How Sage 200 users can improve financial and stock governance by automating reports and alerts

In Process Improvement, Sage 200 by Stuart Tarrant

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Exerting accountability and technical control over financial and inventory matters is essential, as having the right information at the right time can often be the difference between success and failure.

Implementing financial and stock governance enables you to identify potential problems before they eat away at your profits and reduces time-consuming reporting activities, enabling you to concentrate on growing your business.

Regardless of the industry that you specialise in, providing your employees, management teams, business partners and customers with information quickly and efficiently is paramount.

Sage 200 does provide you with a great selection of modules designed to help share data easily, work smarter and ensure the whole business works together efficiently, but employees are heavily relied upon to manually monitor and react to data changes.

As a result, the productivity of your company and employees can be affected by the availability of time-critical information and can expose your business to costly errors.

Automating alerts and reports would make a considerable difference to your business, improving company performance, ensuring 100% visibility of critical information, improving customer service and ultimately reducing your exposure to financial risk.

Automating alerts and reports

Finance and accounting departments run a number of daily reports which can influence the decisions of senior management.

Generating consistent management reports ensures that compliance procedures are adhered to and empowers decision-makers to analyse and monitor company performance. The downside is that this report creation and distribution is repetitive, prone to errors and costly.

Stock reports and monthly reconciliations, for example, involves manual data collation, as well as report creation and distribution by a number of different people, from a variety of sources.

Why should your employees waste valuable time monitoring critical information within Sage 200 and your other business systems when it can come to them dynamically?

A business process automation solution, such as BPA Platform, can dynamically monitor Sage 200 for key data changes (to your business rules) and automatically send email or SMS business alerts to both internal and external recipients when required.

Providing your staff with dynamic notifications and automatically sending an email to both internal and external recipients when required will enable you to identify potential issues before they become a problem.

Reports can be automatically created and distributed via email, FTP, attached to a CRM record or placed on a network location.

Removing these administration processes from an employee’s duties enables them to concentrate on activities that can push the business forward.

The possible scenarios are endless, but common alerts and reports that can be automated include:

  • Sales order reports and alerts
  • Inventory control reports and alerts
  • Accounts receivable reports and alerts
  • Purchasing reports

Management rules built in

Automatically sending a business alert or report to an employee, customer or supplier can be of huge benefit. But what if that business alert or notification is ignored by the recipient or the recipient is on annual leave?

A dedicated automation platform should be able to facilitate multi-recipient, escalation capabilities so that notifications and reports adhere to your exact management rules.

Line managers or department heads can all receive escalations when a notification or report has not been acted upon. This capability provides managers and business owners with complete piece of mind.

Sales order reports and alerts

Sales reports not only provide valuable insight into the performance of a business, its product lines and services, they also highlight the performance of the sales department. They are therefore invaluable in identifying strengths and weaknesses to help improve business growth.

The only issue is that these reports can be time-consuming to produce and often require data from multiple databases.

Automating their creation and delivery from Sage 200, on either a scheduled basis or business event, frees employees from less administration and also improves risk management.

Sales alerts also provide useful updates to the sales team or management regarding issues that may need to be addressed. Getting these in real-time is essential to avoid problems and manage risk.

Examples of sales alerts and reports that can be automated include:

  • Alert customers near credit limit: Create an email alert when customers get close to their credit limit.
  • Bestselling lines by profit: Generate a report of the bestselling lines.
  • Customers over credit limits: Create an alert about customers over their credit limit.
  • Discounts by orders for last month: Create an email showing orders where discount has been applied in the last month.
  • Orders over agreed credit limit: Create an email table of orders which will cause customers to exceed their credit limits.
  • Sales for last month: Send an email with a table showing all sales for the last ‘x’ days (intended as a month).

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Inventory control reports and alerts

Monitoring and reporting on stock data changes can be a difficult, if not impossible, task for employees. Stock adjustments, negative allocations, shelf-life dates and products not being allocated a web category can all mean that staff are constantly looking for data changes.

Relying on processes that need to be performed manually can slow down the distribution cycle as well as delay access to vital information regarding order statuses, supplier schedules and customer demands. More importantly, failing to realise inventory levels falling below specific thresholds can have a significant effect on sales and cash flow.

By adding real-time notification and reporting capabilities to Sage 200 you can eliminate this risk, whilst improving stock and warehouse management.

Examples of stock notifications and reports that can be automated include:

  • Alert stock availability low: Generate an alert that shows when stock availability is less than a specified number of days.
  • Alert stock availability at zero: Send an emergency text message and email if the stock level of any item(s) reaches zero.
  • Stock availability by warehouse and month: Generate an email and an attached CSV with stock availability.
  • Stock best/worst sellers by last ‘x’ days: Report the best/worst sellers for the last ‘x’ days.
  • Stock best/worst sellers by month: Report the best/worst sellers on average per month.
  • Waste by month: Generate two tables of product wastage – by quantity and by value.

Accounts receivable reports and alerts

Managing cash flow is another essential business process that needs to be carefully monitored and managed efficiently. Therefore, setting up and automating accounts receivable alerts and reports from Sage 200 will be a huge benefit to improving credit control and accosting procedures.

Examples of accounts receivable alerts and reports that can be automated include:

  • Cash collected last ‘x’ days: Generate an email report of all cash that has been collected over the last ‘x’ days.
  • Cash collected today: Generate an email and a text message of all cash collected today.
  • Cash in the bank report: Daily task to show the amount of money in the various bank accounts.
  • Late payments over ‘x’ days: Generate an email report of late payments.
  • Outstanding invoices past due date: Generate an email report of any outstanding invoices past their due date.
  • Top ‘x’ late payers: Generate a report showing the top late payers.

The benefits of integration and automation

Automating many manual processes and streamlining efficiencies through integration can greatly enhance an organisation’s chance of success. Costs can be reduced to provide valuable new working capital and resources can be reallocated to concentrate on developing and expanding the business.

With an integration and business process automation solution in place, it also means that there are no restrictions for future expansion and growth. Any new business system introduced will be able to easily integrate with Sage 200 and vice versa.

Next Steps

BPA Platform is a business process automation tool that is highly flexible and can quickly and easily integrate business systems. The integration allows you to automate business processes (reporting, workflows & notifications) and data transfers which in turn helps reduce costs, increase profits, and improve efficiency.

BPA Platform & Sage 200 can help you unlock powerful benefits such as:

  • Productivity improvements through automation
  • Reducing costs by removing repetitive, time-consuming admin
  • Increasing profits with improved decision making
  • Reducing risk by eradicating human error and enforcing company procedures

If you would like to speak to a specialist about Sage 200 & BPA platform please email us info@itassolutions.co.uk, call us 01824 780000 or get in touch with us using our contact form.

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