Benefits of ERP software: Risks, rewards, and realities of alternative software systems

Balancing risk and reward is core to any business. As a company grows, maintaining a comfortable balance between the two becomes progressively more challenging. Why? Because growth can demand substantial change—such as refining technology infrastructure or new technology implementation. And when there is big change, the potential for greater risk (and rewards) will follow.

When a company expands, the number of data points increases, demand for real-time reporting increases, and new workflows emerge. These changes require full transparency across departments and roles, custom reporting, and deeper insights into business functions—often leading businesses down the path to consider new systems for management, like enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation.

ERP software has been around for years—long viewed as a silver bullet for managing multiple business functions and data points. And while ERP vendors design their ERP systems to bolster efficiencies via a centralized database, they also come with their fair share of risk and headaches, including a hefty price tag and a highly complex and time-consuming implementation process.

So, before you take your business down the ERP route, it’s best to understand the risks, rewards, and reality of alternative software solutions. Read on to learn how QuickBooks Online Advanced can serve as the hub for business operations and why it’s the best cloud ERP-styled choice for your growing business.

ERP implementation: Not always what it seems

Risks

While enterprise resource management systems are designed to bring all business functions under one integrated suite of solutions, the complexity of integration and the project management lifecycle can cripple a business. It’s also important to understand that ERPs were designed with large-scale enterprises in mind—offering more solutions than growing mid-sized or small businesses may need or want to handle.

Integration alone can be a massive undertaking. Take a moment to consider just a few major requirements:

  • Full buy-in from upper management.
  • Training and re-skilling of your entire workforce, which often requires hiring an ERP specialist to lead.
  • Development of a change management roadmap, which typically takes 18 to 24 months.
  • Strong project and business management throughout the company and several dedicated champions to ensure that implementation progresses and is completed.

When you factor in the human resource hours required to accomplish ERP implementation, both cost and risk grow bigger. The truth is that major changes need to be made companywide to properly implement an ERP that fits the specific needs of your business.

Rewards

The rewards of implementing the right ERP system can certainly be worth the initial time and cost investment. The ability to stitch together workflows across departments via an ERP can increase operational efficiencies, improve team productivity and scalability, and provide the transparency into data that business leaders need to make informed decisions.

Further, with custom views and reporting capabilities, inventory management and real-time data access from across the company, ERPs can help fortify the bottom line and set a company up for long-term, sustainable growth.

Reality

The reality is that, historically, ERP solutions have been a highly effective way to automate and integrate functions in growing businesses. However, most ERP solutions come with a steep cost and significant time investment. But recent technology innovations offer better alternatives that are more intuitive, timesaving, and cost effective. These solutions have the key functionality of an ERP for a fraction of the pricing.

QuickBooks Online Advanced offers ERP functionality and can serve as the “nerve center” of your enterprise. Starting with your accounting department, you can leverage the system’s advanced features to build out more efficient and more streamlined business processes as your company grows—an accounting-first operational approach.

Essentially, Advanced represents the launchpad for better, more efficient planning and management. From custom reporting to powerful workflow automation capabilities, there’s much more to QuickBooks Online Advanced than many business owners realize.

Just consider the system’s Custom Report Builder feature, which allows users to select the data they want to see and create the reports that are most impactful to their business. Reports can be filtered, grouped, and summarized to highlight the KPIs and data that are essential and unique to each customer’s operation. With custom reports in hand, business owners can easily identify and showcase critical information that provides deeper insights and supports informed, data-driven decisions. – Read more

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Stressed About the Future of Your Business? You Need Cash Flow Forecasting

Start forecasting your cash flow to reduce risk and put your business on a path of exponential growth.

Do you ever wonder about the optimal time to hire a team member, rent an office space, or invest in a new piece of equipment? You want to make sure you have enough money coming in to support the investment and not too much money flowing out.

Most business owners wrestle with cash flow questions like this, especially when they’re in growth mode. What’s the answer? Cash flow forecasting. Understanding where you stand financially—not just in the present, but in the future as well—will help you confidently make sound business decisions.

What Is Cash Flow Forecasting?

A cash flow forecast shines a light on how much cash your business is projected to have over a specific period of time, using current and historical income/expenses data.

This cash flow data can help you:

  • Identify the right time to make capital investments
  • Understand the impact of regular expenses on your cash flow
  • Consider how to optimize your invoicing and accounts receivable processes
  • Assess when your business is busiest and slowest

You can do forecasts for the short-term (30 days), medium-term (2 months–1 year), or long-term (1–5 years). It’s important to note that a longer forecasting period results in a less accurate forecast. (Unless you have access to a crystal ball.)

CASH FLOW FORECAST VS. CASH FLOW STATEMENT

The difference between your statement and forecast is simple: A cash flow statement (or report) shows actual data on past cash flows in and out of your business. A cash flow forecast (or projection) is an estimate based on the information you’ve gathered in your statements/reports.

That means you’ll need accurate cash flow reporting in place first to do accurate cash flow forecasting.

Why Do I Need to Do a Cash Flow Forecast?

Managing a business can sometimes feel like a day-by-day proposition, but most businesses can’t achieve strong, sustainable growth unless they establish working capital. And you can’t make informed decisions or plan ahead to meet business objectives without a strong grasp of your financials.

