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5 Keys To Preparing For A Successful Migration To Financial Accounting Software

For organizations finally ditching their hodge-podge spreadsheet system for quality financial accounting software, preparing for the big move can feel like a daunting task.

Moving your reporting, payroll, receivables, payables and a thousand different financial figures from one system to another — without messing anything up — is an incredibly challenging task. Fortunately, companies that take the time to prepare properly are more successful and experience much less stress than those that try to migrate without a solid plan.

3 Ways Cloud ERP Technology Can Help Improve Business Continuity

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.

How Much Are You Really Paying For Maintenance And Support Of Your Financial Accounting Software?

Truly understanding the total costs associated with — well, anything — is never easy. When it comes to cloud computing, online tools and just about any financial accounting software, this struggle is more than apparent.
 
Just try answering this question: How much does it cost to keep a system running? Don’t forget to calculate electricity costs, security precautions and the time it takes your IT people to fix problems.
 
Not easy, right? It can be particularly difficult to understand the cost of maintenance and support for cloud-based programs.
 
Regardless, overcoming this problem and determining the actual cost of cloud software maintenance is critical. Why? For one thing, most companies will realize that by including these costs into the price of managing the finances of an organization, cloud subscription models are actually cheaper than on-premises financial tools. The value of ongoing tax updates and year-end closings is considerable and should never be underestimated.
 
It’s also important to truly understand these costs because without quality maintenance and similar services, business as the company knows it can end the moment it’s unable to print checks, process payables or accept receivables.
 
The first step to calculating these costs is to understand what “maintenance” really means. Maintenance is often thought of as annual software license costs to stay current. But it really means much more than this. Maintenance is about keeping your system running smoothly for months and years at a time.
 
Think about maintenance for your financial accounting software the way you think about maintenance on your car. You’re not just making car payments to keep the vehicle under warranty, you’re paying to complete ongoing tasks such as washing the car, rotating the tires, changing the oil and gassing it up.
 
With financial accounting software, there are changes to the tax code every year that have to be addressed in order for a company to remain compliant. There are new laws to consider at the start of every fiscal and calendar year. These alterations to the code must be incorporated into the financial workings of a company, or it will fail to stay within the confines of the law. Financial accounting software must have continual updates for specific modules within the programming.
 
With the real definition of maintenance in mind, here are four factors to consider when calculating such costs.

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.

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