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Ken Jacobsen, The TM Group Inc.

Microsoft Dynamics GP Helps Cut Through J-SOX Red Tape for Automotive Distributor


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Many smaller companies quickly outgrow Peachtree by Sage accounting software.  This familiar scenario unfolded recently for one of our clients, a Michigan automobile and auto parts distribution company. A subsidiary of a Japanese general trading company, the firm has fewer than 25 employees and annual sales between $5 million and $10 million.

The growing company grew frustrated with Peachtree’s lack of functionality and burdensome manual inventory tracking processes. Reconciling purchase variances was another major pain point. These data accuracy issues were costing the firm time and money.

“Their biggest problem was they could not apply a cost at the item level to their satisfaction with Peachtree,” explains their TM Group account manager.

Simply put, our client could no longer trust their data.

With the experienced guidance of our consulting team at The TM Group — we are a 26-year-old Gold Certified Microsoft Dynamics partner based in Farmington Hills, Michigan  — our client replaced its deficient Peachtree system with a powerful Microsoft Dynamics GP system.

This robust eight-user solution — five users in operations and three in accounting — greatly streamlined and integrated their accounting and inventory information.

The new financial solution includes:

  • General Ledger
  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Purchase Order Processing
  • Sales Order Processing
  • Inventory

 

We also implemented two vital third-party solutions — SmartConnect by eOne and Forms Printer from Accountable Software.

From an Access database, SmartConnect integrates order processing and purchase variances into Microsoft Dynamics GP and later supplies a customized SmartList to properly invoice the variances.

“The biggest benefit our client realizes is less data entry,” shares one of our senior  consultants who works closely with the automotive distributor. “There’s a lot less time spent keying in these transactions.”

Previously, the company was manually entering payables; now the payables automatically accrue.

“They can get these variances and not have to manually go through, invoice by invoice, and figure out the variances,” according to our consultant.

“In Peachtree, they couldn’t put in a PO and have it accrue and get this variance. They were putting all of these purchases in as estimates but did not post them. When the real PO came in, they went back and deleted that estimate and put in the new one.

“In that process, they were manually figuring out what the variance was.”

This lengthy process required nearly half of one employee’s time.

“Now,” she says, “she probably spends a day or two a month on it.”

The other add-on solution, Forms Printer by Accountable Software, eased the burden of cumbersome international invoicing requirements.

“They do a lot of client-specific invoicing,” she explains. “There are many invoice formats out there that are very specific to their customers.”

Modeled after the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act, “J-SOX” comprises a series of controls over financial reporting implemented under the Japanese Financial Instruments and Exchange Law. This applies to hundreds of Japanese companies and their foreign subsidiaries.

“They’re not allowed to post and touch accounting areas without approval,” says our consultant.  “So there’s a lot of approval as we go along in the solution.”

Thanks to Microsoft Dynamics GP and our team’s custom reporting work, this American subsidiary was able to reduce the time it takes for approvals by automating some of them and cutting through much of the J-SOX red tape. This saves time in the approval process.

 

All in all, the Microsoft Dynamics GP solution has greatly strengthened data integrity and productivity for our client, helping this small automotive distributor to grow unimpeded.

If you have any questions about how Microsoft Dynamics GP can help solve your J-SOX compliance issues and streamline your business processes, please send me an email at ken@tmgroupinc.com.

By Ken Jacobsen, The TM Group, a Michigan Microsoft Dynamics Partner for Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SharePoint.

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