Understanding Acumatica Pricing

Understanding Acumatica Pricing

Acumatica offers web-based applications for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). However, the Acumatica approach to pricing is somewhat different from that of other companies in the ERP space. For this reason, we thought it would be useful to go through Acumatica pricing so you can understand your options and figure out what best fits your business.

What is Acumatica?

Acumatica is a suite of business software applications. In addition to basic ERP, the company offers solutions for financial management, field service management, project accounting, distribution, ecommerce, business intelligence and more. You can license Acumatica software or subscribe to it on a Software as a Service (SaaS) basis. Acumatica SaaS is available via Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. Acumatica solutions can also be deployed on-premises, hosted in your own data center or at a hosting provider of your choice. All of these factors affect the price you pay for the product.

Making Sense of Acumatica Pricing

Unlike most ERP companies, Acumatica does not charge a seat license or a per-seat annual fee. Instead, they provide several licensing options as well as a usage-based pricing model.

Licensing options

Acumatica makes available three software licensing options:

  • SaaS Subscription – With this option, you pay an annual fee based on your usage needs. The installation and maintenance are handled by a dedicated IT organization, such as those employed by AWS.
  • Private Cloud Subscription – The private cloud option lets you pay an annual fee. You are then able to deploy Acumatica in your own on-premises data center or at a hosting provider you select.
  • Private Perpetual License – This is similar to the private cloud model, but it’s a one-time fee for perpetual use. It is the closest Acumatica comes to a traditional enterprise software licensing model.

Acumatica Usage-Based Pricing

Acumatica bases its pricing on your projected resource consumption. This, in turn, is calculated based on the transaction volume you expect to experience along with the software modules you plan to use. The company allows for unlimited users with this usage-based pricing approach. Your business is charged according to the resources it requires to perform the transactions it expects to do. It is possible to increase or decrease the resources load when needed.

Acumatica’s pricing model has incremental tiers. The best practice here is to start with what you currently need to handle expected transaction volumes. Then, you can adjust your resource levels and data storage needs as your business grows, adds users or changes.

Understanding the Full Cost of Acumatica

One thing to keep in mind is that the license or subscription price of Acumatica is not the same as the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for the solution. Other costs can arise in the acquisition process. These might include training and change management costs. The migration from existing, legacy ERP to Acumatica may require a project, with a budget, and so forth. In some of Acumatica’s cloud subscriptions, you might also have license fees for dependent system elements like Microsoft Windows Server with a Microsoft SQL database in the cloud.

Are you interested in learning more about how much you will pay for Acumatica in your business? We have extensive experience helping companies think through their ERP needs and likely usage scenarios. If so, let’s talk.

Additional Acumatica Resources

Solving Nonprofit Accounting Challenges with Acumatica

Making Informed Decisions with the Right ERP

New Features in Acumatica 2019 R1: Exciting Changes Ahead

Solving Nonprofit Accounting Challenges with Acumatica

Solving Nonprofit Accounting Challenges with Acumatica

There’s a myth in the corporate world that running a nonprofit is somehow an easier, lighter lift than managing a “real” business. If anything, the financial management challenges that arise in nonprofits are more intense than what you see in the for-profit sector. Now, special versions of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions like Acumatica are addressing this need with extensive nonprofit financial capabilities.

Why Nonprofits are Challenging, from a Financial Perspective

When you buy a product from a conventional business, you give them your money and get back whatever you ordered. If you’re happy, great. If you’re not pleased, you ask for a refund or a new product. In the nonprofit world, you’re playing by a totally different set of rules.

A nonprofit’s “customers” are its donors. These might be individuals or foundations. Unlike commercial customers, donors usually expect a high level of stewardship for their funds. Often, they want to know exactly how their money was spent. If there’s a problem, you seldom get to give a refund or request a do-over. You’re in trouble.

The government also conducts stringent audits on nonprofits. If a nonprofit is revealed to be engaged in self-dealing with its directors, for example, it can lose its tax-exempt status. For these reasons, accounting in nonprofits must be conducted with great care.

Nonprofit Accounting Functions

The Acumatica Nonprofit Accounting Suite is designed with the unique financial management requirements of a nonprofit in mind. It helps your organization demonstrate a high level of accountability to its donors and show proper stewardship of their funds.

