Watch us Strengthen Your Business Performance
It starts when we learn about your business. Lots of questions so we can undetstand the challenges from your perspective. It's a partnership; you help us identify the needs of your busness and together we strategize how our industry tested solutions can optimize your operations. Our focus is on continuous improvement of the business operations of our clients through integrated business management and accounting systems. See how our solutions enable you to work smarter ... and alot more effectively.
For companies with multi-faceted data needs – such as multiple locations, multiple areas of specialization and/or multiple owners - we deliver industry relevant metrics to drive and support best practices under complex ownership or financial/operational reporting requirements. We strengthen business performance by giving your team the visibility and ability to see and support the enterprise at all the multiple levels. And for those companies in Kianoff’s target market, you get access to our expansive library of tools, timesavers and reporting that can make your business a top performer in:
- Health Care: Physician practices, Home Health, Clinics, Hospice, Nursing Homes,
- Hospitality and Restaurants: Multi location restaurants, Hotels, Entertainment, Casinos
- Distribution and Light Manufacturing: Product distributors, eCommerce
- Service Industries: BioTech, Software, Service companies
Your path to a robust solution that truly strengthens business performance is going to require an investment of resources, time and money. Before you commit your people and your dollars, you ought to expect to see some type of document that details your company’s issues and how a proposed accounting and business management solution will address them. What’s the project plan on how we’re going to deploy people and resources over time? What will this investment mean to the company? You may know what you want, or more likely, you may not even be sure you know everything you need. At Kianoff, in partnership, we will discover that together.
Step-by-step, learn how our unique approach can help deliver the results you desire.
Uncover The Problem
When you are ready to access business intelligence on operations, you want experience in your corner. Kianoff’s 28 years of implementing and supporting clients on integrated accounting and business management systems means we already understand the nature of your business, the industry and pressures in which you operate.
- Our consultants and project managers are industry-smart; focused on identifying the problems facing your company and delivering results.
- We’ve already developed and proven the Best Practices that can position you ahead of your competitors. We have strengthened business performance for hundreds of companies in a broad range of industries during the past three decades.
- We have clients in your industry so we have insights into the challenges you face. Now we need to understand your business needs. We question, and listen for the what, how, where and why of your business.
Discovery is not where we talk tools, technology or products. There is not a questionnaire; it is an evolving learning process we go through to better craft our solution. The questions focus on creating opportunities to solving problems with solutions to increase revenue, improve processes, reduce cost, save time, gain a competitive advantage, and improve your bottom-line.
Aren’t sure what you need? Maybe you feel pretty good about your accounting processes. Would you be surprised to learn some of your work flow is inefficient? We’re documenting intelligent data from which you can see the source of the problems or inefficiencies, so in partnership we can help develop a strategy to present the best possible solution based on proven Best Practices We’re done with Discovery when we all agree on what we are trying to solve for. And then, to have agreement on what to do to achieve those goals and the priority in which they should be addressed.
- In today’s environment, where you face pressures from competitors, a changing economy, government and more, we position you to be more efficient, flexible and responsive to employees, customers and owners.
- Business performance strengthening never ends, so we always have opportunities to see the rest of our guiding mission realized: to champion the success of hundreds of clients who continue to rely on Kianoff & Associates as their trusted business solution partner.
What Happens During Discovery?
We recognize each business is different and has its own set of priorities, problems and needs, so we gather information that details your problems and needs. Processes. Workflow. How do your clients experience the service you provide? All of our efforts are directed at discovering the potential for improving the performance and profitability of your business and determining if an integrated accounting and business management systems can provide your solution.
Our questions help us learn about your business:
- What obstacles are you facing
- What is your strategic direction?
- How are your business pains making it hard to follow your strategy?
- How would better processes improve your customer's experience?
- Where would better insight into your business help most?
- Where would your business benefit from the sharing of information?
- What metrics do you need to keep on top of if you want to improve margins?
- What are your company’s greatest risk and benefit with solving your current problem?
- What other areas of your business would get more value from technology advances?
Our discovery process helps us understand your business:
- Through meetings and phone conversations.
- With an organizational chart so we can understand where your team members play roles as we have conversations with accounting, HR, Payroll, Sales & Marketing and executives.
