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Daston's Integrated Cloud ERP Solutions Deliver Faster, More Accurate Period Close

5/9/2022

At Daston, we understand that closing the books at the end of a financial period remains a cumbersome, time-consuming, and stressful process. It can be even more challenging when pressure is intense from management and investors to see an accurate, real-time view of performance data, such as profitability, liabilities, and cash flow.

When finance directors seek better, faster ways to close the books, Daston delivers.


Faster Period Close, Better Business Decisions

A faster period close process gives stakeholders real-time access to the latest available data, enabling them to make better-informed, faster decisions. When the accounting team spends less time closing the books at the end of a fiscal period, team members can spend more time analyzing the data to make better informed business decisions…for example, understanding if it makes sense to scale operations up or down, or reallocating resources to take advantage of an emerging business opportunity before a competitor does.


Confident Compliance

A proper period close is also vital to achieving a high standard of external reporting that today’s regulatory authorities and investors demand. An effective period close can help a business meet tight filing deadlines with better integrity, as well as deliver full disclosure and transparency in financial statements. It can also help companies avoid costly errors that lead to decreased valuations, restatements, and even regulatory action or fines. Additionally, a more efficient period close often reduces audit costs, as auditors rely more on your internal controls and spend less time reviewing large sample sizes or discussing and documenting errors.


The Dangers of Disparate Systems

Start-ups, scale-ups, and other companies often employ a variety of different systems, which they have pieced together over time to solve specific problems. Because these solutions often are poorly integrated, a plethora of manual processes and spreadsheets are created as part of the process. This solution creates a huge challenge for the accounting team at period close, since data exists in silos, and manual updates can create error and timing issues. If the organization is operating internationally with multiple accounting systems, the challenge is multiplied, and period close becomes a nightmare.


Integrated ERP For The Win

Companies that regularly achieve efficient period close use a single, fully integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. In these cases, all teams, functions, and geographies within the company access the same general ledger, a common chart of accounts, and a ‘single version of the truth when it comes to data on payroll, inventory, customers, sales orders, and more. When it comes to closing the books, the advantages of an integrated ERP include:

  • Data consistency: All entries are united by the same accounting logic and conform to the same format.

  • Data Integrity: There is one authoritative data source throughout the company.

  • Standard Processes: Everyone involved in the period close follows the same processes without using workarounds or shortcuts that could affect accuracy or compliance.

  • Automation: The system is designed to handle processes that might otherwise require manual intervention, for example, journal entries, bank statements, and intercompany reconciliations.

  • Orchestration: Everyone works from the same deadlines and calendar and can see how their individual tasks fit into the overall picture of the period close.

  • Oversight: Those in charge can see the progress on period close briefly via a dashboard. When bottlenecks are highlighted, they can take steps to address them.

  • Elimination of offline tasks: The use of spreadsheets to link data from disparate systems or perform calculations is eliminated, as it introduces errors and creates additional reconciliation work.


Closing by Cloud

When a company’s core accounting system is cloud-based, finance team members and the wider organization can participate in the process, regardless of time zone, individual location, or time of day. This is particularly useful for companies working with currency translations, minority ownership calculations, intercompany transactions, and multiple GAAP and IFRS standards.

Cloud-based ERPs keep audit costs low, too, since auditors don’t have to travel to test transactions. The cloud also allows those working in remote locations to enter data, respond to queries, and launch consolidation processes and reconciliations. What’s more, they can complete tasks from any device.


A faster period close can deliver considerable value to your organization. To learn how to free up valuable time for your finance team, contact Daston today for a free demonstration! (703) 288-3200

Accelerate Mission Readiness with Google Cloud

5/6/2022

We at Daston understand how important it is for public service organizations to analyze, organize, and capitalize on critical information to quickly make data-driven decisions. As a Google Partner, we help government organizations use Google Cloud’s built-in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to make critical decisions in the field.


For example, service members tell us how important it is for them to analyze massive datasets quickly to make informed decisions. Google Cloud’s industry-leading AI/ML tools such as AutoML and BigQuery help them gain important insight into their data so they can improve operational efficiencies and support mission success.


Reliable, Automatic Scale for Every Mission

BigQuery--Google Cloud’s serverless data warehouse--scales easily, reliably, and automatically so mission owners can cost-effectively process and analyze petabytes of data in the field. The global infrastructure makes it easy to continually update capabilities and offers necessary load balancing to operate effectively and reduce workloads.


Secure Infrastructure and Built-in Safeguards

Running entirely on Google’s Internet-scale network, our secure-by-design infrastructure and built-in safeguards provide layers of security to keep critical information safe. We encrypt data by default, and our zero-trust policy and comprehensive security solutions help protect systems, data, and users from inevitable threats—on base or in the field.


Google’s intelligent, flexible, and cost-effective capabilities provide critical support at every level, from mission owners to service members in the field. The products regularly undergo independent verification of security, privacy, and compliance controls to achieve certifications against global standards.


Daston provides:

  • Infrastructure modernization

Our global infrastructure provides in-depth security and the scale needed to build reliable, flexible, and cost-effective operational performance.

  • Data management

Our fully managed, serverless data warehouse reduces costs and operational complexities with the ability to process petabytes of data to support your mission.

  • Application development

Anthos uses open-source technologies so you can build and run applications on-premises or across multiple environments based on mission needs.

  • Smart analytics

Embedded AI and ML capabilities help automate manual processes to simplify operations and accelerate time to critical insight.

  • Productivity and collaboration

Cloud-based collaboration tools make it easy to share critical information more securely in the field with identity management and data loss prevention tools.

  • Best-in-class security from device to data center.

Our comprehensive security model is designed to keep your data safe at every layer, from infrastructure to applications and devices. We provide security administrators with tools to control and automate who has access to critical information.

  • Government Compliance

As a leader in Data Security Portfolio Vendors Wave, Q2 2019, infrastructure is certified in:

  • ISO 27001

  • ISO 27017

  • ISO 27018

  • FEDRAMP

  • HIPAA

  • FIPS 140-2 Validated

  • NIST 800-53

  • NIST 800-171


Let’s advance your mission together. Contact Daston at (703) 288-3200 for a complimentary consultation today!

Daston's Cloud Solutions Go Well Beyond Financials

5/2/2022

When seeking the right cloud ERP solution, it’s important to look beyond financials and understand the advanced capabilities that they offer. We at Daston have partnered with NetSuite to bring advanced capabilities to our customers so that they can enable enterprise-class functionality as they grow. These functions include:

Recurring Revenue Management: Daston’s accounting solutions offer crucial end-to-end functionality that meets the challenges posed by recurring revenue models. Modern capabilities help companies manage automated subscription and maintenance billing processes.

Human Resources Management: Through SuitePeople, Daston allows organizations to automate their workforce management processes. The solution understands the various roles of employees and tailors workflows and reports accordingly.

Omnichannel Commerce: With the SuiteCommerce eCommerce solution, Daston enables merchants to offer engaging online experiences on any device while providing employees with a single view of orders, inventory, and critical business data.

Advanced Manufacturing: Using NetSuite Advanced Manufacturing, Daston’s manufacturing clients can increase revenue by reducing operating costs and managing supply chains. Companies can integrate bar code scanning and wireless table functionality in real-time.

Advanced Billing: Suite Billing provides real-time visibility into financial activity so that Daston’s clients can bill customers using various pricing models. They also can consolidate invoices, automate changes to pricing, and access billing data quickly in real-time reports.

Multi-Book Accounting: Businesses can easily comply with multiple sets of financial regulatory systems at the same time, as Multi-Book Accounting issues statements in accordance with all accounting standards. Additionally, it includes expense amortization, revenue recognition, and more.

Warehouse Management System (WMS): Through NetSuite’s WMS, Daston optimizes daily warehouse operations so that companies can minimize handling costs, increase efficiencies, increase productivity, improve fulfillment accuracy, and track inventory movements in real-time.

Global Expansion: NetSuite OneWorld offers a unified global business management solution in real-time for Daston clients that manage multinational operations, all with the ability to meet compliance regulations around the world. Employees can view real-time metrics and business performance from anywhere in the world using web-based access.

Fixed Assets Management: Daston’s customers can control and report a complete asset lifecycle from creation to depreciation with NetSuite Fixed Assets Management. Businesses can customize depreciation methods, manage asset data by department, and integrate asset management with NetSuite’s accounting functionality, which eliminates the risk of error-prone spreadsheets.

