Many, many years ago we aspired to, that’s us guys in accounting, find ways to speed up data entry. The computer, along with the advent of accounting software did this for us, and we took to it like ducks to water. Over the years the IT evolution has become more demystified and the competency has grown in leaps and bounds, with most people being reasonably confident with how their accounting systems work.
The main objective is to enter data once and at source, needing to efficiently gather data together into one place, this would then give us the invaluable ability to compile essential reports and financial statements across the business at the press of a button, although the reality soon became less straight forward.
When starting out, businesses first installed accounting software such as Sage 50 so that they can manage their bookkeeping. As the business grows, the next quest is to make sure nothing gets in the way of an established business and its rampaging revenue stream. The answer, a replacement for their trusted Sage system, a more grown up version of its former self in the guise of a fully integrated system to take control in a wider sense with the transparency every FD desires.
But consider this … as a business grows so do the people, and they start to arrange themselves in disconnected teams and drive towards very specific software for their very specific needs, and in turn become passionately protective over their choices of software. This inevitably turns into an entangled and sometimes complex application landscape. With data now coming from left and right field, being anything from the usual disparate system software, to more common sources such as banking transactions, credit cards, websites, and industry specific front-end systems, can leave us with a challenge to combine our data … so, how do we do that?
For larger organizations its easy, ok, maybe not easy, but more attainable as they tend to have things like economies of scale and budget on their side, and we, that’s Acuity, help many businesses like this by engaging our hugely talented Software Development team to provide integration solutions which deliver truly joined up systems.
So, what about the smaller business, constrained by budget but still needing the benefit of centric data. Well, unfortunately they simple give up on acquiring this information on a regular basis because of the amount of time it takes to source, extract, and analyse. For those that do, countless hours are consumed trying to tie unrelated, error prone, and out of date data together. Consequently, these businesses end up making critical decisions slowly or hasty decisions based on gut instinct.
The answer needs to be simple so that it has a justifiable cost attached, and I think I ve found it … the solution is Excel, what I mean is using an Excel Add-in, it’s called Codis Excelerator which enables you to connect data between applications or even at source. Most of us use Excel without even thinking about it, which is precisely the point. It’s familiar, intuitive and supremely flexible allowing you to own the solution and self-manage the process.
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