Blog

Frank Gerome

Recent Posts

Is Cloud-Based Dynamics GP The Right Financial Accounting Software For Your Organization?

Posted by Frank Gerome

Oct 9, 2017

When Microsoft Dynamics GP was updated and became available in the cloud, for the first time, companies could purchase a subscription to financial accounting software built on Dynamics GP. 

But is Dynamics GP in the cloud the right fit for your company? Here are several key facts to consider about cloud-based Dynamics GP as you research options for accounting software.

  1. Dynamics GP in the cloud is no different from the on-premises version: The only difference is how it’s accessed and paid for. With some vendors, access is as simple as logging on to a portal via a mobile device. The application launches right out of the portal. But, again, remember that the application itself is the same as the on-premises Dynamics GP.
     
  2. Subscription costs are less: Cloud ERP is cheaper because you don’t have to pay the support costs that you do with on-premises solutions. On-premises upgrades typically require new hardware, which is expensive.
     
  3. The cloud allows for flexibility with the number of users: The cloud solution is more agile, allowing companies to adjust the number of users up or down, while on-premises solutions only let you add users. Companies often want to consolidate the users they have. For instance, they might have 15 users today, and therefore 15 licenses they’re paying maintenance on. Later, they may realize they only need seven licenses, but with the on-premises software they can’t reduce that number. With a cloud solution, companies can lower the number of users, which saves the business money. 
     
  4. Upgrades are easier: Customers have reported that Microsoft seems to roll out updates for its cloud solutions faster than for its on-premises solutions. This is true. Cloud ERP software is designed to be upgraded automatically. With on-premises solutions, you’re paying for the rights to the software, but you also have to pay for someone to set up and implement upgrades such as new hardware, database updates and Windows Server software upgrades. This effort costs a lot of money and time.
     
  5. Integrations are instantaneous: When you’re using Dynamics GP in the cloud, integrations with other applications are built in. This integration is much cheaper than using an on-premises scenario, where if you want applications to work together, you have to pay an IT development firm to write the integration. And remember, application development work is about the most expensive type of work. Large organizations have spent millions on enterprise application development. Now, small- to medium-sized businesses can get it inside a cloud environment, enabling all customers to benefit from the integration. In the cloud, integration from your ERP to your CRM is already there. Companies don’t have to pay to get it built from scratch. There’s a monthly fee, sure, but this fee is far less than the cost of paying someone to build the integration for you. 

Building your company’s financial accounting efforts on Dynamics GP is a smart idea. And considering the flexibility with the number of users, upgrades, integration and built-in IT support, using a cloud ERP vendor to access the software is even better.

Read More

How To Speed Up Your Month-End Close With Financial Accounting Software

Posted by Frank Gerome

Sep 29, 2017

“How can I close my books faster?” This is the question that so many companies, especially small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), ask all the time. 

But dealing with complex reporting, missed reconciliations or outdated information is certain to throw the timing of even the best-planned closes out the window.

The challenge for many SMBs is that their accountants conduct month-end closes manually. Often, they do this because that’s all their financial accounting software will allow. Other companies simply don’t have a financial solution that allows them to automate. With both of these situations, the margin of human error plays a role in compromising the accuracy of the close process. And mistakes slow everything down. 

You can’t blame these companies, of course. There are so many moving parts that the accountants must complete — necessary financial adjustments, account balance calculations and financial position reports, for example — that mistakes are nearly inevitable. 

The key to eliminating these mistakes and speeding up the process is to use powerful financial accounting software. Here are two ways that these kinds of solutions help to speed up your month-end close.

  1. Reduce human error: Not only is it time-intensive to manually entry data, but all of this shuffling significantly increases the risk of human error and redundant data entry. In the computing process, people are usually the weakest link. Without a high-powered tool to apply best practices and structure to your accounting processes, the ability to compare apples to apples is nearly impossible. Advanced technology can be programmed to require users to perform the correct tasks and achieve consistency. This means there’s no more tracking down versions of documents. You’ll be able to access and share real-time data in a single repository, and eliminate mistakes caused from emailing documents back and forth. 
     
