they need to maximize the profitability of every project.
Don’t get left behind on yesterday’s technology. Take the first step towards a better bottom line today.
by gfcpartners | Jan 10, 2023 | Business, Manufacturing & Distribution
Technology has made powerful, flexible measurement systems with KPI capability both affordable and user-driven.
“KPIs are a standard business management tool that is becoming both more powerful and at the same time easier to use thanks to packaged Business Intelligence and Executive Information Systems applications that are part of a comprehensive back office software system.”
Every kind of manufacturing company, in all industry segments including automotive, food and beverage, health and beauty, electronics, industrial machines, metal fabrication, plastics, etc., rely on measurements to monitor business activities and performance, document successes and challenges, and help direct management decision-making.
Of course, while we measure a number of parameters simply to comply with mandatory accounting and reporting requirements, smart management will incorporate those measurements into valuable intelligence that helps run the business more effectively and more efficiently.
“KPIs are a standard business management tool that is becoming both more powerful and at the same time easier to use thanks to packaged Business Intelligence and Executive Information Systems applications that are part of a comprehensive back-office software system.”
Download this free whitepaper from Acumatica and learn:
- What is a key performance indicator
- Types of KPIs and those specific to manufacturing
- How to use and reap the benefits of KPIs
- Ongoing KPI maintenance including adjustments and expansions
- anytime, anywhere.
Historical and Predictive KPIs – Which Should You Use?
There are two basic types of KPIs. First, ones that tell you where your business has been and where you are headed. The other, shows you the overall health of your business.
Historical KPIs allow you to easily measure past activity, and showcase where your business will likely go in the future based on that history. They can be set up with alerts and warnings to monitor and detect exceptions, based on historical data, and call attention to issues. These systems can even alert you via email or text.
The second type of KPIs are predictive. These can provide multiple lines of insight into where your business could go in the future. By utilizing all your business data, predictive KPIs can help you make better decisions for your business. In other words, predictive metrics don’t rely on the experience of previous tasks. These metrics show future results according to which the optimal production scenario for the whole factory is made evident. For example, when production runs smoothly, peripheral departments such as sales, supply chain management, etc. are affected positively, as their value-added activities are conducted in alignment with the shop floor.
As performance indicators of the future, Predictive KPIs usually contain information around:
- Inventory – Total inventory value, raw material inventory, WIP inventory, finished goods material value, and others
- Resources – Productivity, OEE, manufacturing time, setup time, capacity load and others
- Products and Customers – Production quantity, manufacturing cost, contribution margin, profitability, and others
- Orders – Earnings, profit, profit ratio, cumulative employee costs, cumulative total costs, and others
One thing to note, you want to make sure your predictive KPIs exist for the entire planning period as well as pre-determined shorter planning periods. This forms an important pillar for making effective management decisions in every case, which is the reason that every manufacturing company today requires an end-to-end planning solution.
Example KPIs for Manufacturing
Plan vs. Actual Hours & Cost
This KPI compares different areas of the shop, different processes, and different products. By keeping a close eye on these metrics, you get an indication of how effectively your business is operating and how to improve overall results.
Utilization & Capacity
The ability to plan optimum utilization of resources is key to a lean shop. Resource load balancing can help save on costs and improve on-time products, reduce overtime and expediting costs, and improve on deliver promise dates. Utilization and capacity KPIs, also referred to as Work Center Dispatch KPIs, can easily be modified to fit your business so you’ll always know what each center is working on and what’s in the queue for completion.
This metric is a little bit more granular but offers better insight into workflows and resource utilization. Many manufacturers use this as a starting point for defining a display of released orders in the plant and the current location and status of each. By using this production schedule KPI and the work center dispatch KPI, you can easily see the overall status of each work center and schedule across your departments or the entire shop.
Profitability by Customer by Category by Item
We all know that not all customers are created equally. Some of them are highly profitable and others might cost your company money. And this is true for products too. It’s wise to review profitability of both customers and products on a regular basis. This example of Sales and Profitability by Item Class and Item gives you plenty of data to better understand your business.
KPIs may have originated in large, complex organizations but their value us universally recognized, and technology has made powerful, flexible measurement systems with KPI capability both affordable and user-driven so smaller organizations can benefit as well.
Many KPIs are historical in nature, focused on summarization, presentation, and analysis of data commonly found in manufacturing management systems. User-managed alerts and alarms highlight activities and business areas that need attention, relieving busy managers from the need to pore over endless reports and screens. Built-in tools enable fast, intensive analysis to get to the heart of the problem and make sound, informed decisions.
If you need better insight into your manufacturing business, talk to GaleForce. We have the experts you need and solutions to match your unique business and pricepoint. ERP solutions have evolved immensely over the past years and enterprise level features like KPIs are readily available for SMB level businesses. Let’s talk. Contact us today.
by gfcpartners | Dec 21, 2022 | Business
If we’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s to never know what to expect. The almost overnight redesign of our world from the pandemic, stressed the need for businesses to be quick and flexible. Now, business leaders everywhere are faced with many issues to keep their businesses competitive and growing.
