Acumatica 2020 R1: A Significant New Product Release

Acumatica 2020 R1: A Significant New Product Release

Acumatica will soon release its latest semi-annual update, known as 2020 R1. This new edition of Acumatica Cloud ERP expands the solution’s business management capabilities. It’s a big deal. As Acumatica CEO, John Roskill explained in his keynote at the Acumatica 2020 summit, “2020 R1 is a significant new product release.” He then added, “We have to pause sometimes and marvel at the pace of innovation consistently delivered by our product team. Acumatica customers and partners keep clamoring for more and they get it, twice a year, with real quality.”

R1 delivers enhancements to data management, including the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), along with new mobile features, simplified reporting and payroll. Acumatica now also offers omnichannel commerce through integration with BigCommerce as well as improvement document management through a partnership Adobe Document Cloud. Highlights of R1 include:

  • Omnichannel Commerce—By integrating with BigCommerce, Acumatica R1 now provides omnichannel sales support. Organizations can integrate sales, delivery and customer service. This expands how a company interacts with customers, supporting both B2B and B2C models of doing business.
  • Cloud-based e-signatures—Integration with Adobe Document Cloud enables Acumatica R1 users to send, sign and track documents using a browser or mobile device. The result is more streamlined document and contract management.
  • More, better mobility—R1 Users can create expense reports with a mobile camera. Field service reps can record travel and break time on service calls and attach captured images to data records. They can get to data entry screens more quickly using a “quick add” button.
  • Improved project management—R1’s new project management tools give users more advanced project management capabilities, such as simplified project balance reconciliation. Users can also track project progress with improved daily field reports, weather data (available via the ClimaCell service), photo logs and other data.
  • Payroll—With R1, companies can minimize overhead expenses by using Acumatica Payroll. This module makes it possible to run in-house payroll and speed up paycheck delivery, reduce mistakes and eliminate interface complexity. Acumatica Payroll also allows for salaried and hourly workers. It integrates taxes and tax forms, deductions and benefits, certified wages and even accommodates flexible payroll periods, union wage data and timecard integration with overtime rules
  • Better manufacturing operations—R1 introduces new, advanced manufacturing planning features such as “capable-to-promise” and “what-if scenarios.” It is now also possible to track production and costs with native shop floor data collection.
  • Updated warehouse management functions—R1 users benefit from expanded sales and warehouse operations, with fast order generation, tracking and management of inventory-related items. Acumatica’s Warehouse Management module now also supports rapid fulfillment with wave and batch picking.

These are just the highlights. Industry editions have new features in R1. Reporting has also been extensively updated in the new release, as have a number of accounting processes.

We have worked with many companies in the implementation of Acumatica. The software scales with your business as it grows. The release of R1 presents a great opportunity to learn about how Acumatica can help you realize your business objectives. To learn more or schedule a free demo, contact us.

Additional Acumatica Resources

Moving from QuickBooks to Acumatica

Understanding Acumatica Pricing

Solving Nonprofit Accounting Challenges with Acumatica

Acumatica Cloud ERP and Its Potential for Your Business

Acumatica Cloud ERP and Its Potential for Your Business

We are an Acumatica partner. In this role, we have worked with many companies over the years on the implementation of Acumatica Cloud ERP. In conversations with prospective customers, we sometimes hear people refer to Acumatica as “an application.” This is not the best way to look at Acumatica. It’s really an integrated suite of applications that comprises a complete business management solution. The full depth and breadth of Acumatica is striking. For this reason, we thought it would be worth taking a moment to run down Acumatica’s main capabilities.

A Complete Business Management Solution – Hosted in the Cloud

Acumatica offers functions for the complete range of business management processes. They span accounting and finance, manufacturing operations management, logistics, warehouse and inventory, distribution, field service and more. As a cloud-based software product, Acumatica is highly flexible. You can add or remove features more or less at will. It scales effortlessly, enabling you to provision it to users without the need to invest in hardware on-premises. There is no specialized client software to support on user endpoints.