Project Management: Daston’s customers can more effectively monitor the process of projects to increase productivity and drive efficiencies. They can track projects’ time and expense, issue invoices, assign tasks, and manage financials.

Are you ready to see how Daston's cloud-based ERP solutions go well beyond financials? Request a free demo today! (703) 288-3200

Daston Helps Government Agencies Meet M-21-31 and EO 14028 Cloud Requirements

4/19/2022

We at Daston understand the challenges that public sector agencies face when it comes to meeting the U.S. Government’s stringent cloud security requirements. As a Google Partner, we offer a path for these organizations to meet ever-changing recommendations.

Recently, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued M-21-31 and Executive Order (EO) 14028, Improving the Nation's Cybersecurity, to improve the Federal Government’s investigative and remediation capabilities. These items specifically address the requirements for logging, log management, and log retention, with a focus on centralizing visibility and access for the highest-level enterprise security operations center (SOC) of each agency.

Meeting the recommendations outlined in M-21-31 and EO 14028 can strengthen cyber detection and response; however, implementing these changes can be difficult for agencies due to cost, engineering, scalability, and a lack of resources.

Daston’s clients can rest assured that as a Google Partner, we provide a cost-effective, scalable path to meet these cybersecurity analytics requirements. For instance, Google Cloud recently developed Autonomic Security Operations (ASO), a comprehensive solution that can continuously detect and respond to cyber telemetry across an agency so that cyber defenders can increase their productivity, reduce detection and response time, and stay ahead of attackers.

ASO is powered by Google Cloud’s detection and response platforms, Chronicle and Siemplify. Chronicle gives agencies an unparalleled view into their security posture by unifying and enriching all their security telemetry onto a single timeline. By combining this data with Google threat intel and flexible rules, agencies strengthen analytical power. Siemplify provides an intuitive analyst experience that boosts productivity with powerful customization capabilities.

At Daston, we recognize that implementation of the requirements in M-21-31 and EO 14028 is a multi-year journey, and we anticipate helping agencies meet the requirements to improve their cybersecurity using Google’s ASO solution.

Learn how Daston can help you implement ASO to meet the requirements of M-21-31 and EO 14028. Contact XXX for a free consultation today. 703-288-3200

Grow Your Business Using Cloud ERP

4/18/2022

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) has come a long way since the term was coined nearly three decades ago. Early systems were only used by large corporations because they were so expensive and time-consuming to implement. However, as a NetSuite partner, Daston is utilizing the cloud to place the power of ERP cost-effectively and efficiently into the hands of even the smallest companies that want to grow their business. Additionally, Daston’s DCAA-compliant Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) products make Oracle NetSuite products DCAA-compliant.

So, what can a cloud-based ERP do for you that an on-premises accounting system can’t?

Enable remote workforce management and collaboration

When employees were forced to work from home throughout the coronavirus pandemic, companies of all sizes that used basic accounting software or outdated ERP systems quickly learned that their standard operating procedures didn’t work with accounting teams working remotely. As a NetSuite partner, Daston helps accounting teams confidently close their books remotely without needing to be in the same location as their software, or in the same building as other teammates, thanks to integrated cloud ERP architecture.

Comply with regulatory requirements

Recent changes to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles have forced businesses to reconsider processes that utilized spreadsheets in the past. For instance, new complicated rules risk compromising data integrity when using spreadsheets, due to data entry issues when moving numbers between spreadsheets and the accounting system. However, Daston’s cloud ERP solutions receive capability updates that automatically pass to the end-user so they can handle accounting rules changes on the fly.

Provide departments with an accurate picture of the business

As companies grow, they tend to purchase software when needed, which could mean disparate systems from multiple vendors, each performing different functions. If the business can’t integrate these systems, the data can’t be utilized by multiple departments. The result? Profitability and productivity suffer. On the other hand, cloud ERP products offer real-time data that helps teams collaborate more efficiently.

Drive quick reactions

Companies using disparate accounting systems can’t react quickly to changes. However, Daston’s modern ERP systems deliver reports and data in real-time. Role-based dashboards provide employees with immediate access to information they need, and the ability to drill down for further analysis, allowing them to make faster, more informed decisions.

Reduce operational risk

Without the right controls in place, companies could fall prey to dishonest practices by employees. They also may struggle to provide correct data to investors or regulatory agencies. Daston’s cloud-based ERP systems reduce these risks by controlling access to data and system features based on user roles, as well as embedding approval workflows into financial processes.

Track profitability

Unit economics, or measuring profitability per unit, helps companies understand the potential profitability of product lines and adjust as needed. Using Daston’s cloud-based ERP, they can better understand in real-time which products are posting positive versus negative margins so that they can adjust their business development accordingly.

Help companies adapt and scale

Companies that adopt cloud ERP not only are well-positioned to scale up in the future, but they also improve their existing business management processes. Daston’s solutions support collaboration across remote workforces and deliver mission-critical data and organizational visibility on a single platform, which helps them make fast decisions in ever-changing business environments.

Are you ready to automate your core processes using integrated cloud ERP so that your employees can make faster, more informed decisions? Contact Daston today for a demonstration. 703-288-3200


Daston Sponsors Weekly GovCon Webinar Series

4/5/2022

At Daston, we believe the more information our GovCon customers have, the better equipped they are to meet and exceed Federal compliance requirements.

We are proud to enhance industry knowledge for GovCons by sponsoring Jennifer Schaus & Associates’ complimentary 2022 Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Supplement Webinar series.

Of particular interest to Daston clients are these recorded webinars:

Jennifer Schaus & Associates is a Washington, DC-based GovCon consulting firm assisting companies that wish to work with the U.S. Federal Government. The firm helps GovCons understand GSA schedules, DCAA audits, SBA 8a certification, facility/security clearances, SDVO verification, Federal sales and marketing, and more.

To view the comprehensive list of webinars, and to register, click here. (The first several Webinars on the list are recorded episodes of past webinars.) Additionally, visit the Jennifer Schaus & Associates YouTube Channel for complimentary access to more than 500 government contracting webinars.

Do you need help ensuring your systems are in compliance? Contact us today for a free consultation! 703-288-3200


Daston’s Free Resources Assist GovCons With Reducing Time Spent on Incurred Cost Submission

3/23/2022

Here at Daston, we often hear from GovCons that manually gather all the data to build out their Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) Incurred Cost Submission, then inputting it into a complex set of schedules, is an enormous burden on their accounting team. This process often takes weeks, devouring hundreds of hours that their accounting team could be using for other, more important, tasks.

If you can sympathize, take advantage of two FREE resources that can help: our recorded Webinar, Incurred Cost Submission in Minutes!; and our E-Book: Daston’s Clients Enjoy Creating Incurred Cost Submission in Minutes, Instead of Weeks.

Our recorded Webinar, hosted by Daston’s NetSuite Practice Executive Sheila Tomlinson, features Chevron & Rockers, a CPA firm exclusively serving GovCons. Together, they demonstrate how automating the process enables GovCons to generate ICS schedules in minutes.

Similarly, our E-Book discusses how Daston’s DCAA-on-Demand can reduce the ICS process from weeks to minutes with a fully functional ICS report mirrored directly from the DCAA ICE Model. Using the DCAA ICE Model flow chart for all the inputs and schedules that are needed to build out the entire ICS, this document shows how you can tackle getting your data for the entire fiscal year into the ICE Model with just a few clicks. Additionally, it explains how Daston’s ICS Model is built out in real-time and can be tracked throughout the year. Once transactions are charged against projects and cost pools are run, these schedules automatically update in reports.

Don’t spend your valuable time gathering data and inputting it into confusing schedules. Click HERE to request our recorded Webinar and E-book today!

Five Signs That It’s Time to Migrate from QuickBooks to an ERP

3/10/2022

At Daston, we understand that running a business is time-consuming. When companies add in the layer of balancing their books while meeting government financial reporting compliance and regulations, they need help. Often, they turn to QuickBooks due to the software’s ease of use and affordability. However, as businesses grow, they soon find gaps in inventory, warehouse, workforce, or production management. Their first response is to begin filling gaps, but doing so creates extra work and decreases efficiency.

