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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

Are You Ready to Be a Tech-Savvy CFO?

Andrea White - Monday, May 07, 2018


Your business is changing. Your market is changing. Even the macro-economy is changing. The question is: Are you changing?

For today’s finance leaders, adapting to this new environment is no longer optional. In many instances, the tools, strategies, methods, and tried-and-true metrics you’ve used to run a top-notch finance organization and forge a successful career—well, they might not be what you need to move forward. So are you content with the status quo, or are you ready to embrace a new role: change agent? Learn More

Mastering the Complexity of Revenue Management

Andrea White - Thursday, March 29, 2018


For many finance professionals, revenue management is among the top challenges today. With its combination of loosely defined regulations, evolving standards and stiff penalties for noncompliance, revenue management creates unacceptable levels of complexity and variability that often overmatch the resources and expertise of many finance teams. Faced with these hurdles, companies are looking to automate revenue management processes to gain efficiency, strengthen compliance, and improve visibility.

Sage Intacct Revenue Management automates and optimizes the financial processes associated with complex revenue recognition. Sage Intacct is the cloud-based technology that allows your finance team to connect systems, automate processes, and analyze the business. This solution frees your staff from the intricacies and headaches of... Learn More

Better Visibility, Better Decisions

Andrea White - Wednesday, October 11, 2017


When it comes to managing fixed assets, most finance professionals focus on depreciation only. But you also need deep, dimensional visibility into asset valuation, condition, insurance status, and more. And to become a true steward of your company’s assets, you need to prevent asset loss and securely access your asset records, even after a disaster. Sage Intacct Fixed Assets merges fixed asset and core accounting functions in a complete, flexible, automated system. Just what you need!

Go beyond depreciation with a complete, flexible, automated system that delivers deep visibility into...  Read More

Accelerate Your Financial Processes with Intacct Collaborate

Andrea White - Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Dealing with non-routine transactions, such as clarifying policies; gathering missing information; or resolving exceptions, can bring operations to a standstill or possibly even derail your critical financial processes. Communicate more quickly, efficiently, and effectively with Intacct Collaborate, a secure social layer embedded into your Intacct best-in-class cloud ERP solution. It spans all your devices and processes, as well as all time zones, enabling individuals in finance, sales, and services to cooperatively address and resolve any issue.

Intacct Collaborate helps you both speed up and better control accounting processes. With a...  Read More

Streamline Your Payment Cycle

Andrea White - Friday, August 18, 2017


Escape outdated, productivity-draining manual processes. With Intacct Accounts Payable, you can automate workflows to manage the entire accounts payable (AP) cycle with newfound speed and efficiency. Automated and configurable processes enable you to better manage accounts payable by defining workflows, approvals, and internal controls that are customized for your specific business. This means more time to focus on... Read More

Eliminating the Risks of Spreadsheets

Andrea White - Friday, July 28, 2017


Spreadsheets are an invaluable tool for many businesses. They are easy to set up and most people are familiar with using them. Unfortunately, accuracy and efficiency are two key aspects that spreadsheets sorely miss. With time being a luxury most businesses don't have, finding a suitable replacement that streamlines monthly and/or quarterly work... Read More

TRAVERSE Tip: Drill into Your Tasks

- Tuesday, April 12, 2016
CRM Dashboard users: you can now drill down into specific tasks on the My Tasks dashboard for more information.

For additional recent feature additions to TRAVERSE, check out the TRAVERSE Build History page.

Features of the Really Good Time Tracking Systems

- Thursday, April 07, 2016
Tracking the punch-in and punch-out times is the absolute basic feature of a time tracking system. There are obviously other features that are of immense significance. When you pick a time tracking system or software, you should look for the following features:

  • • The time tracking software must allow you to setup overtime, auto-punch and rounding rules. There are employees who leave early and those who work late. Many do overtime while some are rather averse to the practice. You need to know which employees are leaving early and which are working overtime. More importantly, you need a way to approve or setup overtime. Auto-punch and rounding rules are also integral features of a good time tracking system.

  • • A good time tracking system will allow you to set up groups for timesheet approval. Your company will obviously have more than one department or group of employees. Not every department needs to work in the same manner. From availability to the nature of the work, the demands could be very different. Thus, you cannot have all timesheets approved in the same manner. One of the quintessential time tracking system features is that you can segregate various groups and work on them accordingly. Timesheets must also factor in the job, phase or department so the records of punch ins and outs are in accordance.

  • • A time tracking system should have a calendar that will be exclusively used to keep a record of who is scheduled to be unavailable or off for a particular day or period. You cannot have key positions unattended. The calendar will notify you of upcoming leaves or unavailability of key personnel and you can then come up with a backup strategy. Unless a profile is disposable or you already have people capable of doing the additional work, you will need to take this calendar very seriously.

  • • Finally, one of the most important time tracking system features is the interface with payroll and accounting software. You may be attending to your own payroll and accounting, or you could be using a payroll service. The time tracking system you have must work in tandem with such accounting software or payroll services.