  2. Automate processes: Financial accounting solutions offer the ability to build month-end closing procedures ahead of time. This means companies are able to build the reports once and then access and run them again as needed. By using one integrated system and not bouncing around from spreadsheets to QuickBooks, automation is much easier for performing weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual procedures. 

By organizing data in a central location, simplifying reports and working seamlessly with your existing business software, financial accounting software improves the operational efficiency of your company. Human error plays a role in compromising the accuracy of the close, so it’s critical to use powerful tools, eliminate the manual approach and speed up your month-end close.

Read More

3 Ways Cloud ERP Technology Can Help Improve Business Continuity

Posted by Frank Gerome

Sep 15, 2017

Just because your company’s data is stored in a server closet in your basement and is “protected” by your expert IT team doesn’t mean the information is safe. In fact, just the opposite is probably true.
 
Here are two true stories that illustrate why using cloud ERP technology to back up your information can drastically improve business continuity.
 
First, a horror story: Before switching over to the cloud, one company’s chief information officer (CIO) — someone you’d think would be among the most well-trained in handling technology — decided to do some dusting in the server closet. Sounds innocent enough, right? Not quite. While he was wiping away the dirt and grime, he managed to wipe away critical financial data.
 
When the CIO pulled out a hard drive from the shelf, the action caused the entire server to fail and the company lost all the data on the unit. And with none of that information backed up, the company lost weeks — maybe months — of work and transactions. Even worse, the company couldn’t process transactions for days, so it wasn’t getting paid and wasn’t making needed payments.
 
It took a team of financial accounting technology experts four days straight, including the weekend, to try to get the business back up and running. The company then spent another week or two manually entering in old transactions from previous months to catch up. It then had to buy new (very expensive) equipment to replace the fried unit.
 
Fortunately, not all accidents are quite so damaging and costly.
 
Another company also experienced a downed server. Early one morning, the employees discovered that none of them could log in. Fortunately, the company housed its financial data in the cloud and immediately called the provider. Within minutes, the provider discovered that, yes, the login server was down, and it restored access within 12 minutes. As it turned out, employees were using bad login information and the company designed its system to purposely block all users after several failed login attempts.
 
It was a security issue, but the provider was able to quickly diagnose the problem and restart the server to restore operations. The employees had 12 minutes of panic, but then they immediately appreciated the value of the service when it came back, especially since it could’ve taken hours or days to figure out what happened on their own.
 
This second example best illustrates why using cloud-based financial accounting software is very much like paying for car insurance. It’s easy to complain about the regular payments, but as soon as it’s needed, we’re very glad to have it. Often, people don’t recognize the value until bad things happen.
 
The point is this: Cloud providers are monitoring the information on the server 24/7. They perform patch management, maintenance, upgrades and system performance constantly so if something could potentially become an issue, the provider can find and fix the issue before it has a chance to become problematic. Often, the customer never sees the problem, because the provider is proactive about averting issues.
 
If your company’s crucial system goes down, how will you keep the business going? Backing up your system in the cloud in case of disaster or theft can keep costly issues from happening.
 
Here are three ways that technology can help improve business continuity.

  1. Regular backups: Having the information backed up daily or every few minutes prevents loss.
  2. Theft protection: The cloud provider is in the business of securing data and making sure it’s safe, protected against human error and natural disasters, at a level well beyond what you can do yourself.
    Try getting in the front door of a data center if you don’t have a keycard; try getting into a rack that’s not your rack. You can’t. So you can sleep well knowing that data centers specialize in this kind of protection. And if a tornado hits one data center, the provider likely has another one in a different part of the country, and redundancy protects your information.
  3. Speedy restoration time: Think about the equipment. What if the server fails? In a provider’s data center, you’ll have a backup and restore process. As soon as you know the system is down, you can be back up, typically within 12 to 48 minutes. If you have your own server in your own office — regardless of your IT department’s brilliance — do you have another server where you have everything backed up and ready to go? One of the many values of the cloud is the risk mitigation it provides.