Acumatica products’ highlights include:

  • Financial management Acumatica offers functionality for ranging from practical on-line accounting that are suitable for smaller local businesses to feature-rich all-encompassing financial applications. These are meant for larger more complex businesses. Acumatica accounting software is designed to grow with you.
  • Distribution management – Distribution businesses have distinct needs. Acumatica Distribution Management gives distributors the ability to administer quotes and orders and track inventory. With Acumatica, distribution managers can automate purchasing and improve customer service. It integrates with Customer Resource Management (CRM), financials, manufacturing and project accounting. This connectivity gives managers complete visibility across the entire distribution organization.
  • Customer Management – Standard CRM functionality is included in Acumatica. The software allows for the management of leads, contacts and opportunities. You can set up customer portals that enable customer engagement after the sale has concluded. This contributes to better overall customer perceptions and experiences.
  • Project Accounting – Acumatica gives you insights into actual project costs, whether for an internal or external project. The toolset let you manage budgets, time keeping and project inventory along with complex billing. Users feel empowered to compare actual versus budgeted costs and follow up by revising budgets using visual dashboards.

Industry-Specific Acumatica Offerings

Acumatica has come out with industry-specific editions. These solutions are adapted for the unique needs of a particular sector. With Manufacturing Management, for example, users can integrate customer management, sales orders, inventory and purchasing with production planning. The solution also enables shop floor scheduling and accounting. Real time coordination is also possible, even between multiple production facilities.

  • Field Service Edition – This edition allows users to track and simplify every process required for effective field services operations. This includes better management of service orders, appointments, contracts, warranties and routes. With Acumatica Field Service Edition, managers can stay on top of staff skills, equipment capabilities and implement preventative maintenance schedules.
  • Commerce Edition – Users can leverage Acumatica Commerce Edition to deliver consistent customer experience across all sales channels. The solution features complete integration between online, mobile, and in-store service.
  • Construction Edition – Construction businesses now gain complete project control, starting with estimating and continuing through close-out of construction projects. The results include enhanced profit margin and reduced waste.

To learn more about what Acumatica cloud ERP can do for your business, contact us for a free demo.

Additional Acumatica Resources

Acumatica and the Power of Comprehensive Manufacturing Software

Acumatica Summit 2020 Recap

Moving from QuickBooks to Acumatica

7 Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Old Manufacturing ERP System

7 Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Old Manufacturing ERP System

How can you tell you’ve outgrown your old manufacturing ERP system? Chances are, if you’ve implemented ERP for your manufacturing business, you have a system that works relatively well. It gets the job done, more or less. The “or less” part can become increasingly problematic as older systems age, however. Here are seven signs that you’ve outgrown old the ERP.

1) Quality suffers

ERP in manufacturing should give you very fine-grained control over manufacturing processes and material inputs. If a customer returns an order, you should be able to go to your ERP and quickly gain a firm understanding of what went wrong. That way, you can recall any other orders that were shipped with the same same defect or intervene with a supplier that contributed to the problem. For example, if you manufacture a food item, and you discover that a particular lot contains a harmful chemical, your ERP needs to give you complete information on where the chemical came from and who got shipments of the tainted product. Older ERPs can struggle with this level of control and insight.

2) You’re spending a lot to keep it going

Legacy ERPs are like old cars. You love them, but they take a lot of care and feeding. If you notice your ERP management and admin budget climbing every year, even if you’re not adding new functionality, that’s a sign you need to replace it.

3) You need specialized people on staff just for ERP

If you have to keep people on staff because they are the only ones who can administer the ERP and get data out of it for reporting, you need a more modern solution.

4) Inventory is holding things up, tying up cash or both

Modern ERPs like Acumatica give you many nuanced controls over inventory management, including tracking of lot and serial numbers, expiration dates, transaction reason codes, inventory bin locations and item class hierarchy.

5) Integration is clunky or nonexistent

Is your old ERP linked to your accounting system, HR or CRM solutions? If it isn’t, that’s already a tip off that you can do better. Acumatica comes with simple, fast integration with related systems. These enable more efficient business management overall. Alternatively, if managing such integrations is a cumbersome, expensive proposition, it’s time to make a change.

6) Reporting is a chore

How hard is it to generate timely, in-depth reports with your legacy ERP? If reporting is time-consuming or incomplete, you should know that you’re missing out on insights that can make your manufacturing business more competitive and profitable.

7) Security is weak, costly or both

Is your data secure? Do you feel confident you can protect your digital assets from Denial of Service (DoS) attacks? If you’re not sure, or you are being told you will have to spend a lot of money to get secure, you might do better with a modern ERP. A cloud-based ERP like Acumatica is hosted in a secure cloud data center. This doesn’t make it 100% bulletproof—nothing is—but this architecture takes a huge security burden off of your plate.

We have worked with many manufacturing companies on ERP upgrades. If you are curious about how a new ERP could help your business run better, we should talk. Or, to arrange a demo of Acumatica, please visit our website.

