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Author Archive Michael Pendred

What Costs Are Involved in Implementing an ERP System?

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An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution can be one of the most effective investments that a company can make to enhance efficiency, profitability, and long-term sustainability. However, it is also often one of the most difficult decisions to make, due to the initial effort it takes to implement the software and train staff, as well as the costs involved.

When purchasing an ERP system, there are a number of expenses that have to be taken into consideration beyond just the software. In fact, it is estimated that the actual ERP software only accounts for about 30 percent of the overall expense.

The Size, Scope, and Customisation of the Software

The cost of the actual software will vary based on how dynamic the system needs to be. The more applications that are required and the greater the level of customisation, the more expensive the software. Generally, larger organisations will pay much more than small and mid-sized businesses because they will have to implement a large, highly specialised ERP software solution.

Hardware – If Your ERP System Is Deployed On-Premise or Cloud-Based

Hardware can take up another 20 percent of the total cost of an ERP system. For small and mid-sized businesses that may not have enough resources to invest in upfront ERP costs, it may make more financial sense to opt for a cloud-based deployment, which involves a software as a service (SaaS) payment model. With a subscription-based ERP solution, no hardware expenses are required, as all the servers and other hardware are housed by the vendor. Also, the maintenance and support costs are generally rolled into the monthly fee. However, cloud-based ERPs are often much ‘lighter’ packages than onsite, so if it’s data-heavy information you’ll need to track, on-site may be a better option or your business.

Licenses

The more licenses your company requires, the higher your overall ERP costs will be. This is another reason why larger businesses have much larger software expenses. To save on licenses, keep in mind that you don’t need a license for every potential user. You’ll only need to acquire enough for the maximum number of concurrent users.

Implementation Costs

Whether you are getting your first ERP solution or replacing a legacy system, this is where the bulk of your ERP expenses will go – as much as half of your upfront expenses. Implementation costs cover the following:

  • Overall planning and organising of the project
  • Prototyping functional areas of the business
  • Installing the software and system configuration
  • Implementing process changes
  • Completing conversions

Who you choose to take care of your implementation process is going to impact the overall cost. Some ERP vendors will offer implementation services, while others won’t, which means your company could be working with a third-party vendor like an IT provider.

Implementation also includes training costs, an essential area for having a successful implementation process. Research shows that companies who invest heavily in training their staff are more likely to have a successful ERP implementation process. Setting aside less than 13 percent of the overall ERP implementation budget for training is linked to an increased likelihood of going over budget and exceeding project time frames.

One way that businesses can cut these costs is by being as involved in the process as possible. Having an internal project manager from your own staff, as well as a core team that works directly with the ERP vendor, will help the process go more smoothly and will help to prevent the project from going over budget.

To save on training costs, consider preparing several members of your staff to train the rest of your employees. It helps to have several IT professionals or other employees on your team who know your ERP system like the back of their hand. They can not only train others, but they may also be able to help when other staff members run into questions.

So is an ERP System Worth the Investment?

The benefits of ERP software include streamlining operations, increasing efficiency, and boosting productivity with a centralised, easy-to-use solution. Because of this, ERP solutions are generally well worth the investment – provided you invest effectively and efficiently in getting the implementation and training processes right from the start. This is the case across the board, from small businesses to enterprise level corporations. To find out how much of a Return on Investment that you may expect from your ERP system, use this tool for finding the ROI of an ERP solution based on your industry.

Learn everything you can about the ERP implementation process and choose a vendor that can answer all your software needs with one integrated, powerful software solution, and you are more likely to benefit immensely from your new system.

If you’d like to speak to our team about how the MYOB Exo or MYOB Advanced ERP systems can benefit your business, get in touch with us today!

5 Ways ERP Software Can Make Your Business Run More Efficiently

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How much further could your business go if it was running more efficiently? With a streamlined workflow and many of the costly operational hiccups of day-to-day business eliminated with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solution, you will be equipped with the right tools to unlock your organisation’s potential.

Today, many small to mid-sized businesses depend on business management software to get things done, from invoicing to accounting to stock levels to customer management. ERP brings all these solutions into one application, and therefore brings all information into one central hub. This means that an update in sales for example, will also adjust inventory, order management, and financial management. Sometimes described as the nervous system of a business, ERP software allows each area of your business to communicate, relate, and integrate all into one dynamic solution, which has the potential to improve overall operations enormously. Perhaps the greatest aspect of an ERP solution is its versatility; different add-ons can be embedded in the software to suit the specific needs of an organisation – and you can even have custom add-ons designed specifically for your business needs.