Despite the above stories, if you’re still unsure about the cloud, there’s a baby step you can take: Have a really good off-site backup system. Don’t use an external hard drive for media; they’re prone to failure and malfunction. Invest in a mirror server. Use the hardware even if it’s doing nothing more than backing up your data. That will go a long way toward providing much-needed business continuity and peace of mind.

Read More

How Can Your Small Business Start Using Analytics With Your Financial Accounting System?

Posted by Frank Gerome

Sep 12, 2017

Data analytics is a huge deal right now, and most small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) agree that delving deeper into their own financial accounting business information is a requirement for success.
 
The good news is that although most SMBs don’t have significant resources to dedicate to mining Big Data, they can get more insight out of the data they already have without specifically paying for this kind of effort.
 
The need for improved business analytics is one of the primary drivers that SMBs consider when upgrading their enterprise resource planning (ERP) financial accounting software. QuickBooks and spreadsheet systems work great for a while, but they aren’t powerful enough to provide the insight and business intelligence that most companies need to stay ahead of the competition in today’s landscape.
 
In addition to a general need for more and better information, there seem to be two specific business scenarios that drive companies to invest in new financial accounting software, and thus small-scale analytics capabilities.
 
For starters, growing SMBs frequently have two or three companies they’re managing. Often, each of these companies uses QuickBooks, which means the parent company may have three separate sets of QuickBooks to manage.
 
The companies in this scenario can’t consolidate the data quickly or efficiently enough to perform timely analysis. Remember, without advanced software, consolidation can only occur by exporting the data to Excel, and then merging the companies’ data into a giant spreadsheet. This process can take hours, even days, just to get the information in one location.
 
The second most common reason that SMBs need analytics is that they’re operating multiple types of applications to help run their businesses, and none of these programs are compatible with each other.
 
In today’s world, most business applications needed to run a company are siloed. For example, if a company were running Salesforce.com as its customer relationship management (CRM) solution, or using Excel or a database to keep track of customer information, then to manage its accounting efforts it might use QuickBooks or some other kind of spreadsheet system. Finally, if it were selling products online, it might run an e-commerce solution to manage the effort.
 
Suddenly, a company has three independent applications to keep financial data, and none of these programs can talk to each other.
 
Many SMBs may take in as much as $1.5 million annually, but by running all these incompatible applications, they’re missing opportunities. They have no ability to analyze customer data in terms of billing, e-commerce, inventory or a hundred other indicators. Essentially, they’re flying blind. They have multiple applications keeping the business afloat, sure, but they can’t actually view the data and make strategic decisions about the future.
 
This is a huge loss for companies. Performing analytics on their financial data — including closes and trends — is where they’ll discover their best value and greatest insights.
 
So how does a small business begin to incorporate analytics? Assuming it has a powerful financial accounting system, where should it start?
 
First, financial data should be the anchor of a company’s analytics efforts. Financials contain the most important customer data, including receivables. They house contact information, billing, purchase orders and everything related to how a company interacts with its customers. This kind of data is in an accounting system. In other words, the most important first step for quality analytics is to invest in a quality accounting system.
 
Second, be sure to incorporate and analyze customer information by purchasing a CRM system that salespeople will actually use. Unfortunately, most companies won’t use their CRM system to facilitate business transactions and so salespeople aren’t inclined to really get the most out of the application.
 
To find one that will actually benefit the company, compile a list of the information or key performance indicators (KPIs) that will drive success in the business. What does that data look like — is it customer or inventory data?
 
Next, identify the location of the data that you’re trying to access. Is it housed in one financial application or in multiple applications? Is all the data in a separate system or just a spreadsheet? Is the business built around an e-commerce billing system? Where’s the data today?
 
Once you know the information you need and where the data’s located, figure out how to get the information out. Remember, if your company is running QuickBooks or just using spreadsheets, it’ll be difficult and time-consuming. It’s better to find a system that can better provide access to the needed data.
 
Performing data analytics is one of the most important things that an SMB can do. And fortunately, investing in Big Data isn’t a requirement to collect quality insights from the data the company’s already generating. The key is to invest in a quality financial accounting system.
Read More

Could A Cloud ERP System Save Your Business Time And Money?

