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Hello everyone, thank you for taking the time to visit to our new Consulting Services Blog. I am Andrea White, the Manager on Porte Brown's consulting services team.


The team and I would like to welcome you and look forward to sharing helpful information on the topics of managerial consulting, strategic consulting, and technology solutions, such as ERP Solutions, CRM, and custom software solutions.


Welcome to Our Consulting Services Blog!


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Consulting Services Blog

To Be, or Not to Be, in the Cloud

- Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Organizations make daily decisions that better adapt their organizations to a changing external environment. These decisions revolve around four factors: people, processes, technology and records. Leaders of the 21st Century argue that the most salient of these factors is technology.

In fact, the IBM Institute for Business Value recently conducted a study based on data collected from 4,000 C-suite executives worldwide.

Out of 9 factors, CEOs and all other CxOs reported that technology is a top 3 external force impacting organizations, with CEOs, CIOs, CMOs, and CSCOs reporting it’s the single most salient factor.

Although the other factors serve meaningful functions, technology directly supports both strategic initiatives and operational efficiency.

Consequently, organizational leaders benefit from understanding technology and the compelling reasons to adopt cloud applications.

This article elucidates two early warning signs that it’s time to consider a new ERP system — high technology- related costs and operational inefficiencies.

Like all budgets, the IT budget is necessarily limited. Considering limited resources, system cost is one of the weighty factors determining whether or not it’s time to change ERPs. In a traditional organization using on-premise technology, IT allocates budget to hardware, software, and the people tasked with operating, maintaining, and supporting the technology, with most of the budget allocation going toward hardware and people.

In contrast to the on-premise model, the budget using a cloud infrastructure allocates most of the resources to software.

This is possible because the organization providing the cloud software deploys people to maintain and support the hardware and software; therefore, more of the organization’s budget can be allocated to the software necessary to solve a wide variety of business problems.

Besides people and hardware savings, some of the intangible costs associated with on-premise technology, which organizations often fail to include in their ROI analyses, are software downtime, cost of future integrations, cost of modifications requiring programmers, and the cost of security and losing data in the event of a disaster.

A ubiquitous and significant early warning sign is operational inefficiencies. As businesses grow and evolve, and as they shift strategies to meet external environmental demands, the IT architecture has a direct impact on how efficiently the organization can cope with complexity and meet strategic goals. When complexity of the organization exceeds IT capabilities, the entire organization is weighed down by inefficiencies that consume resources.

Operational inefficiencies occur when (a) efforts are duplicated within and between functional departments, (b) communication between people is slow and arduous, (c) records are stored in a variety of systems making them difficult to retrieve, and (d) employees rely on spreadsheets to work around system limitations. Although large companies have the resources, and essentially the buffer, to absorb some of these inefficiencies, those same inefficiencies can be crippling to companies who have limited resources (i.e., most companies in the 21st Century).

Selecting an ERP system is about solving organizational problems; the choice is a business decision, not necessarily a technology decision. Two of the most significant early warning signs of problematic technology and business processes are high technology-related costs and operational inefficiencies that disable organizations from achieving overarching organization and business unit strategic goals.

After accounting for capital expenses, design and deployment costs, ongoing infrastructure, and ongoing training and support, the cloud-based model typically outperforms the on-premise model.

In addition to saving money, organizations increase operational efficiency with cloud-based software.

Growing and adapting to the environment, and continually solving efficiency problems, is more scalable with cloud software due to the ease of integration between applications.

Ultimately, organizational leaders benefit from being able to recognize high technology costs and operational inefficiencies, and they usually benefit the most by solving these problems with a cloud software solution.

Porte Brown Consulting Services Receives High Honor at Awards Banquet

- Monday, September 15, 2014
Open Systems, Inc. honors Porte Brown as a Top 3 Partner during their 2014 partner awards banquet.  Porte Brown Consulting Services offers industry-leading solutions that enable clients to have real-time information that is visible throughout the organization.

A photo of the presentation is to the left.  In the picture from left to right are Paul Lundquist, VP Sales at Open Systems, Inc.; Lillian Aaron, Consultant at Porte Brown LLC; Andrea White, Consultant at Porte Brown LLC; Louis Stratton, Director of Consulting Services at Porte Brown LLC; Dr. Michael Bertini, CEO at Open Systems, Inc.