Are you considering investing in business management software (like MYOB Exo) but not sure how exactly this software will make a difference? Here are five ways that ERP software can boost efficiency – and your bottom line.

Greater Automation

With ERP sofware, it is possible to automate more workplace tasks. With all operational functions rolled into one over-arching management app, you’ll no longer have to spend time ensuring that your stock levels are sufficient in your warehouse, because inventory is automated. Lengthy and cumbersome order fulfilment paperwork can be fully automated as well, as can some facets of marketing, customer service, and accounting. This automation frees up labour hours so employees can work on more productive tasks like research and development and strategic planning.

Data Is More Visible and Readily Accessible

When all the information that you need about your business can be found through one central platform, you’ll save time looking up data files, cross-checking to ensure that data is accurate, and even searching for lost information. Everything can be found through the ERP software. Having all the data in one place also makes sophisticated forecasting possible – which can help your business form more effective business strategies with a clear picture of the numbers.

Ability to Reduce Waste Through Data Analysis

This is what really sets ERP software apart from using a series of separate business apps. With a single platform tracking your workflow, you can spot exactly where you’re losing money or wasting resources during normal operations. From poorly used warehouse space to honing in on excess production or long wait times, you’ll be able to recognise where you can make changes to help your business run more efficiently.

Better Communications, Which Means Faster Collaboration

Accounting, sales, customer service, and other departments can more easily communicate with each other because everyone is working through a central platform. When someone from sales enters data for example, the accounting department receives the same information, and in real-time. Not only does this make the flow of work between departments easier, but it also reduces the lost time and resources caused by errors, which are an inevitable by-product of using multiple apps.

More Effective Customer Service

Many businesses opt to embed a Customer Relations Management (CRM) app in their ERP solution, which can completely revolutionize the way your business interacts with customers. This will make the order management process simple, ensure more accurate inventory updates, and allow customers to keep track of their orders along the way. It also allows your organisation’s customer service team to spend their time interacting with customers, rather than doing the tasks and tracking that your ERP can do. When CRM is separate, managing the customer lifecycle becomes difficult as you would have to track data through the lifecycle from different applications, and then bring this information together in order to make a clear assessment.

Businesses with an ERP solution are operating at a great advantage. The more efficient your business is, the more you are able to excel, and grow. Get in touch with us to learn more about how MYOB EXO can improve your business’ efficiency.

5 Ways Accounting Software Can Make Your Business Run More Efficiently

Accounting is a key aspect of any business, so it is important that it is done properly and efficiently. Utilising accounting software can greatly contribute to the process, streamlining your accounting operations so that you can spend more time focussing on other aspects of running your business. Here’s how accounting software can help you:

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Simplify the Accounting Process

With traditional paper/manual Excel sheet accounting, each transaction must be entered by hand, often in multiple accounts. Everything must be handled meticulously to ensure that all entries are completed properly. Accounting software makes it easier to get the accounting done quickly. Many software applications automate everything for you, ensuring that each entry is allocated properly with minimal time and effort.

Minimise Mistakes

When errors occur in the accounting process, it is often a result of human error. Whether it is through entering data in the wrong column or account, or through mistakes in calculations, the human element greatly increases the risk of discrepancies in the books. With accounting software, you know that calculations will always be done correctly. With many accounting software applications, there are in-built checks that can alert you if a transaction may be entered incorrectly, helping to reduce errors even more.

Simplify Taxes

When tax time comes around each year, many businesses scramble at the last minute to obtain the data they need to lodge their taxes properly. Any errors can result in fines or audits, putting added pressure on your business. Accounting software makes the tax lodging process easier by compiling all of the necessary data for you. In some cases, you can even complete your tax forms directly within the software, making things even easier and saving you a lot of headaches throughout the process.

View Financial Overviews

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Knowing exactly what is going on with your business’ finances is crucial to keeping it successful. Creating financial reports can take a lot of time when doing it by hand, which can take you away from the day-to-day aspects of running your company. Instead of taking the time to do this yourself, accounting software is capable of creating detailed reports for you automatically. In addition, the extensive reporting capabilities in most accounting software applications can give you access to data that you would have been unable to examine on your own due to the time involved in completing the calculations.

Analyse Forecasts

Forecasting capabilities are one of the most useful features in many accounting software applications. By analysing past data and trends, as well as your sales projections, accounting software can often generate predictions regarding the future cash flow of your organisation. This can be of great assistance in planning future courses of action for your company, such as when would be a good time to invest in an equipment upgrade for example.