Posted by Frank Gerome

Aug 11, 2017

So many small- and medium-sized business (SMB) leaders aren’t thinking about what their on-premises ERP solutions cost the company.

They have other “more important” financial issues to worry about such as the price of fuel, health care costs and tax increases.

Except, if you really think about it, knowing the cost of your on-premises system is critical, especially if there tools out there like cloud ERP systems that could save the business significant time and money.

At the very least, it’s important for SMBs to know the hidden “gotchas” about on-premises solutions. For example, who supports the system after the consultant has set it up? And how much does it cost for that support?

Here are five hidden costs that every SMB executive should consider before buying or significantly upgrading an on-premises ERP system. This is important because you just might discover that cloud ERP solutions are significantly less demanding on your time and wallet.

  1. Maintenance and support: There is huge difference between what you get with a cloud subscription model compared to a traditional on-premises program. Ongoing annual maintenance, patches and updates to the accounting application are included in cloud ERP. With an on-premises system, you’re usually billed for ongoing support after the initial setup.
  2. Hardware and software upgrades: With on-premises models, when you upgrade it feels a bit like going through the implementation all over again. The cost, time and potential scope crawl are there for a second time.
  3. Hardware and extended hardware support: Will your on-premises solution work with your current printer or device? If not, you’ll need a patch here or an upgrade there, and on-premises vendors typically charge for such changes. This is not often considered a hidden cost, per se, but it’s dismissed by vendors as a real problem for these kinds of solutions.
  4. IT resources: While you may already have your IT staff to manage other parts of the business, some SMBs are tempted to consider it a sunk cost. But if you think about how much time they’re spending to support and maintain your equipment, then that changes everything. You have to allocate a percentage of what you’re currently investing or hire additional people to help your IT staff maintain everything else you’re doing on your on-premises solution.
  5. Data backup: It costs money to store information, restore it or back it up. You don’t want to lose even a day’s worth of data. Buying a terabyte backup drive and plugging it into your basement server is just not going to cut it as a safe backup method.

So how do you circumvent these five issues and avoid hidden costs? The answer is by using a subscription cloud model.

All of the costs and functions associated with providing a comprehensive solution are bundled into one single monthly, quarterly or annual payment. All of those items assumed by the customer are included in the cost of a single bundled subscription offering in the cloud-driven market. Subscription models remove the need for upfront capital, offering a controllable operating expense. 

Read More

Smarter Reports Make Smarter Decisions

Posted by Frank Gerome

Aug 4, 2017

If you polled small and midsize businesses and asked them which reports they use most frequently to monitor and track performance, you’d almost certainly get hundreds of different answers.  It’s pretty obvious that the goals any business wants to achieve impact the decision-making process and, therefore, the data they need to make the best decisions.  However, most businesses exhibit the “80-20 rule”:  20% (or less!) of the reports that the business utilizes likely drives 80% (or more!) of the performance monitoring and decision-making process.

So which reports do you think are the top 5 or so to help you get the complete “high-level” overview of what’s going on with the company?  Some of the classics:

1. Profit & Loss Report with all the typical data points (current month actuals, last month, last month prior year, budget, year-to-date, etc.)

2. Balance Sheet

3. Cash Flow

4. Narrative management summary report (very unique—check it out)

5. KPI/Scorecard report for your top metrics

6. Top 50 sales transactions for the month

7. Payables report showing the largest payments made this month

8. Receivables report showing the oldest aging receivables

9. Graphical trend reports or dashboards (from Dynamics GP or right in Excel!)

Assuming you have a set of “favorite” reports that you and your managers consistently use to help manage the company, here are the next questions:

•  Do you have the technology to produce all of these reports as part of an automated process, or is it a manual process to pull everything together and to deliver it to your management team?
• Do you have a process to capture the discussions once managers have reviewed the reports?
•  Do you have agreed upon thresholds in your report package that can trigger management actions based on the thresholds (for example, if free cash flow passes a certain level, a manager can make a certain investment without delaying the decision with approvals and meetings)?

Hopefully this could spark ideas for anyone trying to put together the “ultimate” management report package.

