Q&A with Reuben Cook at Squire & Company

What qualifies your company as the VAR of the month?

As we compiled the results from last year, our NetSuite practice has grown by 627% since the prior year.

What makes your company successful?

There are two things we believe to be a competitive advantage for our firm as a VAR.

First, we staff our team with individuals who are both accountants and technologists. Most of our advisors are CPAs and hold certifications in the products they support. Our clients appreciate our consultants’ understanding of both the business processes and the accounting impact as they carry out the technical configuration.

Second, we take a process-oriented approach to our implementations, which extends beyond the application itself. To ensure a successful go-live, the users should understand the business process before it enters the system, the process within the system, and what happens after the system. A lot of implementers focus their implementation around functional areas and don’t even ask about anything outside of the application. The reality, however, is that business processes span across functional areas, occur in and out of the system, and they need owners to resolve conflicting needs across the functional areas. A good example of this is the purchase of inventory. This procurement process includes Supply Chain, the Warehouse, Accounting, and may include Sales to help identify demand. When all of these functional areas are focused on the process as a team, the ERP will support their business process and not act as a distraction from it.

How are you growing your firm? How do you plan to continue to grow?

Our firm’s ERP success is primarily related to our industry specialties within the Wholesale/Distribution, Manufacturing, Software, and Direct Selling verticals.

We plan to continue this growth by identifying the unique needs of these industries and enhancing solutions specifically designed to meet their common needs. This allows us to provide the depth our clients are looking for, while allowing our resources to be used efficiently from client to client. We provide a holistic approach to include resources beyond just the ERP, including accounting, finance, compliance, tax, and strategic business needs.

What opportunities do you see in the market?

When we look at the ERP market in 2017 and beyond, there is a continued adoption and shift toward cloud solutions. There will be a tipping point soon where most decision makers for ERP initiatives within a company have used or adopted a cloud solution at a previous company. Past experience with a cloud ERP is a huge enabler for future cloud purchases. In 2016, the percentage of companies using on-premise software as a primary financial system dropped to 32 percent. Cloud ERPs are still grabbing market share from on-premise systems for the time being, but will soon be competing against itself, so identifying the best of the cloud will become even more important.

Secondly, the practice of integrating systems together is becoming more and more commonplace. Now that the technology can support effective real-time processing, businesses want their systems in a seamless ecosystem, and sometimes include their business partners within that ecosystem. The days of having independent and disparate CRM, e-commerce, ERP, and warehouse management systems are over. They need to either be under one roof or talk to each other efficiently. Par for the course is evolving and ERP implementers can either get on board or become obsolete.

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