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Anya Ciecierski, CAL Business Solutions

Connecticut Professional Services Company Uses Microsoft Dynamics GP Plus Olympic Project Cost to Increase the Profitability of Each Project


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CAL Business Solutions recently implemented Microsoft Dynamics GP with Olympic Project Cost for Connecticut based Internet Broadcasting company, ORLive. This system gives ORLive strong financial functionality with easy to use project accounting features without being overly complicated or expensive.

In the past, ORLive used a DOS based accounting software called Data 2000, however this system did not give them any project accounting features.  This successful company would manage as many as 75 projects simultaneously – each with long timelines, and complicated contracts that effected their ability to invoice for their services.  Yet all the project cost information was being tracked in spreadsheets.  They had a large number of people entering time that was not accurately linked to specific projects and they had difficulty tracking the individual costs associated with each project. All of this made it difficult to determine if individual projects were profitable.  They wanted to upgrade their system to include project costing functionality as well as integration to other Microsoft tools used within the organization such as Microsoft Sharepoint.  They needed accounting software for a professional services organization – and the answer was Microsoft Dynamics GP + Olympic Project Cost.

 “Revenue Recognition Used to Take 3 Days, Now It Takes 1 Hour”

A key part of the project was the revenue recognition report.  The billing for each project was on a set payment schedule that was outlined in the contract – but each was unique.  Previously, they used to use a massive unwieldy 40 page spreadsheet that was built by their CPA firm.  The team at CAL Business Solutions did an in depth analysis to fully understand their process, and recreated the revenue recognition report within their Microsoft Dynamics GP system. Now the system automates the collection of time, status of projects and percentage of completion and figures out how much to bill the client.   “We access this report right from our main menu using a shortcut, it is seamless for us.” Says Richard Meyer, Director of Finance.  “It used to take the finance team 3 days to go through all the contracts and events and contract revenue and manually enter the data into the spreadsheet.  Because of the time involved, this was done only done a year. Now, using Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains), the process takes no more than one hour and is done once a month.

“Tracking Project Costs Makes Us More Profitable”

ORLive employees now use the time tracker function in Olympic as the primary time clock. What used to be a manual process is now automated and people on the road can enter their time remotely.  Using Olympic Project Cost with Microsoft Dynamics GP makes it easy for ORLive to drill down into the details of each project. They can determine not just the time associated with a project, but all the costs and tasks related to it the effect the final bottom line.  Reports generated by Olympic Project Cost are used by the management team to make strategic decisions.   “Using Dynamics GP with Olympic we know the profitability of each project, whereas before we only  knew the profitability of the entire company.  Having a complete view of project costs has improved our ability to price new projects for profit and manage individual projects more closely. ” says Richard Meyer.

“Easily Move Information into Excel”

ORLive appreciates that they have the ability to easily move information back and forth from Microsoft Dynamics GP and Olympic to Microsoft Excel.  “I am a big advocate of the Smartlist feature in GP.  Using Smartlists I can drop information from Dynamics GP into Excel where I have built calculations, metrics and comparisons. I can produce professional looking financial statements in different versions  for different people.  And if they have questions on a specific GL item, using Smartlist I can send them the item detail they need.”  Says Richard Meyer.  “The reporting and budgeting features within Microsoft Dynamics GP are very strong. The system is easy to use and I can quickly identify any issues and correct them.”

“A Business Partner We Can Rely On”

Richard Meyer comments, “Working with CAL has been a very positive experience.  The staff is responsive. When we have unique problems or request modifications they have generally been researched and fixed within 48 hours.”

Because of their strong development experience, the team at CAL Business Solutions was able create the custom reports ORLive required and successfully connect Olympic Project Cost.  In the future, with the help of CAL and Connecticut Computer Services,  ORLive plans to connect their Microsoft Dynamics GP system to their Microsoft SharePoint system for a complete project management solution.

If you are a professional services organization looking for an affordable, easy to use system that will help you manage projects, but not be overwhelming, contact CAL Business Solutions.

By CAL Business Solutions, Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner serving Connecticut and Massachusetts

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