Read More

Have you been wondering what the benefits of a hosted ERP solution really are?

Posted by Frank Gerome

Aug 2, 2017

Hosted ERP solutions provide a wealth of compelling financial and technical business advantages to today’s small and midsize organizations. These benefits include:

  • Minimized initial investment. Unlike conventional onsite ERP solutions, a hosted ERP solution does not require a substantial upfront investment. A typical onsite ERP implementation involves purchasing and maintaining servers, housing them securely, then deploying, configuring, and maintaining the software. In addition to a sizable upfront capital outlay, this also requires the time, effort, and associated costs of hiring and maintaining a staff of experienced IT personnel.

By comparison, with a hosted ERP solution the burden of implementing, maintaining, and keeping the application up to date is shifted from the customer to the solution provider. This approach eliminates the costs and complexities of installing and integrating additional hardware to support the software and hiring additional staff to support the application on an ongoing basis. As a result, a hosted ERP solution is particularly advantageous for small to midsize organizations with tight capital budgets and limited IT resources.

  • Accelerate and Increase Return on Investment of the Application. In keeping with the business model of SaaS applications, hosted ERP solutions can be implemented with relative ease and integrated faster into the organization’s day-to-day business than their onsite ERP counterparts. In fact, most typical hosted ERP solutions can be up and running in mere weeks, rather than months or even years, as may be the case with traditional onsite ERP software. This enables organizations to begin realizing the business benefits earlier, which, in turn, results in a more rapid payback, a greater return on investment (ROI), and a reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) over the course of the investment.
  • Seamless Upgrades. With traditional licensed ERP software, organizations typically must wait for the next release to benefit from the latest features, upgrades, or security patches. In addition, the cost, complexity, and potential disruption of moving to a new onsite software version often cause some organizations to defer upgrading to the newest release. This, in turn, prevents employees from taking advantage of the latest productivity enhancing tools consistently being added to the applications. Hosted ERP systems, however, eliminate this common problem. Under this delivery model, the provider continuously and unobtrusively adds latest features and upgrades, which means that users can be assured that they’re actually using—rather than waiting for—the latest technology, without drawn-out upgrades, customization, and consulting costs.
  • Reduced Dependence on Internal IT Resources. Hosted ERP systems typically require significantly fewer technical resources to manage than onsite ERP solutions because the hosting provider manages the software, hardware, and network administration. This reduces the strain on the organization’s IT department, allowing it to redeploy IT resources to focus on other, business-building tasks.
  • Make Changes on Demand. Hosted ERP solutions are easily scalable and flexible to meet changing business requirements. Adding or removing users can be done on demand and will simply change the monthly subscription fee. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for growing, seasonal, or cyclical businesses that need to quickly change their user base to meet their unique business requirements.
Read More

5 Business Advantages for Subscription-Based Applications

Posted by Frank Gerome

Aug 1, 2017

1. Reduced Integration and Technology Costs

Companies must lower IT costs to lessen their overall spending. The current rule-of-thumb is that spending must decrease each year, posing a challenge to companies that must not only maintain existing IT systems, but also implement new technologies and approaches, such as subscription-based applications. Although a subscription solution requires new spending, it can substantially reduce other IT spending. Businesses are able to preserve cash while taking advantage of the power offered through the latest technology and software.

2. Faster Response to Internal Business Need

Most business technology is inflexible and difficult to adapt to business change. Just as the technology is deployed, there is a change in a customer requirement, a new product line which requires more characters for the part number, or 25 new  users need to be added. In each case, the existing system needs to be extensively modified, tested, and reimplemented. In a subscription-based environment, all that ‘heavy lifting’ is done for you – without disruption to your business. The solution can be easily modified, integrated, extended, or have new users added, thereby allowing you to focus on your business, not the technology.

3. Security and Regulatory Compliance

In today’s harsh business environment, being an executive or a board member of a company is not for the faint-of-heart. A whole raft of new laws and rules meant to protect the public, provide transparency in corporate management, facilitate government regulation, and smooth the interactions between businesses and their stakeholders will impact businesses for decades to come. Laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley, the PATRIOT Act, Basel II, the California Privacy Act, Graham-Leach-Bliley, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) require that business managers take full responsibility for their actions and secure their information and systems like never before. Subscription-based applications are hosted in secure environments that meet most, if not all of the information security requirements, required by law. Businesses don’t have to spend dollars locking down their traditional in-house systems to meet such requirements.

