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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Acumatica releases Advanced Features in v2.0

Acumatica Releases Advanced Cloud ERP Features to SaaS and On-Premise Customers

Hundreds of business customers and VARs can upgrade to Acumatica 2.0 to take advantage of new accounting, distribution, CRM, and ERP features while maintaining customizations

BETHESDA, Md., January 6, 2011 Acumatica, a global provider of Cloud ERP software, announced today Release 2.0 of its Acumatica ERP suite. This latest release includes new functionality and enhancements to track fixed assets, compute sales tax, deliver integrated ecommerce, manage shipping activities, improve customer fulfillment processes, and more.

The new Acumatica 2.0 release is the first in the ERP industry to deliver a major software upgrade with the same code for on-premise customers as well as software-as-a-service customers. Acumatica customers can upgrade to the new release while maintaining transparently all customizations made to the software. Because Acumatica is web-based, customers get the new features without the hassle and expense of upgrading client software or client devices.

New Acumatica 2.0 capabilities make it easier to manage inventory, integrate with other applications, maintain accurate financials, streamline business processes, improve communications, increase productivity, and enhance customer service. Key functionality and enhancements in Acumatica 2.0 include:

  • Fixed Assets Management that delivers powerful features for complete control of assets, and calculation of depreciation schedules for meeting compliance requirements.
  • Freight management facility offers built-in UPS and FedEx integration, reduces shipping costs, enhances customer service and improves productivity when shipping and quoting
  • Integrated ecommerce delivers comprehensive website and shopping cart capabilities, offering a single view of customers, inventory and orders for every sales model including online.
  • New dashboard and reporting capabilities allow for the easy creation of role and user-based key performance indicators and facilitate the control of the overall operation.
  • New financial studio enhancements extend and simplify payment and credit card processing, thus enabling non-accounting people to process and collect payments.
  • Expanded CRM delivers total visibility into sales funnels, helps close more deals faster, and improves communication and customer service.
  • New supply chain capabilities optimize customer warranty and returns processing, streamline inventory movement with-in and across warehouses, improve customer service, and improve overall inventory accuracy.
“Release 2.0 demonstrates the flexibility of our Cloud ERP platform by allowing customers to maintain existing customizations during the upgrade,” said Ezequiel Steiner, CEO of Acumatica. “Customers can benefit from the new features and all the power of the Cloud whether they run Acumatica on-premise or SaaS.”

Acumatica 2.0 is now available for new customers as well as all existing SaaS and on-premise users. Businesses wanting to learn more about Acumatica 2.0 may locate an Acumatica VAR or contact us directly.

2011 Shaping up to be a Good Year

10 Days In, 2011 is Shaping Up to be a Very Good Year
Bruce Richardson, Chief Strategy Officer, Infor

Posted on January 10, 2011

If a television newscaster was to be so bold as to predict the winner of an election with less than 4% of the votes tallied, there is a good chance that viewers would overwhelm the station’s switchboard with calls asking whether that neatly coiffed person had been over-medicated.

At the risk of inviting a similar deluge, I’m going to declare that 2011 will finally put an end to any questions about the timing of a US economic recovery. It’s here.

It’s true. See for yourself. Grab a pen and a piece of paper. Create two columns. On the left, write “Good News.” On the other side scribble “Bad News.” Under each heading, add as many proof points as you can.

You can relax now when you open your 401K statements

Let me help you out. We’ll start with the stock market. Look at how some of the major indices ended 2010: the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 11% for the year. It closed at a 28-month high. The S&P 500 gained 12.8% to finish at its highest close since September 2008. The NASDAQ Composite jumped 16.91%. It closed at its highest level in nearly three years. The Russell 2000 gained more than 25%, and closed at its highest point since October 2007. A stronger stock market is good for both business and consumer confidence.

While confidence is never lacking in investment banking, 2010 brought a fresh supply of testosterone. According to Thomson Reuters, the global dollar volume in announced deals reached $2.4 trillion, up 23.1%. The US accounted for about a third of the volume—$822 billion. This was up 14.2% over 2009. Buyers paid 50+% premiums for targets in financial services, industrial manufacturing, and telecommunications. Is there anyone that expects the M&A market to slow this year? I didn’t think so.

Bullish predictions from the analysts

Now, let’s look at what the analysts are saying. IDC’s list of 2011 predictions opens with a wager that global IT spend will hit $1.6 trillion this year, up 5.7%. The analysts see the software market “rebounding” after modest growth last year and a decline in 2009.

For its part, Forrester Research presents an optimistic view of the US IT market. The firm expects the domestic market to reach $889 billion, up 7.4% over last year. Forrester is even more bullish on 2012, as early signs point to 9% growth. Drilling a little deeper, the software market should grow 8.4% to $220 billion this year. That’s great news for application vendors like us, as apps make up the largest slice of the software pie.