Additional Manufacturing ERP Resources

Manufacturing Challenges—How Acumatica Can Help

The Advantage of True Cloud Manufacturing

What Is the Best Software for SMB Manufacturers?

The Top 5 Accounting Challenges and How ERP Software Can Help

The Top 5 Accounting Challenges and How ERP Software Can Help

A recent news story out of New York reveals how challenging accounting can be in a fast-moving business. A retailer had extended factory rebates to customers and charged them sales tax on the discounted price. That was a no-no, according to New York State tax authorities, which now wants to collect millions of dollars in sales taxes. It’s unknown whether this retailer was doing this deliberately, but any accounting could see this case and wonder if it weren’t the result of a simple tax configuration mistake in the accounting system.

Accounting is a more stressful occupation than most people would suspect. However much money your company has, it never seems to be quite enough. Taxes are a nightmare. Unexpected bills arrive in the mail. You have to manage a team that the CEO always seems to feel like cutting. Here are some of the most pressing challenges facing corporate accounting and ways that ERP software can help in addressing them. Today’s ERP solutions, such as Acumatica, combine accounting and financial management with deep operational management and data analysis tools.

1) Cash Flow

Virtually all businesses are chasing cash. Payables invariably outstrip receivables. The accounting department must be highly adept at juggling payments and knowing when cash is coming in and when it’s supposed to go out. Acumatica ERP helps with this need with extensive cash management features. These include control over day-to-day transactions and real time awareness of cash balances and funds transfer. It also incorporates petty cash management, remittance and payment instructions, multi-currency support and a cash audit trail into its functionality.

2) Taxes

As the retailer example above shows, taxes can be a big headache in corporate accounting. Tax problems can even expose the company to legal liability. Taxing authorities don’t mess around. Tax management in Acumatica supports centralized tax configuration, tax management and reporting. It streamlines and automates tax management processes in a centralized application. Features include tax transaction drill-down, flexible reporting, integration with sales tax rate and compliance automation and direct tax adjustments.

3) Payroll

Payroll is a well-known struggle for businesses, even large ones. Acumatica Payroll Management, which was developed by InfinityHR, integrates the ERP with employee data. This enables you to handle all your company’s payroll functions. It automates payroll and integrates payroll, where needed, with other platforms, such as HR management.

4) Unforeseen Expenses

Every accounting manager knows the dreaded feeling of discovering an unexpected invoice in the mail or email. What experienced accounting people will tell you, though, is that an unforeseen expense is almost always the result of a failure in process and controls. For example, if your accounting policy does not require an approved purchase order (PO) before spending company money, you’re going to get those little surprises pretty often. However, even if you have such a PO policy, you still need the systemic tools to enforce it. ERP addresses this need by establishing strong but flexible controls over purchasing and vendor setup.

5) Intercompany Accounting

Accounting managers frequently have to deal with managing the books and finances or multiple companies—which are often divisions of a single parent entity. Intercompany accounting is not particularly difficult, but it’s time-consuming without the right software. Acumatica speeds things up by simplifying the process of tracking intercompany transactions and transfers. Related corporate entities can share charts of accounts, currencies, calendars and so forth

We have worked with many clients on the implementation of ERP to improve accounting practices while making the accounting workload more efficient for the accounting team to manage. To learn more, or to see a demo of Acumatica’s accounting capabilities, contact us today!

Is it time to replace your current accounting software? Find out in our article Want to Replace Your Accounting Software?

ERP Software Selection Factors

ERP Software Selection Factors

Selecting the right ERP software for your business takes time and effort. It requires research into the latest products and technologies and determining what type of platform can provide the best return on investment (ROI). While the right system can help save money, provide valuable performance insights and improve productivity, hastily selecting one can mean missing important steps and requirements, which can cost your business in the long run.

The more familiar with ERP your team is, the easier it should be to select the right system. But it’s important to carefully navigate each phase of the selection process. This goes whether you’re curious about available software products, in the process of evaluating/justifying a new system or in need of a replacement system that meets organizational requirements. Perhaps you’re starting your evaluation or in the process of investigating multiple ERP systems. Even if you’ve seen enough demonstrations to make a pick, it’s important not to leave out any details.

Here are some factors to consider throughout the process.

Research

The initial research phase should consider:

  • How a modern ERP system differs from QuickBooks and other entry-level accounting software packages.
  • The size and anticipated growth of your business.
  • Cost/time savings by using a cloud-vendor’s hardware and software instead of buying them yourself.
  • How it’s possible to improve operational flexibility and cost-effectiveness compared to a legacy ERP system.
  • Support and maintenance services provided by the cloud vendor.

