Consolidating financials for multiple locations and entities

34406520_lGrowth is great, but rapid expansion can create complicated financial processes.  Small businesses often start out using entry level accounting software such as QuickBooks.  As they grow through expansion and acquisition, taking on new locations and new lines of business, these businesses start to experience performance issues with their accounting software and Excel reporting processes.

If you are a multi-location business and your reporting processes lack efficiency and accuracy while month end closings create major bottlenecks, you could benefit from consolidating financials for multiple locations and entities.  In order to unite your organization on one accounting system, there’s really way around adopting a more powerful technology solutions like enterprise resource planning software.

Fortunately, the cloud has created a way of delivering these systems to small and mid-size businesses without requiring huge upfront costs and internal IT resources.  While evaluating cloud accounting software, add the following to required criteria before you decide on a solution.

Manage Unlimited Companies without Additional Costs 
With increasing compliance risk and a rapidly changing technology landscape, businesses need to keep up with latest accounting solutions, but purchasing new software licenses to manage each entity and company in an organization strains the budget and keeping track of all of those moving targets on multiple systems creates the risk of error.  Look for a cloud accounting solution that brings all your companies together on a single solution and allows you to unlimited companies in the database with no additional cost.  The best solutions will also allow you to add unlimited user accounts.  Of course all cloud software subscriptions will require additional monthly payments for new users.  It’s also a good idea to keep in mind future expansion and choose a solution that is easy to set up and does not require maintenance on your part, so you have time to maintain relationships between locations and entities.  This ensures revenues and expenses incurred in one company can be tracked in others.

View Consolidated Reports Easily across Groups or Entities
Working off of multiple instances of QuickBooks and disparate systems to keep all of your financials in order creates complicated reporting process.  When these disparate systems don’t communicate, month-end closings for multiple locations and entities can become a financial management nightmare that wastes countless hours.  You need consolidated reporting and analytical accounting that lets you analyze financial transactions throughout multiple lines of business with smooth integration across modules. You could also benefit from automated multi-entity reporting so that your month end close can be handled in minutes not hours or days.

Tighten Internal Controls and Access to Companies
As a business expands, reporting and regulatory compliance are becoming increasingly complex to control.  Many basic accounting solutions lack adequate audit traceability and user level access settings, putting your business at risk. Look for vendors and software that enable in depth audit trails and user level access restrictions in compliance validated data centers.

Data Ownership

Let’s face it.  You’ve grown quickly and while the cloud may be the best option for your business today, tomorrow your company might require a Hybrid deployment with cloud and on-premises solutions.  Make sure the vendor you select allows you to easily move your data from a cloud system to an on-premises system.

Learn more about cloud accounting software that goes beyond QuickBooks or choose a software trial option and take the software for a 30 test drive to see how it can help standardize distribution data.

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