- How will you define Return on Investment?
- What type of milestones would you like to reach during a system implementation?
- How does your organization go about making decisions to invest or not invest in a project?
- What about future phases, such as eCommerce, Advanced Reporting, Job Cost or CRM? We’ll want to do enough discovery to determine where we can add value and then set aside for potential future phases when we will do more detailed discovery.
Through this process we learn your team’s capabilities, including the ability to process change, learn new processes and ability to think about looking at business metrics in a more statistical way. As a result, we are able to think about configuring the system based on the level of resources available. We start with the accounting first, the foundational piece, and then stair step increased technology as your team is able to absorb it.
How Do You Know We Get It?
Your business is made up of a lot of moving parts with different systems to meet the varied needs of your team, clients and partners. We can come up with some ideas, but how do you know we understand it at a level we can say it back to you? One quick way is the Feasibility Evaluation (FE), a business tool we use to tell in advance the potential of a proposed project to integrate with other critical systems. We define and scope out your business process to more fully understand time, resource commitment and expected outcomes.
The FE includes on site interviews that leads to a document to help you judge the feasibility of the project based on cost and the value to you and your business. It gives some of your team members a chance to see some of our consultants in action and determine if Kianoff is the right partner for you. With the written report that follows, you will know where you stand and have a road map for future steps. A small investment on a feasibility evaluation can help protect larger capital investments later.
Own an ERP System, but Not Yet a Kianoff Client?
The Feasibility Evaluation also works great if already own a Microsoft, Sage or Intacct system and are concerned you aren’t taking full advantage of it. We use it to develop a guidebook of your options for additional training, reimplementation or an add-on that might solve a particular issue. We detail your current setups and work flow so you can confirm our understanding. Then we provide a roadmap with recommendations for improvements and upgrades that will position the system to more effectively meet your specific needs. This gives you a way to judge for yourself:
- How well does Kianoff understand your business?
- How well can we document value to your business for our recommendations?
- What is it about our team’s experience and knowledge that would be of value to your business?
- How will the Kianoff Approach work for you?
Develop The Plan To Meet The Needs
Like a chef who creates a wide variety of dishes with the same ingredients, Kianoff use the same tools to serve your needs in different ways.
Our job is to identify the business and technology options and best practices that address those needs. The Strategy is to use the strength of today’s integrated business management and accounting systems to provide you fast reliable information that empowers you to:
- Reduce costs
- Increase productivity
- Increased customer service levels
- Let you see for yourself the areas where you can maximize profitability.
Once we know about you, then we put our experienced pros on it – CPAs, accountants, consultants, MBAs, project managers and IT experts. We identify the business and technology solutions options and best practices that provide value you can measure. With bring our industry expertise to the partnership with your team as we guide you through the organizational change to deliver what will strengthen your business performance:
- Efficiency – Identify and put in place best practices to streamline processes and work flow that helps you work smarter.
- Effectiveness – Access needed information to raise company productivity and operational performance so your customers (and employees) see greater value in how you deliver goods and services to them. This can raise customer satisfaction and improve business processes.
- Transparency – Share knowledge and work processes throughout internal operations and with external stakeholders to maximize insight and collaboration to achieve company financial and operational goals.
- Innovation – Keep informed of best practices, tools and applications that can add value to your company. Optimize your environment so you are positioned to scale up for increased user counts or adding new functionality as you grow and create new revenue streams. We put reporting tools in your hands to create dashboards, alerts and intelligence.
Flexibility – You don’t always work from the office so don’t assume your software has to be at the office. We work with you to determine the viable options for your system configuration and have experience in a variety of deployment methods. With growing choices for how you deploy and even invest in your software, we help identify what is best for your specific needs:
- Software As A Service (SaaS)
- Cloud hosting, or
- Hybrid, where some of your system is on premise, some is in the Cloud and much of it can be accessed remotely or by mobile devices.
- Value – Gaining good, solid information about your needs often allows us to scope your implementation or projects enough to offer a guaranteed Fixed Price in most cases. In those cases you know up front your costs in time and money. Clients on current maintenance with their publisher qualify for preferred rates for general support that is offered through support plans or billed hourly as used.