  • Fund Accounting – Acumatica enables you to track revenues that come with purpose restrictions against expenditures made for those purposes. For example, if a foundation specifies that a grant may only spent on scientific research, you have to show that this was how these funds were spent.
  • Restricted Funds Management – Nonprofits are obligated, in legal terms, to honor directives concerning the use of their gifts. Acumatica lets you define and manage how cash is received and expended—without requiring a complicated data entry process.
  • Grant Management – Grant management is sometimes viewed as an activity separate from accounting at a nonprofit. In practice, the two are deeply linked. Acumatica provides the basis to manage, track and report on grants. This can be done even when the grant’s life cycle goes beyond the financial year.
  • Encumbrance Accounting – Acumatica features give you a clear picture of your organization’s true financial condition, taking into consideration the need to reserve funds for future obligations.

Nonprofit Accounting Suite offers nonprofits the ability to verify and validate budgets. Budget problems need to be detected and remediated early. You can implement this capability at set up, determining how and when users will be alerted if they are about to go over budget. The system can also set up approvers for “over budget” items.

What about your Board of Directors? They need to know the financial condition of the nonprofit just as much, or perhaps even more, than anyone else. The Acumatica Board Management Solution gives the board continuous access to relevant data about budgets, staffing, grants, restricted funds and so forth.

Nonprofit accounting doesn’t have to be difficult. With tools like Acumatica, you can stay on top of the unique requirements of nonprofit financial management.

Additional Acumatica Resources

Making Informed Decisions with the Right ERP

Signs You Are Outgrowing Your ERP Solution

New Features in Acumatica 2019 R1: Exciting Changes Ahead

Making Informed Decisions with the Right ERP

Making Informed Decisions with the Right ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions like Acumatica offer a wide range of Business Intelligence (BI) features. BI is a collection of technologies and practices that enable sophisticated analysis of business data. Used right, BI can help managers make informed decisions about their companies.

Understanding BI and Its Relationship with Making Informed Decisions

What does it mean to make an informed business decision? Opinions will vary on this question, of course, but in general an informed decision is one that is made using an abundance of facts. It’s a decision based on relevant, timely information—complete with context. The opposite of an informed decision is “going with your gut” or “shooting from the hip.”

It is possible to make an informed decision without BI. The problem is usually one of timing. With enough people and manual data gathering tools, a manager can assemble the facts he or she needs to make a decision. The difficulty with this approach in today’s business environment is that circumstances may change in the time it takes to get all the data together. Additionally, manual data analysis deprives the manager of the ability to quickly run different decision scenarios.

Example: Deciding When and Where to Liquidate Inventory

Figuring out what to do with excess inventory offers a great example of informed decision making with ERP. With BI, a business manager can create a dynamic dashboard that displays the company’s top products in inventory, sorted by cost and location. If the manager needs cash, this graphic data display shows which location is holding the most inventory. The manager can see which products are in the warehouses.

Using simultaneously-generated reports on seasonal sales predictions, the manager can make an informed decision about which products to sell to raise cash. BI’s accurate presentation of live data gives the manager the ability to avoid selling inventory that would be more profitable to keep on hand.

Example: To Borrow or Not?

Borrowing money is a big decision for most business managers. Taking on debt affects both the balance sheet and the income statement. In the worst case, debt can get a business in trouble. BI gives the manager a maximal amount of data to make an informed decision about borrowing.

For example, a BI tool can provide the manager with a 360-degree view of the business. Relevant operational and financial data appear in dynamic graphs. These might include Accounts Receivables (AR) aging, profit trends, sales pipeline, existing debt load, inventories and existing orders in progress. With all of this information available for assessment, the manager can forecast the impact of debt on the business. He or she can decide how much to borrow, and on what terms.

Example: Evaluating Sales Managers

One of the worst areas of business for “going with your gut” is in the evaluation of employees. With sales managers in particular, data is essential for making an informed decision about their performance. A sales management dashboard gives the manager an accurate, contextual information set for the employee evaluation. It might contain data about sales wins and losses, deal size trend and profitability. This way, the manager can see the “quality” of a sales quarter, i.e. if sales growth is matched by profitability.

Integrated Business Group has expertise with multiple BI solutions across any platform. We will provide advice and consulting to get the right fit for your BI needs. Contact us today to learn about all the Business Intelligence options available for your unique needs.