Forrester also models IT spend as a multiple of “nominal GDP” or GDP that has not been adjusted for inflation. Historically, IT spend tends to be at least double nominal GDP. Economists’ estimates for US GDP range from 2.1% to 7.0% this year, with many camped out between 3% and 4.0%. Assuming 2011 doesn’t prove to be an aberration, this should be another good omen.

Companies are profitable and sitting on a lot of cash

Speaking of spending, American companies are sitting on a lot of cash. At the end of the third quarter, the 419 non-financial firms that make up the S&P 500 had $902.4 billion in cash on hand, 49% higher than one year ago. Their combined third quarter profits were $1.64 trillion, up 26%. This is the highest profits have been in four years.

Profits should continue to rise. Barclays is forecasting 8% profit this year. While that’s lower than the 2010 level, it’s because the bank is anticipating increased spending on property and equipment.

Buyers have been loosening the purse strings. In Q3, US companies spent $1.08 trillion on equipment and software. That was up 15% over the year earlier period.

Good news across the service and manufacturing sectors

Last week saw positive news from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). The index for the services sector reached its highest level since May 2006. This marked the 12 straight month of growth. This is good news as this sector accounts for 80% of the US workforce.

Meanwhile, ISM’s index for manufacturing showed that the sector grew for the 17 month. According to the organization’s chairman, the continued expansion is due to “strength in autos, metals, food, machinery, computers, and electronics.”

If you did a double-take when you read “autos,” that wasn’t a typo. One of the more surprising success stories for 2010 was the comeback of the US automobile market. December sales rose 11% versus one year ago. Overall, US drivers purchased nearly 11.6 million vehicles last year. Preliminary forecasts see this number increasing to 13.5 million in 2011.

Now for the other side of the ledger

Last week, ADP issued a report showing that private firms added 297,000 jobs in December. This was three times what economists had been predicting. Later that week, the US Department of Labor issued its own study. The agency said that the private sector had added 113,000 jobs last month.

While that was enough to nudge the unemployment rate from 9.6% to 9.4%, it still means that 14.5 million Americans remain out of work. While some areas are much lower than the national rate, a separate Labor Department study noted that unemployment had increased in 258 of the 372 largest US cities.

While many industries have rebounded, the housing market remains soft. Construction spending grew 0.4% in November, but markets remain too soft—especially in Arizona, California, Florida, and Nevada.

On a related note, there were 1.55 million bankruptcy filings in the US last year. While this represents a 10% increase over 2009, it’s a much smaller increase than the previous two years.

You may have noticed that the price of gasoline and crude oil has been rising. There is frequent talk about “$5 gas.” Higher fuel prices coupled with rising food prices may negatively impact the strong recovery.

What does your Good News/Bad News score sheet look like?

As you might surmise, the Good News trounced the pessimism in my T-chart. And I didn’t even have to talk about the potential “halo effect” from successful IPOs from Facebook, Groupon, and/or Twitter. Should one or all of them go out in 2011, they could cast a positive shadow across the tech market.

What does your T-chart look like? Did Good overcome Bad? Or, did pessimism/caution prevail?

New 1099 Requirement created by Healthcare Reform

New 1099 Filing Requirements Weigh Heavily on Accounts Payable Departments

Tucked away in the healthcare reform bill (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), signed into law on March 23, 2010, are new rules requiring reporting of goods, services and payments made to all corporations, creating a host of new Form 1099 reporting responsibilities for Accounts Payable departments.

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Previously, businesses sent Forms 1099 for payments of rent, interest, dividends, and non-employee services when provided by entities other than corporations. Under the new law set to go into effect in 2012, businesses will be required to send a 1099 to other businesses for virtually all purchases – including corporations -- whenever they do more than $600 of business in a year.

This adds a heavy administrative toll on Accounts Payable departments. To file all these 1099s, companies will need to collect the necessary information from all service providers, including a Taxpayer Information Number or TIN from the business. Businesses on the receiving end of the vast flood of these forms will have to match them with existing accounting records -- no doubt presenting tremendous potential for errors and mismatches.

Now more than ever companies need an automated solution to comply with 1099 reporting responsibilities. To this end, last month we introduced Epicor Tax Connect 1099, the first and only cloud-based 1099 tax reporting and processing solution designed to easily integrate with a company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Epicor Tax Connect 1099 is delivered on-demand for use with customers’ existing on-premise Epicor ERP environments.

Epicor Tax Connect 1099 allows you to import, submit and manage all of the 1099 data from your Epicor ERP and many other feeder systems, with Tax Identification Number (TIN) validation tools at the ready, and other tools to assist businesses in streamlining year end 1099 procedures. Epicor Tax Connect 1099 acts as an in-house seasoned tax professional, providing the most comprehensive 1099 tax preparation reporting solutions and research required to file accurate and timely returns. With built-in secure servers linked directly to the IRS, Epicor Tax Connect 1099 makes the annual printing, mailing and e-filing a simple one-click process.

For more information on new requirements in 1099 reporting, watch our on-demand webcast "

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