Here are some indicative signs that your business requires more functionality than a bookkeeping system such as QuickBooks offers, and that an integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution may be the answer.

Redundant Data

Perhaps you have found that the customers you have stored in QuickBooks for bookkeeping also exist in your CRM and whatever application or spreadsheet you use to capture orders for your business. You may run into situations where the master file used in QuickBooks is not the same file that defines your product catalog and drives operations. If your data is scattered between filing cabinets, offline spreadsheets, and applications, and you are manually transferring data from QuickBooks to other applications, you could be introducing errors or inconsistencies.

Wasting Time

Data scattered among spreadsheets, applications, and filing cabinets leads to more time spent exchanging reports and waiting for data. If you are unable to easily find the necessary information, you may be wasting time working on manual tasks that could be automated. If hours of your day are spent compiling scattered data, there is a chance that uninformed decisions are sending your business efforts in the wrong direction.

Inaccurate Data

If your financial and operational data is not synchronized, conflicting information can arise, leading you to second-guess both the information and the decision-making around that data. This misalignment can lead to more wasted time in the form of reconciling, replacing, and correcting data. Doing so often creates even more spreadsheets, a noteworthy sign that you need a complete and integrated solution that better suits your needs.

Not Meeting Customer Demand

If your inventory levels are rising but you are unable to meet customer demand in a timely manner, it is time to graduate from QuickBooks to a solution that can help you better forecast demand, lean inventory, and generate products through integrating financial and operational data.

Global Expansion

The Internet has helped level the playing field for small businesses that wish to establish a global presence. A new level of complexity is introduced upon global expansion, and this complexity requires a well-integrated solution that can accomplish more than online versions of QuickBooks.

ERP for Growing Businesses

If your business is experiencing any of the above issues, an ERP may be the solution for you. ERP refers to software that organizations use to manage day-to-day business operations through an integrated suite of modules that provides a system of records for your business regarding operations and transactions.

There are many affordable ERP solutions in today’s marketplace, and the barriers that previously prevented implementation--such as lack of capital and lack of technical expertise--have been eliminated with cloud infrastructure, particularly those offered as software as a service (SaaS). At Daston, our SaaS solutions enable the management of both accounts and operations without incurring the cost of building out a data center, hiring dedicated IT staff, or consuming unnecessary capital.

Learn how your company could benefit by graduating from QuickBooks to an integrated ERP solution such as Daston’s GovCon Essentials ERP. Contact 703-288-3200 today for a free consultation.

Daston Assists GovCons With DFARS Compliance

2/11/2022

For GovCons, it can be overwhelming to go through all the steps necessary to comply with the Department of Defense’s (DoD) long-anticipated Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) Interim Rule. Daston, with a suite of solutions that encrypt Email and Drive services, makes compliance easy by providing products with unrivaled security that inherently comply with these standards.

The DFARS Interim Rule

The DFARS Interim Rule, which went into effect about a year ago, mandates that defense contractors not only perform a self-assessment based on NIST 800-171 but that they also report that score to the DoD. It also implicitly makes the new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) framework—to be implemented over the next several years—the law of the land.

All work done by primes and subcontractors subject to the DFARS 252.204-7012 clause now also must adhere to requirements described in the Interim Rule. That includes all defense contractors that handle controlled unclassified information (CUI). Further, as CMMC is implemented, those contractors will need to achieve at least CMMC Level 3.

How Does DFARS Affect GovCons’ Ability to Win Contracts?

The DoD has made it clear that if defense companies do not meet these prerequisites, they cannot be awarded contracts. While the DFARS Interim Rule doesn’t specify minimum self-assessment scores that must be achieved, the DoD will do risk-based assessments to help determine which companies it will award contracts to. If a company has a low self-assessment score, the DoD likely will consider that company to be a higher security risk than an alternative supplier with a better score. Likewise, primes will consider self-assessment scores when evaluating possible subcontractors with which to work, so subcontractors with higher scores are expected to win the work.

Clearly, GovCons are concerned with raising their self-assessment score. Given its weight in both DFARS and CMMC, improving the protection of CUI can help a company raise that self-assessment score quickly. CUI is typically shared in the form of email or files, and thus platforms that protect email and file sharing are key tools in achieving that goal.

Daston’s Products and Services Comply With DFARS

Daston’s solutions support compliance with DFARS, NIST 800-171, and CMMC Level 3 (as well as ITAR). Daston’s encrypted Email and Drive services provide unrivaled security for protecting CUI using the gold standard of end-to-end encryption, which means that email and files are only ever encrypted and decrypted on a user’s device—and never on a server.

Daston can help GovCons quickly improve their level of cybersecurity—and significantly raise their self-assessment score —by protecting CUI. Daston also can work with GovCons to assist them in increasing their self-assessment score by nearly 40 points, thereby offering a significant boost to their ability to win DoD contracts, now and in the future. For the longer term, Daston’s solutions put companies on an accelerated path to achieving CMMC Level 3 and preserving their competitiveness.

Do you need assistance complying with DFARS and other security standards? Contact Daston today for a consultation! Call 703-288-3200.


Study Shows That Migrating to Google Cloud Offers Positive ROI

2/7/2022

Is maintaining and operating your data storage on-premises getting complicated and expensive? Are you wanting to increase efficiency while reducing downtime? You’re not alone. Every day, Daston helps more and more organizations reduce data center costs, increase uptime, and improve performance by migrating to the cloud.

Google recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact study to determine the return on investment that companies could expect by migrating to the Google Cloud. The study determined that the companies interviewed reduced their management costs, experienced significant improvements in uptime and performance, and recognized significant cost savings. The interviewees vastly reduced licensing costs, along with the pressure of licensing audits. As these organizations worked with Google to modernize their environment, they further reduced their computer, management, and overpriced licensing costs.

The study’s key findings included:

  • Avoiding on-premises software, hardware, and licensing saves millions of dollars each year.

After moving core systems to Google Cloud, the interviewees realized major cost savings by reducing and ultimately eliminating their on-premises environments. As a result, they didn’t need to purchase new hardware and could cancel licenses tied to managing their on-premises equipment.

  • Optimizing cloud infrastructure reduces cloud spending by 45%.

By migrating licensed workloads to open-source alternatives, right-sizing their environments, taking advantage of bring-your-own-license programs, and refactoring applications to run more efficiently, the businesses reduced their licensing and Google Cloud consumption costs by 45% over time.

  • Moving to Google Cloud reduces application downtime by 90%.

In their previous on-premises and non-Google Cloud environments, interviewees reported experiencing large amounts of unplanned downtime. These outages were expensive to resolve and could have resulted in lost business, not to mention strained customer relationships. After moving to Google Cloud, organizations eliminated these downtime events altogether with a ≥ 99.9% uptime service-level agreement.

  • Streamlining the management of the cloud environment improves infrastructure management efficiency by 50%.

The companies interviewed worked on refactoring their workloads and modernizing their operations using cloud-native technologies, and they were able to streamline the management of their cloud environment so that employees could redirect hours to other important tasks.

  • Organizations completed their cloud migration in half the time they projected.

A few of the interviewees had tried to migrate to the cloud in the past; unfortunately, lengthy project timelines, along with a lack of trust in other cloud providers, ground these attempts to a halt. In contrast, the interviewees reported that they migrated to Google Cloud ahead of schedule.

Let Daston help you save money while improving performance by assisting you in moving your expensive operating systems and traditional workloads to the Google Cloud.

Are you ready to dive into your cloud migration options? Schedule a free assessment of your IT landscape with Daston today! Contact 703-288-3200.

Eight Signs QuickBooks Is Holding You Back

2/4/2022

In last month’s blog, we discussed eight ways that QuickBooks puts businesses at risk, and signs that it’s time to leverage a comprehensive solution such as Daston’s DCAA-on-Demand SuiteApp for NetSuite. This month, we dive deeper as we review how real companies have tackled these challenges by switching from QuickBooks to NetSuite.

Managing Spreadsheets Takes Up Too Much Time

As we mentioned last month, some employees spend hours creating invoices or completing spreadsheets manually when using QuickBooks. They often use workarounds such as Excel files to document deferred revenue, allocations, annual subscriptions, or recurring payments. For example, Frey Farms used to run a combination of Google Docs and QuickBooks, with a 110-column spreadsheet serving as the ERP. Each of its four business units needed a separate QuickBooks instance, and employees could only log in to two simultaneously. The business had grown to seven farms, and transactions had to be entered in five locations across various spreadsheets. Now on NetSuite, the farm’s employees simply log in to see the entire operation in a single report.