Evaluation

Compare suitable systems side-by-side and communicate with vendor staff to determine exactly what they need from a solution such as Acumatica. There are many competing software suppliers. In your evaluation, which can include product tours and free demos, look for:

  • Customizable screens, navigation, and dashboards.
  • Availability via log-in from a PC or any connected mobile device.
  • Mobile functionality in general, an increasingly important feature.
  • Applications for finance, accounting, distribution, manufacturing, project accounting, CRM and other functions.

Selection

Research and evaluation should help narrow down your list of vendors. Determine whether the solution fits your organization by looking at how different vendors compare to one another, whether the solution addresses specific issues and if it meets your future reporting and analytical needs. Scalability, flexibility and cost of implementation are other important factors. Look for:

  • Flexible pricing: With Acumatica, for example, customers can choose applications, deployment models and subscription or perpetual licensing models.
  • Implementation partners: Implementation affects everything from data security to long-term functionality; the right partner can mean the difference between success and failure.
  • Timing: Getting from system testing and preparation to go-live can happen occur in parallel with current business processes or in phases over time. Each has its pros and cons and can be selected based on time, cost and other constraints your organization values the most.

We have shepherded many clients through the process of ERP software selection. In our experience, success comes from gaining a deep understanding of the client’s unique business needs. We help them compare product editions side-by-side to assess their features and functionality. If we can help you evaluate the right ERP for your business, let’s talk.

Additional ERP Resources

Making Informed Decisions with the Right ERP

Signs You Are Outgrowing Your ERP Solution

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

Four Tech Trends That Help Businesses Thrive in the Digital World

Four Tech Trends That Help Businesses Thrive in the Digital World

Microsoft recently published a truly outstanding white paper titled Four Technology Trends Helping Businesses Thrive in a Digital World. We highly recommend it if you’re contemplating how IT can make an impact on your business success. The paper takes on topics like cloud computing, digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobility. Their goal is to add detail and practical insights to subjects that tend to be vague and overhyped. The context is the applicability of Dynamics 365 as a solution for digital transformation. Here’s a sneak peek:

Cloud computing: Much more than a buzzword

Cloud adoption is accelerating. As businesses put cloud technology to work in a vast variety of use cases, the concept becomes far more than a mere buzzword. Indeed, the cloud changes how and where people work. It enables new ways of doing business, or even completely new businesses. Cost reduction is still a high priority for cloud adoption, but other factors are driving adoption. The paper cites Gigaom Research, which reports, “71% of strategic buyers cite scalability, cost and business agility as the most important drivers for using cloud services.”

Digital transformation and the revolution in connectivity

Microsoft surveyed small and mid-sized business owners and employees with the goal of understanding their most challenging problems. Lost productivity emerged as a serious issue. People reported losing time working across multiple systems that are unable to “talk to each other.” The results of such disconnected systems included manual, duplicative processes and out-of-date reporting. Poor visibility into operations then translated into impaired decision making at the management level.

Digital transformation offers a way out of this trap. It’s a broad concept, but at its heart, digital transformation is about the current revolution in connectivity. Today, applications can easily and cheaply connect with one another using standards-based APIs—even spanning between multiple business entities. As the paper explains, companies that connect their systems, people, data and processes are able to anticipate operational challenges and act accordingly. They are able to gather data in real time and get deep insights into what going on in the business.

No mystery in the IoT. It’s reality

The IoT is one of those tech ideas that seemed futuristic when it first debuted. Today, it’s a reality. Using devices to collect and analyze operational and environmental data is now occurring on a regular basis. And, it’s not just for big corporations or government agencies. Even a smaller business has its “things” that generate data with which to track trends, identify patterns and perhaps even make predictions.

The challenge in IoT is threefold. First, there has to be a solution to manage the devices and related “edge” infrastructure. Then, there’s the data. IoT environments create a lot of data. It has to be stored and secured before it can be analyzed. The analytics is the third and arguably most important challenge to overcome on the way to IoT success.

Embracing mobility

Mobility is already so pervasive in business that it may not even occur to people that it’s a distinct technology area deserving of focus. It is. Your employees are increasingly mobile. You have to support them. Customers expect rich mobile connections with your brand. Your suppliers are using mobile apps. Having a mobile strategy is critical for success today.

These are the highlights of the paper. To read it in full, click here.