TGI | Midrange ERP Accounting Software & Accounting Software 411

by : Thomas Cutler

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, Technology Group International is a proven technology leader delivering Tier 1 application software functionality at a price performance level that can be readily accepted by organizations of all sizes. Specializing in software systems for small and mid-market manufacturing and distribution companies, TGI's integrated Enterprise Series software suite is a complete business process management solution. The product offering includes Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Warehouse Management System (WMS), Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS), Decision Support System (DSS), Business Intelligence, Manufacturing Execution System (MES), and eCommerce. TGI implements, maintains, enhances, and supports its packaged distribution and manufacturing software solutions directly and via its channel partners.

There are many types of financial entries required, yet not all ERP systems are effective in providing these types of transactions. Manual entries, for example, must generate either regular or accrual entries (accrual entries represent entries that are preset for reversal in future periods). There must be automatic correcting entry and manual correcting entry capability as well as standard recurring entries, skeleton recurring entries, formula for cost allocation, and auto offset capabilities. Some ERP systems do not offer automatic reversing entry and manual reversing entry capability. Perhaps of greatest importance is the capacity for an unlimited number of budgets. Budgets must be created from actuals, from other budgets, or by applying multipliers to a group of accounts. A number of curve smoothing methodologies should be applicable.

According to leading manufacturing journalist Thomas R. Cutler in the current issue of Accounting Software 411, "Few ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems offer a product which is simple enough for small companies, yet complex enough to manage multinational corporations with numerous companies and divisions. The accounting modules must offer a complete financial package which is fully integrated with the other enterprise modules."

According to Rebecca Gill, vice-president of Technology Group International, "Few ERP product lines provide an easy to use financial reporter designed to help organizations effortlessly produce financial data direct from the ERP system."

Financial reporters should be able to:

&bull Automatically export all selected ERP financial information into Microsoft Excel templates.
&bull Give users the ability to quickly improve the presentation of financial data and take advantage of all the rich functional capabilities offered within Microsoft Excel.
&bull Easily filter financial reports by any business segment, such as department, cost center, division, or company.
&bull Simplify financial consolidation review and comparisons.
&bull Provide significant flexibility by allowing users to produce financial reports that span any time period such as a prior reporting period, quarter, or year.
&bull Allow users to easily sort individual report cells to display period, year to date (YTD), or budget information to compare and contrast actual vs. budgeted financial data.
&bull Allow users to easily sort individual report cells by any General Ledger account number or by a specific range of general ledger accounts.
&bull Allow users to quickly manipulate large amounts of general ledger data within Microsoft Excel pivot tables.

According to Cutler, "The demands for an integrated midrange accounting ERP system are as rigorous as those for Fortune 500 companies; finding ERP solutions that provide the same functionality and a viable price point is not a simple solution. Using the features detailed above creates a checklist of sorts which can be a good starting point to determine the efficacy of any potential new ERP system."

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