Did You Know? – Intacct Can Automate Your Organization’s Inter-Entity Transactions

- Thursday, March 24, 2016
Are you frustrated by QuickBooks’ shortcomings, and its inability to manage multiple related entities? While switching accounting software may sound like a daunting undertaking, changing software can be a liberating process and more beneficial to business over the long run. Rather than working within the restrictive confines of QuickBooks, utilizing new software designed to increase employee efficiency and provide easier access to financial data can elevate an organization to the next level.

QuickBooks is a great tool for organizations looking to manage their financials, but it isn’t designed for dealing with organizations with multiple entities. QuickBooks does not allow for more than one entity per file and because of these shortcomings, it actually complicates the process by forcing accountants to log in and out of several accounts while managing inter-connected entities. This may not be much of an issue if there is only one or two inter-related entities to manage, but it can quickly become a nightmare when managing three or more entities. Imagine repeatedly logging in and out several times every day for multiple related organizations. The time alone of logging in and out over the course of a month is a tremendous waste of time and effort. This extra time doesn’t even include the additional time needed to export data to Excel spreadsheets because of QuickBooks’ inability to house multiple entities’ data in a single file. Having to stitch multiple entries together requires a significant amount of time and concentration to avoid errors and mistakes.

While QuickBooks may identify itself as a “low cost” solution, growing organizations may find it costs more to maintain and operate because of the increasing number of patches and half-solutions needed to keep the whole system running. Unlike QuickBooks, Intacct enables you to track financial and operational data in real time without having to repeatedly log in and out when managing several inter-related entities. Intacct automates many of the limitations of QuickBooks, such as multi-entity close and reporting, revenue recognition, project accounting, and flexible reporting capabilities that are nearly endless. An added benefit of switching to Intacct is the guaranteed safety and security of its cloud-based system. System availability and security is assured and allows for easy use of other cloud business systems, such as Salesforce CRM, Avalara Sales Tax, and Nexonia Expense Reports. Intacct was designed to integrate with other cloud-based programs, which makes it easy to mix-and-match programs according to an organization’s specific and unique needs.

Not only does upgrading from QuickBooks to Intacct save time, it allows accountants to take on more of an advisor role for the organization. Rather than being locked into managing spreadsheets and performing excessive data entry, accountants can help guide the organization toward greater efficiency and profits.

For more information about the benefits of upgrading to Intacct, please contact Louis Stratton, Director of Porte Brown’s Consulting Services team at 708-429-1040 or LStratton@portebrown.com.

6 Common Payroll Issues

- Tuesday, March 01, 2016
Payroll plays a large role in companies for a reason. It’s the cumulative sum of all of the financial records for employee salaries, which includes their work wages, deductions and any bonuses. The crucial nature of payroll means that it’s imperative for companies to pay close attention to how it is managed under their financial departments.

Payroll is straightforward in concept, but it’s not entirely foolproof. Processing employee payroll is still subject to various common errors, despite the time-sensitive nature of such finances. Following are six of the most common payroll issues that companies tend to deal with.

Inaccuracy of Information – Working With Inexperienced Payroll Processors
At times, dealing with payroll related tasks can be a chore. To address this issue, many businesses and HR departments tend to hire out payroll processing to a third party. Some may delegate the work to an inexperienced employee.

On occasion, an employee or third party’s inexperience with their client’s workforce information can lead to them making crucial mistakes during the processing of such information. Sometimes, the information processed for employee wages may be inaccurate (for example, social security information), leading to possible delays in processing.

Using the Correct Deduction Amounts
Processing deductions from employee pay is considered one of the most complex parts of payroll. Both state and federal laws apply to deducting certain amounts from employee pay. Due to this, it’s easy for businesses and HR departments to make errors during payroll processing in regards to utilizing the correct deduction amounts.

Not Classifying Employees Correctly
Many small businesses utilize several types of workers, including temporary employees, freelance workers and contractors. Diversity in worker types can sometimes lead to payroll issues. It’s important that workers be classified correctly for tax purposes, since businesses can be subject to paying their owed taxes along with any fines.

Overtime Rules
Current federal and state laws require many employers to give overtime. Overtime generally consists of 50 percent of the employee’s typical hourly wage; in most cases, employees must be paid their hourly wage and the 50 percent overtime premium for each hour worked overtime. Due to the exceptions that overtime laws generally include, some payroll processors may be subject to mistakes.

Garnishments and Child Support
Employees who have been ordered by the courts to pay a certain amount to another party are subject to garnishments from their income. A creditor generally takes a certain percentage from their income, which is usually deducted from their paycheck. Employers are required to fulfill the terms of an employee’s garnishment; otherwise, those that don’t are subject to penalties.

Keeping Up With Regulatory Changes
Over time, payroll regulations do change. Sometimes, significant changes may be made to how payroll is processed for businesses across the country. In order to avoid the payroll issues that may originate from regulatory changes, businesses should do their best to stay updated with regulatory changes that may occur in their state or around the country.

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