Manual Processes Create Errors

We discussed last month how time-consuming manual data entry can be. In addition, these processes potentially lead to increased human error. Take the case of skincare retailer LovelySkin. While using QuickBooks, the company found that its data was fragmented and residing in multiple locations and systems. Human error was a concern as employees moved data from one system to another manually. Now using NetSuite, LovelySkin’s information is updated in real-time, meaning it’s consistently accurate, and all employees use the same system.

Inaccurate Data Prevents Informed Decision-making

So why is accurate data so critical? In today’s environment, forecasting and budgeting are more important than ever, and quickly making smart decisions based on correct data can make or break a business. For instance, Mythics, an IT advisory business specializing in system integrations, moved from QuickBooks to NetSuite to avoid the manual work inherent in handling two systems, one for the core business and the other for a subsidiary.

“The biggest benefit of NetSuite is the ability to forecast where our business is driving, and the reporting is crucial to making informed decisions across the business,” said Mel Sawyer, Senior Consulting Controller at Mythics.

Audits Post Concerns

Without the right internal controls, QuickBooks can pose concerns with auditability. If you need a bank loan, are considering going public, or are pursuing investors, your financial numbers must be rock-solid. One such case is Fintech company Brex, which switched from QuickBooks to NetSuite to keep a steady audit trail, access workflows and logs, and drill down into transaction details. “You need solid checks and balances to have your books aligned for an audit by a Big 4 firm,” noted Erik Zhou, Brex Chief Accounting Officer.

Customizations Are Complicated

Upon expanding into large retailers such as Target, Honey Pot, which was using QuickBooks, need a way to electronically relay order details from its office to its retail partners for fulfillment. These retailers required the company to integrate with their systems for electronic data interchange, so Honey Pot brought in consultants to try to integrate their order details with QuickBooks. After much frustration, the company determined that it required an ERP system, and it chose NetSuite, which houses all order data centrally then automatically converts purchase orders into invoices.

Viewing Real-Time Data is Difficult

Keeping a set of data in QuickBooks and storing information in other places makes getting a real-time view of operations nearly impossible. Many product companies that use QuickBooks for financials manage inventory in spreadsheets or add-on systems such as Fishbowl. Without integration between inventory and financial data, they lack accurate inventory counts. Take haircare company Mielle Organics. When Fishbowl couldn’t connect to its e-commerce storefront, the company tried to manually compare e-commerce sales with inventory. After finally connecting its e-commerce store to NetSuite, Mielle now accesses inventory data in real-time.

Billing Processes Affect Forecast and Cash Flow

Accurately forecasting future payments and cash flow is crucial for business success. For services companies, subscription billing and project accounting are manual processes in QuickBooks, which can become complicated even for small companies. For example, CentralReach, a leading provider of electronic medical records for health clinics, offers a variety of services, requiring the company to track and manage subscription payments, the amounts of which fluctuate on QuickBooks. CentralReach was sending customers separate bills for each solution, and customers were frustrated by multiple bills. After installing SuiteBilling, CentralReach simplified its billing process by adding all its subscription services as separate items in a connected system, and it now sends single invoices to customers.

Pulling Reports Takes Hours or Days

QuickBooks also doesn’t allow customers to see stock levels in real-time, confirm delivery schedules while they place their order, or allow calls to customer service minutes after the order is placed. When it was using QuickBooks, beverage brand Super Coffee built its own order entry system using a spreadsheet that acted as a dashboard for the sales team. Now that it has implemented NetSuite, at the end of each day the company receives a sales report that breaks down sales by SKU, customer, and region. That report, which automatically arrives in their inboxes, “would’ve taken hours, days, or maybe even weeks to produce before,” noted Super Coffee Co-founder Jordan DeCicco. With NetSuite, all employees are using the same data, updated in real-time for both employee and customer benefit.

Do you relate to these companies and the challenges that they experienced? Daston can help. With our DCAA-On-Demand Suite App, we can help you increase efficiency, simplify core processes, and boost productivity, leading to long-term success. Contact 703-288-3200 for a free consultation!



Reach Beyond QuickBooks With Daston’s Unified Suite of Cloud-Based Applications

2/1/2022

At Daston, we understand the accounting challenges that businesses face as they grow. We often hear from companies that starting out with QuickBooks initially was a great solution due to its low cost and the ability to maintain the system on-premises. However, as they expanded, these organizations discovered that they required more functionality.

These growing businesses find that a lack of real-time data accompanied by accounting errors while using QuickBooks is inefficient because their accounting team is stuck using manual processes to create short-term fixes. They struggle with the software’s limitations, and they must spend time adding bolt-on integrations just to track data for revenue management, order management, fixed assets, billing, procurement, inventory management, and services delivery.

Because QuickBooks doesn’t share data from a central location, changes aren’t tracked in real-time, causing leaders to make decisions with outdated information. Moreover, if the systems aren’t unified, the company must work with a variety of applications, which could mean costly errors if data is entered incorrectly when it is transferred among disparate programs.

Companies who have experienced these challenges dream of upgraded systems that could free up their accounting team to become decision advisors to the wider business.

The Cloud Advantage

Adopting cloud-based solutions is one way to resolve many of these problems. Financial activities appear as soon as they’re triggered, so leaders can make decisions using real-time data, delivering outcomes faster, for less cost, and with fewer resources.

However, simply moving to the cloud isn’t the final answer. If the company’s financial management systems are not unified and still live in standalone silos, they still will be forced to navigate multiple applications and data repositories for everyday activities, even in the cloud.

Daston’s Integrated Suite of Cloud-Based Solutions

Daston has heard these challenges loud and clear and offers an efficient, cost-effective solution. Through its DCAA-On-Demand Suite App—a unified, integrated suite of cloud-based applications--Daston offers a way for organizations to benefit from more effective and more efficient business operations. Because the functionality spans the entire business, linking the front and back offices together, business processes flow easily from one department and one application to another, moving fluidly from sales quotes to orders and from procurement to vendor payments.

By tying business processes together, the DCAA-On-Demand Suite App makes it easier to analyze what drives profit and what does not. It stores information in a centralized data repository, eliminating dual data entry. Therefore, reports are always in real-time.

Daston’s clients who select the DCAA-On-Demand Suite App unified suite of cloud-based applications can do more with less, increasing the accounting team’s productivity while saving money, ultimately positioning them for efficiency, cost-effective growth, and improved competitiveness.

Ready to say goodbye to investing time and resources into new accounting software and bolt-on integrations, and say hello to a unified system of cloud-based applications that scales as you grow? Contact 703-288-3200 today for a free consultation!



Daston Assists Clients With Leveraging Messaging Apps

1/28/2022

We at Daston know how important it is for you to keep up with the latest business trends. Over the last two years, we have seen a huge uptick in the number of people using messaging to connect with businesses, so we have put processes in place to help our clients take advantage of this increasing trend.

To help you seamlessly converse with customers when they need help, we have partnered with Google to introduce AI-powered Business Messages to our clients.

People turn to search engines—particularly Google—when they are trying to make a purchase or simply seeking answers. With AI-powered Business Messages, you can connect with customers in their moment of need when they are searching for answers on Google Maps, Google Search, or any brand-owned channel.

Because it is important for interactions with your business to be simple, personalized, and helpful, Google designed AI-powered Business Messages so that customers can chat with virtual agents that respond naturally. Google also is combining automation with the ability to chat with live agents if needed, saving your customers time and saving you money.

Now the big question: how can you seamlessly install messaging capabilities? To make it quick and easy, Daston has partnered with Google to offer our clients Google AI tools such as Bot-in-a-Box and Dialogflow.

Enabling Business Messages with Bot-in-a-Box is as simple as leveraging an existing customer FAQ document you already have, whether it’s from an internal document or a web page. With Business Messages and Dialogflow working together, your chatbot will automatically understand and respond to customer questions. Bot-in-a-Box also supports “Custom Intents,” using machine learning to understand different ways that customers express a question and responding accurately.

