Have You Outgrown Your Spreadsheets?
Finding a Better Fit Is Possible
Your small company is growing and so is the need for a project-based ERP system that will scale with your growth/business strategy. You may be saying to yourself, “If it is not broken, don’t fix it!” But there comes a time when it is advantageous to make a change from spreadsheets to a purpose-built ERP tool. Change is difficult, and it is human nature to avoid it but at what cost? If you are wondering if the time is right for you, ask yourself, do any of the 5 signs below apply to you? If you answer yes to 3 or more, it might be time.
5 Signs You Have Outgrown Spreadsheets
Say No to Chaos!
As companies grow, so do the number of spreadsheets required to run the business. Many have love-hate relationships with spreadsheets. They have become comfortable like a pair of old jeans. They have taken you to where you are today, but they will not take you to the next level. Right now, you may be juggling and hand keying information into 3,4,5…10+ off book spreadsheets, but can you really rely on them for disciplines (resource planning, KPIs, cost calculations, compliance support, etc.) that need accuracy and precision? Not only are spreadsheets inefficient and error-prone, they also will prevent you from having consistent processes. The more spreadsheets you have, so do the number of silos created in the organization. Silos just mean that the right people do not have the right information at the right time to make sound business decisions.
Unanet is one totally integrated system that will help you seamlessly run your business. Unanet's complete Project-Based ERP solution includes Resource Requesting & Management, Project Management, Project Accounting, Invoicing and Revenue Recognition, Timesheet Management, Expense Management, Teamwork Collaboration and Financials capabilities in a single software solution. This integrated set of capabilities delivers real-time performance management of your projects, people and financials in one application, eliminating the need for reconciling data between different systems and disparate spreadsheets.
Spreadsheets and lack of processes also cause concern for meeting security requirements. If you are a government contractor, you were required to have had a security plan in place December 31, 2017 to meet the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171, “Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Information Systems and Organizations.” If you are not a government contractor, the security of your data is also critical.
The Unanet team’s hosted environment provides the compliance standards that your team needs. Unanet recently passed a SOC 2 audit and our cloud provider has mapped the requirements for NIST SP 800-171 (and NIST SP 800—53 compliance, in the case of CDI stored in cloud systems).
Manual workarounds and processes are error prone, time-consuming, and will ultimately rob profit from the business. Cash is King! Without it, there is no payroll or monies for re-investment. Trusting billings/cash to a manual process, done in an Excel spreadsheet, will not scale as the business grows.
Unanet Project Billing provides Invoicing and Revenue Recognition functionality with robust support for Fixed Price, Time & Materials and Cost Plus contracts. Through automating the professional services “bid-to-bill” lifecycle, Unanet allows organizations to forecast and track revenue across different contract types, shorten invoice cycles, and provide authorized managers with real-time insight. By providing a single integrated system to manage the entire services bid-to-bill cycle, disparate standalone systems can be replaced, resulting in greater productivity, fewer errors, and lower costs.
G&A Cost is Growing
Your G&A costs are growing as your finance team is scrambling to reconcile, re-reconcile, assimilate, bill, account, plan in spreadsheets. Your finance team is not analyzing, they are running around just trying to survive the chaos. Expenses are increasing to just handle the basics and your teams are becoming more and more frustrated.
Unanet provides complete Professional Services Automation (PSA) in one business management software solution. This integrated set of capabilities delivers real-time performance management of your projects, people, and financials in one system. Visual insight of resource demands, commitments, and capacity ensures managers have the information needed to make optimum decisions about your project portfolio, and to improve the performance of your professional services organization. Your existing accounting and finance team can handle the basics with ease and concentrate on providing insight/analysis to grow the business with existing staff, lowering cost.
Complying with regulations can be very scary if you don’t have faith in your financial data. Whether you are facing an internal audit, SOX, GAAP, or DCAA, reliable data is the backbone. Auditors will want information and they will want it in a certain format. Disparate spreadsheets, lack of process, untrained people make it hard to trust and deliver the information needed to be compliant. Scrambling to pull data together is costly and risky.
Unanet recognizes that the organizations we serve are obliged to follow the DCAA (Defense Contract Audit Agency) guidelines, Sarbanes Oxley (SOX), Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP) and others.
Unanet delivers the following benefits for organizations providing professional services to government:
- 20 + years of DCAA-compliant implementation and product development experience
- Fully automated per diem support based upon location and meals and incidentals
- Automate business rules and improve accuracy, speed, and cost of time and expense reporting using Per Diems
- Optimize resource utilization and capacity planning by project, customer, department, and people
- Real-time project reporting for managers, providing the information they need on-demand so that they can be accountable for project success.
- Improve management decision and productivity through integrating project management, resource planning, and time and expense tracking
- Deploy rapidly an easy-to-use but powerful web-based system which can support the different roles across your distributed organization
—It is time for a CHANGE—
Generic vs. Project Based
Generic ERPs, such as Quickbooks, are very prevalent in the marketplace today for small emerging companies, but they are costly and very difficult to maintain if your business is projects and you are growing. These ERPs do not have the project as the center of the universe. Generic ERPs focus on the account and the department/organization, and the project is accounted for with a separate tool. In a generic world, the project is an afterthought. Ultimately, Chaos will ensue.
The answer is…Unanet’s cloud project-based ERP!
What Makes a Project-Based ERP So Special?
Tips for Selecting a New Cloud Project-Based ERP Tool
Selecting the right tool for your project-based business is a critical decision. Generic ERP systems and spreadsheets just won’t cut it if projects are the center of your world. Selecting the wrong tool can be very costly to implement and, worse, costly to maintain. Pick your new tool wisely as you will be together for a long time.
When picking and implementing a tool, make sure you can answer these questions:
- Is the system you are considering truly project based?
- What is the architecture of the software? Web-based? One database?
- Is the company you are buying from customer-centric?
- Will the system require customizations?
- Will the system meet the needs of the teams?
- Will the teams save money and time from the proper use of the system?
- What is the reputation of the software company you are dealing with?
- What is the TRUE total cost of ownership (TCO)?
The most important tip is to pick a cloud project-based ERP system that truly makes projects the center of the universe and makes the project lifecycle come alive in ONE tool—Plan, Perform and Account. Realtime Analytics and KPIs should be natively available for all functions at the enterprise, portfolio, department, and project level.