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Welcoming Our Newest Customer: Us!

Topic: Business Dashboard,Entrepreneur Evangelist,Growing Your Business,Managing Your Business,Tips & Tricks | Comments (2)

Posted on May 5, 2010 by admin

In the early days of WorkingPoint (once upon a time called NetBooks), the team was faced with an interesting conundrum: while building a small business financial management tool for customers, what tool should the business itself use for managing their own finances?

Since our application wasn’t built yet, like it or not, we were going to have to use a competitor’s product. At the time, the decision was made to go with Netsuite. It was the least direct competitor to our anticipating product offering, and had the horsepower to scale as our business grew.

Over the past two years, though, what ultimately became clear — as our team grew, as the markets changed, as we evolved our product — was that, as a product, WorkingPoint had evolved to the point where our own product was, in fact, a much better fit for what we needed.

So, it is with a bit of ironic pride, that we happily claim one of our newest customers: ourselves!

Now the question is, what did we learn from recently undertaking the migration that we know so many businesses dread? Cathy, our accountant, and the woman who was responsible for the migration gives us her insights:

  • Going from an extremely complicated system, like Netsuite, to a much more straight-forward system, like WorkingPoint, is actually easier than going the other way around.
  • Running parallel systems for a few weeks may seem like a painful idea, but it’s a great way to make sure that everything is running smoothly before you cut the cord with the old solution.
  • while cleaning up any and all out-standing questions in your old system is never fun, migrating to something new is a great chance for a clean slate. (This is particularly true if you’ve inhereted a solution from someone who was there before you arrived.)

Her best advice for a business looking to tackle the migration is, “Pick a point in time, and at least two months out, give yourself 2 months to run a parallel system.”

Of course, one of the biggest business reasons of all to make such a big switch is that — just like our customers — WorkingPoint is a business that has to demonstrate fiscal discipline as part of our daily life. And while Netsuite is a great, high-end system, migrating off of it has now saved our business nearly $20,000.00 per year in licensing fees.

But when it comes to the day-in/day-out management of business financials, Cathy’s found that there are plenty of benefits to using WorkingPoint:

  • WorkingPoint is a great solution for a business that doesn’t have or need a full-time accounting team.
  • In Netsuite, the system automation managed the float. In WorkingPoint, the business owner (or accountant!) manages it.
  • Once daily activity is logged, reconciliation is real time and clearly visible on the dashboard.
  • The easy-to-understand view of the dashboard makes communication between the accountant and the rest of the management team much simpler.

When discussing all of the reasons her WorkingPoint migration has simplified her accounting process, it’s sometimes the little things that make a daily difference. So what’s Cathy’s favorite “little thing” about WorkingPoint? “The way that WorkingPoint allows you to set up Chart of Accounts is very descriptive. It’s named Chart of Accounts, instead of a numeric code. That was really nice.”

And what does the man in charge think?  “I’m thrilled to be using WorkingPoint!  As CEO (and CFO, and HR Dude) of a company with only ten employees, NetSuite’s functionality was complete overkill and was like using a sledgehammer to drive in a thumbtack.  WorkingPoint is just plain easy to use.  The dashboard is terrific and the reporting capabilities are everything I need.”