Financial Reporting

Financial Softwares: What does Gartner’s MQ say?

Posted on 15/09/2017

Gartner has released its first-ever Magic Quadrant for Core Cloud Financial Software Management Suites! Concentrating solely on Cloud-based ERP which serves mid-sized, large and global organizations. At the onset, Gartner has excluded all players serving SMBs niche. This report revolves around the bigger ERP players.

Financial Software

While we’re waiting for the Critical Capabilities report which Gartner promised to deliver in the third-quarter of this year, join us in rehashing this first-of-its-kind report from Gartner.

Some surprising results

At Velan, we took a quick gasp when we first saw it. In the niche players’ quadrant, there lies SAP! SAP is not going to take this lightly especially considering the fact that ERP & Finance are its core strengths and S/4HANA is doing the rounds. I mean, when was the last time you saw SAP in the niche players’ quadrant? I can’t place a single MQ (except this one) where SAP wasn’t a visionary or more often, a leader. Can you?

Velan has served quite a few European clients who favor SAP over all others, while the Americans lean towards Oracle. For the record – regardless of the tools our clients use, we have the ability to dexterously handle GL, AR, and AP in an offshore model.

Oracle is way ahead in this game! Cheers to that license-ridden beast. Considering our experience with clients so far, we sincerely believe SAP should’ve been positioned right next to Oracle in the top-right quadrant, but here’s what Gartner notes as reasons for placing SAP in the lower-left:

  • Only SAP Business ByDesign fits the inclusion criteria set for this report. May include SAP S/4Hana is a possible candidate for future inclusion.
  • ByDesign targets SMBs with 1500 employees or lesser.
  • SAP Business ByDesign is primarily sold as a suite solution; SAP has limited focus on line-of-business finance marketing and sales.”+
  • According to Gartner, ByDesign risks being overshadowed by SAP S/4HANA Cloud since SAP is focusing considerable marketing effort in the HANA direction.

Gartner also notes that:

  • SAP Business ByDesign is most often used as a standalone financials system.
  • It can scale to support upper-midsize organizations.
  • Gartner is aware of organizations using SAP Business ByDesign that have revenue in excess of $1 billion+

Do you feel that Gartner never got around to dissecting the SAP ERP solution as a whole? Shaun from SCMFocus sure finds this “niche player” tag quite strange.

Some Expected Outcomes

It’s nice to see Sage Intacct reigning as a visionary, followed closely by Microsoft, FinancialForce, and Accumatica. We’ve not seen many clients using Accuamtica and this fact has been outlined by Gartner as well, in the Cautions section for Accumatica – Gartner notes that Accumatica lacks brand awareness and its marketing, focusses more toward the suite as a whole and loses out on the professionals and prospective clients in the financial realm.

With a good share of our clients using Workday, Intacct, and FinancialForce, we hope to see a lot more clients adopt these tools owing to their position on the quadrant.

The only two giants who’ve managed to position themselves in the leaders’ quadrant are Oracle and Workday. Between Oracle and Workday, the market footprint is oceans apart i.e. while Oracle boasts of a market cap of 209.97 billion and spreads across 7 continents, Workday only has an approximate market cap of 20.5 billion. Workday leaves behind giants like Epicor, Deltek, Microsoft and SAP (debatably, unless SAP wanted the industry to move on to S/4HANA & the upcoming quarter’s report may perhaps include it).

Intacct’s completeness of vision means this tool is in for the long haul – we can almost see it hitting the top right quadrant very soon.

Whatever the tool, rely on Velan

Velan offers exemplary outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services for CPAs and firms. Whatever be the ERP of your choice, Velan’s resources are adept and experienced in a wide range of Cloud-based ERP systems! We’ve worked with clients big and small. Whether you’re an SMB or a larger-than-life enterprise, Velan can offer you a team of accountants like no other.

For all your outsourced accounting & bookkeeping needs, all you need to do is call us @ 1-516-717-2049. Velan handles everything, right from bookkeeping to full-fledged accounting using any and every ERP software – General ledger (GL), Accounts Payables (AP), Accounts Receivables (AR), reports and analysis. Velan can help you cut down on your staffing, training & infrastructure costs by providing an extended cost-effective offshore team.

Reference:

  1. https://www.gartner.com/doc/reprints?id=1-43I9UCB&ct=170619&st=sb
  2. + marks direct excerpts from the report

Topics: Accounting , CPA , Financial Reporting


Improve Accounts Payable Efficiency: 15 Best Practices

Posted on 30/06/2017

Every organization witnesses a skills gap; 75% CEOs feel their in-house team isn’t adept enough to keep up.Keeping that in mind, it is always helpful to define clear, precise and well-defined workflows and practices in every business process. Here are some tips and best practices to Improve Accounts Payable efficieny. A better Procure to Pay process will not only benefit your working capital, cash flow, and vendor relationships but go the extra mile help you to identify areas of savings and compliance. If you’re looking to strengthen your bottom line performance, what better way than to improve liquidity?

