How Enterprise Accounting Software Helps Centralized Accounting Teams

Most of us know that having a centralized accounting team improves consistency, productivity, and communication - but not when your enterprise accounting software doesn’t fit with your centralized accounting needs! If your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system doesn’t align with a centralized accounting structure, as many don’t, it can lead to serious challenges. What do we mean by aligning? That’s what we’ll dive into today.

Fortunately, some newer true cloud ERPs, like Sage Intacct, let your team embrace their inner accounting superhero and gain a new financial secret weapon explicitly designed to support your centralized accounting processes. (We may have binged a few movies this weekend – take a guess which ones).

3 Benefits of Embracing Your Inner Accounting Superhero

There are a lot of enterprise accounting software options out there to choose from. The perfect solution for your business should provide a rich long-term ROI and offer innovative features that are beneficial to your centralized accounting team. Here are the three that jump out to us:

  1. Increased Automation
    Over 40% of workers surveyed spend at least a quarter of their work week on repetitive tasks. Talk about a productivity killer. By leveraging the right technology, your finance team can gain easier centralized accounting using automation and approval workflows. Cloud enterprise accounting software, like Sage Intacct, gives comprehensive and powerful automation accounting tools that automate routine and mundane tasks, like accounts payables, accounts receivables, and general ledger entries.  

    So, instead of staff wasting invaluable CPA designations on repetitive manual work that contributes to 99% of accountants suffering from burnout, they can focus on more strategic and analytical tasks, like complex data analysis and business growth opportunities. Not only does this improve productivity, but also leads to higher engagement, staff retention, and job satisfaction through meaningful work.
  2. Better Control
    The thing with Sage Intacct that we feel is its best feature is actually set up during its implementation. Sage Intacct has one configuration that’s set for all entities. That’s right, just one. That means each new entity can be created quickly and easily. Entities are extremely important and useful components so it’s critical that users can set them up effortlessly and without delay. Surprisingly, this functionality is rare even in cloud solutions. It is not available in QuickBooks or Great Plains, and while we don’t work with NetSuite, we understand it can theoretically be set up similarly, but with a lot more effort & customization required. With Sage Intacct, it’s simply part of the solution.

    One configuration for all entities also allows you to manage, at a corporate level, each entity’s security, configurations, standardized chart of accounts, and fiscal calendars, including locking periods. Imagine a manufacturing or distribution company being able to say, “I can lock month-end from headquarters across all entities at once” instead of having to log into each one or getting each warehouse to hopefully do it on the right day, takes away a lot of the stress and headache in managing a multi-entity company. It also gives easier visibility and organization across the company. Now the mantra of ‘Stress Less, Sleep More’ can become an accountant’s reality rather than just this elusive concept we talk about.
  3. Enhanced Communication
    Streamlining communication from the executive and management level to the boots-on-the-ground employees is essential for any business. With Sage Intacct, choices made at the corporate level are shared easily with other locations, and with increased visibility – the best of both worlds. With poor communication costing U.S. businesses an estimated $1.2 trillion annually or $12, 506 per employee per year, you can’t afford to not communicate better.

    For example, in a solution like QuickBooks or Great Plains, someone needs to log into each individual entity to make whatever adjustments are necessary. Either that’s one person doing a very repetitive task or hoping the many people at different locations will all do the same task, the same way – which is risky. In an enterprise accounting software solution like Sage Intacct, one person can spend just a few minutes updating the configuration based on a decision made corporately and it will be applied across all locations and entities at the same time. The Telephone Game taught us just how quickly a message can get warped when it’s passed through multiple channels and people. Sage Intacct significantly reduces the risk of errors and miscommunication in multi-entity accounting teams by having one source of communication.

The Key to Unleashing the Financial Secret Weapon

If there’s one downside to Sage Intacct’s ability to support centralized accounting teams it would be this: it must be properly configured right at the very beginning if you want to gain the benefits mentioned above and turn a quick ROI.

For instance, a nonprofit organization needs to track funding trends, donations, and statistics. A healthcare facility needs to heavily focus on audit trails and HIPAA compliance, and a metals manufacturer needs to have complete control over their quoting, sales orders, production, and shipping. Your industry-specific KPIs, metrics, and workflows must be identified and configured properly in the ERP system prior to implementation to ensure your core processes are handled effectively – an experienced ERP implementation partner (perhaps like Equation Technologies) can help you with that.

Making sure it’s set up properly shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as that’s a common aspect of many enterprise accounting software solutions. Proper configuration involves extensive initial discussions and a well-thought-out plan on how the ERP system should look. There are no shortcuts to this.

It doesn’t matter the industry or how small, medium, or large your organization is, Sage Intacct has the capabilities and tools to fully support your centralized accounting team’s processes. If you’re wondering how to get started on integrating Sage Intacct into your business so your finance team can become more productive, innovative, and happy in their work environment, our Sage experts would be happy to discuss your options.

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