Are you ready to engage customers in a virtual conversation, when and where they need it? Contact Daston today so that you can take advantage of this growing trend!



Overcome the 9 Key Financial Challenges All Businesses Face

1/11/2022

If you are a small business just starting out, your accounting system could be the one thing that makes or breaks your business. We at Daston are here to ensure that your accounting system is robust enough to meet business challenges head-on.

According to the Small Business Administration, only half of small businesses keep their doors open for at least five years, and only one-third of them last 10 years. There are various reasons a small business might close, but the failure to focus on the key aspects of financial management is a big one.

Here are nine issues that almost every business confronts at some point. Recognizing them early and addressing them with the help of a nimble accounting system is critical to keeping your doors open.

  1. Managing Cash Flow

Managing liquidity is a major concern for businesses as they try to bring in money to cover monthly bills while accumulating cash to invest in growth.

  1. Securing Capital

Access to capital is critical to realizing business goals, and securing credit is a challenge for small businesses.

  1. Closing the Books

The financial close process can be difficult. Even small businesses may have hundreds or thousands of accounts to track and reconcile, and it only gets more complicated as firms grow.

  1. Paying Bills on Time

While the occasional late payment may be OK, consistently remitting payments late can cost a small business dearly.

  1. Paying Off Debt

Maybe you ran up a little too much money on a personal credit card, or perhaps your local banker extended a line of credit that’s now used up and commanding a high-interest rate.

  1. Meeting Payroll

Consistently paying employees, payroll taxes, employee health benefits, and the owners’ salaries from available cash is a strong indicator of financial health.

  1. Using a Budget

Companies need to develop a budget and then spend within their means. However, there should be flexibility to adjust as conditions change.

  1. Tracking Key Metrics/Ratios

Keeping a close eye on a few areas will help businesses avoid financial trouble by providing an early indication of potential problems.

  1. Calculating and Paying Taxes

Applying changes in tax laws is a common concern for accounting teams, especially understanding total tax liability and navigating shifting trade and tariff policies.

Daston and NetSuite Financials Can Power Your Success

As a NetSuite partner, Daston is pleased to help companies overcome these obstacles with NetSuite Financials. This powerful accounting software provides all the information that you need to make more informed decisions, leading to better results.

NetSuite Financials gives you visibility into all revenue and expenses, allowing you to track and analyze key financial metrics over time. Additionally, it tracks bills, automates accounts receivable processes, reduces sales outstanding, and increases cash flow. This system makes it easier for you to provide financial statements and other essential information required to secure financing and satisfy compliance standards.

Don’t become a statistic! Are you ready to invest in an accounting system that will help you stay in business, then grow and thrive? Daston can help! Contact 703-288-3200 for a consultation today!




When QuickBooks Slows You Down

1/7/2022

At Daston, we pride ourselves on making accounting as quick and easy as possible for our clients. Companies often seek us out a few years after launching because although QuickBooks seemed an easy way to track basic finances at the outset, they have found that as they grow, they require more robust systems. QuickBooks often is creating more work for their team, adding up to hundreds of hours lost instead of saving time.

Here are eight signs that QuickBooks is putting your business at risk and that it’s time to leverage a more comprehensive solution such as NetSuite.

Too much business data is locked away in spreadsheets

With QuickBooks, employees often spend hours on manual processes such as creating invoices or filling out spreadsheets to track deferred revenue, accrued expenses, and depreciation. NetSuite, however, automates payment schedule processes, eliminating the risk of errors and giving your employees more time to focus on value-added work.

Manual processes are creating errors

When you’re using a system that doesn’t have a concept of revenue recognition, you must do it entirely off the books. Not only is manual data entry time-consuming, but it also leads to human error, which renders data unreliable and leaves month-end reconciliation up to chance.

Bad data and limited reporting prevent informed decision-making

Are unreliable data and a lack of reporting putting your business at risk? In today’s environment, forecasting and budgeting are more important than ever, but leaders are unable to gain comprehensive and valuable business insights without accurate data.

Audits pose concerns

Are you chasing down documents to verify compliance? Without sufficient internal controls around approval workflows, audit logs, or separate roles, QuickBooks has audibility concerns. If you are looking at going public, need a loan, or are pursuing funding from investors, you need a rock-solid set of numbers. In NetSuite, your team can easily enter a lot number when shipping, receiving, and moving products. When it comes time for an audit, your employees can run simple reports.

Customizations are getting complicated

QuickBooks can work for a growing business, but not for long. If you want to add customizations, it may require an army of consultants or a tangle of complex workarounds. This can be costly and time-consuming.

You can't see what's happening across your organization in real-time

Is it nearly impossible to get a clear real-time view of operations because you keep one set of data in QuickBooks and store other information elsewhere? If you use QuickBooks for financials but manage your inventory in spreadsheets or add-on systems, your inventory counts could be inaccurate. In the case of NetSuite, having inventory and financials on the same system provides a real-time view to accurately track and value inventory.

Billing processes affect your forecasts and cash flow

Being able to accurately forecast future payments and cash flow is especially crucial today. For services companies, subscription billing and project accounting are manual processes in QuickBooks. Subscription billing in this way can get complicated, even for relatively small software companies. Like creating payment schedules, you are relying on employees to remember to send a bill every month.

Reports take hours (or days) to pull

QuickBooks also doesn’t allow customers to see stock levels in real-time, confirm delivery schedules while they place their order, or allow calls to customer service minutes after the order is placed. With NetSuite, all employees are using the same data, updated in real-time for both employee and customer benefit. If your business is experiencing any of these limitations, reduce your risk by graduating to NetSuite.

Are you ready to boost productivity, simplify core processes, and increase efficiency? Daston can help! Contact 703-288-3200 for a consultation today!



Daston Clients Enjoy ITAR Compliance Through End-to-End Encryption

1/1/2022

One of our biggest strengths here at Daston is helping businesses stay in compliance with strict government standards. For companies that handle items on the U.S. munitions list, extra security layers make it complicated, since every company in the supply chain that manufactures, designs, buys, sells, handles, or distributes munitions must be compliant with International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), at the risk of hefty fines.

New ITAR Rules

The U.S. State Department recently announced that it now allows sharing of unclassified defense-related data if the technical data is encrypted end-to-end, and if no cloud provider can possibly decrypt the data. This is fantastic news for Daston clients. Our security architecture includes ITAR-compliant end-to-end encryption, allowing us to offer an elegant solution to help your company comply with ITAR’s end-to-end encryption rule. As a result, your company can easily streamline internal data storage and sharing by moving unclassified defense-related data to the cloud.

The new ITAR guidelines also make it easier to comply with requirements when employees must access ITAR-restricted data while traveling internationally. Prior to the new ruling, employees had to apply for a special license to access ITAR data abroad. Now, they are no longer forced to file paperwork, making it easier for overseas employees to do their jobs.

Daston's Email and Storage Solutions Meet ITAR Standards

With Daston’s email solution, data never is decrypted on a server; rather, it is encrypted and decrypted on a user’s device. Additionally, no cloud provider has access to network access codes, keys, or passwords that allow decryption because we don’t ever have access to user keys. Private keys only are stored on user devices.

Similarly, with Daston’s storage solution, only you and the people with whom you’ve shared files can decrypt them. Users can access files stored on our drive from any of their devices or share files with other users who have the appropriate access permissions.

In compliance with the new ITAR ruling, Daston’s servers store only encrypted data and can’t access keys to decrypt it. Our key management system eliminates key servers and the central points of attack they present. While competing encryption systems store decryption keys in a central key server, Daston’s solutions enable storage, sharing, and revocation of encrypted data from user devices.

Additionally, Daston’s solutions eliminate passwords, shutting down security risks from password-guessing attacks and phishing. Instead, we authenticate users via strong cryptographic keys that are automatically created and stored on devices.

Are you ready to stop worrying about ITAR compliance and focus more on other important tasks? Contact Daston for a free consultation today! Call 703-288-3200



Daston's DCAA-On-Demand App Helps Accounting Professionals Adapt to Regulatory Changes

12/2/2021

Regulatory changes are transforming the role of an accountant from a number cruncher to that of a strategic advisor, as today's professionals must not only gather data but also analyze it and share insights about the results. Accounting professionals and organizations alike can embrace this development by understanding changing regulatory requirements and addressing them with a robust accounting solution, ensuring they are supporting their accounting team's transition into a more strategic role.

