Accounting Software as an Useful Tool for Asset Management
Asset management is becoming a software industry in and of itself. As such, the ability to use accounting software as a tool for managing company assets, tangible and intangible, is increasing the flexibility of accounting software across the board. Companies are shopping for accounting software that spends their capital budget dollars most wisely and gives them the tools to best manage company dollars and assets.
Examples of tangible assets that should be on the company asset radar can be machinery, buildings, fixtures, computer hardware and stock, to name a few. The criteria for designating something as an asset can vary from company to company and is closely linked with the capital budget.
Often a dollar figure is designated as the principle criteria for defining assets. Accounting software is then set up with capital accounts or specific cost centers and those things that are considered capital purchases charged to the appropriate account. Depreciation models are set up within the accounting software and applied in a case by case basis. This part of asset management is fairly straight forward and something that accounting software routinely deals with.
Now for the intangibles…software licensing, maintenance and intellectual property. Often this is where asset management becomes more difficult to deal with. Software licensing always involves a licensing agreement or contract. These are big dollar items negotiated in multi-year deals and often representing some of the largest investments that a company can make in its infrastructure. Without these, business stops.
A company’s computers run the show and the platform on which they run is licensed. So is every piece of software, every add-on, every plug-in, every third party design tool or proprietary software developed for an individual company’s use. This software is often delivered electronically. Keeping track of how many users and available licenses is a monumental task that carries certain risks. Accounting software producers have recognized this need and are seeking to meet it within accounting software products. For software licensing, asset management tools track licenses as they are purchased and distributed and then returned to the pool when a machine is retired.
Though a tedious process, asset management has significant rewards and mitigates considerable risks. Similarly, whether it is intellectual property developed by a company or intellectual property purchased or leased from another, this is a part of a company’s asset portfolio and therefore subject to administration and depreciation models. Accounting software has become an effective means of asset management.
It would be a very safe bet to take that a business in today’s economy which is considered growing, thriving, and successful is using ERP, or enterprise resource planning, software in order to ensure it is running as efficiently and effectively as possible. It would also be safe to say that the same business was running Accounting ERP software because almost every accounting department, in large businesses and even businesses with more than just a handful of employees, make use of some sort of accounting software, and most often this is accounting ERP software.
Accounting ERP software solutions are powerful systems that support business accounting tasks such as managing invoices, employees, vendors, and inventory. Companies have to be able to print invoices, track expenses, receive payments, print labels, and manage product or services. Perhaps when very small, these functions could be performed manually, but as a company grows, it becomes more and more difficult to continue to handle things by hand. This is particularly the case with bookkeeping procedures, which is why accounting ERP software offers numerous accounting and management tools in one ERP system. Using accounting ERP to automate tasks is essential. Automation allows for both controlling the incidence of human error and speeding up processes. Accounting software can support business financial operations by streamlining and automating transaction processing and other critical activities.
Good Accounting ERP is able to support supply chain management; inventory management; human resource management; finance; accounting; manufacturing planning; and sales and distribution.
In the past, businesses have shopped for accounting erp software in much the same way they shop for any enterprise resource planning. Once a company decides to purchase accounting software, there is a detailed process that begins with identifying what needs the erp should address. The next step could take months as the company embarks upon a discovery of which erp software package is the best fit that solves all, or at least most, of those problems. After the selection has been decided upon, and a vendor is chosen, a company can finally start the implementation process which might require updating hardware, customizing the system, and training the workforce. Still and all, even with all this careful preparation, research shows that a full three quarters of on-site accounting software implementations are in the end considered failures.
A company called Intacct saw the high economic and emotional cost of failure and decided to enter the market in a way that might eliminate some of the troubles that consistently led to huge disappointment. Today, Intacct is an award winning cloud financial management and accounting system specifically designed to make finance departments more productive and effective. Cloud computing, defined as having the application anywhere on the internet and delivered to the business through "the cloud" has become a major trend in recent times and the benefits are now widely understood. Delivered over the Internet via the Cloud, Intacct has been able to considerably reduce IT and operating costs, while establishing a far lower total cost of ownership than more traditional client-server financial software.
Named by the AICPA as its number one provider of financial applications, Intacct has helped thousands of companies, from startups to public corporations, get better. The Intacct system consists of accounting, contract management, revenue recognition, inventory, purchasing, vendor management, financial consolidation, and financial reporting applications, all delivered over the Internet via cloud computing. Business clients of Intacct have reported that enhanced financial, managerial, and operational reporting and analysis have led to better cash cycles, less sales outstanding days, optimized cash management, reduced operating costs, and increased business value.
