Integrated ERP: Creating a Shared Service Center and Improving Cash Flow

Integrated ERP: Creating a Shared Service Center and Improving Cash Flow

“The ability to manage the flow of money is one of the oldest and most fundamental requirements for any business.” These words, used by leading analyst firm IDC to introduce the challenges that businesses face and the potential that ERP has for organizations, lead into an in-depth report on the path to digital transformation at growing businesses.

IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Cloud and SaaS ERP Accounts Receivables and Accounts Payables Applications 2018–2019 Vendor Assessment is the most recent report from IDC, exploring the value of accounts payable and receivable functionality in ERP software and comparing eleven vendors for their ability to provide what end users need.

Identifying trends and comparing vendors, the report highlights the importance of embracing change, leveraging technology, and improving processes, discussing the role of ERP in digital transformation. Today, we would like to explore how the business landscape is changing and the path to transformation through smarter ERP.

The Path to Digital Transformation

Digital transformation (DX) is fundamentally changing financial applications, allowing businesses to transform their decision making, which is enhancing their business outcomes significantly in the digital economy.

More than a technological change, more than a cultural change, the road to digital transformation is one that can position businesses for growth in the new economy. According to IDC, businesses who have embraced this mindset have a repeatable set of practices and disciplines used to leverage new business, 3rd Platform technology, and operating models to disrupt businesses, customers, and markets in pursuit of business performance and growth.

Digital Transformation Starts in the Cloud

While there are many drivers behind digital transformation, much of this process starts when businesses leverage cloud computing to replace antiquated legacy systems. Offering agile, flexible, and functional applications, cloud business management tools are easy to implement, configure, and update—and demand continues to rise.

This has created a landscape of innovation across vendors, and businesses now have many options that can fit unique needs. Better yet, with easy updates, businesses now can find themselves in new markets, knowing the software is adaptable enough to handle dynamic and ever-changing regulatory, taxation, and reporting environments.

Creating Alignment in AP/AR

As we discussed in our ERP functionality series posts on Accounts Payable, Cash Management, and Accounts Receivable, integration and automation is a necessity for each module. IDC notes that technology has allowed businesses to reshape and realign the accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) functions and shared service center business processes.

This area, an exceedingly traditional process in the accounting world, has seen a lot of change due to the technological advancements, which have promised ways to break down silos, integrate systems, and reduce manual processes.

ERP Bringing the AP/AR Process Forward

With modern ERP functionality continuing to change the way organizations operate, AR and AP workflows are quickly changing as part of digital transformation initiatives. Powered by ERP, these processes have moved from serialized processes to holistic workflows that provide continuous and highly visible audit processes.

This is the reason IDC released the report—to provide potential software customers with a list of ERP companies that have taken great strides in AR and AP functional areas. We have profiled and assessed their capabilities to support the complicated areas of accounts receivable and accounts payable.

Acumatica Named Major Player in IDC AP/AR Applications Vendor Assessment

In the report, IDC analyzes 11 ERP vendors for their ability to design and deliver effective AR and AP functionality within their ecosystem, finding Acumatica to be a Major Player on the cusp of being a leader.

Noting the company’s innovation, IDC discussed Acumatica’s continued investment in machine learning, natural language processing, and mobile technology, features that allow customers more access and flexibility in AP/AR. Further, with Acumatica’s unique industry focuses, IDC lauded the company’s industry editions, each growing in size and scope.

Get the Report Now

In “IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Cloud and SaaS ERP Accounts Receivables and Accounts Payables Applications 2018–2019 Vendor Assessment,” you’ll learn:

  • How digital transformation is driving change for ERP accounting
  • Three key accounting challenges that cloud technology is helping to solve.
  • IDC’s exclusive advice for technology buyers.
  • The strengths and weaknesses of 11 potential vendors.
  • 17 tough questions to ask yourself before making any purchase decision.

Download the entire report free, courtesy of our friends at Acumatica.

IBG: Your Partner for Innovation

At Integrated Business Group, our clients turn to us for our experience and innovation in delivering feature rich and functional Acumatica Cloud ERP, as well as leading Microsoft Dynamics options for growing businesses. With over three decades of experience in the ERP implementation industry, our team has the skills and knowledge to deliver what you need when you need it.