- Fast-changing customer demands
- Inventory surplus of deficit
- A fast pace of keeping up with competitors
- Expanding products and markets
Anything is possible and you have to quickly adjust.
What technologies do you use to keep your business future-proofed? What does that really mean and how can you take advantage of the benefits too?
The main goal of any company is financial stability. Creating a multifaceted future-proofing strategy will increase your chances as your business works to establish the foundation for ongoing success. By doing so, you’ll be able to tackle problems in the future from various perspectives and have the highest chance of succeeding.
Many businesses also implement cutting-edge structural elements and procedures, such as a modern ERP solution to run their business on. You have a better chance of succeeding if you have protocols ready to address different scenarios and spend money on formal evaluations of your processes as your business prepares for the future to understand your strengths and limitations. By investing in a true ERP solution, like Acumatica, you can strengthen your processes, automate procedures, and then focus on your weaker areas.
It’s all about how Acumatica listens to you and how quickly they respond. They really do want to hear from users to understand our business processes so they can incorporate new features and enhancements to make things even easier. It’s just amazing!
Kelly Burns, ERP Developer & former Chief Operating Officer , M3 Technology Group
When discussing future-proofing ideas, keep these 5 things in mind.
1. Comprehensive features
Top ERP solutions provide all-encompassing answers to your business problems. From planning, budgeting, purchasing, to financial operations, you have all the information you need in a structure that will meet every demand. Don’t outgrow your new ERP solution. Make sure it meets your evolving needs without expensive upgrade, fees, and integrations.
2. Structural changes
Future-proof your business by making sure you don’t create huge IT projects if your company undergoes structural changes. For example, you may decide it’s better to run your warehouse as a separate corporate entity, or that the branch office in another state should be a wholly owned LLC. Acumatica offers flexible, multi-entity accounting functions that make structural changes simple.
Alternatively, internal organizational changes are common, but without the right tools, they can be disruptive. A full ERP solution can ease the transition and help automate things like, approvals over expenditures, contracts, and so forth. With Acumatica, you can modify user roles to reflect reporting relationships and approval authorities.
3. Evolving processes
Businesses are constantly improving and changing their processes. Whether to adjust to economic impacts or internal variables, but this should not trigger a major software update. Choosing a modern ERP solution, gives you the ability to modify automated workflows—including being able to integrate with separate systems. Using standards-based APIs, you can connect to external partners easily.
4. Reporting is the key to success
Choosing an ERP solution to provide you endless, flexible analytics seems like a no-brainer. But the problem is, you probably have no idea what you will need in the future. Many systems have key reporting tools and visual dashboards, but you want to invest in a product that is putting development into this area as well. This way you are assured that you can make and remake your reports and dashboards as they change over time.
5. Changes in IT
Legacy ERP systems are notorious for creating obsolete software/hardware environments. Even when the core functionality is still relevant to the business, the underlying infrastructure can become slow and costly to maintain. It can be very expensive to upgrade. Acumatica solves this problem by being cloud-based and cloud-native. You never have to worry about outgrowing your systems. It scales elastically on demand.
The future may be hard to predict, but Galeforce Consulting Partners can help future-proof your business, starting with an ERP solution. With Acumatica, the cloud ERP, upcoming changes are easy to handle and ensure a smooth transition to unknown future states. Contact us to discuss your business needs.
Download our free whitepaper on how to deliver lasting value through the right ERP solution.
by gfcpartners | Nov 14, 2022 | Business, Construction, Project Accounting
Acumatica, the cloud ERP solution helps to keep projects on track and drive business growth. Not only is Acumatica a powerful business platform but they are committed to consistent user enhancements and improvements with each version. The two releases in 2022 did not disappoint. We’ve gathered our favorites all in one place below.
“Acumatica Construction Edition had everything we were looking for. We are different from a regular construction contractor and liked that we could add our own specialty fields and customize it to the way we do business.”
Sean Barnett, Chief Financial Officer, Spohn Associates
Acumatica 2022 R1
Support of Multiple Base Currencies in Projects – Acumatica’s powerful multiple base currencies feature is now compatible with projects. Businesses with different base currencies can be configured withing the same tenant and the system verifies that the base currency specified in the project documents corresponds to the base currency of the branch.
Enhancements in Tracking Changes to Commitments – now users can track changes to project commitments that have been created based on purchase orders for the project drop-ship orders.
Project Quote Improvements – enhancements have been made to the quoting process making it faster and easier for users to create project quotes for multiple customers related to the same opportunity. You can now change the business account, location, and contact in any project quote in draft status.
Additionally, you can link the project quotes to the same opportunity as shown here.
Progress Billing Based on Quantity – Acumatica added in some needed billing flexibility for projects. In Acumatica 2022 R1, invoices can now be prepared based on pending quantities from budget lines rather than only the billed amount.