Cloud computing is also a reality for webERP users. webERP is a web based accounting ERP system. It has an extensive range of features and it is fairly easy to use since all that is needed is a web-browser and pdf reader. The codes have been deliberately kept simple because that encourages modification should another function be required. It also gives businesses the power to customize the software so it performs exactly the way the business needs it to.
webERP can be configured on any operating system and the computer processing requirements are surprisingly light. Although webERP can be run over an internal LAN, third party web-hosting external to the business actually diminishes the IT costs of maintaining any significant server hardware. When only a router and connection to the internet is required to use the accounting ERP system, the business is released from obligatory expenses such as paying for IT infrastructure and licensing.
Interestingly, the estimable growth of webERP has happened solely through word of mouth testimony - there has never been a marketing or advertising push to "sell" webERP. Since there is no commercial incentive to push for free software, this growth is truly built on reputation and solid practical functionality that works. As more companies join Intacct or webEP, their successful experiences continue the trend.
ERP for Accounting
A tried and true method to improve a business and make it operate more efficiently is to run accounting software. Accounting software automates the requisite processes of printing invoices, paying bills, tracking accounts -expenses and payment receipts, making payroll, and paying taxes.
ERP, or enterprise resource planning, is specialized software intended to oversee all the critical functions of a business in order to help integrate and improve the accessibility, accuracy, and timeliness of data. When accounting is added to ERP, a more complete model for organization and effectiveness is created.
ERP for Accounting thus accomplishes the basic accounting software tasks, but also other more specialized accounting and management tasks. For example, ERP for Accounting automates all finance and accounting-related processes and activities including budget creation, allocation, and management; cash flow analysis; management of capital equipment and other assets; performance management; and financial reporting.
Companies ready to jump into the market for Accounting ERP often find themselves overwhelmed with the variety of software solutions available –all promising the solution to every ‘evil’ that besets the business. Vendors, salesmen’ pitches, demos, trials, and even reference checks can be confusing and make it quite difficult for potential customers to decide which accounting package is best.
Well, the good news is that although some specific needs do vary from business to business, there are a few core needs that form the basis of any good ERP for Accounting, no matter what the structure and size of the company.
To that end, it is important that the accounting package provide full support for the widest range of transactions and activities, such as accounts receivable and debt collection, accounts payable, general ledger, billing and invoicing, purchase order and sales order processing and tracking, and investment and asset management. Another core need for any business is the ability to generate practical and helpful reports. Any good accounting ERP software package must contain robust functionality in the area of reporting. In order to gain an understanding of corporate performance, identify the critical patterns that most impact the business, and develop informed strategies, businesses also need their accounting software to help with data analysis. And one of the major needs of any business is the need to have the new ERP integrate well with the pre-existing systems already at work. ERP for Accounting has to be compatible with whatever other software package and modules the company has previously implemented. No matter how good the accounting erp is, if it cannot operate seamlessly with the legacy software, it will prove worthless.
Accounting Management Software
Accounting management software program suites designed to run on integrated enterprise resource planning solution architectures are becoming increasingly popular and affordable and are poised to revolutionize the way small businesses control their back office management functions. Accounting management software modules are only one type of back office tool on a long list that include applications for human resource management, payroll, and customer relationship management, all of which are in high demand at the small, start up and mid-sized enterprise level.
ERP software modules were introduced with the first integrated business solution architectures that come onto the business market in the late 1980 and early 1990s. These large architectures were cumbersome and expensive, but they served their intended purpose: That of unifying a diverse and disconnected array of software programs onto a single, streamlined platform that allowed employees across multiple departments and business units to share databases and update collective information in real time. With the first ERP architectures and single or multi-tier server systems in place, businesses were able to raise efficiency, reduce error, improve communication and move productivity forward into the new century.
A few decades later, integrated business solutions are still in high demand. But their capabilities have expanded, and the cost and difficulty of implementation no longer present an obstacle to ERP solution adoption. In fact, increasingly small businesses are able to take advantage of business solutions that were once far beyond their financial reach. Affordable accounting management modules offer one of the ways that small businesses can profit on ERP system evolution and increasing flexibility.
The most prominent providers, like Microsoft and SAP, are now designing small adaptable back office modules perfectly scaled and customized to meet small business needs. As they do this, they face competitive challenges from small independent providers, hosting solutions and software service providers. This competition works to the advantage of small business mangers across every sector, and accounting management software solutions become more accessible and functional every year. Accounting management software modules can now handle automatic calculation functions and double entry ledger keeping, and even the simplest programs can help business managers conduct reconciliation functions for multiple accounts. More extensive program options can often include budgeting and planning tools that help managers control budgets for different departments, calculate depreciation, and estimate returns on a variety of potential investments. The most advanced accounting management software modules can help business managers navigate international business markets by providing tax law and regulatory updates, currency conversion features, and language tools.
There’s never been a better time for business owners and technology mangers to investigate the potential of accounting management software modules. The right software tools can help businesses stay afloat during turbulent business climates.