Accounting software

5 Challenges faced by the chief financial officer in 2020

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top cfo challenges 2020

Knowing just how fast-paced the business landscape is, the finance department needs to be more agile than ever.

It’s an interesting, exciting, and somewhat challenging time to be at the head of the finance department. In only a few decades, you’ve seen the role evolve. To get where you are today, you’ve helped your firm weather recessions, led your department through an evolving list of regulations and compliance challenges, and have built a team despite a shortage of talent.

Now, think back to the role of your company’s CFO when you were just starting out in the field, wide-eyed and a year or so out of college. What comes to mind? Now, compare it to your role today. Could you do what that CFO did? Yes. The question is, what would you do with the other 30 hours each week.

As a modern CFO, you have a bigger role than ever in the future of the organization. More departments answer to you, fewer people think of your role as “head of the no department,” and you’ve taken on new responsibilities, moving from ‘head number cruncher’ to core influencer and organizational catalyst.

Today’s finance chief: Balancing traditional roles with new

Today’s CFO understands how to create value for the organization and has taken a more active role in the operations of the business. Whether you’ve been in this position for 18 months or 18 years, you know that it’s a position that continues to present you with new challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities.

Looking back five years, and this was already predicted—IFAC noted that the parameters of the job are getting blurred in 2014 and Deloitte introduced the four faces of the CFO model a year later. Both of these still hold true, the role of Steward, Operator, Strategist, and Catalyst have never been more important than they are today.

As we enter a new decade, the roles of the finance department and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) have been elevated and broadened, a trend that will continue moving forward. If you haven’t seen it already, plan for more focus on operations and leadership, higher risk management expectations, and a bigger role in IT decisions and digital transformation leadership.

What will be expected? Top focuses of the CFO in 2020 and beyond.

Knowing just how fast-paced the business landscape is, the finance department needs to be more agile than ever. Information needs to be available at your fingertips, security and risk management need to be under control, and your team needs to be prepared to make decisions. Here are just some of the issues and questions you will need to face in the coming years:

1) Having the right information available—before you need it.

As little as a decade ago, companies could rely on a standard process. Need a report? It’ll take a bit of time, but you’ll have it by the end of the week. Need to run budgeting and planning? It’ll require a few emails, but it gets done. No longer is this the case.

Getting set back a couple days is detrimental. This gets even harder, because depending on how technologically mature your industry is, your competition could be leaving you behind. Now more than ever, CFOs are expected to have real-time numbers at their fingertips and generate reports that offer insights on that data.

For today’s finance leaders, the right information needs to be available before its needed. Automation, integration, and business intelligence need to combine in a user-friendly dashboard that presents the right information to the right people at the right time.

With this, you can understand, report, and discuss where your company stands with ease, ultimately making faster, smarter decisions.

2) Making sure the information you have is accurate and auditable.

Accurate internal and managerial information is expected; accurate and auditable financial information is critical. Auditors of financial statements dream of quick, easy, and uneventful audit engagements just as much as CFOs do, and being able to provide a clean and accurate financial statement will make this process easier for everyone involved.

Auditability depends on a business’s financial recording policies and procedures, effective internal controls, and the willingness of a company’s executives to provide its external auditors with requested data and information.

3) Solving for compliance challenges.

Audits are hard enough, but compliance is another thing altogether. Today’s companies must be more vigilant against the threats to their financial solvency due to violations of laws, regulations, and industry standards.

From RevRec to leases, accounting standards have become more robust and challenging. Keeping up with the challenges these present requires effective internal controls, complete accuracy, and the same efficiency expected by internal stakeholders and auditors.

CFOs must ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place to provide all stakeholders—including IT, HR, and C-level executives —the tools they need to meet compliance requirements and still perform their duties effectively.

4) Keeping your data locked down.

