Learn how Withum helped a professional services firm modernize its operations by developing a centralized knowledge base, saving time and money.
An Information Technology consulting firm based in Atlanta, GA, faced challenges as they were growing and expanding. The challenges stemmed from multiple disconnected systems and manual processes. These manual processes resulted in numerous time-consuming workarounds to attain the necessary reporting and analytics needed for business decisions. After reviewing the firm’s challenges, needs, and business goals, the Withum team determined that Oracle NetSuite was the best software that will allow the firm to access information more efficiently and with better accuracy. Using NetSuite’s common business and modern platform enabled the firm to become more nimble and dynamic.
Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, the client, is a professional services company, focused on IT consulting, with 50 employees and $10
million in revenue. The firm is growing and operates domestically and internationally through multiple subsidiaries and legal entities. Practically the entire sales and delivery teams work remotely.
The client wrestled with their growth challenges by employing manual off-system analysis and e-mail as the primary center of their workflow activities. The company had specific challenges with:
- consolidating financial information,
- executing business processes in a timely, efficient and effective manner,
- creating sophisticated off system business analytics for decision-making,
- tracking project expenses and revenues, and
- systematically supporting multiple domestic and international subsidiaries and locations.
Numerous factors contributed to these challenges, including multiple disconnected systems and manual processes that led to the organization’s teams manually extracting information from QuickBooks to spreadsheets to create reports and consolidate data. These manual processes resulted in numerous time-consuming workarounds to attain the necessary reporting and analytics needed for business decisions.
The Approach And Solution
To address the firm’s challenges and ensure the firm is prepared for growth, the Withum team was engaged. Oracle NetSuite was chosen as the software that will allow the firm to modernize and start to access information more efficiently and with better accuracy.
The NetSuite implementation objectives were to serve both the underlying finance functions and manage services via client project mechanisms in the system. Data access and transparency increased, data entry and report generation became more efficient, project information from multiple systems was consolidated, project tracking was enabled, financial and operational processes were automated, and resource allocation at the project level could now be performed to effectively manage the firm’s resources. Using NetSuite’s common business and modern platform enabled the firm to become more nimble and dynamic.
ERP and CRM systems are only as good as the processes implemented; thus, Withum took a holistic approach in ensuring that the Chart of Accounts (COA) was revised and optimized, inter-company financial management arrangements for revenue and expenses were redefined, revenue management was in compliance with ASC 606 and a methodology for project management incorporated both best practices while accommodating the client’s unique project structure for services and contractor time entry.
The Results, ROI
Using NetSuite’s common business and modern platform enabled the firm to become more nimble and dynamic.
On the first round of a monthly close using NetSuite, the client was impressed about reduced turnaround time given their newness to operating the system.
This timing is anticipated to keep decreasing as staff become more comfortable with the system and better understand how to leverage its capabilities. Copious amounts of spreadsheets have been taken away for the purposes of amortization, revenue recognition, and utilization bonus calculations. Introduction to new metrics and report types (such as utilization, utilization bonus calculations, project profitability) informs executives of more industry-oriented ways to understand their current business model and standing. Leadership has expressed that there is “much more information available than in the past.” Because time entries and project information make up the primary sources of analytics for the company’s operations, having access to this data allows leadership to personalize reports, enabling more accurate decision-making and planning.
Finance leadership had now evolved their role to hone in more on financial analysis, whereas before, they were preoccupied with rudimentary accounting. The cost of compliance has decreased in the use of NetSuite as the system handles the tax compliance for the foreign subsidiary, and consolidations no longer involve manual back-end work.
With greater visibility to annual renewals of support contracts, the company can now produce sales forecasting for the following year.
Continued reduction of the duration spent in financial close, improvement in days sales outstanding (DSO), prevention of revenue leakage through time entry and expense processes, and improvement in billing turnaround time are expected with continued adaptation to the system. With all the new functionality introduced by the NetSuite solution, the firm augmented its project planning abilities, resource allocation, reporting and developed a centralized knowledge base. This served to reduce overhead in data management to give way to greater financial analysis and planning and the administrative burdens of project management.