Moving from QuickBooks to Acumatica

Moving from QuickBooks to Acumatica

Acumatica offers a number of advantages over QuickBooks. If you do want to migrate, you won’t be alone. A lot of companies have done it. And, best practices have emerged for the process of moving from QuickBooks to Acumatica.

Why Make the Move from QuickBooks to Acumatica?

Replacing QuickBooks with Acumatica is usually advisable if your company needs a more fully-featured Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) capability than is currently available in QuickBooks. Acumatica is also a cloud-native application, with the improvements in performance and functionality that brings. Other benefits include having a full relational database export feature, flexible licensing and better scalability.

Compare QuickBooks to Acumatica

When comparing QuickBooks to Acumatica, consider the following key differentiators. Learn more in Comparing Acumatica vs QuickBooks.

  • True cloud: Acumatica works on premises or in the cloud without additional equipment or software. QuickBooks Enterprise can be accessed over the internet, but even Intuit acknowledges that QuickBooks has not been optimized to be a true cloud product.
  • Full function ERP: Acumatica offers your organization a complete ERP and CRM solution. While QuickBooks Enterprise contains some of these elements, it is ultimately an accounting solution and not a full function ERP solution.
  • Full relational database export: QuickBooks uses a proprietary database and does not provide a true export function, requiring a third-party utility to access the underlying database. Most of the next level financial management solutions for small- to mid-sized businesses use more robust databases, such as Microsoft SQL Server, SAP HANA, or Oracle. However, these other solutions also expect the client to eventually move to some kind of ERP solution. QuickBooks is designed strictly for accounting.
  • Flexible licensing options: Every company is different, and some prefer a depreciable capital expense versus an ongoing operating expense. Both products are available through subscription licensing, but Acumatica also offers perpetual licensing.
  • Scale as you grow: Acumatica allows you to scale as your company grows and can accommodate multiple companies and multiple currencies. QuickBooks Enterprise limits you to a maximum of 30 users and handles multiple currencies but not multiple companies.
  • TCO: Because both products serve different purposes, it would be difficult to say which one has the best total cost of ownership. We recommend, however, that you apply due diligence when selecting a replacement product for QuickBooks to ensure you get a product that can continue to grow with your company for several years.

The “Easy” Part

Technically, migration from QuickBooks to Acumatica is fairly simple. An admin sets up an entity in Acumatica. Then, using built-in migration tools, Acumatica extracts the chart of accounts and other transactional data from QuickBooks and imports it into the correct areas of Acumatica. The process is a bit more involved than this, but the bits and bytes aspects of the migration are generally straightforward. This is the “easy” part. Where best practices come into play is around business processes and requirements.

Scoping Out Your Acumatica Install

Acumatica is a suite of products. As part of migrating from QuickBooks, it’s necessary to figure out what your team will need from the accounting module, and from there, what other modules you’ll need. You may want to add Acumatica Project Accounting, financials, CRM, eCommerce, Distribution and so forth. At that point, the questions will be about how much to integrate the various modules you’ve installed. Learn more about each of those products below:

Determining How Your Workflows Will Translate to Acumatica

Moving to Acumatica means porting over your business processes. However, given the expanded feature set in Acumatica, it’s a good practice to take the opportunity to improve the way you do things. You might be able do more than you currently can with QuickBooks. For example, if you look carefully at your Accounts Payable workflow, you might determine that there’s a more efficient way to do it in Acumatica. You could probably automate certain workflow steps.

You may go through an iterative process to match up the migration with the workflows. Your workflows can affect the way you import data from QuickBooks. Working with an experienced migration advisor, you could cycle through multiple version of your workflow and Acumatica setup.

Making It Work for Everyone

Moving to Acumatica is definitely not a “set it and forget it” operation. For one thing, you’ll have to train your people. Everyone who touches the front end of the system needs to be confident in their ability to use the software. This may involve teaching people new sills, like data analytics and reporting as well as cross-functional workflows like logistics-to-accounting transactions in Acumatica.

From there, it’s necessary to monitor how things are going – on both the front and back ends. Having worked with many businesses on the transition from QuickBooks to Acumatica, we recommend running Acumatica for about a month and then reviewing how things are going. Of course, if there’s an issue sooner, you have to deal with it. We can help with that, too. However, in general, we’ve found that a solid month of use will reveal any difficulties in the new workflows or missing pieces of the data transfer that need to be rectified.

Implementing Acumatica can move forward in increments after the migration from QuickBooks. It’s a highly dynamic and multi-faceted solution. As your team gets more comfortable with it, you might find you want to add new feature sets or modules. Alternatively, you might discover that it’s too much all at once.

We can help scope the installation down, giving everyone time to get used to the new toolset. Contact us to learn more.

Better Financial Reporting with Acumatica

Better Financial Reporting with Acumatica

There’s a question you frequently (and unfortunately) hear from managers when they are presented with financial reports: “Thanks. Now, what do these really mean?” An income statement and a balance sheet will reveal some basic facts about a company’s financial condition, but their ability to communicate meaningful information is usually quite limited. For example, imagine that the income statement shows earnings equal to 5% of revenue. Is that good or bad? How does that compare to the business plan? That is a matter for a separate analysis. Now, however, advances in financial reporting from Acumatica provide a much-needed new level of context and detail.

What is Financial Reporting All About?

All accounting packages create financial reports. They contain standard modules like General Ledger, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable. From these functions, the package is able to generate all the major reports: income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows, accounts receivable aging and so forth.