Changing Tax Policies

Understanding changes in tax policy - whether it's total tax liability or navigating changing trade and tariff policies - is vital for accounting teams in every industry. Aside from taxes, accounting teams must stay on top of statutory and regulatory changes, as well as keep current on COVID and other stimulus legislation. Anticipated changes in leadership at the Security Exchange Commission are likely to further impact financial reporting requirements and scrutiny. Effectively navigating the tax law changes can free up funds for organizations to weather other challenges ahead. Accurate tax records that are easy to access with accounting software will make a complex tax year more manageable.

Changes in ESG

In addition to constantly changing tax policies, it's widely expected that there will be new federal regulations pertaining to Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG), especially related to financial disclosures for public companies. Professional trade organizations are trying to help accountants prepare for this. November 2020, the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) shared plans for education and resources to help accountants with reporting on and assurance of ESG information. More recently, the AICPA noted that ramping-up ESG reporting, documentation of environmental-focused policies, and increased diversity could affect accounting professionals in the coming year.

Changing Accounting Standards

Finally, new accounting standards are certain to affect accounting professionals. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) updates accounting standards throughout the year with changes that can affect financial statements and suggestions for how to keep them compliant with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). For instance, in 2021 FASB instituted changes related to asset acquisitions, debt securities, credit losses, leases, variable interest entities, reorganizations, and banking regulation disclosures. While phased implementations of standards have been delayed, they remain on the horizon, and accountants should pay close attention and stay current.

Navigate the changes with Daston's DCAA-On-Demand SuiteApp for Oracle NetSuite

Investing in the right systems is essential in keeping up with not only recent developments but future ones. Of course, some systems are better equipped for the job than others. Daston's DCAA-On-Demand SuiteApp for Oracle NetSuite's cloud-based financial management system offers all the functionality accountants need to adapt to the rapidly changing regulatory landscape. Customers automatically receive biannual updates that help them comply with regulatory changes, making adaptation quick and easy.

So you seek a flexible robust system to assist you in your redefined role as a strategic advisor? Learn how Daston can help! Click HERE to schedule a free consultation today.



Daston Products Address Accounting Challenges Inherent in Recurring Revenue Models

11/30/2021

Recurring revenue models come with a variety of attractive benefits. However, before you implement a recurring revenue strategy, it's important to understand how doing so could add significant complexity to your accounting system.

Here are some of the challenges that lie ahead:

  • Billing Complexity - There are a variety of billing options in a recurring stream, including fixed-rate, tiered pricing, or volume-based. Promotions or trial offers add more facets, as billing must reflect start and end dates. Tracking this data manually is tough, and legacy billing systems aren't designed to handle this complexity.

  • Billing Frequency - Unlike a traditional sales model with a fixed number of invoices and a consistent billing cycle, a recurring revenue model bills customers repeatedly, as often as once per month. The accounting team generates more invoices, more often. Managing this workload becomes harder as the number of subscribers increases.

  • Forecast Accuracy - Although recurring revenue models provide stability and consistent cash flow, they confuse forecasting. Multiple pricing plans, free trials, and promotional discounts must be considered. You need to know what existing customers are paying and whether they're taking advantage of a promotion. You also need to understand when promotional rates expire and the probability of converting those customers to a full-priced plan.

  • Income Tax - Moving to a recurring revenue model has tax implications. Companies must recognize revenue in a specific way to comply with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), however, has its own set of rules that don't always line up with those of GAAP. Often the amount of pre-tax income reported on GAAP-based financial statements isn't the same as what would be reported using IRS tax rules. Understanding IRS and GAAP requirements and how they each impact taxes is critical.

  • Revenue Recognition - Recurring revenue recognition can make accounting challenging and cumbersome for businesses that traditionally sell products rather than services. In the product-sales model, revenue is recorded once an order has been delivered. From an accounting standpoint, most recurring revenue streams are considered services, which changes how revenue is recognized and requires carefully tracking accruals or deferrals. Trying to manually enter revenue into the accounting system in spreadsheets is not only labor-intensive but also increases the risk of data entry errors.

  • Sales Tax - Until now, few states have collected sales tax on subscriptions. However, this is changing as companies in more industries transition to subscription-based models. Rules vary among states on what is taxed, as do tax rates. Tracking these details and ensuring that you apply the right rate is difficult.

Overcoming the Challenges

There are ways to handle the obstacles that recurring revenue creates for your accounting department. Here are some crucial steps to overcoming the challenges of revenue recognition:

  • Automate the billing process - Recurring revenue increases the complexity and volume of billing processes. Start by automating subscription and billing management. Doing so simplifies the billing process by putting subscription and billing data in one place, which will improve data quality and ensure accurate billing. Keep in mind that subscription plans that combine flat monthly rates with variable charges or one-time fees can create billing issues that will negatively impact your customers' experience. Make sure your solution supports multiple pricing options, including fixed and consumption-based rates, with the ability to customize plans.

  • Improve Key Performance Indicator (KPI) tracking - Monthly recurring revenue is an important KPI, but understanding the ratio of revenue from net-new customers and upgrades versus revenue lost due to cancelations or downgrades improves forecasting. Tracking changes in monthly churn rates, average customer tenure, customer acquisition costs, and average revenue per account all can help predict future performance.

  • Simplify revenue recognition - ASC 606 offers uniform guidance for reporting revenue, which helps simplify financial statements and provides comparability across industries. Make sure your accounting software has rules set up to implement this guidance.

  • Evaluate GAAP and IRS rules - The easiest way to evaluate how different accounting options affect finances is by generating both a GAAP and an IRS statement. Both rulesets should be applied to each transaction for the greatest accuracy. The ideal accounting system will do this automatically, as reentering transactions manually increases the risk of errors, not to mention consuming time.

Managing Recurring Revenue With Dasston's DCAA-On-Demand SuiteApp for Oracle NetSuite

Daston helps ensure customers' success in adding a recurring revenue stream with its SuiteApp product for Oracle NetSuite. By automating labor-intensive billing processes, Daston eliminates many of the repetitive tasks accounting staff dread. Because recurring revenue involves complex rating scenarios, Daston supports transaction, usage-based, subscription, and hybrid pricing models.

When recurring revenue is involved, revenue recognition also can be complicated. Revenue from a contract might be recognized all at once, over several months, or stretched out for years depending on how customer agreements are structured. Since developing a separate revenue recognition schedule for every customer isn't scalable, Daston's DCAA-On-Demand SuiteApp creates revenue rules for each product or service you offer and then links them to individual line items in a contract. Revenue is automatically recognized based on the assigned schedule for each item. This improves compliance by consistently applying revenue rules.

Daston's solutions also simplify tax calculations. You can evaluate different accounting models by creating a separate book for each set of standards you want to apply. These transactions automatically post to the appropriate books simultaneously, so your accounting personnel don't have to enter data multiple times or make manual adjustments. The SuiteTax sales tax solution helps you meet complex tax collection and reporting requirements by automating sales tax calculation. It also improves accuracy by keeping sales tax rates current and using ZIP+4 codes to ensure the correct rate is applied to every transaction.

Ready to move to recurring revenue? Learn how Daston's DCAA-On-Demand SuiteAPP can handle the accounting challenges that may come. Schedule a consultation by clicking HERE today.

Daston Clients Enjoy Heightened Cloud Data Security and Compatibility

11/29/2021

Security and ease of use are at the forefront of everything we do here at Daston. The exciting news that Google Workspace has achieved FedRAMP High authorization and that Google Cloud earned IL4 authorization ensures that as a Google partner we can continue to offer clients - particularly GovCons - an even higher level of data protection, compatibility, and ease.

Google Workspace Achieves FedRAMP High Authorization

The U.S. federal government is working toward adopting a multi-cloud environment, unfortunately, it has been continually slowed down by legacy systems. To combat this problem, it has assigned two organizations - FedRAMP and NIST - to achieve digital transformation by modernizing legacy public sector IT infrastructure, and tight security is a top prerequisite. FedRAMP Hight is the measuring stick by which these organizations evaluate the security of the country's most vital systems, from emergency services to healthcare systems to general administration.