TRAVERSE & OSAS Tips and Tricks

- Monday, September 15, 2014
The various ways to void accounts payable checks

Scenarios where one may need to void checks in Accounts Payable include the following:

    A. A check is written to the wrong vendor;
    B. A check is duplicated;
    C. A check is issued for the wrong amount;
    D. A check is lost;
    E. A check posts to the wrong period or year.

Best practices for handling the above scenarios include:

Items A and B - If the check is not going to be re-issued, there are two options to void this check.

    1. Using the void check function found in pay invoices, void the check to the current month if you have already reconciled your bank account. While voiding a check, one has the option to place the invoice back in the open invoice file as held or released. Because the voided check now leaves an open invoice in the vendor record, one must then enter a miscellaneous debit memo in the same amount to the same general ledger account number as the original invoice. After the miscellaneous debit is posted, go into hold/release invoices and pre-pay both the invoice and the miscellaneous debit so when the prepare payments function runs, they will print on the check register as pre-paid and net to zero.
    2. The void function can be ignored and one can simply enter a miscellaneous debit memo entered as pre-paid and use the same check number as the original check. After transactions post, the expense is credited and after payments, post the bank account is debited. Both the original check and the negative check will appear right next to each other, netting to zero, so now you can tag both of them as having cleared the bank.
    Item C – To correct checks issued for the wrong amount, one must first void the check using the void check function. Next, one enters either a miscellaneous debit to reduce the amount or an invoice to increase the amount. Finally, post the transactions and re-prepare your payments. The original invoice and the adjusting debit memo or adjusting invoice will net to the correct amount due.
    Items D and E - Void the check using the current date and then re-prepare your payments.
    The important thing to remember about voiding checks is that it is a two-step process. Voiding the check simply puts the cash back into the bank account and the invoice back into the open invoice file. One must correct the invoice with an adjusting invoice or miscellaneous debit.

Are You Changing Banks?

- Friday, September 12, 2014
When changing banks in either OSAS or TRAVERSE, one should consider the following:

  1. 1. Setup a new general ledger account number for the new bank.

    2. Add the new general ledger account number to your balance sheet in general ledger, management     reports setup, statement contents, and then the balance sheet content id.

    3. Add the bank account in TRAVERSE system manager or OSAS resource manager using the general     ledger account number set up in step 1. For clients with bank reconciliation set the bank account up in     bank reconciliation.

    4. Customers in accounts receivable have a default payment method assigned. Payment methods in     accounts receivable determine the bank where cash receipts post. One should edit the existing payment     methods and update the bank account.

    5. TRAVERSE clients: If the bank account is set up in your vendor file, one may either change the bank for     each vendor, or wait until its time to post transactions and then change the bank account in hold/release.

        OSAS clients: Vendors have methods of payment set in their master file. Update the method of payment     to reflect the new bank account.

    6. If still entering cash receipts into the old bank account, one will want to set up a new payment method     and direct it to the old bank.

    7. If appropriate, change the default bank account in business rules.

Integrated Document Management Solutions for TRAVERSE & OSAS

- Friday, September 12, 2014

Have you been looking for a way to manage all the documents your staff produces and receives? With docUnity, you can reduce and even eliminate the office filing cabinets! In addition, although eliminating the file cabinets you can still keep all the information available at your fingertips:

  • •  Launch and view documents directly from TRAVERSE and OSAS.
    •  Setup specific documents for QUICK retrieval.
    •  Search by doc type, keyword(s) and date range.
    •  Related document viewing (For example when viewing a vendor invoice, the vendor po, packing slip, and    accounts payable check are available by clicking on the related doc tab.)
    •  Logical folder searches.
    •  Email, print, or fax any document.
    •  Compare documents side by side for shipping or payment discrepancies.
    •  Scan single or multi-page documents using a local scanner, all keywords and save in docUnity.
    •  Capture customer delivery invoices using barcode recognition.
    •  Enhanced security: role based work groups, document and folder permissions, etc.

    How to Verify Data before Importing Into Traverse

Do you want to make sure your data format is correct before importing the file into TRAVERSE? Use the import mapped data utility in the company setup menu of system manager to verify the ASCII file formatting in your files before importing them. The import mapped data utility feature is currently available for imports into general ledger transactions, payroll transactions, bank reconciliation cleared transactions and inventory physical counts entry.

Who is in your OSAS system?

Do you ever need to know who is in your OSAS system, and what function they are using? First, set the Track user login activity? option to Yes in the Resource Manager Options and Interfaces. Then, use the User Information Inquiry function in the User Setup menu to see which function each user on your system is currently using.

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