You don’t need to look hard to find examples of companies who have been impacted by technology failures or data breaches. Risk management is becoming an even bigger part of the CFO’s role: fifty-seven percent of CFOs report that risk management will become a critical part of their role in the future, a number that jumps to 66% among CFOs of companies with over $5 billion in revenue.

With risk management among the top priorities for CFOs, knowing where the security gaps exist in your organization is a top priority. As the primary individual responsible for your company’s financial and other sensitive data, you, the CFO, are on the front lines trying to keep your data safe.

To address this, you need to work with those in the rest of the organization to identify these gaps, take steps to educate employees, reevaluate access rights to sensitive information, and look for ways to improve.

5) Knowing what’s next.

As a CFO, you already know that part of your job is to predict the future—you do this in every single budgeting, planning, and strategy session. However, when paired with an evolving role that includes technology investments, operations decisions, and risk management, you will need to lead digital transformation initiatives.

We’ve discussed the importance of digital transformation initiatives in the past, and have looked into the role of technology to make this a reality, but for the CFO today, finding out what technological advancements can make his or her team’s job easier will set the company ahead and facilitate the move into the next decade.

One of these areas for improvement is an evolving business management solution that incorporates business intelligence, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more to deliver the right information and increase the speed and accuracy of decisions.

Start the new decade with the right technology partner.

As your decisions become harder to make, you can’t rely on outdated, underperforming, legacy applications. If you’re looking to understand how the right technology can deliver for your business and make your job as a CFO easier, we invite you to download two free guides from our friends at Acumatica: Top technology challenges for the modern CFO and cloud ERP buyer’s guide for the modern CFO.

Few solutions provide today’s CFOs with the flexibility and adaptability they need as well as Acumatica, and as a leading Acumatica Partner, we can help you on your journey to this powerful software. Let’s get in touch.

Acumatica Benefits

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With Acumatica Cloud ERP, multiple business applications are contained in one package and can scale as the company grows.

With Acumatica Cloud ERP, multiple business applications are contained in one package and can scale as the company grows.

If your business is small to mid-sized and growing, you DON’T want to overspend on software that is too big for you currently. However, you DO want the system to grow and scale as the business grows.

If this is true for you, then Acumatica Cloud ERP is a great solution. This Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provides the advantages of an enterprise solution without needing an enterprise-sized IT budget. As your business grows, Acumatica Cloud ERP grows with you.

The cloud-based platform offers a number of advantages over on-site or hosted server-based solutions.

Here are the top benefits of Acumatica

  • Comprehensive business functionality. Acumatica is a business management solution that streamlines operations by automating a number of related back-office processes. A single installation license grants access to anyone in your value chain and integrates applications into one platform.
  • Integrated services. Including financials, distribution, manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, customer relationship management, project accounting and service management.
  • Access from anywhere. With Acumatica, you can access the application through a secure log-in from anywhere in the world and on any device.
  • Self-service (no software required). With cloud-based software, there is no machine installation needed and all who need access can have it with no additional IT requirements.
  • Central repository for information. Keep all your critical business information in one integrated platform, accessible without the need for customized integration or repetitive data entry.
  • Integrate with other web apps. With Acumatica, functions can be easily integrated with other web applications such as Microsoft Outlook.
  • Scalable computer and storage resources. As your business grows, Acumatica grows with it. At any time, you can upgrade the resources and run multiple application servers.
  • Data back-up and data recovery. Acumatica comes with built-in automated data backup and backup access services. In the unlikely case of a disaster or other emergency, Acumatica can restore data quickly.
  • Robust security. With Acumatica, your data is secure, with the highest levels available for physical and software protection. You control where your data is stored.
  • Financial predictability. Acumatica comes with a license for an unlimited number of users. Adding users does not add cost to your IT budget. In addition, IT staff are not taxed with software installations or server management tasks.
  • Operational consistency. The Acumatica Cloud ERP is designed to stay up and running, a promise we keep via guaranteed uptime service level agreements.
  • Local service. With a network of local business providers, Acumatica provides you with support close at hand that understands your needs and can provide you with the service level and customization you demand.