Learn more about our work, our satisfied customers, and contact us for more information about your next steps.

Looking for FRx Replacements? New Webinar Explores Powerful Budgeting and Reporting Alternatives

Looking for FRx Replacements? New Webinar Explores Powerful Budgeting and Reporting Alternatives

FRx had a good run. Released as an MS-DOS application in 1991 and a Windows product in 1993, the product changed the way that companies completed reporting, offering powerful functionality at the time and much-needed intelligence. Acquired by Great Plains Software, who was in turn acquired by Microsoft, this reporting tool spent decades in the spotlight as the go-to application for reporting.

However, time passed and the competitive market evolved; by the end of the 2000s, FRx was no longer atop the reporting world and Microsoft announced that it would no longer offer new licenses for the product. Dynamics GP 2010 saw Management Reporter introduced as a replacement for FRx, a powerful alternative to an aging product. The beginning of the end for FRx was announced in 2010 and by December 2012, FRx sold its last license.

15 Minutes of Fame for Management Reporter

On December 31, 2012, Microsoft terminated support for FRx, marking the official transition to Management Reporter. The switch from the familiar FRx to the new MR platform was cause for concern at some organizations—long-time users of FRx lost the familiar Excel interface for a proprietary one and lost some small-but-unique features. In GP 2013, 2015, and 2016, MR was the stock application for reporting, but this all changed in 2016. Announced privately at Amplify 2016 and publicly a week later, Microsoft informed the world that there would be “no major enhancements” to Management Reporter.

While still supported until 2026 and available to integrate with Dynamics GP 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2018 (along with other Dynamics products), eight years is a long time to go without an improvement.

What’s Next? Modern Planning and Budgeting with Jet Global: October 30, 2018

With six years having passed since the last FRx license was sold and two since the last major Management Reporter update, many users are wondering what’s next for their budgeting and planning.

If you’re asking this exact question as you enter planning season, join Integrated Business Group and Jet Global Data Technologies for a brief one-hour webinar on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 11:00 AM EST. Click here to register or read more below.

In this webinar, technology experts will discuss the challenges of working with the no-longer supported Microsoft FRx reporting tool and no-longer updated Management Reporter, introducing two powerful budgeting and reporting solutions— Jet Reports and Jet Budgets.

Jet Reports

Imagine a familiar Excel-based interface, but smarter. If you miss the “good old days” of FRx (or are still using it) but are looking for a reporting platform that’s not only more powerful but provides continued support and updates, Jet Reports Professional provides both. With Jet Reports Professional, you receive fast, flexible financial and business reporting within Excel, giving team members access to advanced, accurate, and automated reporting data in a familiar interface.

The October 30 webinar will discuss Jet Reports functionality as the ideal replacement for FRx—providing a Dynamics-friendly reporting tool used by more than 14,000 companies.

Jet Budgets

Budgeting has always been a blind spot in ERP software. This isn’t a Dynamics-exclusive issue; few ERP platforms have the budgeting functionality needed by today’s business. Between design, collaboration, approvals and execution – there are numerous moving parts to the budgeting process that are often impossible to control. Unfortunately, this results in a chaotic, time consuming, and inaccurate approach to budgeting filled with email chains, inconsistencies, and animosity across the company.

Jet Budgets was designed specifically for Microsoft Dynamics and gives companies the power to control and streamline the budgeting process with a simple, adaptable, and easy-to-use fiscal planning solution. With automated workflows and an intuitive design, Jet Budgets allows organizations to cut their budgeting time in half, ensure consistency in the planning process, and fit an organization’s unique processes.

Take Control of Reporting and Budgeting: Join Us on October 30, 2018

From Excel-based reporting to GP-friendly budgeting, companies like yours are considering their next steps as they look to take control of their financial planning and analysis in 2019 and beyond. Join Integrated Business Group and Jet Global Data Technologies on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 11:00 AM EST to learn how Jet Reports Professional and Jet Budgets can be the perfect tool for your reporting and budgeting needs. Click here to Register.