Change is Good

Change is Good

Background: Ask any businessowner – having access to accurate real time financial data is critical. Ask any tax accountant – having access to “clean” books can help provide timely and skillful tax planning strategies. A lack of both is what a large regional engineering firm was struggling with year after year. The firm whose projects include primarily public and private municipal work requires a great detail – something the analytical owner was struggling to receive high level reporting while the tax accountant was receiving flawed information year after year. The senior level owner recognized a change was needed to not only maintain the company’s current business but set itself for growth.

The Issue: The company’s need for highly detailed financial reporting had outgrown its existing SAGE accounting software and it was time to seek a more powerful system. However, it was not only the program that was hindering the production of accurate reports but the manner in which the data had been entered and classified. This was further compounded by the firm’s handling of payroll internally. Simply put… There was no easy fix.

The Resolution: Converting from one accounting software to another is not uncommon; companies do it all the time. This is especially true over the past decade as businesses shifted to online platforms with improved capacity, security and functionality. But no matter how often such transitions take place, no two companies are the same and Capri Bookkeeping Solutions was engaged to review the requirements and challenges to accomplish the engineering firm’s end goal.

Step one… Listening and learning. Listening to what ownership wanted; learning what they needed. This discovery period was critical in helping find the right accounting software that would provide the highest level of detailed reporting. From tracking time for 75 employees to managing equipment and vehicles all on a per project basis, every expense had to be classified, every hour logged, every revenue dollar earmarked.

Step two… Finding the right accounting software to meet the client’s needs. As a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Capri was well versed in the various Intuit product options, presenting both QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online, and would bring the back up of topline support regardless of the choice. Having used a desktop-based software for years, management was reluctant to shift directly to QuickBooks Online. Instead, the team selected the QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise version which was then customized specifically for the client.

What is often viewed as a migration, this transition to QuickBooks actually involved starting fresh with a completely new company file. We set up a custom general ledger to capture and classify the data in a manner that provides the detailed analytics required. Amid the transition, it became clear the QuickBooks payroll option was not the solution due to the highly detailed labor distribution. Capri recommended that the overhaul should include shifting to a third party to handle the company’s payroll. With the new payroll service, we are now able to generate the custom reports needed.

Always looking for greater efficiencies, the owner decided QuickBooks Online may in fact be a better option. This would allow for the company’s team to log in remotely and work in real time and Capri assisted in the set-up of roles and permissions to ensure the proper level of security. Much faster this time with a foundation established, the transition took place over a weekend followed with five days of comprehensive employee training. It took a bit of getting use to and reverting back to QuickBooks Desktop for a short time but today the company is fully onboard with QuickBooks Online.

The impact of change even when it is good can be wrought with hurdles and software aside, there is always a human factor. Throughout the process, Capri management presented the pros and cons for each of the proposed changes and built a level of trust. Today the client continues to have access to accurate real-time data and “clean” books for tax planning. Not only were goals achieved but the results of the implemented changes have far exceeded expectations.