Signs You Are Outgrowing Your ERP Solution

Signs You Are Outgrowing Your ERP Solution

Growing businesses sometimes find they are outgrowing their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions. It can be a hard thing to notice. After all, for some companies, even just making the decision to implement ERP in the first place was a big deal. Getting it running was a project. Then, though, you start noticing issues with your ERP. It’s not quite doing the job it was originally meant to do. The system might have once been optimal for your business, but now it’s a drag on growth.

You’re Living Through a Series of Tradeoffs

ERP software, like other kinds of business applications, tends to create tradeoffs between functionality and cost. This is generally a good thing. If you’re running a smaller business, you don’t want (and literally could never afford) to implement a massive, highly complex enterprise-scale solution. Instead, you opt for a solution that comes with pre-packaged functions and offers easy setup. All is well until you start to chafe under these tradeoffs.

You Wish the Features Were Better

Feature depth is an area where tradeoffs can become pronounced. For example, a simple ERP solution might let you choose the standard currency for your business. Work in dollars or Euros—but perhaps not both. What if you open a European office and need to run that site in Euros while the rest of the business uses dollars? This could be a sign that you’re outgrowing your ERP. Similarly, your business might need to operate through multiple wholly owned subsidiaries. Not all starter-level ERP solutions enable this capability.

You Can’t Customize Enough

Using preset features is an advantage early on with ERP. Indeed, you can make yourself crazy by trying to sort through too many configuration options. Extensive customization usually means you’ll be working with an outside consultant on ERP implementation. In the starter phase, it’s worth minimizing the overwhelming choices of excessive customization. As you grow, though, you might feel the need to customize ERP. For example, the out-of-the-box purchase order module may not align with the way your growing business wants to manage its procurement. If you can’t customize that module, you’ll start to feel constrained.

It’s a Hassle to Integrate

When you first adopt ERP, you probably don’t want the burden of integrating it with other systems. Then, you’ll reach a moment where you see that your business needs integration. For instance, your evolving workflows might require integration between email and ERP, or between ERP and Customer Resource management (CRM). If your solution either doesn’t offer this kind of integration, or makes it into a big, messy project, you’ve outgrown that system.

Data Analytics Capabilities are Limited

Growing businesses tend to want more sophisticated data analytics capabilities than are available in lower-end ERP solutions. Again, it’s great to have analytics and dashboards out-of-the-box without a lot of work. These pre-packaged analytics tools have limits, however. If you’re wanting to see analysis of data that isn’t available on your ERP solution, you’ve outgrown it.

The Support Could Be Better

ERP users need vendor support from time to time. If you don’t need support, you probably aren’t using your ERP to the utmost. Poor vendor support is a sure sign that you’ve outgrown your ERP solution.

Integrated Business Group assess your ERP needs. To learn more, visit https://www.integratedbusinessgroup.com/acumatica-cloud-erp/

Additional ERP Resources

When You Know It’s Time to Move to the Cloud

How to Get a Full View of Your Business with the Right ERP Solution

What You Should Know Before Choosing an ERP Solution

When You Know It’s Time to Move to the Cloud

When You Know It’s Time to Move to the Cloud

If your business is like most, you’ve already started using cloud computing in your operations. This could be something as simple as swapping out your email server for Office 365 or entrusting CRM to Salesforce.com. More sophisticated and valuable cloud options await you, but is it time to make the move? In our experience, you will reach a moment when you just know it’s time to move to the cloud. Here are some thoughts on making this decision.

(Really) understanding the cloud and what it means to your business

Knowing when to make the move to the cloud requires understanding what the cloud is and what it can do for your business. The cloud doesn’t stand still. What you knew about it even a year or two ago doesn’t describe today’s cloud. Offerings have gotten more sophisticated. They create more value than ever before. Previously, moving business software to the cloud meant having someone who understood how to set up and manage cloud-based systems. This is less and less true. Today’s cloud includes offerings like:

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – where you get software through a web browser, hosted by a cloud provider, e.g. Acumatica for ERP or Salesforce.com
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) – where you get access to prebuilt software platforms like Microsoft Windows Server running in the cloud, ready to be configured for your specific needs
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – where you can build your own systems using cloud-based infrastructure elements like servers and storage arrays
  • Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) – where you can back up and restore your critical systems and data in the cloud

Ready to retire your data center?

