4 Best Practices For Reporting With Cloud ERP

4 Best Practices For Reporting With Cloud ERP

For so many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the problem with their reporting system is that it’s just not easy for “regular people” to use.

Normal people — folks without pocket protectors or advanced degrees in IT — don’t understand how to manipulate all the dials, switches and levers it takes to crank out the necessary data to make decisions.

So what do regular people use? Excel. With more than a billion Microsoft Office users, it’s safe to say that most businesspeople know how to use, and heavily rely upon, the spreadsheet software. The problem with this is that producing significant business intelligence from this simple program is difficult, at best.

The solution, therefore, is to use an ERP system that is capable of more sophisticated data-crunching, but is as easy to use and is integrated with Excel. Fortunately, cloud ERP solutions out there do just this; they have business intelligence reporting tools that are built-in and based on Excel.

This fact alone can solve so many reporting issues for SMBs. It means the nontechnical user can leverage his or her already-built competencies around Excel formulas to build ad hoc reports. Otherwise, this effort is a tedious process for most people.

Remember, reporting tools that are user-friendly means more people in the company can leverage and prepare reports or build their own. Rather than hiring someone to build reports, users are able to run the reports they need all by themselves, saving time and speeding up decision-making.

The more power you can put in the hands of your employees, the better off they are to support their own decision-making process. If they don’t have to bug the IT guy to pull reports for them, they are empowered and more productive.

Obviously, the similarity with Excel isn’t the only advantage that cloud ERP has for reporting. Using cloud ERP helps SMBs define and follow best practices of all kinds, including these four.

  1. Standardize accounting and operational business practices: This is critical to improving the integrity and reliability of all reports.
  2. Conduct a review of all of the “out-of-the-box” reports available with an ERP system: Make sure you review all of these reports on the system that you’re migrating to. See if they can be used to replace an existing report, relieving you of the need to create a custom report.
  3. Key performance indicators: Many metrics could be used to make adjustments to your business. The obvious considerations are profitability, sales numbers and time to invoice.
  4. Forecasting: Revenue, capital planning and personnel are important to consider when making plans for the future. Perhaps you have a goal to grow the staff by 10 people or add a new division. Get your finance department to create a bridge to achieve these operational goals. Finance will establish the parameters around the goals, such as a specific percentage of revenue growth to pay for new employees, or capital planning to support a new division.

Most SMBs are made up of “regular people” who are tasked with an ever-increasing number of assignments. They have to wear many hats to keep the business going. The key to success is to have full visibility into your finances. Quality cloud ERP solutions provide SMBs with the power to build the reports they need to achieve this visibility.

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Steve’s been with SMB Suite since 1998 and has been involved with nearly every aspects of the Company’s business as a strategist, professional services executive, cloud solutions architect, and senior consultant. In his current role, Steve is responsible for SMB Suite’s revenue and oversees the execution of ERP, CRM and BI projects for customers across a broad range of industries. Steve combines his expertise in MS Dynamics GP, CRM and other Microsoft products with a strong foundation in accounting and business to identify gaps and streamline customers’ processes. Prior to co-founding SMB Suite, Steve was previously Corporate Controller for MEHLE Behr and, prior to that, Audit Senior for Ernst & Young. Steve holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Jeremy is responsible for SMB Suite’s technology vision, strategy and implementation and is the architect of the Company’s Dynamics Cloud Platform. Highly adept in every facet of managed services, ERP systems and e-commerce platforms, Jeremy’s expertise spans the implementation and support of business and financial software solutions, as well as the customization and integration of SMB Suite’s cloud ERP technology stack. He holds numerous Microsoft and industry-related certifications, and was primarily responsible for designing the Company’s progressive business services platform in the early days of the Cloud. Prior to SMB Suite, Jeremy served as the financial analyst, systems administrator, and information systems liaison for a $2 billion financial services corporation.

Monty is responsible for SMB Suite’s day-to-day operation and, most importantly, its customers. As a leader, motivator and mentor, Monty creates loyal high performance teams willing to “walk through walls” to accomplish their goals. Prior to SMB Suite, Monty served as President of The Bradshaw Group (TBG), a global distributor, manufacturer, and repair facility for digital printers. In this role, he was the Company’s ambassador to its most important domestic, European and Latin American customers and TBG achieved a best-in-class Net Promoter Score of 74 for its superb customer satisfaction. Prior to TBG, Monty served as the General Manager of Sam’s Clubs three highest grossing U.S. stores and was named Regional Operator of the Year in 1999. Monty holds a BBA in Marketing from Texas Tech University and is an active member of Business Navigators. He has been active in Vistage International, Executives in Action, the Dallas/Fort Worth Retail Executives Association, as well as, A.P.I.C.S., the leading professional association for supply chain and operations management. Monty also volunteers with Hunger Busters and ManeGait, a therapeutic horsemanship organization.

David is a proven financial and information technology professional with expertise in providing business accounting software and computing solutions. He began his career by starting and managing a successful independent consulting practice for several years. He then launched the local systems consulting unit of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Services Group, leading the office into the hi-tech consulting arena. After successfully developing the unit for Ernst & Young, David founded NextCorp (which became SMB Suite in 2013) to serve the business software needs of clients throughout the US. David has made SMB Suite one of the best cloud ERP providers in the industry. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur and leader, he is a software and technology specialist, holding certifications in various Microsoft and other technologies.