Project-Specific Taxes – calculating taxes for project sites just became a lot easier. Many times, the tax zone of the vendor or customer differs from the project site location. Now, Acumatica can be configured to use project-specific tax zones for calculating taxes and defining the ship-to addresses for projects.
Acumatica 2022 R2
Tracking Project Progress by Unit – Acumatica 2022 R2 now includes a new form, Progress Worksheet, for employees on a site to capture project activities by units and track the installation or project progress. Additionally, if specified, users can add cost budget lines. This information satisfies needed quantity billing and carries over into recalculations of the project budgets and shows on the daily field reports.
Enhancements in Change Management – Acumatica has simplified the workflow when change requests are rejected or need to be revised and resubmitted by adding the ability to cancel a change order but keeping the full history. For example, if we did not get paid for something, we can go in and cancel the change order and any change requests tide to it will get updated and removed from that change order when we release it. We keep the history of the change request but can now revise and resubmit the change order and can always go back and look at the full audit trail of a change order.
Mobile App Improvements – much needed project features are now accessible via the mobile app giving project managers and field workers the information and flexibility they need. Now included, users can view, create, and update drawing logs and submittals on their mobile device. Additionally, in a managed release version, you can also annotate blueprints.
Integrations for Construction Financial Management Association – Acumatica 2022 R2 now includes automation for submitting information to the CFMA bench marker. Not only can you easily submit data, but Acumatica has a pre-built dashboard with the results of the annual surveys so you can compare how you are doing to your peers.
If you’re a construction or project-related business and need a full-feature ERP solution, or you’re thinking about upgrading your Acumatica ERP solution, now is the time. Talk to our experts about your options. Let’s grow your business!
by gfcpartners | Oct 13, 2022 | Project Accounting
Project accounting can be complicated. Project-based organizations, such as engineering and construction firms, marketing companies, consultants, and law firms have distinct requirements, and they need to view their business in three dimensions: accounts, organizations (departments or business units), and projects. It’s the project piece that can make it complicated because you have to manually tie projects and project data into all your other systems.
“Acumatica works perfectly. It handles project accounting, cash flow, project monitoring; but Acumatica is not just confined to project-based operations. Other departments like sales and marketing love it as well.” Elizabeth Barratt, Manager: Project Excellence, Ask Afrika
If you are struggling with processes related to your project-based business, it’s time to look at a truly integrated project accounting ERP solution. Project-based ERP is a form of enterprise resource planning that is specifically designed to meet the needs of a project-based business like yours. It helps you manage everything from budgets, project tasks, billing, to reporting so you can easily identify, win, and deliver successful projects time and time again.
What is a Project-based ERP Solution?
Project-based ERP solutions leverage project management practices and features, providing a holistic view into processes, KPIs and other important metrics, project by project. It also streamlines the flow of project information from an opportunity to a quote, to a sales order, and on to a customer invoice, from a purchase order, to an accounts payable bill, resulting in expenses and inventory transactions that culminate in entries in the general ledger and project modules. The result, for decision makers throughout the organization, is timely, accurate insights at their fingertips.
In addition, project-based ERP systems, like Acumatica Project Accounting, allow for managing budgeting, inventory, change orders, time sheets, billing, and reporting all based on project data which can involve multiple employees, tasks, and materials. It then seamlessly integrates your project information with the General Ledger, Accounts Payable (AP), Accounts Receivable (AR), Sales Order Management, Purchase Order Management, Inventory Management, and more. All of this is also available on any browser, and any web-enabled device, giving your remote employees access to keep projects up-to-date in the field or at client sites.
Look what Acumatica Project Accounting can do for you. Download this free guide, Project Accounting Guide for Professional Services and learn more.
Features of Acumatica Project Accounting
TRACK PROJECTS AND COSTS
- Gain a complete view of projects, including costs for materials, labor, services, and inventory features.
INVOICE WITH CONFIDENCE
- Vary billing rates by type of work, employee, customer, or specific project.
- Recognize revenue based on completion percentage or task progress.
GET CONTROL OF BUDGETS
- Enable remote employees, installers, contractors, and others to submit work orders and timesheets from any browser-enabled device.
- Enter project transactions in different currencies and maintain projects in both the base currency and the project currency.
- Review actual revenues and costs, committed costs in the project currency, and present customer costs in the customer’s currency.
- Companies within the same tenant can have different fiscal year-end dates. This is crucial for companies that share vendors, stock items, and employees.
- Company-specific financial periods are defined for each branch location.
- Manage tasks and resources with less error.
- Automate processes to assign bill rates, project managers, machines, and more.
- Define workflows and approvals for the client and change requests with full audit control.
Companies need tools that offer a high level of control from an accounting perspective plus the flexibility required to manage projects of all kinds. By managing projects and functions in a single platform, project-based ERP systems are able to gather and analyze data for projects with regards to the accounting system to give you and stakeholders the critical business information needed to operate and manage their business.
Clearly, it is a daunting task to select a Project Accounting solution that meets the needs of both accountants and project managers while also serving the business’ current and evolving needs. Contact us today and let us show you how a true project accounting ERP solution can help your business.