As with creating financial reports, developing forecasts can be incredibly time-consuming when done by hand. Having this information at your fingertips, within the software application, can help you to make informed decisions about how to proceed.

Horizon Business Systems is your Source for Innovative Accounting Software

Here at Horizon Business Systems, we are committed to providing market-leading accounting software to help businesses all across Australia. Our team of associates would be happy to discuss our products and services with you further to help you understand how we can help you take your business to the next level. Call us at 61 8 9328 1678 or get in touch with us online for more information. Your business’ success is our business, and we will work with you to help make it happen.

top Australian business and accounting blogs

Our Favourite Australian Accounting and Business Blogs

top Australian business and accounting blogs

There’s so much advice and information out there, ready to tell you how to run your business more efficiently, streamline your workflow, and improve your bottom line. The more you know, the more equipped you are to successfully grow your business and reach your goals – but with so much to read, where do you start??

Aside from starting with the Horizon Business Systems blog (of course!), we’ve put together a list of our favourite Australian accounting and business blogs to help you thrive and evolve as a business owner.

 

MYOB The Pulse

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A longstanding supporter of the Australian small business owner, MYOB offers an excellent blog for professionals and entrepreneurs. The Pulse is an insightful look at new developments in business. It provides helpful information, including updates on Australian workshops and seminars directed at business professionals and accountants, and useful tips that busy managers can apply to their day to day work. As creators of accounting apps and software solutions, there is a focus on accounting best practices and using technology to empower SMBs.

 

Chartered Accountants

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Get your tax and financial advice from the pros by reading the Chartered Accountants blog. Expect in-depth analysis of current updates, essential information on the latest changes from the Australian Tax Office, and some helpful tips on business policy and management written by members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia. This is a compilation of several blogs, not all of which are updated, but each blog has some gems for small business owners.

 

Consolid8

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Consolid8 is all about providing action-oriented tips to help you master your business’s financial situation. From tax strategies to cash flow forecasting, this is the online hub for the knowledge that you need to get your business on track financially.

 

The Bank Doctor

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Getting the right financing is essential for keeping your business running smoothly and fostering healthy growth. Fortunately, The Bank Doctor is here to help Australian business owners by providing a wealth of knowledge on securing optimal funding and avoiding financing pitfalls.

 

My Business

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Take control of your business by reading this dynamic Aussie business blog. My Business covers everything from marketing techniques to networking strategies. It’s also loaded with thought-provoking interviews with today’s business disruptors, making it an inspiring coffee break read.

 

Leaders In Heels

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Dedicated to all the women business owners and entrepreneurs out there, Leaders In Heels is the go-to source for guidance, information, and support for women in business. Filled with articles designed to help you reach your potential, as well as plenty of useful downloadable resources and motivating interviews with successful women, this blog is an amazing boon for female business professionals.

 

Business News

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Need to know what is relevant and current in Australian business? Business News Western Australia is probably the most comprehensive business news blog on the web, with everything from special reports on workplace wellness, news articles covering real estate, the markets, mergers, and more, to informative podcasts that feature the latest happenings in various industries.

 

Business Insider Australia

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This is another excellent blog on what is happening in Australian business. It covers innovations, the markets, as well as what is going on in world news and politics. Business Insider also offers tips and advice for successfully navigating the business world, including everything from deal closings to how to get along with co-workers. It has a little bit of something for all types of business professionals, whether you want to brush up on your industry current events or you want to know about some of the latest luxury car releases – after all, all successful business owners need a break from the daily grind to dream a little.

 

Browse through these top Australian accounting and business blogs and find out what they can offer you. With a wealth of knowledge and plenty of inspiration, a little blog reading can make a huge impact on how you run your business, and help to keep you on top of your game.

And let’s not forget how business management software can help streamline your business processes too! For more information on that, just get in touch with us!

Most Popular Australian Business Management (ERP) Software Packages Compared Side by Side

MYOB EXO vs Triumph Business Management Suite vs Pronto Xi vs Greentree4

Last month we compared the leading Australian Accounting Software for medium-sized businesses.

This month we’re broadening our comparison to look at the top Australian Business Management Software Packages (ERP Software).

Again, the below is just a simple overview of some key features. To really decide the right software package for your business you’ll likely need to do some further research and request a demo for your team to trial. However, the below side by side comparison is a good place to start!

 

 Provider

 

MYOB Triumph Pronto Greentree
Product

 

EXO Business Management
Suite
Xi Greentree4
Indicative Cost (per user per month)

 

$100-$145 $145-250 $150-200 $150-200
Suitable for business size

 

A$1m-A$250m+ Annual Turnover Unavailable during our research A$20-A$250m Annual Turnover A$5m-$250m+ Annual Turnover
Multiple users permitted?