Google Workspace recently achieved FedRAMP High authorization, which means that Daston now offers federal customers a way to securely and seamlessly connect, collaborate, and create using the most modern technologies and tools with Google's full suite of cloud offerings. Because data security is the foundation of Daston, we have partnered with Google to ensure that security is infused in each layer of product design to protect you against phishing, ransomware, and cyberattacks.

FedRAMP High authorization enables you to collaborate within your organization and with other government agencies at a high level of security without having to purchase a separate "gov cloud" product.

In addition to Google Workspace achieving FedRamp High authorization, four new Google Cloud products - Admin Console, Cloud Identity, Identity and Access Management, and Virtual Private Cloud - also achieve this status.

Google Cloud Earns DoD Impact Level 4 Provisional Authorization

The Impact Level 4 (IL$) designation is another important federal security standard that is authorized by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). This standard applies to controlled unclassified information (CUI). Google Cloud recently earned this IL4 authorization, which means that Daston's clients can use our computer, storage and network offerings, virtual private cloud, data analytics, and identity and access management technologies to store and process CUI throughout Google Cloud Services when used with Assured Workloads.

Google Cloud has obtained this IL4 authorization for all its U.S. public cloud regions, in contrast to other cloud providers that only offer a small number of isolated "government cloud" regions. As a result, Dastons' clients can access seamless compatibility with the latest and most innovative Google Cloud services. Our clients who require IL4 designation to be compliant (including those in the healthcare and financial industries) may take advantage of Google's cloud technology. Because Google supports this configuration in all seven U.S. regions, your IL4 workloads will be stored and processed in the United States and supported by U.S. personnel.

Through Google's efforts to grow its list of compliance certifications, Daston can continue to deliver productivity tools that support your increasingly hybrid workforce with agile and open architectures, leading security solutions, and unified data analytics. To find out how you can achieve your mission of using cloud-first solutions for secure storage and collaboration, Contact Adam Ulan today at googlesales@daston.com.

Daston's DCAA-on-Demand Solution Includes Business Intelligence Tools to Help Customers Analyze Data Quicker and Easier

11/23/2021

Your financial and operational data is incredibly valuable. However, do you struggle to capture its value - either because that data is spread across multiple systems, making it difficult to access - or because you don't have decent analytical tools? Maybe both?

What is Business Intelligence (BI)?

Enter Business Intelligence (BI). BI software analyzes financial and operational data, extracts the value from it, then presents it in a way that is easy to interpret - helping you glean new insights, make better decisions, and improve performance.

Key components of BI software

What should you look for when choosing BI software? The core components of any BI solution are reporting, key performance indicators, and dashboards, and Daston's DCAA-On-Demand SuiteApp has each of these components built-in. Let's take a closer look at each of these components and learn why they are important.

Reports

Reports are an essential business tool that virtually every organization uses. They provide an easy way to share information, track performance, and communicate results. Reporting tools come in a variety of forms, from basic spreadsheets to standalone report writers. Most accounting and ERP applications include reporting capabilities, either as an embedded feature or for a fee, and most systems provide a few standard reports out of the box. However, pre-configured reports don't always provide the information you want, so the best BI solutions make it easy to tailor these reports to your needs. They also offer tools for creating custom reports, allowing you to combine and analyze data however you want.

Key Performance Indicators

KPIs are a logical extension of reporting; however, where reports include multiple data points, a KPI captures a single metric. KPIs display current performances related to organizational objectives, allowing you to track your progress against your financial and operational goals. Individual KPIs, for instance, might focus on metrics such as the day's outstanding sales of accounts payable turnover, while your brand manager might focus on products margins.

Dashboard

Dashboards are a convenient way to view multiple data points at once. They provide centralized access to reports, KPIs - and other resources - displaying information in a structured format that makes it easy to digest. They act as a starting point for monitoring performance, working with various data sets, and performing other tasks. Dashboards often are standardized across an entire organization or department. Ideally, they should be configured for specific roles so that they only include details that are relevant to a particular job function. They should also be customizable to fit each person's individual requirements.

Find all three components in Daston's solution

Daston customers can take advantage of these three BI components through our DCAA-On-Demand SuiteApp for Oracle NetSuite. Daston offers a wide range of BI and analytical tools to populate reports, monitor KPIs, and visualize vital information on role-based dashboards. Through NetSuite's unified data model, Daston puts real-time information in the hands of every user across your organization.

Whether speaking with a customer, processing an order, managing a project, or preparing financial reports, you now can get the data you need when you need it - without having to rely on experts or moving between different systems.

Stop missing opportunities to improve performance and grow your business! Schedule a consultation today to learn how Daston's DCAA-On-Demand SuiteApp can help capture your data's true value.


New Google Workspace Features Make Collaboration Among Teammates Easier Than Ever

10/25/2021

If it's been a while since you evaluated Google for your company's operations, it may be time for another look. In the last year alone, Google has added dozens of new features that make collaborating among colleagues easier and more efficient than ever before.

"When Google launched its Sheets and Docs products 25 years ago, the company transformed work documents from digital pieces of paper to collaborative content that allows multiple users to work together and view changes and updates in real-time," explained Greg Callen, Vice President of The Daston Corporation. Now, new features have made Google Workspace even more interactive, intelligent, and flexible.

"Many of our BPO clients who previously used other collaboration tools have found that moving to Google Workspace has provided enhanced collaboration opportunities, which has been a gamechanger as they work on projects such as proposals that require various users or companies to contribute information," he said.

Here are 12 new features to help make collaboration even more seamless:

  • Work in Google Meet Directly from a Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide

You now can present content to a Google Meet call on the web, directly from the Doc, Sheet, or Slide on which you and your team are collaborating. Jumping between a live conversation and collaborating in a document without skipping a beat helps your team stay focused and the project stays on track. Google Meet soon will be added directly to Docs, Sheets, and Slides on the web, so colleagues can see and hear each other while they are collaborating.

  • @ Mention Colleagues

When you @-mention someone in a document, a smart chip displays additional information, such as the person's job title, location, and contact information. These new smart chips already have been added to Google Docs for recommended files and meetings, and they will be added to Google Sheets soon. To insert smart chips, just type "@" to view a list of recommended people, files, and meetings. Teammates can skim associated meetings and people or preview linked documents, all without changing tabs or contexts.

  • Pageless Docs

With a new pageless format in Google Docs, the surface expands to whatever screen you're using, making it easier to work with large images, wide tables, or detailed comments. If you want to print or convert to a PDF, you'll be able to switch to a paginated view easily.

  • Smarter Meetings Notes Template in Docs

This new Docs template will automatically import relevant information from a Calendar meeting invite, including attached files and smart chips for attendees.

  • Connected Checklists in Docs

Checklists now are available on the web and mobile, and soon you'll be able to assign responsibilities to teammates and view them in Google Tasks.

  • Table Templates in Docs

Topic-voting tables will allow you to gather feedback from users, while project-tracker tables help you capture milestones and statuses.

  • Live Captions and Translations in Google Meet

Google currently offers live captions in five languages, with more coming, and the company will introduce live translations of captions later this year

  • Timeline View in Google Sheets

You'll soon be able to toggle between new views in Google Sheets to better manage your data. Google's first launch will be a timeline view that makes tracking tasks faster and easier. This flexible view will allow you to organize your data by category, owner, campaign, or whichever attribute fits best. Using an interactive timeline strengthens your ability to manage things like marketing campaigns, schedules, project milestones, and cross-team collaborations.

  • More Assisted Analysis Functionality in Sheets

Enhanced assisted analysis functionality in Google Sheets - with formula suggestions that make it easier for everyone to gain insights - helps you troubleshoot formulas and reduce errors.

  • Create and Edit Sheets, Docs, and Slides Directly from Google Chat Rooms

Teams can now jump from a discussion in Google Chat directly to building content together. Creating and editing Sheets and Docs from Google Chat rooms is already live, and soon will be enabled for Slides.

  • Emoji Reactions

To gauge people's reactions as you collaborate in Docs, Google will introduce emoji reactions in the next few months.

  • Inclusive Language Recommendations and Other Assisted Writing Features

Assisted writing features will offer inclusive language recommendations when they make sense - such as the word "chairperson" instead of "chairman." It also will make stylistic suggestions, for example how to avoid passive voice or offensive language.

You already know Daston for our DCAA-compliant BPO Bundle for GovCon Accounting, but we also help companies migrate their systems from on-premises storage to the Google Cloud.