What is the purpose of these reports? They’re needed for tax reporting, at a minimum. They offer managers and shareholders a picture of the company’s financial condition, e.g. is it profitable or in a loss situation? Are expenses higher in the current period compared to earlier periods, and so forth. These are essential facts, but they don’t usually tell the whole story.

What’s Missing in Conventional Financial Reports

Financial reporting should go further than just stating the financial state of a business. Financial reports are about more than just managing money. They should be about managing the business. To be of true help to managers, reports should reflect how the business is performing in a variety of contexts. How is it doing compared to the annual plan? Do the reports reflect the unique structure of the organization and the nature of your markets?

A Better Kind of Financial Reporting

A new kind of financial reporting, available from Acumatica, gives you the ability to create a number of special reports that align with the specifics of your operations and resulting financial transactions. To achieve this outcome, Acumatica can potentially integrate features for cash and currency management, tax management, deferred revenue accounting, fixed assets, payroll and more. Deployed as an integrated suite, Acumatica allows events and transactions to be entered once, but then processed through a single, shared database infrastructure. Financial reporting flows from there, with a sophisticated complete drill-down capability and audit trail.

Using financial management reporting to support business management decision-making requires taking a close look at data sub-sets. As a result, financial reporting software needs to create multiple versions of any standard report, e.g. a departmental P&L or product- or customer-specific income statements and so forth. You will also need analytical capabilities, the capacity to build additional views of the data. These views should be available in reports, on-screen, Excel downloads and so forth.

Acumatica delivers these capabilities. It enables flexible reporting that gives you the ability to act as financial planner. You get the ability to see cause-and-effect, sorting out significant trends and effects. You can project possible results of strategic and tactical changes. Acumatica provides you with powerful and flexible financial reporting tools that transforms your day-to-day financial tracking software into a resource for business value.

Acumatica is one our specialties. We’ve worked with many clients on specialized Acumatica financial reporting projects. If you are interested in learning how Acumatica can help your business with better financial reporting, let’s talk.

Additional Acumatica Resources

Manufacturing Challenges—How Acumatica Can Help

Understanding Acumatica Pricing

Signs You Are Outgrowing Your ERP Solution

Manufacturing Challenges—How Acumatica Can Help

Manufacturing Challenges—How Acumatica Can Help

Manufacturing has never been easy, but it’s getting harder to do profitably with every passing year. Competition never lets us. Supply chains get more complex. Deadlines and customer demands grow more urgent. How can you stay ahead? A manufacturing-centric Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution can help. Acumatica, which has specialized manufacturing capabilities, demonstrates the power of software to keep manufacturing operations profitable and competitive.

Manufacturing Challenges Today

Time was, captains of industry would say that all it took to succeed was to “build a better mousetrap.” Those were the days. Currently, to win in manufacturing, you have to build a better mousetrap out of parts built all over the world—shipped to your plant on a “just in time” basis. Your customers expect a huge variety of mousetraps at the lowest possible price, available on the fastest possible delivery schedules.

How Acumatica Addresses Today’s Manufacturing Challenges

Acumatica Manufacturing Edition offers a solution. It’s a complete, multi-site cloud manufacturing control and planning system. It works in scenarios that span job shops, batch manufacturing, make-to-order and make-to-stock. It can be used for engineer-to-order and project-centric production as well. The solution integrates production planning and shop floor with customer management. In addition, Acumatica connects sales orders, purchasing, inventory, accounting and financial reporting. All up, it delivers real-time coordination of manufacturing as it relates to activities across the entire basis.

Highlights include:

  • Meeting schedules—Respond to demand while you optimize inventory and resources
  • Committing to delivery—Commit to customer deliver requirements with a Capable-to-Promise (CTP) function, based on known capacity and materials
  • Tracking costs—Stay on top of labor and material costs while managing products, then compare planned vs. actual costs
  • Managing inventory—Know where your inventory is at any time, gaining real-time access to available inventory, inventory in transit and reorder quantities. This enables efficient distribution management, increased profitability and improved customer experience.
  • Handling Bills of Materials (BOMs) and routing—Plan and manage inventories, costs, and manufacturing processes, retaining full control over revisions. Acumatica lets you see financial and engineering views of a product in a multi-level BOM structure.
  • Overseeing production—Schedule shop floor production while track material and labor costs, including comparisons between planned vs. actual costs
  • Conduct Material Requirements Planning (MRP)—Address requirements from customers while optimizing inventory levels
  • Configuring products—stay on top of real-time price and cost rollups with a product configurator that enables multi-level, dimensional, rules-based configurations
  • Estimating production costs—Estimate costs for both new or existing products, easily converting estimates into BOMs or production orders
  • Managing orders—Stay on top of sales activities, streamlining procurement and automating order fulfillment in the process
  • Planning and scheduling—Meet customer demands through accurate and reliable delivery dates based on resource and production capacity availability
  • Managing warehouses— Streamline distribution process with Acumatica’s Warehouse Management System (WMS)

Implementing ERP for manufacturing can be a challenging process. Getting it right has as much (or more) to do with understanding the alignment between business and manufacturing as it does with software and IT. It all has to work together, however. This is something we are good at. If you are interested in learning how Acumatica Manufacturing Edition can help your business, let’s talk.

Additional Acumatica Resources

Technology for the Mid-Sized Manufacturer

Understanding Acumatica Pricing

New Features in Acumatica 2019 R1: Exciting Changes Ahead

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.