Services for Accounts Payable

So read on, as we enlist 15 best practices to improve accounts payable efficiency (in no particular order), keeping in mind the organizations where the AP function primarily relies on paperwork submissions. We know some companies have already adopted EDI and we’re going to keep this as generic as possible.

  1. Defined Roles and Responsibilities: Assign access rights, or assign specific employees the capacity to add/delete/modify vendors in the vendor master files. Especially in systems that lack the ability to print changes made to the files, this practice can be pivotal in avoiding theft.
  2. Use default settings to your advantage: It is recommended that you default the AP master file configuration to a Vendor Type used most frequently. If your system allows for multiple vendor categories, set access rights in a way that users only above a certain security level are allowed to change the GL code.
  3. Avoid batch entries: Entering each invoice individually, allows for a separate audit trail and that would greatly help in keeping track.
  4. Check the Invoice Dates: Do not let your AP clerks use older invoice dates. Try and understand how your system assigns GL month/year as well. When you generate reports on financial reports for a time period, correct dates will alleviate unexpected results.
  5. Review and reconcile: Compare charges to purchase orders while paying out and perform a monthly reconciliation.
  6. Automation is better: Manual processes such as expense reporting, data entry should be automated for better utilization of your accounting resources. This will also minimize risks and errors.
  7. Try an ERP system: Most of the auditor’s time is consumed in reviewing manual postings owing to an elevated risk factor. This can be eased with the help of an ERP system.
  8. Always compare with original: It is advisable to try and pay against the original invoice but if paying from a copy, compare the invoice number and charges indicated.
  9. Verify W-9: In the year’s end when you organize 1099s, you don’t want to be stuck in a rut. Before initiating payment, verify the vendor has a W-9 file for them.
  10. Invoice number rules: If all your clerks starting entering invoice numbers in the format they please, you’ll be lost for eons; especially if you don’t have an invoice number in hand. Instead, have a policy and educate your clerks on how to enter invoice numbers.
  11. Accountability: Assign and authorize separate people for entering the invoice, approving the invoice and signing the check.
  12. Logging is key: All invoices should compulsorily be addressed to the Accounts Department – this way they can be logged.
  13. Define Budget: It is safer to know your AP team know what the declared budget is, if you are among those who run a lot of cash transactions.
  14. Audit trail is imperative: Even if you don’t plan on paying the entire invoice amount, it would help the audit trail to mark it as billed. At these instances, use credit memos.
  15. Free is good: Discounts and free goods being offered by your vendors is something that could greatly help your accounts. Watch out for these festive promotions and make the best use of them.

Go the extra mile with these best practices, and watch your AP process go above and beyond maintaining operating margins. Velan is a trusted and seasoned Accounts Payable services providers. Velan AP process takes extra care on available free credits, payable days, purchase order mandates, and Accounts Payable cycle efficiency. Accurate Accounts Payable reconciliation plays a vital role in clearing unpaid bills within the stipulated time. Outsourcing your Accounts Payable management to Velan will help you effectively mitigate fines for late bill payments and ensure that you have a streamlined Accounts Payable process flow leading to optimized of profit for your business. Call Joyce @ +1-516-717-2049 to know more.

Topics: Accounting , Accounting firms , Accounts Payables , Financial Reporting , Outsourcing Accounting


Why Should Businesses Outsource Real-Time Financial Reporting And Accounting?

Posted on 04/04/2017

Real-time Financial reporting basically means that an event must be reported as and when it occurs rather than in the later stage. In this same context, real-time accounting means retrieval of information that is stored in the accounting system by reducing the lag between the recording time of accounting and the time of availability. Real-time accounting is used to make accurate information available as soon as possible.

cashflow

Some benefits of Real-time accounting and financial reporting:

  1. Removing batch processes: Real-time accounting often ensures that information is updated at one point in time. For example, when an approved invoice gets posted, the vendor accounts must be posted, and the same should be updated on the expense account and in the general ledger. Simultaneously, inventory and other activity costing should be kept updated. This will ensure that errors are minimized and all updated information will be made available to all the stakeholders.
  2. Syncing different books: Most businesses today distribute some part or all parts of their accounting operations. This means data redundancy is high. Now, applying real-time accounting can eliminate the need to replicate the data and it also helps the postage of data in more than one database simultaneously.
  3. Informed decisions can be made: Real-time accounting ensures that information is being updated on a regular basis, which is best for the needs of the organization. This availability of the financial information in a timely fashion will facilitate the management to be highly agile in their dynamic business environment.
  4. Information centre: Real-time accounting makes the creation of information hubs possible, thereby allowing access to many users at a given point in time. It also provides the facility for the information to be presented in any format desired.
  5. Enhancing productivity: Visibility to financial information is more with real-time accounting. This helps the organization in being dynamic and re-prioritizing the tasks based on need. This had been found to enhance the compliance, productivity, and accuracy.

So, why should you outsource real-time accounting?