Working with NexTec Group

At NexTec, we are proud to work closely with clients in a wide range of industries to find the systems and tools that will maximize their efficiency. Our expert consultants have a deep knowledge base with insights into dozens of products. We work together closely to make sure we understand client needs and to find the right solutions. Use the form on the right to contact us and learn more.

Manage project communication and documentation easily with Acumatica

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Acumatica brings project-related questions together in one place

Acumatica brings project-related questions together in one place

One of the most crucial drivers of success in project management is the ability to effectively communicate with the various project stakeholders. This is particularly challenging for managers that use multiple applications for project communications; or for those whose stakeholders are scattered across different geographical areas. Without the right ERP system, managing project communication could be labor-intensive with inaccurate and often outdated communication, leading to costly project delays and budget overages.

With Acumatica Cloud ERP, you can manage all of these in one place! An added advantage is that you can access the information conveniently from any internet-enabled mobile device (laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.) anytime, anywhere. Your Project Managers and their team will be well informed and up to date at every stage of the project cycle.

How Acumatica facilitates project communication

Notifications that require action

This type of notification usually includes the URL link of the item that requires action, making the process easy and user-friendly. Examples include:

  • Work flows
  • Approvals
  • Revisions

Simple informational

The purpose of this type of communication is to maintain a well-informed team, so that stakeholders can take action and / or make decisions when needed. Examples include:

  • Assignment of tasks or projects – “A new Project has been assigned to you”
  • Sales have increased by 10%
  • Project budget spending has reached 75%

Communication logs

These allow a user to maintain a history of internal / external communications as well as manage project documentation and forms. Examples include:

  • Client communications
  • Internal communications / collaborations
  • Document management (e.g., attached project contracts, requisitions, purchase orders, contractor’s insurance information)

Automatic report delivery

Acumatica allows a user to schedule report delivery based on a pre-defined schedule and / or when certain criteria have been met. This is an efficient way to provide stakeholders with an up-to-date status of the project. Examples include:

  • Project(s) profit and loss – To be delivered every month
  • Expense / revenue analysis – To be delivered every month or when expense / revenue reaches X%
  • Project budget – To be delivered every month
  • AR aging – To be delivered when Invoice(s) Past Due is greater than 30 days
  • AP aging – To be delivered when Voucher(s) Past Due is greater than 30 days

Using the right communication tools are key to successful collaboration and team decision-making. Acumatica is the right ERP application to help you manage project communications efficiently while achieving the organization goals.

For more information, contact us by filling out the form at the right.

Integrate project management into your accounting system

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Looking for a project management solution that fully integrates with your accounting system?

Integrate project management work right into your accounting software with Acumatica

Integrate project management work right into your accounting software with Acumatica

Some organizations struggle with the decision between continuing to manage their Projects in an Accounting application versus a Project Management solution that fully integrates with the Accounting System.

Project Accounting for Acumatica is an Integrated Business Application designed to facilitate Project Management while keeping accurate and up-to-date Project Accounting records.

There are several advantages to using a Project Accounting solution to assist in Project Management.

The following are some of the primary benefits and differentiators between an Accounting solution versus a Project Management Accounting solution:

  • Allows the user to control and understand business profitability at a granular level. One of the most important features of Project Management Accounting is the ability to group Standard Accounting Processes and categorize business profitability by Project and tasks. Each Project could generate its own Profit and Loss report. This level of granularity allows the user to have better control and understanding of the Company’s Profit and Expenses while providing a summary of the Company’s Profitability.
  • Fully integrated with all Acumatica modules. Any project-related data entered into the system is instantly shared/updated throughout the applications. For example, if an employee enters an expense report. The employee’s manager is notified immediately. Upon approval of the expense, Accounts Payable, General Ledger and Project records are updated simultaneously.
  • Accessible any time, any where. With the corresponding access rights, every team member within the organization can easily access Acumatica, regardless of their geographical location or time zone and from any mobile device (smart phone, android, laptop, tablet, etc.) with 100% of Acumatica Cloud Platform functionality is available through the browser.
  • Business Processes Efficiency. Being easily accessible and fully integrated, Acumatica provides an easy way to enter data while producing real time reporting for every level and role in the organization.
  • Flexible Calendars. The company’s Year End might be different from its projects’. This is common for projects which have a start/end date that crosses fiscal years. When this situation occurs, Project Expenses usually continue accumulating until the project is completed, rather than being transferred to Net Income at the end of the Fiscal year.

