Monday, December 20, 2010

Visit our New Blog Location!

We are no longer maintaining this instance of our blog but have switched to a new location on our website.

Please visit:

Project Accounting and Dynamics SL Best Practices

The new location has all the original posts. Thanks for visiting us!

- Synergy Consultants

Monday, November 22, 2010

Microsoft Dynamics SL User Conference Empowers Companies Doing Project Accounting

The Dynamics SL User Group held its annual conference in San Diego, CA on September 22nd – 24th. This is the largest gathering specifically for Dynamics SL Users and the community that supports it.

The group is experiencing amazing growth. In 2008, the conference had 115 attendees. In 2009, it was 147. This year we had 221 attendees with 232 registrations! Users at the event were overheard saying “This is the SL Event to attend.” Attendees loved the waterfront venue, dining outdoors and the accommodation. We are currently negotiating with a similar venue at the Baltimore Inner Harbor for our 2011 event the week of September 12th.

18 Sponsors participated in the conference, up from 8 in 2009. Sponsors were pleased that the Expo area was outside the classrooms so they could meet with customers during breaks and the expo sessions. 99 of the attendees said they found the vendor they needed; 20 said they did not which indicates a need for more vendors next year. One Sponsor said this was their first time at our conference and that they will push their customers to attend in the future because it was so well run, so informative and had such a great energy. Another sponsor said, “The energy level is high. People are discussing opportunities. It’s always great to see people willing to ask and share. Well coordinated.”

Supporters, our new member type for consultants, partners and ISVs that opt not to be sponsors were also very pleased with the event. One partner told me they were scouting the event out. She said she will evangelize this event to their customers. Her personal goal is to have 20% of her 300 customers attend in 2011! Another supporter said, “Over all, the SLUG conferences are without equivocation, THE BEST conferences I’ve attended since I started with Solomon back in 1993! Which is really amazing since so much of the work to put it on is volunteer driven. It is amazing how hard you guys all work to put this on. THANK YOU!!! “

The attendees said the content was event better than last year; here are some excerpts from surveys:

This meeting was on par with the best meetings I have attended. The breakout sessions were very good although there was one that I couldn’t even get in the room. I appreciate all of the effort the board and volunteers put into this group. Thank you.

This was my first Dynamics SL event of any kind. I represent the IT side of the house and found this conference to be a perfect balance between accounting and technical. The participants were ready, willing and able to discuss any topic that was of interest to me. I look forward to future events and becoming more engaged in this group. This was truly a rewarding experience.

I thought the conference was a huge success. I was impressed with the content and for each concurrent session set I had a couple of items I wanted to go to. Thank you to all for a job well done.

This was really an outstanding conference. I enjoyed reconnecting with old friends, and also met many new people. Thank you to each board member for all the work. Professionally done, yet keeping that small intimate group vibe. Well done.

Super content for the breakout sessions. Well worth the price of admission.

The 2010-2011 Board was elected at the conference during our annual meeting. Learn more at Dynamics SL User Group.


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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Engineering Consulting Firm Improves Profitability

MacKay and Sposito, a consulting firm that provides civil engineering, planning, land surveying, landscape architecture, and construction management services, couldn't adequately track and report on project performance. Without knowing which projects and segments were profitable, they couldn't make appropriate adjustments in sales and marketing. Neither could their project managers make necessary changes to control costs and utilize resources more efficiently. They needed to align their accounting with their project management.

Enter Synergy Business Solutions.

“Synergy spent the time to understand what information we need and how we use that information to manage our business and then configured Microsoft Dynamics SL to fit those exact needs,” says Marcy McCoy, Controller at MacKay & Sposito. “Today, we can extract the meaningful information we need to make informed business decisions.”

With streamlined accounting, they have significantly reduced time for month-end closing and payroll, have a timely, accurate picture of project and company performance, and have improved cash flow and profitability.

For more details, read the entire MacKay & Sposito-Synergy story.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Integration Capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics SL Make All Things Possible

How many times a day do you hear “you can’t” or “that’s impossible”? There seems to be that stigma in the world that doubt is acceptable. Well what if you had a solution that can make all things possible? Yeah, I know…it sounds too good to be true, but the enhancements of integrated ERP software, such as Microsoft Dynamics SL, make it possible in the business world. Microsoft Dynamics SL has the ability to improve various areas of your company because of its integration, which:

Allows Productivity. By providing the familiarity of Microsoft Office system applications and the Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services interface, Business Portal for Microsoft Dynamics SL can help your team increase productivity so that you realize a greater return on your business management solution investment. The portal gives employees, partners, and customers secure access to up-to-date information on a browser any time and/or anywhere it's needed.

Increases Profitability. Using the integrated features of Microsoft Dynamics SL, you can more efficiently obtain reports and business analysis, leading to clearer insights and ultimately greater customer satisfaction. With Microsoft Business Portal, you can deliver project financial status, task assignments, billing, invoices, timesheets, expense reports, and other documents through a Web browser, reducing the time required to manage these processes and eliminating paperwork and data re-entry.

