Guest Article

Enhance Business Efficiency: Integrate F&A and Business Operations Management Software Successfully

An accounting software is a norm for all small and medium businesses today in India. Apart from providing functionalities such as managing bills and expenses, invoicing etc. such a software also needs to be GST compatible. But what happens when a small business starts to grow and wants to organize itself in a manner that enhances its customer lifecycle value? Are the business owners putting in much of their time in manually managing different aspects of the business or important decisions are being taken with guesswork?

If these are questions that is also bothering you then it is time for an unified or integrated business system –  a business operations platform system that can integrate your accounting software with the various aspects of a growing business like order management, inventory management or procurement management.

Once you have made the decision to integrate your accounting software with a business operations platform, what is the next step? You will look for a technology integrator. But before you start your discussions with such a partner, take a moment to understand what you want out of the integration. Here is a checklist to help you out

  1. Single Entry of Data – The integration should solve the need for dual entry of data separately for your accounting software and business operations platform. The integrated system should enable single punching of data which will save man-hours for the company as well as will be a better and efficient process. The single entry of data for business operations and accounting should seamlessly integrate in the new system.
  2. Single and complete view of business operations – Post the integration, you should be able to have a single view of not only your financial numbers but also the entire business operation processes. It should have complete visibility of your business data in a single dashboard; essentially you should have access to a centralized reporting experience.
  3. Real-time visibility in different stages of business operations – The integration will provide real-time visibility across F&A numbers, order management system, inventory management system, procurement management system and production planning. This would also include visibility of quality control in production and quality control in manufacturing.
    One point to note here is that some platforms does not allow visibility in the different stages of business operations such as like in a multi-level production process. To take an example, the functionality to look out for would be to get real time visibility on the status of availability of raw materials, finished goods or production work-in-progress in the factory, warehouse, stores or client and vendor locations. So a best in class integrated system should provide these different stage visibility as well. This will offer better projections and enable optimum business decision-making leading to better ROI and revenue growth.
  4. Real-time alerts – The integrated platform should also provide business intelligence. For example, if you are punching order for a repeat customer the system should be able to provide you with alerts of last price quoted as well as real-time availability of inventory. Needless to say such multiple and proactive alerts results in quick business decision-making.
  5. Transaction Authorization – Access to your unified business platform which will have sensitive data should have adequate security features. Only authorised personnel in your business should have permission to access the system. A complete user authorization enabling access to the user to the transactions should be a key feature of the integrated platform. You should also be able to track and view details about who has created, edited or approved any transaction with the time stamp.
  6. Easy Reporting – Any growing business will churn out large volume of data which needs to be further studied and mined. The integrated platform should be efficient enough to provide downloadable reports in excel format and with different functionalities.
  7. Seamless Integration – Last but not the least, remember that the integration need not be a complex and a long drawn affair. Experts can and should make the integration process a smooth and easy change management process.

With this checklist of integrating and the resultant benefits, go ahead and integrate your accounting software with a robust Business Operations Platform!

In conclusion, you should look for a technology integrator who has industry and domain expertise to provide you with a platform that enables you to get the right visibility at the right time. Your business operations and accounting processes should work together seamlessly to provide you with the data sets that enables quick business decision-making and ultimately profitability and growth.

by : Rajiv Manalal Gupta, MD and Founder of worxpertise group.

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