Posts covering best practices, trends, and insights.
When a company chooses a cloud service, they have certain expectations. First off, most companies plan to enjoy the cost savings in IT—not having to maintain a powerful, scalable server with guaranteed up time. Rather than paying for room to grow, they anticipate that the service will be able to expand during times of peak demand—referred to as elasticity. Second, they expect fresh software that they don’t have to update. The provider updates the software at frequent intervals for all subscribers. Third, flexible costs allow them to pay for just the features, number of users, and server space they need, when they need it. And lastly, they expect to access the service from anywhere, even mobile devices. These are the expectations of cloud, but do these expectations always align with reality?
Let’s face it -- accounting information is almost completely useless unless you have the reporting tools to help you measure what really matters to your non-profit organization. This applies to all non-profits; from educational institutions, faith-based and ministry organizations, to health and human services agencies. How can the executive directors or management possibly understand the complexity of their overall operations and make sound decisions without good reporting?
We are in an age of increasing demand for transparency/accountability and are looking for ways to generate and demonstrate successful outcomes. We must have simple, easy to understand metrics that can quickly take the pulse of an organization and assist with decision-making. We must have metrics reporting that never loses focus on what is important and what truly matters to management and stakeholders.
A modern, non-profit accounting solution will consistently track your data by key components and give you instant insight, empowering you to proactively manage funding, programs, students, members, and more. These systems can provide access to both financial and statistical data that allow you to automatically calculate key metrics to measure what matters. These metrics can report on critical information such as financial (revenue), statistical (students), or any number of combinations (donations per attendee). Sage Intacct is such a software solution that was designed to provide real-time visibility into all components of your organization.
As management of a non-profit organization, consider the potential immediate and long-term value to your organization of real-time & accurate reporting. Think about the benefits of being able to easily generate and clearly demonstrate successful outcomes to all stakeholders including funders, board members, or donors. How could you improve the health of your organization by having real-time visibility into funding, programs, donations, expenses and more?
When it comes to construction reporting, timing is everything -- the closer you are to real- time reporting, the better your opportunities to respond to emerging project issues. Success in the construction industry is dependent on timely, accurate reporting that gives you a wide-angle view of your operations with zoom-in capabilities. As a construction owner or manager, how can you consistently make good decisions without real-time reporting? If you are using QuickBooks or Sage 50 for your accounting, you are likely using Excel or some other stand-alone solution to track your projects, resulting in decisions based on outdated, inaccurate data. These decisions could result in significant project issues which could break your company.
Construction-specific software makes it easier than ever to make informed, timely business decisions. Getting the financial big picture is no longer a big hassle -- and no detail escapes you because all details are integrated in a central system with a single source of project data truth.
You can keep key project personnel in the loop by capturing and sharing valuable site-specific data; and that information is accessible even when you’re not in the office, keeping you more in touch, and more in control, than you’ve ever been before. How improved would your decision making be if you had accurate, timely information at your fingertips whenever you wanted it? How long can your business survive when project cost overruns occur due to your inability to respond to issues as they are happening?
Current construction-specific software solutions are able to provide real-time reporting that can make or break your construction business. Sage 100 Contractor is one construction-specific solution that features user dashboards, custom alerts, and over 1,200 built-in reports. It gives you that complete wide-angle view of your operations with drill-down, zoom-in capabilities to the details.
Asyma and Sage have teamed up to provide a fully cloud based solution that is rated #1 in customer satisfaction by G2 Crowd winter 2019 edition.
A Smarter way for Non-Profit Organizations to Plan and Budget
Let’s face it -- spreadsheets are not automation. They can help with some calculation, but they can cause more headaches than they solve. To achieve organizational goals, you need financial budgeting and planning that’s effective, collaborative, and strategic, but many organizations don’t have the solution to work that way; instead, they’re trapped by time-consuming, error-prone, unsecured spreadsheets. The general rule is that if you have been using a spreadsheet for more than a year there is a 100% chance that there is an error in it somewhere. So why do so many organizations continue to use them? Maybe it’s time to look at real budgeting and planning tools that are easy-to-use, powerful, and built for smaller businesses and organizations.
Imagine a budgeting world where you have control; where everyone works on the same current version; and where all changes are tracked. Think about the time savings that could be realized with collaboration and secure access to detailed information by all managers and department heads involved in the planning process. Imagine a dashboard that gives you all the critical information you need at a glance.
These systems are available. They’re not that complicated, and they can easily pay for themselves within one budgeting cycle. Say goodbye to outdated and dangerous spreadsheet budgets and plans and move to a smarter way to budget. Freeing ourselves and our managers from the time-consuming tasks associated with spreadsheet budgets to focus on the more important strategic planning and management decisions may be the smartest decision we make.
Look at some of the options available and decide for yourself it they are a smarter way to budget:
Sage Non-Profit Financials/Budgets Click Here
Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning Click Here
Information discovery and analysis is arguably the bedrock of human endeavor. It provides us with the necessary firepower to embark on business ventures, protect our assets, and build our spheres of influence. Good leaders will do well to seek out good information.
Thereafter, a book entitled Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times by a gentleman named Donald T. Phillips outlines the habit Abraham Lincoln had of “running into” new information. Lincoln strode around the White House listening, as well as taking time to interview several townsfolk in the White House while he was in office. The result was he would often collide with new ideas, leading to thought generation and often influencing his interactions as a leader.
The same is true of our business. A dominant reason for meeting with clientele is due to the process of idea generation. New intel leads to fresh thought – And potential innovation thereafter, all resulting from the literal collision of individuals with data. This underscores the importance of regular face-time with our clients: It provides the basis for providing superior service thru understanding and recognizing the needs and challenges of those we serve. Thus, take the time to be present and collide with new information – Both for the sake of good business and good service.
Many companies are continuing to use generic accounting software such as QuickBooks and Sage 50 (Simply Accounting) for their construction and Oil & Gas services operations. These systems are a good starting point for many start-ups, but they can only handle very basic project costing and don’t offer any project management functionality. Even with the many third party add-on project solutions you are missing critical integration and project management components. With these generic systems you are running your projects like driving using only the rear-view mirror. You are always looking back at revenue and costs that can be months old. Service/Project management is the backbone of every contractor’s business. You must have a single accounting/project management system that’s capable of meeting all your crucial specific needs to be effective.
Is there too much back-and-forth miscommunication between your project team members? Is project and services reporting always available with timely information about your projects? Generic software simply can’t handle these issues without developing spreadsheets; or using third party applications which require manual double entry to handle the weaknesses.
Sage 100 Contractor is an easy to use construction-specific accounting solution that can perform all of your advanced construction accounting requirements as well as manage your operations. Sage 100 Contractor can give you the confidence you need to run your business, and your projects effectively and accurately. Why continue to use generic systems when there are specific construction and service solutions available? Your best option, which will likely improve profitability, might be to throw out your current generic software and move to something built specifically for your industry.
I have been attending the SLA (Strategic Leadership Association) retreats for years now. Each one has given me some new tools and techniques to better my business. The topics are always something useful to the business world but not why I attend. I attend because of the wealth of knowledge in the room at each retreat. The room is filled with business owners and managers that have a combined knowledge far greater than anything I could have imagined. Being able to hear how they have improved their businesses, what has worked, what hasn’t worked and where they plan to get to in the future and how they will get there has been immeasurable in terms of value.