Hello and thank you for watching this short video.
My name is Paul North and I’m the Founder and MD of Illuminis Insight Software, home of the Illuminis business intelligence solution for SMEs.
Our offering to SMEs is unique. We combine reporting software along with data analyst support as part of a single monthly fee.
Now I’m often asked to explain why SMEs need business intelligence – such as our Octelas software – when ALL the major accounting systems will produce reports.
But equally I have yet to meet the manager who is remotely happy with the reporting he gets directly from his accounts package or ERP
and who doesn’t resort to spreadsheets to get the information he really wants.
Often managers think the answer is to invest in a bigger, more complex system.
In fact it seldom is, because the difficulty in getting the reporting you need isn’t down to poor accounting software.
Let me explain.
Accounts software is designed with one crucial, primary purpose, and that’s to ensure that your accounting information is always completely accurate and reliable, so you can fulfil your statutory requirements.
An ERP system is accounting software which has been extended to bring in transactional data such as sales and purchase order processing; stock management; and so on.
ERPs are designed to be capable of dealing with many different types of business. As a result, these are complex systems.
This means they take a standardised approach to the recording of data, even though the way you as an individual business store your data will be very different in practice to everyone else using the very same system.
To allow for this and yet to keep the cost realistic, the developers must take a “big picture” approach.
They try to be “all things to all people”.
Think of it like a template with a series of interconnected boxes.
As a user you have a lot of leeway to hold whatever packets of data work best for your business in each of these boxes.
And there’s the rub.
Because the way you use your accounting system is unique to you, so is the reporting that you need from it.
There is no “one size fits all” and this creates 3 major challenges in getting the reporting you want to see from your accounting software.
Firstly, remember that the primary concern of the system developer is to give you completely reliable financial information.
To do that they have to make sure that your core financial data is securely linked up in the best way to achieve that.
As a result there will be a bunch of reports which come directly off the system – obvious ones being P&L; balance sheet; aged debtors and creditors; – all the traditional financial reports you’re used to.
But because it’s one size fits all, they can’t guestimate the other reporting you, as an individual business might want, over and above any other user – so they don’t even try.
To get around this they build in a report writer which can join up pretty much all of the data in the system.
This does enable the development of many of the completely customised reports you’re looking for. Except that creating those reports in this tool is NOT a job for the feint hearted.
You need to be skilled in its use and have a really good understanding of the data structures in the ERP system.
In all likelihood, as an SME you won’t have these skills in-house so you end up relying on an expensive resource at the reseller.
But, even with the report writer you end up with a set of static reports which are limited to the data in the ERP system,
And usually you will have data elsewhere you would like to include – a great example being your operating targets which rarely find a home in the ERP.
The third challenge relates to the quality of this reporting.
Remember those little boxes of data I talked about? They’re great for storing all sorts of details.
Data about your customers, your stock items, your sales orders and so on. But often, they’re just free text boxes.
You can put in whatever you like.
But the system developers obviously can’t know how you might use these, so can’t build in any kind of intelligence to ensure the accuracy and quality of the data, much less report on it. And as we all know, garbage in, garbage out.
And there we have it, 3 reasons that go right to the root of why you don’t get the majority of the reporting you want from your accounting software.
And it’s not down to the accounting package you have chosen.
So here’s where business intelligence like our Octelas software takes up the reins.
It expands your available reporting to all of your data and not just the stuff held in your ERP or accounts package.
Allowing you to get exactly the reporting you want every day – right across the piece, PLUS the power to drill right down to the base data.
And for yourself.
So that means spreadsheets holding operational targets, perhaps some CRM data, – it really doesn’t matter – all linked up automatically to your accounts data.
In a single database.
The whole point of business intelligence is to get all of your data sources talking to each other.
And then it’s also easy to build your unique business rules into the reporting so that data quality becomes just something that happens.
So illuminis is the one stop shop for SME reporting, combining excellent, easy to use software with specialist advice and support which is always on tap – so getting exactly the reports you need in one click, when you need them is easy and included in your monthly licence fee.
I’d love to give you a quick demo and show you how you too can have the reporting you need, at a level you really didn’t think possible at this price.
Email me or visit our website and get in touch. Thank you