 

Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multiple
Companies Supported in Single Account?

 

Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multiple Currency Support?

 

Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cloud option available?

 

No No No No
Onsite option available?

 

Yes Yes Yes Yes
Smartphone App Available?

 

Yes No No No
                                                                                       FEATURES

 

Financial Management General Ledger

Accounts Payable & receivable

Profit & Loss

Balance sheet

Cost centre/profit centre

Procurement (requisitions, PO)

Project accounting

Inventory accounting

Services accounting (jobs, timesheet, billing)

Bank reconsiliation

Bank
feeds

 

General Ledger

Accounts Payable & receivable

Profit & Loss

Balance sheet

Cost centre/profit centre

Procurement (requisitions, PO)

Project accounting

Inventory accounting

Services accounting (jobs, timesheet, billing)

Bank reconsiliation

 

General Ledger

Accounts Payable & receivable

Profit & Loss

Balance sheet

Cost centre/profit centre

Procurement (requisitions, PO)

Project accounting

Inventory accounting

Services accounting (jobs, timesheet, billing)

 

General Ledger

Accounts Payable & receivable

Profit & Loss

Balance sheet

Cost centre/profit centre

Procurement (requisitions, PO)

Project accounting

Inventory accounting

Services accounting (jobs, timesheet, billing)

Electronic Document processing with OCR capabilities and approval routing

 

HR & Payroll Human Resource Management

Payroll

Time & Attendance

Timesheets

Timeclock

PC Timeclock for remote staff

Employee info

 

Time clock

 

Payroll

Timesheets

Employee information

Leave requests

Human Resource Management

Payroll

Health & Safety

Leave planning

Recruitment

Employee development

Job Costing Job planning and scheduling

Flexible estimating – multiple billing methods (time and materials, as quoted, milestone or claim schedules)

Master and sub-job structures for more accurate control over large jobs or projects

Customisable alerts to monitor progress

Customisable quote forms

Job planning and scheduling

Base costing on actual cost or charge rate

Master and sub-job structures

Record Work-In-Progress (WIP) at job or transaction level

Create budgets

Job planning and scheduling

Flexible invoicing or via Claim Schedule

Multiple cost centres and budgets per project

Project Tasks and milestones

Export Project Tasks to MS Project 2013

Master and sub-job structures

Job planning and scheduling

Timesheets

Flexible estimating

Budget vs actual

Master and sub-job structures

Multiple customer invoicing for single jobs

Export Project Tasks to MS Project 2013

Customisable alerts to monitor progress

 

CRM & Sales Customer activity/notes

Single customer view (orders,

sales, credit)

Marketing Campaign Management – tracks costs & ROI

Social media integration

Mobile sales (browser/tablet order/re-order)

Real-time stock & finance integration

 

No CRM Customer activity/notes

Single customer view (orders,

sales, credit)

Campaigns

Mobile sales (browser/tablet order/re-order)

Marketing automation

 

Customer activity/notes

Single customer view (orders,

sales, credit)

Campaigns

Mobile sales (browser/tablet order/re-order)

Marketing automation

 

Point of Sale

 

Yes No Yes Yes
Built in
eCommerce
Third party integration available

 

No Yes Yes
Inventory/ Warehouse Available to order

POS/ e-commerce integration

Available to pick

Scan pick/ pack/ dispatch control

Quality control

 

Available to order

Available to pick

On-order /reserved /backordered

Available to order

POS/e-commerce integration

Available to pick

Scan pick/ pack/ dispatch control

Quality control

Available to order

POS/e-commerce integration

Available to pick

Scan pick/ pack/ dispatch control

Quality control

Integration and support of third party add-ons

 

Yes – Open API No Yes – Open API Yes – Open API

Which business management software is best?

While the above table gives a snapshot of the availability of some key features, it doesn’t give an in-depth look at the full functionality level in each of these areas, and importantly, how that matches up to your business’ needs.

It must be said, however, that MYOB EXO is often seen as the strongest contender in the game. MYOB is a long established world leader in the ERP market and it is the largest selling mid-sized ERP in Australia & NZ – they’re not a new or start-up business so you can rely on their longevity and stability as a provider for your business.

MYOB also has a strong network of trusted, authorised, local partners and third party MYOB developers (like us here at Horizon Business Systems!) who can offer local support and training and help you design custom add-ons specific to your business needs.

If you’d like to find out more about how MYOB EXO can help your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!