Posts tagged Process consolidation
One Last and Powerful Benefit of Our ERP: Enhancements

We recently implemented an Enterprise Resource Management System (ERP) at our firm. The program we selected is NetSuite, which is one of the top cloud-based ERPs available. It has been a 180-degree improvement.

As a real estate development firm, our accounting process and workflow is fully integrated, from inventory purchase to the sale/lease of residential or office units. NetSuite also has tools that organize and catalog our various databases. For more on NetSuite, please refer to my posts: NetSuite: How to Select the Best ERP, and What Happened During Our Year Implementing NetSuite.

Some systems, like NetSuite, come with tools and platforms that allow businesses to modify the system itself to adapt it to a company's needs more closely. The ability to customize is an additional benefit of transitioning to more advanced systems. NetSuite, for example, has a platform called SuiteScript that allows companies and developers to add to and modify it. Once we implemented NetSuite and were able to manage all of our principal transactions through it, we decided to develop enhancements to automate further and eliminate errors in our operations.

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The End of Excel and How to Substitute It (For the Most Part)

I have been on a crusade to eliminate Microsoft Excel at our company for the past year and a half. Excel is a wonderful tool, don’t get me wrong. I have been using Excel for years and years, and that very loyal, noble spreadsheet has been my support through thick and thin. During my days as an accounting student, I programmed my financial statements and balanced them using Excel. As an investment banking intern, I learned to create advanced financial models with the same tool. In Alianza, the company where I worked previously and where I ran the accounting department, we also used spreadsheets to create our financial statements and their supporting documents.

Through all those times, Excel was dependable and a true friend. Eventually, however, we started having problems. If I look back and analyze it, the issue wasn’t Excel itself, and it still isn’t. It was the errors we kept finding: we either added an extra digit to the number by mistake or the spreadsheets weren’t all connected with one another, so they needed to be reconciled between each other. Once Alianza grew to a certain size, we quickly realized that we spent more time checking to make sure Excel was right than working with the information in the first place. So, when we started Celaque, the company I currently run, I knew our dependence on Excel had to go.

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What Happened During Our Year Implementing NetSuite

In 2017 our firm embarked on the biggest system implementation yet: NetSuite, an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. It took six very intense months to become operational, but the full implementation lasted a year because we had bugs and problems that needed to be resolved. Because NetSuite interacted with all the departments of the company, bringing the system online was going to affect everybody.

Prior to implementing NetSuite, we had a very basic accounting system; it only took care of fundamental transactions, such as bills and invoices, and it produced fixed customer statements, accounting reports, and financial statements. While it was a good system for a startup, we realized we had outgrown it.

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