4. User Empowerment

Many users will find themselves participating in one or more business processes that they have no control over. Subscription-based applications allow for ‘application portability’ that follows the user to whatever role they may take. Functionality which was traditionally only offered to the ‘knowledge worker’ can now be made available to others to increase productivity and lower business costs. No need for costly infrastructure. Simply add another user subscription and off you go! Financial and productivity tools are now available to more people than ever, allowing your employees to get their jobs done faster and better than ever before.

5. Competitive Advantage

At a fundamental level, one basic business problem affects all of the rest. That problem is “inflexibility.” Basically, if companies are flexible enough, they can solve most business problems, since few problems are beyond the reach of the flexible company. With flexibility, companies can adjust offerings to changes in customer demand, build new products and services quickly and efficiently, and optimize their people’s talents to maximize productivity- providing the best possible direction for the future. Fundamentally, flexibility is the key to every organization’s profitability, longevity, and success. The most important aspect of the competitive advantage is the ability to meet the demanding needs of the market faster than the competition. Companies that improve their business often outdistance the competition as they use change to their advantage. Strategic advantages — those that distinguish one company’s value proposition from another’s — can be far more durable than tactical advantages, such as better responsiveness to change.
Read More

Focus on Business, Not HR and Payroll.

Posted by Frank Gerome

Jul 31, 2017

One of the great benefits about SMB Suite is our integrated HR services.  For a lot of businesses, managing the overhead of full-service HR is just cost-prohibitive.  At the same time, failing to provide the correct HR resources can lead to unhappy employees and even legal liability.  Our SMB-HR module is designed to be 100% managed by Insperity, the industry’s leading PEO.  By outsourcing these responsibilities your small business can potentially save a lot of money and time.  But don’t assume that all PEO’s are the same.  Spending too much time on your employee-related tasks and not enough time on revenue-generating duties could be hurting your business more than you think.
With a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), an outsourced HR service, you can turn over many of your business’s time-consuming HR tasks to a dedicated team of HR specialists, so that you can focus on your more profitable responsibilities. Moreover, when you sign on with a PEO, much of the risk and responsibility of employee administration and government compliance is transferred to the PEO.
Here are five ways a PEO can help resolve some of your most frustrating HR struggles.

1. Offer more comprehensive benefits for less
Benefits, such as medical insurance and retirement plans, are commonly a major incentive for job candidates. Unfortunately, since small businesses employ a smaller number of individuals, providers make less money than they do with the big guys. As a result, many providers won’t provide benefits to your small businesses simply because it’s less profitable for them. And if they do, typically, the cost is too much for your small business to bear.
As a PEO client, your employees become the employees of the PEO and its other clients. As one large unit, your PEO has greater buying power with benefit providers. Therefore it’s able to offer your business less expensive and more comprehensive health care and benefits coverage than you’d be able to get on your own.

2. Alleviate administrative overload
Fielding tasks such as payroll processing, writing job descriptions and coordinating benefit packages regularly require undivided attention. All the while, other critical tasks related to the managing and developing your business are put on hold.
For this reason, many small businesses find that handling all the administrative duties in-house can stunt the growth of your business, leaving it stagnant.
With a PEO, you no longer have to take time away from your business to administer, manage and organize employee paperwork. Your HR specialists will take care of most of that for you. So you can spend more time and money on core business activities.

3. Recieve at-the-ready HR guidance
Whether it’s firing an employee or addressing a sexual harassment claim, handling employee-related situations can be very touchy. One wrong move and you could find yourself tangled up in a lawsuit that could ultimately destroy your business.
PEOs employ human resource specialists who know the ins and outs of the industry and stay up-to-date on best practices. When you sign on with a PEO, these HR specialists are at your disposal to answer questions and provide assistance when issues arise in your workplace, so you never have to go it alone.