To be there for you today and tomorrow, our solutions are user friendly, feature state of the art technology and provide the flexibility to grow and change as your business grows and changes. We work in partnership with your team through:
- Implementation – Starting with a formal strategy planning meeting, our Project Team will lead you through all the steps of the system implementation focused on meeting your goals and objectives on time and on budget. In some cases, this includes one-on-one interviews with users to understand their roles in data and work flow.
- Consulting – Our seasoned consultants analyze your current workflows and processes and troubleshoot those issues that stop you from leveraging new technologies to gain business efficiencies.
- Data Migration – If the history in your current system is important to have in your new system, we can handle the data migration process to convert your data so it is available and accessible in your new system.
- Customization – Need a little extra something? We can help your company make custom productivity enhancements to your existing or new business management software with integrations, scripting and custom forms.
- Reporting – It is still all about access to information and we have a full tool set to choose from to meet your reporting needs, from Dashboards that are no further than your e-mail to alerts that can signal when appropriate: “Hey, pay attention to this”.
Prepare. Launch. Go Live. Be There For Support
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for your company or industry. Our industry expertise and best practices ensure your system is implemented the best way for your company and to industry standards.
- Testing of processes ensures your system’s functionality.
- Tailored training means your team is prepared to take on the power of their new system.
Implementations are often transformative to the operations of your company. You want to be sure these changes reflect what you want to accomplish. If some parts are particularly critical, we offer options to facilitate working through that.
Prove It Works Before You Roll It Out
When you are preparing to accept a major change in your business tools, you’ll want to roll it out in a controlled setting to establish business process and flow: See it run smooth before you ask everyone to “Go Live”. Our preferred method is a Conference Room Pilot (Pilot) testing ground. It offers:
- A controlled exercise to confirm the system implementation will work as designed to address your business needs; and validate the solution against the business processes of end-users.
- With the test system set up, transactions are run end-to-end through the system. Your Go Live will be a lot less stressful because you handled up front the flows that don’t work quite right, missing procedures, modifications to forms or other ideas identified,
- Training on operation of the system/software- policies, procedures, software, forms, and reports. Here we identify gaps, pockets of resistance or other potential issues while still in the design phase of the project.
- If your business has unique or complicated processes, let’s work them out in advance, verify they work and be sure all players are on board. Sometimes your process is a key differentiator for your company, and it may make more sense to customize the software or process to retain that company advantage.
- Developing and formalize plans for data conversion and system implementation.
The old days “Running Parallel” has made way to the more relevant Pilot because it delivers so much more. Today’s versions of ERP systems are far more interconnected – working seamlessly in most cases – that comparing old to new is like comparing apples to a dinner buffet.
Use the Pilot to see how it plays out.
- Users get to see first-hand how the new system will carry out typical or key business processes before the pressure of running live
- Users will thank you for delivering to them a product and work flow that you’ve seen work as intended.
Training To Get the Most from Your System
The publishers of your software have done a good job making system and module overview training available on line. We tell new users: “Watch these to become familiar with navigation and module functionality.”
Perhaps the most critical part to learning is “buy-in” from users, management and other stakeholders. End users who aren’t clear on the need to a new ERP system, or who don’t understand the benefits, might unintentionally disrupt the implementation by not paying full attention during training or continuing to use work-arounds (spreadsheets, yellow pads) that could undermine the implementation. Our team will keep an eye on that, which is why our focus on education and training takes many different forms:
- New Implementations – Bsic module training designed to familiarize you with your new system so users are prepared to perform the day-to-day functions within your business. Get comfortable with navigation and basic functionality.
- Hands On – Quickly, users gain confidence they can their jobs in the new system. Then comes one-on-one training to show them how to take advantage of the more sophisticated features within the system. That will help streamline your processes and work flow.
- Kianoff University Webinars – A convenient way to roll out education on specific areas, or when we identify areas where we can provide further value. Look for webinars on financial reports, options for report writing and payroll extended solutions. Our annual Dynamics GP and Sage webinars that review processes at Year End are especially popular.
- Business Building Conferences (BBC) for Users – Our annual User Group meetings and Client Conferences are an excellent way to learn from the experts, share information with other users, strengthen relationships between peers and partners, and network with others in your industry. Come see how to make the system work more for you, how taking advantage of the latest enhancements to your system ensures you stay ahead of the competition.