Key considerations for choosing the right technology partner

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Before settling on a provider, make sure they fit all of your company's needs.

Before settling on a provider, make sure they fit all of your company’s needs.

Over time, enterprises often encounter situations where their current ERP, CRM, and BI systems are not working as planned. There are a variety technology providers that can consult with you to source and implement the software applications you need the most. But for such a critical part of your company, you need more than a provider – you need a technology partner. Someone you can trust and get advice from even after implementation. Here are some of the primary things to consider when finding the right technology partner.

Find a technology partner that meets all of your needs

Find a provider that works with a variety software publishers, so they can source the best software application for your company. Every business is different, and you need a provider who’s willing to work with your company to find a customized solution, rather than a one-size-fits-all software. Additionally, you need a provider that can help you to find the right ERP, CRM, and BI systems, so you can access your primary IT needs from a single source.

Choose a technology partner that offers unmatched credentials

Any company can claim to be an expert in their industry, but you need a provider who can prove it. Ensure the provider you partner with has the necessary credentials and experience to successfully support your business. The primary credentials to look for include CPAs, MBAs, and MCPs. Also make sure they are members of the Information Technology Alliance (ITA), as this indicates a higher level of trust and professionalism.

Seek a cost-effective and efficient implementation strategy

One of the main reasons many businesses postpone implementing new software and IT strategies is due to fear of the implementation process itself. Research the implementation process of the provider you choose to ensure they offer low implementation costs while rolling out your services as efficiently as possible. They should provide a clearly defined implementation plan that identifies various milestones to help you track the progress. That way you can ensure the services will be rolled out in a way that is efficient, without disrupting the flow of your operation.

Implementation should be as efficient and non-disruptive as possible.

Implementation should be as efficient and non-disruptive as possible.

Evaluate their customer support

No matter how cost-effective their services are, if the provider doesn’t offer ongoing customer support, it could cause problems later on. You need a provider that you can depend on, so your business can receive critical technical support if needed. Find a provider that offers extended support hours and international coverage, so you can access the help you need at any time and from any location.

Opt for flexibility when choosing a partner

Your business is dynamic and rapidly changing. Your provider needs to be along for the ride. Find a provider that offers flexibility regarding your service needs, systems management, and implementation process, so you can ensure your software solutions are tailored to the precise specifications of your business.
If your enterprise is in search of a new business solutions provider, it’s important to assess the partner thoroughly to ensure they’ll be able to strengthen your current business model. There are a lot of key factors to seek in a provider to make sure they are credible and up for the job. Of primary importance are the credentials and experience they offer, as well as their ITA membership, as these are all powerful indicators of reputability. To learn more about finding a provider for ERP, CRM, and BI systems, contact us today. Begin Media Shower Content Reporting code

Accounting for private equity funds

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Don't let private equity fund accounting overwhelm you.

Don’t let private equity fund accounting overwhelm you.

One of the biggest challenges in accounting for private equity funds is producing reliable financial and management reports at the corporate, partner class and investor level.

That is in part because private equity funds are normally formed as Limited Partnerships with different partner classes – Founder Partners, Limited Partners, and General Partners. Each Partner class has certain functions, rights, and responsibilities.

A basic premise for the preparation and presentation of the partnership’s financial statements is to reflect the interest at the class and partner levels in the net assets of the partnership.