The one challenge that organizations face in implementing real-time accounting is the burden it would place on the existing resources. Outsourcing real-time accounting provides access to a whole new level of the trained and expert team in all aspects of finance and accounting. You can also get access to the latest technology available. All these not only ensure accuracy of data, but also cost efficiency. You will not have to invest on infrastructure or the resources. Plus, when you outsource real-time accounting, paper based reports would become obsolete, which means data can be made available anywhere at any time. By and large this will help the company to stay proactive.

To enjoy all the above mentioned benefits of outsourcing your real-time accounting, do contact Joyce at +1-516-717-2049. We can help you figure out the ways to improve your productivity and profitability.

Topics: Accounting , Cash Flow Management , Financial Reporting


What Happens When You Track Cash Flow From Business Operations

Posted on 23/03/2017

Adequate cash-flow is significant to running a healthy business and anybody running their own business will know it. It is a taboo that healthy cash flows in any business come from equity funding or income from other investment and not their original business operations. The OCF or Operating Cash Flow unfolds what revenue is generated by ongoing business operations like sale of goods or services.

cash-flow-Managing-your-small-business

Importance Of Tracking Cash Flow

There are quite a lot of advantages tracking your cash flow. Tracking cash flow helps in:

  • Improving your current performance
  • Enabling your investors to know of your status and in positive case bring in more investment
  • Foreseeing your long-term business value based on the current cash flow metrics
  • Enabling potential buyers to judge your business, if you are looking to sell your business
  • Enabling you to know the cash at hand to make any short-term finances, if need be
  • Enabling you to manage your cash flow better

How Can You Track The Cash Flow Metrics

Tracking your cash flow metrics is fairly simple. There are two ways to do it:

  1. Direct method

Direct method to finding OCF basically involves finding the Earnings Before Interest and Taxes or EBIT. Next, you need to find the depreciation or the declining value of the company’s assets due to wear and tear.

Now, OCF= EBIT + Depreciation – Taxes.

  1. Indirect method

If you use the indirect method to calculate your cash flow, you must ensure that you abide by the GAAP or Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, established US Accounting standards. That said indirect method is the most preferred method by most business men. This is because of the fact that it provides reconciliations from net income to the cash rendered by operations.

Steps to finding OCF:

  1. Find your net income
  2. Add the non-cash expenses back in – like amortization & depreciation
  3. Adjust the profits and losses on the sales of assets
    • Subtract the profits
    • Add the losses back in
  4. Account the variations in current assets and liabilities
  5. Account the variations in non-cash current assets

Generally, business with positive OCF means that the business has net incomes that are reliable and can stand the test of time like any economic downturns or undesired situations. Negative OCF means the business has to work strategically to cover the shortfalls and get back on track to withstand any seasonal business shortages and also thrive in the long run.

Call Joyce at +1-516-717-2049 for outsourcing or any queries on cash flow management.

Topics: Bookkeeping Services , Cash Flow Management , Financial Reporting , Outsourcing Accounting


How Ready Are You For The Tax Ready?

Posted on 25/02/2017

Have you started your tax prep for your small business yet? It’s about time you started prepping and it’s not very late to hire a tax preparer to help you out with it. There can be umpteen questions to start like who can be your my preparer? Am I choosing the right person? Can I still prepare taxes on time? So on and so forth. Before you think through all these, if you think that you can’t file your returns on time, do not have inhibitions in applying for an extension using Form 4868. For all you know, an accountant at this point in time may not have time to accommodate you on board; so it is good to know the list of papers you will need for your tax preparation.

Tax time

Use the simple guide below to start prepping for your tax returns, and if you have started already using the guide to check if you have everything intact:

  1. Completed check book statements, bank account details, savings account details, cash on hand, credit details, and any other banking details
  2. Credit record should include the business loan that is outstanding, credit card statements, any vendor credits.
  3. List your receivables- you will need to have an e-list of the account receivables. Reports can be generated easily if you are using software like QuickBooks. If you find it hard to organize this, you can bring together all your physical invoices, cash drawer receipts, other receipts, and any other paper bills you have and have an accountant organize things for you.
  4. Include the entire inventory such an inventory amount in the beginning, total at the end of the year, and inventory which includes personal use, damage, and spoilage.
  5. Expenses- Again, expenses have to be e-listed. Fret not if you do have your e-list. It is perfectly okay to have a box of papers and receipts and you are not the only one to carry all your expenses physically. Hire an accountant who can help you organize everything for you.
  6. Keep track of the paid employee wages, such as forms W-2, W-3, MISC-1099 and 940.
  7. Insurance- your business insurance costs, fringe benefits, and let’s not forget the health insurance costs everything should be included. Ensure that you have calculated the premium dollars that is if you are paying your and your employees health insurance costs.

Should you have any questions or need assistance with tax preparation, contact Joyce @ +1-516-717-2049 and free yourself.

Topics: Financial Reporting , Outsourcing Accounting , Taxation