In January 2018, Etactics implemented SAP Business One as its ERP solution. Previously, company Chief Financial Officer Carl DeSiato and his finance team used MS FoxPro and QuickBooks. “FoxPro had a lot of home-written code that was used to get our invoices out the door and collect payments from customers,” said DeSiato. “Everything was summarized and put into QuickBooks, and we used QuickBooks to do our accounts payable and financial reporting.”
But while SAP excelled in many areas, the reporting fell short in the team’s eyes. Before discovering Spreadsheet Server, DeSiato explained that “it took a couple of days to get out what I wanted and a couple more weeks to get it to where I was at least okay with what I was putting out. It just wasn’t as complete as I wanted it to be.”
In addition, the finance team was wrestling with the issue that decision makers were never fully up to date on the company‘s financial status.
Fallout from the problem permeated the organization. Consumed by the losing battle to keep company financials current, the finance team was failing to inform the right number of people with sufficient regularity because to do so would eat up too much time.
Not only does Spreadsheet Server make Excel-based reporting easier to use, distribute, and understand, it also expands customers‘ capabilities. “The beauty of Spreadsheet Server is it allows you to tie into any database at your company, not just SAP or your ERP,” DeSiato said.
In fact, DeSiato could tie a company database into any other database, provided they could be reliably connected. “We could link our SAP environment with our CRM because we have a link between the two ERPs,” he said. “That is a pretty cool feature that‘s allowed us to automate a lot of the reporting we used to do manually.”
As early adopters of Spreadsheet Server with Intellicast, DeSiato and his finance team were particularly impressed by its ability to transform financial and operational data into easy-to-interpret dashboards that are delivered across the web, enabling decision makers to derive insights and take appropriate action within a much shorter time frame.
Etactics’ current setup enables the organization to generate off its standard financial reporting for every department—year-over-year, month-over-month, year-to-date with projection through end-of-year, everything, with the exception of cash flow—with greater ease and in far less time. Today, running and distributing reports takes only on hour. This, according to DeSiato, “is where the time savings really come in.”