The most common examples of allocations to individual partners are shown in three elements of the financial statements – bottom part of the balance sheet, the bottom part of the P&L, and capital account/partners’ accounts.

To accomplish this the private equity fund accounting framework must be structured to be able to track transactions and identify balances by individual partner; the total amount of each transaction in the Private Equity Fund must be allocated to each partner based on rules that are usually stipulated in the limited partnership agreement (“LPA”) or private partnership memorandum (“PPM”).

Without the appropriate structure and ERP application, this level of granularity can be overwhelming, labor-intensive and often prone to error.

So, why is Acumatica the right ERP solution for a private equity management company?

Here’s why:

  • Acumatica project accounting has the proper tools to structure and account for each partner’s functions, rights, and responsibilities and to allocate the transactions accordingly.
  • The flexible and powerful allocation features provide the ability to create reporting at the corporate, partner class and individual or by partner’s share of the fund.
  • The allocation can be configured to process automatically. This provides detailed, accurate data that can be accessed and analyzed at any time.
  • The system keeps a detailed audit trail of sources through destination transactions.
  • Natural strengths of Acumatica data architecture provide a streamlined process to add partners as well as to update partners’ ownership percentages.
  • Ownership percentages can be date sensitive, allowing for dynamic allocations and providing a history of ownership ratios.
  • Acumatica’s native Business Intelligence tools provide an easy and effective way to analyze data based on the purpose and nature of the activities and underlying investments of the private equity fund.

Acumatica is the appropriate solution for a private equity fund management company seeking to optimize and restructure its accounting framework to produce reliable, effortless and timely data not only to each partner but also to the management team and key decision-makers.

For more information, or to request a demo, please contact us.

The value of consulting with technology advisers

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Technology advisers are your best source to learn about software choices, what it can and can’t do, and how to make it work for your business.

Most businesses today are complex organizations. Particularly for small- and mid-sized businesses, there’s a need to focus on products and services, marketing, sales, personnel, financing and keeping the lights on.

Worrying about various technology issues, on top of other responsibilities, is challenging for most small companies. Aging software, disconnected systems, ensuring compliance with government regulations, or ensuring your technology can keep up with the growth of your company all require extensive expertise and skill sets.

To thrive and keep a leg up on the competition, a successful company needs to have access to the very best technologies, insights, and suppliers.

Adding value

Technology advisers, also known as software consultants or value-added resellers, specialize in knowing solutions for running your business. They are on top of the latest products, current features and plans for future versions. This includes:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) – software for accounting, finance, operations, forecasting and planning
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – software for marketing, sales, and service
  • Business Intelligence (BI) – software for reporting and planning your strategy

As a crucial component of an IT strategy, a software consulting firm gives companies more flexibility, more strategic options, and considerable leverage.


Technology solutions are much clearer when relying on software consultant.

For smaller businesses, in particular, a software consulting firm can save considerable resources for learning about, designing, acquiring, building, installing and implementing customized solutions.

What they are not

Technology advisers are not manufacturers or retailers. They are neither making the products they implement or stocking shelves with thousands of products. Instead, they are experts in taking specific needs and creating a technological solution, integrating the solution with other software the client is using currently or plans to buy.

Earning the value

Technology advisers that work most effectively are able to work closely with clients. This close collaboration allows for maximum efficacy and efficiency. They have the advantage of having relationships with dozens, if not hundreds, of different manufacturers. As such, there are seemingly endless opportunities for possible solutions.

With a keen understanding of available products and the client’s needs and industry, technology advisers can craft solutions that are affordable and meet the demands of a client. technology advisers work closely to understand not just current needs but anticipate future possibilities to build systems that are scalable as a client’s business grows and evolves.

Forging the future

As technology evolves, so too do technology advisers. New tools relative to cloud computing, mobile workforces, the Internet of Things, hypercomputing, remote connectivity, large data sets, and more complex analytics are re-imagining all types of industries.

