Centralized Data Management for Sage Accpac - Orchid's Budget and Information Management

Managing data has become a major concern for most businesses for several reasons. As computerized business management and accounting systems have become more comprehensive and large computer hard drives have become less expensive, it has become easier to record and store vast amounts of detailed data about our businesses. As more processes in a company have been automated, the accounting systems of old have evolved into full scale business management systems that integrate all operational facets of a business. The result is that businesses are increasingly demanding more and better information out of these systems to assess their performance and measure results against pre-established criteria such as budgets, forecasts and other key performance indicators.

As companies grow and their need for comprehensive reporting and analysis increases, it becomes easy for people to look for a quick fix by creating one spreadsheet after another to solve the information needs of managers and other top level executives. One day we realize that we have created a reporting and data management nightmare because none of the reporting systems are integrated to the accounting system, there is little or no security for the data and there is no centralized control over updates to the data. Therefore the integrity of the data we depend on for decision making purposes comes into question.

Not only does it get more difficult to manage all this data but it gets more difficult to create reports with relevant information delivered with the right amount of detail. Reporting systems need to be flexible enough to link different financial data elements together to identify key trends in a business. Since these elements can change over time these systems need to dynamically change with the requirements in the business.

With the rise in popularity of benchmarking and the use of key performance indicators (KPI’s) not only is there a requirement to link financial data elements, but analysts are also recognizing the need to link financial data to non-financial data that influences financial performance in a business. Furthermore, as graphical user interfaces and scanning equipment have become more popular, linking documents and pictures to data has also become more important.

In order to provide structure and security to the collection and management of all types of information requires a centralized repository of data (sometimes referred to as a data warehouse) which is stored in the same database as the rest of the information in the accounting and business management system rather than an external database. The question is, how do companies develop a cost effective method of collecting and managing the data they need to support the reporting and decision making systems required to run their businesses?

To address this growing trend in the ACCPAC market, Orchid Systems created a tool set called Budget and Information Management that allows Advantage Series customers to add any type of data to their ACCPAC company databases. The immediate benefit of this approach is that all data is protected by the same security, back up and maintenance functions included in ACCPAC’s System Manager. Multi-User access is provided through standard ACCPAC Lanpaks so there is no additional cost for multi-user access. Documents and pictures can be linked to ACCPAC data and stored in the same database.

Budget and Information Management makes reporting on financial and non-financial data in ACCPAC much easier. Each Budget code can link up to 10 ACCPAC fields and combine that with 10 additional user-defined fields for tracking information not normally kept in an accounting system. You can capture an unlimited number of budgets and forecasts for any combination of ACCPAC master file data not just GL budget sets. Because all the data is held in one table, it is easy to create and run Crystal Reports against this data without the need for sub reports in Crystal.

A link to Microsoft Excel is included with the solution to allow you to read data from ACCPAC, manipulate it in a spreadsheet and then write back to ACCPAC automatically. You can also use Budget and Information Management as a data source for other reporting and analysis tools such as ACCPAC Insight and Crystal Analysis.

If you’ve been wondering how to enhance the budget, forecast and analysis capabilities of ACCPAC Advantage Series without creating redundant or duplicate systems, consider the benefits of Budget and Information Management from Orchid Systems.