4. Ensure government compliannce
As an employer, you must always keep up to date with the changes made to labor laws and regulations. Not only is this an extremely time-consuming task, but for someone not well-versed in law, trying to make sense of the legal mumbo-jumbo can be frustrating.
A PEO will keep a close eye on your business and make sure it’s complying with both state and federal regulations at all times. Should something be out of kilter, your PEO will give you a heads up and help get things back on track.

5. Recruit and retain good employees
Creating a happy and healthy work environment is essential to maintaining a productive workforce. But many times, small businesses don’t know how to make their company a more appealing place to work.
These days, job-seekers often value a company’s benefit packages as much as the potential salary. And as we mentioned earlier, when you join a PEO, offering these benefits is much more doable.
Also, the HR specialists that work for the PEO can help you implement some extra perks that can help to attract higher caliber candidates. From setting up a paid time off program to improving your compensation structure, they will help you make your business a more sought-after place to work.

The Take-away
While researching PEOs, determine what your business’s greatest needs are when dealing with employees. Is your greatest challenge finding talent, managing benefits, risk management, or dealing with HR problems? Asking yourself these questions, while assessing your greatest challenges, can help you come to the best decision.
Dedicate more of your time and resources to your moneymaking responsibilities. Learn how SMB-HR can relieve you of your tedious administrative tasks and remove the burden of your daily HR headaches.
Read More

What You Need to Know About SMB Intelligence

Posted by Frank Gerome

Jul 27, 2017

Advantages of SMB Intelligence Reporting for MS CRM
Just like SMB Intelligence has an extensive, live integration to every Microsoft Dynamics ERP system, it also has a major, live integration to the MS CRM database. This gives you several benefits:
  • Flexible, user-friendly Excel-based report writer for your CRM data
  • Run reports on demand from Excel, web or auto-distribute reports by e-mail
  • Any entries in MS CRM are immediately available in SMB Intelligence reports with no delaying transfer to OLAP cubes or external systems
  • Install SMB Intelligence, download pre-built CRM report templates and in less than 5 minutes start seeing your CRM data in ways you have never been able to before
  • Integration is out-of-the-box, plus there is an interface to add custom CRM fields should that be needed.
  • Pre-joined tables across CRM (e.g. Owner, Account, etc.)
  • Pre-defined period logic (CRM date fields linked to weeks/months/etc. for easy reporting on e.g. trends, month-to-date, year-to-date, etc.)
  • Get increased visibility and control of your CRM data and at the same time watch the sales team quickly become motivated to capture updated data in CRM due to vastly improved reporting output
  • See the screenshots later in this document to get an idea of reporting capabilities, including charting, traffic lights, narrative reports and more

SMB Intelligence Integration to MS CRM

SMB Intelligence currently is delivered with out-of-the box integration to the following CRM modules:
  • Accounts
  • Contacts
  • Opportunities
  • Leads
  • Campaigns
  • Competitors
  • Products
  • Quotes
  • Sales Orders

 

Frequently Asked Questions about the MS CRM Integration:

Question Answer
   
Which modules in MS CRM are available in the integration?
  • Accounts
  • Contacts
  • Opportunity
  • Lead
  • Campaign
  • Service
What about custom fields in MS CRM, how do you integrate them? More modules can be added based on demand.
The SMB Intelligence Integration Customization interface provides access to add custom tables, fields and views in CRM.
How fast will it download data from MS CRM? You have two options for this:

1) Insert a SQL view in the other data source (e.g. in your ERP system if it is integrated to SMB Intelligence) or in CRM pointing to the other data source.

2) Populate the SMB Intelligence data warehouse with both CRM and the other data source (e.g. actual sales, general ledger data, payroll data, etc.) and then use SMB Intelligence Reporting on the data warehouse.
Can SMB Intelligence also be hosted like MS CRM? Yes, but there is no need.  With our Cloud Solution you get all of the benefits of on-prem and Cloud in One!
Is SMB Intelligence available on SaaS pricing? Yes, SMB Intelligence like all of our product offerings are available on an affordable monthly subscription!
Read More