There for you from the start to let’s see what else it can do...
Your work is just beginning with the new system in place, so our work won’t stop. Our supportive consultants and project managers ensure your transition is smooth and you are utilizing the system to your advantage.
Our Consulting Services Team is made up of CPAs, Accountants, Certified Consultants and Trainers, IT professionals and a support staff all dedicated to helping clients get the most from their integrated accounting and business management systems. Our consultants work with your team to ensure you have the knowledge and skills to best use your system. Their industry experience adds value as they share best practices and ensure you get access to the metrics you need. They are there with you in the trenches helping you take full advantage of the tools your system offers. The consultants bring a broad range of skills and their efforts, planning and scheduling is backed up and supported by our team of project and administrative professionals.
All projects start with the same guiding mission to strengthen business performance.
- Project Managers – Lead for strategy planning meetings, creating clear and attainable project objectives, building the project requirements, and managing the constraints. In short, to assure that we are accomplishing project objectives. Our Project Managers are senior level consultants with broad knowledge of the industries we support and able to understand and translate your needs into solutions that strengthen performance.
The foundation of our system of support is one of your favorite client advocates: the dedicated Account Manager. This is your point person: Start here for any question; view them as your guide for all other varied needs and requests. Account Managers are:
- Client advocates in your dealings with our team and the publishers of any of your connected systems. They are focused on clearing paths and removing barriers that might impede our ability to strengthen business performance.
- Account Managers are the facilitators or “mission guides” who work to fulfill the needs of clients or prospects by coordinating with the right people and assuring we are seeing the process through to the solution.
What if you already own a system supported by Kianoff: Microsoft Dynamics GP, Sage 100 ERP (formerly MAS 90 or MAS 200), Sage 500 ERP (formerly MAS 500) or Intacct? How do you know it is really delivering all it can to support your business? Or, maybe your company is launching a new initiative, new product line or new management and you are thinking it may be time for a system tune up?
Your accounting and business management system is not like a car that needs worn parts replaced after some period of time. Rather, it’s more like the factory that built the car; now that some time has passed it’s likely your production process could use some guidance on how to operate more efficiently and profitable. We offer options:
System Assessment / System Utilization Review – Identify and confirm that system fields, reports and processes are configured to maximize your efficiencies. Includes:
- On site visit to review how business processes support business needs
- Review of Operational and Financial Reporting requirements for affected departments, such as accounting, sales, production, purchasing etc.
- Review current customizations and 3rd parties, and level of integrations available
- Review of hardware, system software and operating environment to determine current versions and ability to handle potential upgrades.
Microsoft Assessment: Microsoft Office 2013 and Windows 8 – The latest features and functionality Microsoft built into its new generation of Office and operating system means little if your team members aren’t taking advantage of these time savers, short cuts and quality of life tools built in.
If your company recently upgraded to Microsoft Office 2013 and/or Windows 8, or is planning to do so, you can get up to speed quickly with our on-site Microsoft Lunch ‘N Learn.
- We bring the boxed lunches
- You supply a meeting room where we can project
- While your team dines, we review the new functionality of Microsoft Office 2013 and/or Windows 8 and our Top 10 list of features all users ought to know about and be using.
- Stay Late and Learn: Add in one-on-one time with each team member to understand how they are using the system and where/how they could streamline their processes using Office 2013 or Windows 8.
From time to time there comes a need to sit down and talk.
- After your team has been tooling along in the system and you’re thinking: “This is good. Could we also do more?”
- When you wonder: “What other functionality or capability is available that could help us?”
- When one of our team members suggests: “They really ought to consider...”
Kianoff offers Executive Reviews with owners and top management to discuss what’s working well about your system and your business and identifying areas where the business could be further strengthened by training, enhancements or another point of view.
Executive Reviews deliver the greatest value and are most effective when they include your company’s management and key decision makers. By working in partnership with all levels of your company there’s a much better chance that users and stakeholders will take a personal responsibility for assuring success for any projects approved.
If you are a Kianoff client on current maintenance with the publisher of your software, Executive Reviews can be scheduled up to once a year at no charge. Click here to e-mail Kianoff’s Account Manager to request an Executive Review.