Establishes Morale. With better overall understanding of business processes and ease of use throughout the company, employees feel better about the work they’re doing. They can ensure its accuracy and take pride in the outcomes. Integration of applications ultimately makes their work easier and company morale is automatically boosted.

So next time you hear “that’s impossible,” think again. The integrated features of Microsoft Dynamics SL can give you the confidence to have that “can do” attitude and your company will thank you for it.

If you’re interested in learning more about what Microsoft Dynamics SL can do to make all things possible, contact Synergy Business Solutions.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Find the Right ERP Software in Two Easy Steps

Deploying your first ERP system or replacing your existing system is a decision that impacts your entire business. The right ERP software can help your people reach new levels of productivity by streamlining key business processes, helping to reduce costs, and strengthen your company’s competitive edge.

On the other hand, a software system that doesn’t align with your organization’s current needs and future goals can be costly, forcing you to change the way you do business to match the capabilities of the ERP software. How can you decide what ERP system is right for your business, both today and as your company grows and changes?

You need to find a solution that fits—a software system that’s easy to use, meets the needs of all of your people, and integrates seamlessly with your existing systems. You need flexible, extensible business management software supported by a partner who knows your industry and who can help you tailor the solution to the exact needs of your business.

Find the right fit in two easy steps

Get started on the path to finding the right ERP system for your business by following these two simple steps:

Step One: Download the ERP Discovery Guide, which contains questions to get you thinking critically about your ERP software needs with regard to your current technology, your processes, your people, and your industry.

Step Two: Contact Synergy Business Solutions to learn more about creating a Microsoft Dynamics Business Solutions Roadmap. The Roadmap is utilized to assess your current business needs, define your goals for the future, and create a personalized strategic plan to achieve those goals.

When you’re ready to make the big step of implementing your ERP software, it’s better to be overly prepared so that you don’t have to back track and do it all over again. Make sure your ERP solution fits your business, not the other way around.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Back to the Basics of ERP Software

Throughout ERP’s 30 odd years of history, the basics have gotten away from us. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of ERP Software and realize why it’s such a benefit to the business world.

What is ERP?

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) definition refers to both ERP software and business strategies that implement ERP systems. ERP implementation utilizes various ERP software applications to improve the performance of organizations for 1) resource planning, 2) management control and 3) operational control. ERP software consists of multiple software modules that integrate activities across functional departments – from project management and accounting to materials management for project-centric companies, and from product planning, parts purchasing, inventory control, product distribution, to order tracking for product-focused companies. Moreover, most ERP software systems include application modules to support common business activities – finance, accounting, and human resources.

ERP Systems

ERP is much more than a piece of computer software. An ERP System includes ERP Software, Business Processes, Users and Hardware that run the ERP software. An ERP system is more than the sum of its parts or components. Those components interact together to achieve a common goal – streamline and improve an organization's business processes.

Where did it all begin?

ERP is the evolution of Manufacturing Requirements Planning (MRP) II in 1980s, while MRP is the evolution of Inventory Management & Control conceived in 1960s. ERP has expanded from coordination of manufacturing processes to the integration of enterprise-wide backend processes. In terms of technology, ERP has evolved from legacy implementation to more flexible tiered client-server architecture.

What are some key benefits of having the software?

ERP software attempts to integrate business processes across departments onto a single enterprise-wide information system. The major benefits of ERP are improved coordination across functional departments and increased efficiencies of doing business. The implementations of ERP systems help facilitate day-to-day management as well. ERP software systems are originally and ambitiously designed to support resource planning portions of strategic planning.

If you’re interested in learning more, visit Synergy Business Solutions.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

6 Ways Microsoft Dynamics SL Meets Your Project-Accounting Needs

If you’re struggling with your current project accounting solution, you may be running into continued reliance on paper to collect your accounting information. Project cost overruns might be out of the view of your team members. You need to obtain reports and business analysis, while increasing efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction. Your company also needs to automate and streamline projects across company divisions and locations.

Microsoft Dynamics SL meets all of these needs and helps you effectively manage your people, projects, and profitability. Here’s how:
  1. A Single Interface - In addition to providing applications for financial management and field service, Microsoft Dynamics SL empowers your accounting staff to handle complex accounting tasks and your project managers to more effectively manage projects, all from a single interface.

  2. Improved Estimating - Dynamics SL industry-specific features help you estimate more accurately, so you can meet your customer's requirements on time and within budget.

  3. Automation - Dynamics SL creates an efficient bridge between documents, spreadsheets, and project accounting transactions; automates time and material billing processes; and creates invoices automatically using predetermined business rules to calculate costs.

  4. Web-based Access and Collaboration - By integrating information from different companies or offices and utilizing a browser-based portal that helps you increase collaboration, Dynamics SL helps ensure that projects run smoothly, which increases customer satisfaction.