Let’s say you want to bring on an administrative assistant to help lighten your load so you can focus more on client work. You might look at how much money you have in the bank right now and think you could pay an employee’s salary this month, no problem.

But can you predict your cash levels next month? Or in 3 or 6 months? The question becomes, will your company have the cash to support the ongoing expense of hiring an employee? This is where a cash flow forecast comes in.

Understanding the big picture of your cash flow, including what comes in (and when) and what goes out (and when) will allow you to discern what’s feasible for your business now, and in the future. – Read more

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Benefits Provided By Desktop as a Service Provider

Are you thinking about how a DaaS provider can help you?

Desktop as a Service is a cloud-based technology offering you virtual desktops on a remote server. This technology is similar to Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, which hosts every office desktop on an on-premise server. This server manages the RAM, storage, resources, and every other requirement of office desktops. The on-premise server also ensures load balancing and helps meet the performance requirements of the office.

Desktop as a Service is a VDI infrastructure on the cloud. Your desktops are virtually hosted and managed by the provider. The provider creates VDI at the backend and makes a virtual copy of the server for every business. Since the DaaS providers are managing the backend and servers of the cloud entirely, they are able to offer some amazing benefits to small, medium, and large enterprises. Read more to know what these benefits are.

Benefits Offered By A Desktop as a Service (DaaS) Provider

A Desktop as a Service provider looks after your hosted infrastructure, maintains security, and offers high-performance to execute every task without any hassle. Let’s explore benefits offered by a DaaS provider in detail:

  1. Advanced Security

When operating on office desktops, your organization is more prone to cyber threats and data breaches. However, contrary to this, the DaaS provider manages your cloud instance and offers you security. You don’t need to deal with a massive data loss every time a laptop starts misfunctioning. The cloud server is a high-security network that uses a series of security frameworks along with server and data redundancy.

Here’s how a DaaS provider secures your data:

  • Your resting and transmitting data on the cloud is encrypted using TLS 1.3 and 256-bit encryption. This means that when you are transmitting data, any hacker may not decipher the data files inside this message.
  • Hardware and software firewalls help you secure your data from unauthorized and unauthenticated access. This includes hardware firewalls for multi-factor authentication. Only people and employees of your organization get access to desktops. The software firewalls define the access offered to different users. For instance, not every person in the content team should get access to the entire marketing plan or every tool and software.
  • The provider ensures OS hardening and patching to provide a secure operating system. This helps eliminate malicious attacks on your data and desktops.
  • The security excellence team of the provider takes care of the network and data. They continuously monitor data and fraud activities via Intrusion Detection and Prevention.
  • There’s also physical security, such as CCTV surveillance, to secure the premises of the cloud server.
  1. High-Performance Desktops

Every business needs some processing speed and performance power, which is offered by the hardware. When you are using cloud services, this processing power comes from the configuration of your desktops that are hosted on a remote server.

Your DaaS provider helps you improve your processing speed by offering you the ability to decide config, including RAM, load times, etc. You can deliver your resource requirements, based on which the provider helps you adjust the load time, RAM, storage, etc.

Even when your organization requires a few desktops that cater to the needs of resource-intensive applications, you can get high-performance virtual desktops, such as GPU-based desktops to process high-quality graphics.

  • High-performance similar to high configuration windows laptops.
  • SSD-based storage, which is quick, so you can retrieve and access data quickly.
  • Due to high-performance servers and scalability, you can run many apps on virtual desktops at one time.
  1. Simple Access

We are operating in a competitive landscape, which requires an all-time laptop and office data access. You may have urgent meetings at odd times, sudden traveling requirements, or any other client demand. To fulfill these requirements, you need to access your data and apps remotely from any location.

Desktop as a Service provider helps you set up remote desktops that can be accessed from any device without any issue. Whether your employees need to attend a meeting or check the status of a task on vacation, they can achieve it without any issue.

  • Personalized access from smartphones, laptops, tablets, or any other device that has an internet connection.
  • There is no boundary of the location for accessing virtual desktops.
  • The DaaS provider quickly sets up multi-device access for desktops connected to devices like scanners, printers, etc.
  • More than one user can collaborate on one data file in real-time. The ability to share, modify, and communicate with data in real-time helps improve productivity.
  1. Cost-Effectiveness

Desktop as a Service provider helps you process data, access desktops, manage it, and maintain performance at an optimum budget. You don’t need to set up servers, create an internal infrastructure, or control the network. The best devices that you can use with DaaS are the devices you already have in your office.

  • Decrease the cost of office infrastructure. There’s no need to purchase, set up, and manage servers and data centers.
  • You don’t practically need to spend money on initial infrastructure. The expense of a desktop is also mitigated, as you don’t need to repurpose and repurchase desktops as soon as their configuration gets out of order. We can simply upgrade remote desktops for this purpose.
  • The DaaS service provider works on a pay as per your use model. This means that you only need to pay for the services you are using at any payment cycle. This includes the scaling requirements too. If you use more storage half in the month and reduce it in another half, your bill will be adjusted according to the usage of each day.

Conclusion

Are you wondering how a DaaS provider can make your work processes hassle-free? Check the above benefits and understand the support provided by a Desktop as a Service provider. When you are implementing DaaS in your organization, remember to evaluate these services. It will help you partner with the right cloud provider without losing control over your desktops, apps, and data.

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