One way to know if it’s time to move to the cloud is if you feel ready to retire, or at least reduce your data center costs. These facilities are, as you probably know, expensive to run. They take up space. They require a lot of electricity and air conditioning. They need specialized personnel to manage. You can give that all up if you move to the cloud.

Had enough of hardware, software and support?

Running your own systems on-premises means buying the hardware and software, which is a capital expense (CapEx). Both hardware and software are continually being updated. It’s a never-ending CapEx cycle. With a cloud service, you pay a recurring fee, which is an operating expense (OpEx). The cloud service provider shoulders the CapEx burden.

You also have to support your on-site systems. For systems that have a dedicated client application on the end user’s device, that’s another layer of support you have to provide. IT people are hard to find and replace. Moving to the cloud reduces the need for dedicated IT staff.

Concerned about cyber security?

If you’re not, you should be. Cloud providers usually work on a two-tier security model. They assume responsibility for securing the infrastructure. You’re on the hook for your own data and users. This is a reasonable approach, and one that makes you far more secure than you would be if you did it all yourself. Unless you’re spectacularly good at security, the cloud provider will have far better infrastructure than you can manage on your own.

Doing cloud the right way

All of these advantages aside, it can still be unwise to rush into the cloud. It makes sense to think it through carefully and come up with a cloud migration plan. What will move first? How will you do it? We can help you with this planning process and resulting execution steps.

Integrated Business Group can help you move to the cloud. To learn more, visit https://www.integratedbusinessgroup.com/acumatica-cloud-erp/

The Importance of Dashboards and Data

The Importance of Dashboards and Data

Most of us don’t even realize we’re doing it, but when we drive, we glance down at our dashboards every minute or so. We want to make sure we haven’t started speeding. We want to know if the engine’s overheating or if we’re running out of gas. It’s a reflexive behavior for most drivers. Now, with business dashboards, you can have the same beneficial experience while running a company.

What Is a Business Dashboard?

A business dashboard is a computer interface, usually built in a web browser, that graphically displays selected business data for easy consumption. Dashboards are invariably customized, and seldom look alike from one business to another. They may contain displays for sales by day or week, order statuses, sales by top 5 customers and so forth. Like a car’s dashboard, they give managers a quick reference on the health of the business.

How Business Dashboards Work

Most business dashboards, like those available in Acumatica and comparable ERP packages, are assembled using “widgets.” A widget is a single data display element. It might show the sales-by-week data in a line graph. Another widget could show the order statuses in a pie chart, and so forth.

Widgets work through database queries and code that work behind the scenes. While you see a colorful, clean-looking pie chart of order statuses, the widget’s code is asking your ERP database, “What is the status of all open orders?” and then building the pie chart in real time. Like the speedometer on a car dashboard, the order status widget will change dynamically as order statuses get updated across the business.

Why Business Dashboards are Important

Dashboards are helpful in business management for many reasons. For one thing, they enable real time visibility into how your business is running. For example, if sales are slowing down, a good dashboard can let you know right away. You won’t have to wait until the end of the month to know you have a problem. Similarly, if your dashboard shows sales forecasts, you can even see a sales slowdown coming and be able to act before it affects the business.

Another reason dashboards are important relates to their ability to connect strategy with real time action. For instance, your competitive strategy might be based on delivering outstanding service. However, if your dashboard shows you that your service department is chronically late in providing service, that’s a big disconnect that could ruin your competitive advantage. The dashboard highlights the problem for you to see. Of course, a text-based report could also inform you of your service problem. A dynamic real time data graph, however, is a better way to flag the service problem. It gets your attention.

Dashboards are part of a bigger picture that includes data analytics and reporting on business operations and financial results. They make it easier to understand data about your business. Data awareness, as presented in dashboard form, helps you make decisions about personnel, investments, vendors and more.

Making dashboards work requires having the right underlying ERP solution in place and then focusing on reporting based on business data. Most ERP solutions have some basic data analytics and dashboarding features available out of the book, but in most cases, it pays to work with an experienced advisor in implementation of meaningful dashboards.

Integrated Business Group can help with analytics and dashboards. To learn more, visit https://www.integratedbusinessgroup.com/acumatica-cloud-erp/