  5. Easy Access and Approvals - Employees can enter requests directly into the system and managers can approve or reject requests as they are submitted.

  6. Smart Painless Reporting - Using the integrated features of Dynamics SL you can more efficiently obtain reports and business analysis, leading to clearer insights and confident decision making.
If you’re interested in learning more about what Microsoft Dynamics SL can do for your project accounting needs, contact Synergy Business Solutions today or download this Case Study and hear the Financial Manager share about why she "loves" the solution.



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Government Contractors: Trace Your Accounts from ‘Cradle to Grave’ with Microsoft Dynamics SL

I had the opportunity to listen in on a Microsoft Momentum Webcast regarding how to build a successful foundation for Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) Compliance and the term used throughout the 60 minute session was “Cradle to Grave”. Although slightly morbid, it caught my attention because of its importance for Government Contractors.

In order for you to comply with DCAA regulations, it’s vital that you have a start to finish view for each of your accounts. For example, within your financial planning, the auditors will most likely ask to see your 3 month plan versus the actual. To build a successful foundation for DCAA accounting compliance, you must have a solution that works. Here are a few reasons Microsoft Dynamics SL is that solution.

Fully Compliant:
Businesses have found Microsoft Dynamics SL to be fully FAR, CAS and DCAA compliant. With Microsoft Dynamics SL, contractors can easily prepare reports, so that when auditors show up for a surprise floor check, they have the information readily in hand, in the required format, to show precisely where their numbers come from.

Amazing Functionality:
Microsoft Dynamics SL provides an automated, robust, repeatable, integrated system that can calculate indirect rates from month to month, and apply those costs to keep the controller informed about variances as they occur. All of this functionality allows auditors to be confident in the consistent and reliable manner you are calculating, applying and submitting rates.

Customization and Integration Made Easy:
In addition, the Microsoft solution easily integrates with other systems so you can, for example add 25 new employees overnight, as required by a contract or new business opportunity. Microsoft is also open about its data dictionary, or list of fields for all databases, and what they represent. Microsoft Dynamics SL makes it easy to replicate reports, as required by auditors. The ability to customize data entry screens makes it easy to identify information and build reports based on business or government auditing requirements as they arise.

To learn more, find Government Compliance Resources on Synergy Business Solutions' website.

- Michael Camp

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Webcast: Government (DCAA) Compliance Made Easier

government compliance made easierIf you bid on government contracts, your financials just got easier. Attend this live webcast and learn how:

A Clear Map to Effective Government Compliance
Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 1 PM to 2 PM PDT

Steve Toth, President, Synergy Business Solutions
Jered Cady, Executive Vice President, Synergy Business Solutions


You will see how to manage the following tasks with integrated software:

• Build, manage and monitor indirect cost rates
• Allocate costs across multiple cost objectives such as overhead pools and contracts
• Manage direct and indirect time under cost reimbursement contracts
• Perform billing under fixed price and cost plus fee contracts
• Manage time and expense collection in accordance with DCAA regulations
• Monitor and alert government contracting officer of contract status
• Generate government invoices on approved government forms
• Build a traceable document system to drill down from your original purchase requisition through to associated invoices
• Integrate your accounting with software your employees already use to increase productivity

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Webcast: 7 Smart Procedures for Projects

Based on Synergy's newest ebook, attendees of this webcast will learn and see 7 Procedures that help project-driven companies (firms that provide professional services or both services and materials) end their struggle to effectively manage projects and do job costing and financial accounting. CEOs, CFOs, Finance Managers, IT Directors, and Project Managers are invited to register. Webcast is Wednesday, March 17, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Register and Learn More

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New eBook Stops the Pain

Synergy has published its second ebook, this one entitled, Stop the Pain: 7 Smart Project Management and Accounting Procedures that Work. It spells out how to safeguard cash flow, project performance, and profit margins.

This easy-to-read ebook is based on years of practice by the authors and their colleagues as solution providers, CPAs, CFOs, and IT directors. There is even a story woven throughout the ebook about a real-life engineering firm that implemented the 7 procedures and eliminated their project-accounting pain. Talk about best practices, this ebook is chock full of them. Check it out and then pass it on to others you think could benefit from it.

Download eBook

Read Press Release

Monday, December 28, 2009

Whitepaper Heaven for Project-driven Companies

Check out our new Whitepaper page on our website. There's a variety of excellent whitepapers with expert advice on how to improve your project management and accounting, streamline your operations, and/or evaluate software. Topics include:
  • Profitability
  • Business Portals
  • DCAA Compliance
  • Benchmarking Projects
  • Software Assessment, Evaluation, and/or Selection
  • How to Accelerate Your ROI
  • Lasting Client Relationships
  • Effective Management of Firms
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective Projects
  • How Project Management and Accounting Works in
    Dynamics SL
Smart Advice on Project Management and Accounting