For those companies that want to be on the cutting edge of these technologies, software consultants act as internal experts, staying up on the latest and greatest innovations and recommending how they can improve operations, productivity, and profitability.

At NexTec, we understand the pressures on companies. As a software consulting firm, we offer clients insights into business intelligence (BI), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and customer relationship management (CRM). Download the NexTec Corporate Overview Brochure to learn more about how NexTec can help your company.

Sage Spotlight Q&A with NexTec CEO, Eric Frank

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Eric Frank, NexTec’s CEO

Eric Frank, NexTec’s CEO

As Sage continues their series of Partner Spotlights – a closer look at Sage business partners who help form the foundation of Sage’s distribution channel – Sage chats with Eric Frank, the CEO of NexTec Group, headquartered in Seattle.

Eric Frank is one of the founders of NexTec Group, a company launched in the mid-1990s by a group of professionals who were intent on delivering business management solutions of real value to clients by hiring a team of the best and the brightest, creating an environment where that team could thrive.

NexTec’s mission is to help growing companies build bright futures with technology. It’s a part of firm’s DNA to want to help companies become more successful by unlocking the value and power in their business management solutions.

What key trends have you observed that’s had the biggest impact on your business in the last 5 years?

I think we are at an interesting tipping point in the evolution of business management software. New products are entering the market, or are gaining market share. Some of this is fueled by the evolution of cloud-driven technology. The trend toward the cloud offers a number of advantages to many companies, including the ability to allow users to access their business information anytime/anywhere from any device.

Another trend we’ve identified is a growing demand from customers for vertical knowledge. They don’t just want a GL, and AP, and an AR. They want a robust supply chain or manufacturing solution that impacts their business.

How does the role of a business partner like NexTec Group change as companies increasingly adopt cloud-based business management software?

Our role has changed over recent years, in response to the continuing move to cloud solutions. Once the business software is no longer housed in their own office, clients care less about where their business partners are located. Instead of locality, vertical knowledge is more important. It’s no longer enough to know the products inside and out, you have to have deep domain knowledge combined with experience to address customers’ unique industry challenges. This means we are doing more work throughout the country, leveraging our vertical knowledge. We currently have clients in 36 states and in four provinces in Canada.

What are some common misconceptions you encounter as you speak to clients and prospects about a cloud deployment model?

The term cloud means different things to different people. There is a place for single-tenant, multi-tenant, subscription, or non-subscription. There is not a one size fits all. People want choices in how they consume and deploy. What is key, though, is that the solution’s native architecture is designed to take advantage of the new technology. Within that technology, people have options.

How are you adapting your service offerings as a result? What are the smart strategies partners should be adopting now to remain relevant?

Our service offerings have adapted alongside the changing needs of our clients and advancements in technology. For example, we offer both cloud and on-prem solutions because our customers want a choice. We’ve also developed and implement our own intellectual property – add-on solutions to Sage X3 and other products – because our clients needed a solution that wasn’t available on the market currently. I’d advise partners to follow the same path – listen to your clients, keep tabs on developments in your focus industries, and invest in new technology that will benefit your clients and target markets.

What industries or verticals are most impacted by cloud-based management software? And how does your firm support them?

Startups and technology companies were the earliest adopters of cloud technology. Distribution and manufacturing companies were a little slower to the table, but we see that changing. NexTec supports companies in all of these industries, and others, some of whom are running cloud solutions and others using on-premise solutions.

Last question. Will we find the Pokémon Go app on your phone? Any other favorite apps?

Pokémon Go is not on my phone – not yet anyway. I have a 5-year-old, though, and she has expressed some interest. If I can couple it with taking a walk around the neighborhood together, without getting run over by a driver also playing the game – I might consider it!

Another app my daughter and I enjoy together is Starlight. You point your phone at the sky and it identifies stars and constellations. She loves it and I’m learning a lot too.

Accounting and finance software

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