To learn more about how Daston can help migrate your operations to the Google Cloud, reach out today to book a consultation.

Daston's DCAA-Compliant Solutions Include Third-Party Reports and Certifications from Oracle NetSuite

10/13/2021

Are you a GovCon that utilizes spreadsheets or other antiquated software and struggles to stay DCAA-compliant? If you are already a NetSuite user, Daston's DCAA-On-Demand SuiteApp for Oracle NetSuite ensures DCAA compliance right out of the box. While some of these compliance mechanisms come from behind-the-scenes steps that Daston builds into its solutions, others are inherent in NetSuite's built-in reports and certifications that are available to all of Daston's customers.

Some of these reports and certifications available to Daston clients on behalf of NetSuite, include:

  • Audited financial statements/SEC filings: As NetSuite was acquired by publicly traded Oracle Corporation in 2016, audited financial statements/SEC filings are available and required for investors to analyze Oracle's viability and to assess its long-term sustainability and capabilities as a reliable cloud services provider.

  • ISO 27001 Certification: NetSuite, a cloud service provider serving both international and domestic customers, certifies against ISO27001, a standard that allows NetSuite to externalize confidentiality, availability, and security controls.

  • AICPA SSAE 18 TypeII/IA ASB ISAE 2402 (SOC1): Auditors often place importance on IT general controls reliance during financial reporting audits. A strong reliance approach may reduce your substantive testing requirements, which eases the burden of being audited. In support of financial audit requirements, NetSuite issues an independently-audited SOC 1 Type 2 report twice per year, which encompasses IT general controls within NetSuite's control and outside of its customers'.

  • Service Organization Control 2 Type II (SOC2): NetSuite additionally issues a SOC 2 report, covering the confidentiality, security, and availability principles so that you can evaluate NetSuite's controls as they relate to each principle.

  • Payment Card Industry Security Standard (PCI-DSS): Because NetSuite's ERP and e-commerce applications enable you to transmit credit card data, NetSuite maintains PCI DSS certification as a Level 1 service provider, which is annually validated externally by a Qualified Service Assessor (QSA).

  • PA-DSS: NetSuite maintains QSA-certified Payment Applications Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) certification so that its payment applications support compliance with the PCI DSS. This allows NetSuite to provide secure payment applications if you wish to build this into your service, and it ensures NetSuite doesn't store prohibited data, including full magnetic strips, PIN, or CVV2 data.

  • Privacy Certifications: Oracle Corporate has obtained EU-EEA-wide authorization for its Binding Corporate Rules for Processors from the European data protection authorities, which allows you to address any privacy and security requirements under the EU General Data Protection Regulation and other European data protection laws or regulations in the US/EEA, the UK, and Switzerland.

In order to work with the federal government in any capacity, DCAA compliance is non-negotiable. Be sure you partner with a company that ensures DCAA compliance and builds internal controls into its solutions. Being able to access third-party reports and certifications, such as the ones provided by NetSuite, allow you to stand behind your promises of security, confidentiality, integrity, and access when providing these reports.

Are you ready to make the jump from antiquated in-house accounting systems to an accounting solution that takes the hassle out of DCAA compliance? Click HERE to schedule a consultation and learn more!


Daston Hosts Free September 21st Webinar - "Incurred Cost Submissions in Minutes"

9/9/2021

The Daston Corporation will be hosting a FREE webinar on Tuesday, September 21st at noon. Entitled "Incurred Cost Submissions in Minutes," this hour-long session will be moderated by Sheila Tomlinson, Daston's NetSuite Practice Executive with panelists Kevin Birns, Daston's DCAA Software Subject Matter Expert, and Daniel Kim Managing Director at Chevron & Rockers.

The aim of this FREE webinar is to help government contractors better understand what Incurred Cost Submission (ICS) is; what is contained in these important reports, and how Daston's on-demand tool can help GovCons generate them quicker and easier.

What is ICS and why is it important for GovCons?

All government contractors with time and materials (T&M) or cost-reimbursable contracts must submit a final ICS to their federal customers between April 1 and September 30 (within six months of the federal fiscal year-end.) The purpose of the ICS is to present final indirect costs and rates to the customer and to determine any over/under billing that may have occurred during that period. The ICS presents an accurate actual cost to compare against provisional billing rates over the fiscal year, and all direct and indirect expenses incurred throughout the year are recorded. These reports are important because actual finalized rates provide an accurate financial picture for the year and can be used for forward pricing and setting the ensuing year’s provisional rates.

ICS schedules cover four major areas:

  • Indirect cost pools and base allocations

  • Contract costs

  • Final indirect costs

  • Payroll reconciliation, accounting changes, and contract close-out information.

Each of these areas will be explored thoroughly during the September 21st webinar.

Why is Daston's on-demand solution preferable?

Traditionally, ICS reports are generated. Daston, however, offers an on-demand, real-time solution whereby projects are set up with an ICS code and contract information is listed and tracked. Once transactions are charged against projects and cost pools are run, schedules will automatically update. All schedules can be exported to a spreadsheet where any manual adjustments can be made.

How to register?

If you are a Government Contractor who is looking to learn more about ICS and how on-demand reporting can better track your spending and save your enterprise time and money - this is one FREE webinar you will not want to miss!

Register for "Incurred Cost Submissions in Minutes" on Tuesday, September 21st at noon by clicking HERE.



Daston's FREE August 5th Webinar to Detail Google Workspace Tiers Available with Daston's BPO Bundle

7/26/2021

Interested in learning more about the Google Workspace Tiers that are available with Daston's BPO Bundle for Accounting? Then be sure to register for Daston's FREE webinar, "Benefits of Using Google Workspace in Conjunction with Outsourced Accounting" on August 5th at noon. The webinar is geared toward small to medium-sized GovCons who are looking to migrate their operations to the Google Cloud.

During this FREE one-hour session led by Adam Ulan, Daston's Cloud Practice Director and Joe Alston, Daston's Vice President of Sales, attendees will learn more about Daston's 28 years of experience implementing technology solutions for many federal customers and government agencies. They will also learn how Google Workspace works in conjunction with NetSuite, and the benefits of utilizing outsourced accounting services, like Daston's. However, the webinar will take a deep dive into the six tiers of Google Workspace that are available with Daston's BPO bundle. Let's take a closer look at these tiers and what services they include...

Google Workspace Business Starter

This is the base tier of Daston's BPO Bundle. It offers custom and secure business email; 100 participant video meetings; 30 GB of cloud storage per user; security and management controls and standard Google support.

Google Workspace Business Standard

This tier also offers custom and secure business email, plus eDiscovery and retention. Additionally, it offers 250 participant video meetings and recording, noise cancellation, and attendance tracking. Each user received 5 TB of cloud storage, as well as enhanced security and management controls, including Vault and advanced endpoint management. Standard support is offered with an optional paid upgrade to Enhanced Support.

Google Workspace Business Plus

Subscribers to this tier will also receive custom and secure business email, as well as eDiscovery and retention. Additionally, they will receive 250 participant video meetings, plus recording, noise cancellation, and attendance tracking. Each user receives 5 TB of storage, and will also gain enhanced security and management controls, including Vault and advanced endpoint management. Standard support, with an optional upgrade to Enhanced Support, is also offered.

Google Workspace Enterprise Essentials

Subscribers to this tier will be able to empower their organization with Google's advanced features, without incurring the cost of custom and secure business email. They will also receive 150 participant video meetings, plus recording, noise cancellation, and attendance tracking. Each user receives 1 TB of cloud storage, as well as advanced security, management, and compliance controls, including Vault. Enhanced support is provided, with a paid upgrade to Premium Support.

Google Workspace Enterprise Standard

With this tier, subscribers receive custom and secure business email, as well as eDiscovery and retention. They also receive 250 participant video meetings, plus recording, noise cancellation, attendance tracking, and in-domain live streaming to as many as 10,000 viewers. Subscribers are given as much storage as they need, while also receiving advanced security, management, and compliance controls, including Vault, DLP, data regions, and endpoint management. Enhanced Google support is provided, with a paid upgrade to Premium Support available.

Google Workspace Enterprise Plus

The most comprehensive of the six tiers, Google Workspace Enterprise Plus offers users custom and secure business email, plus eDiscovery, retention, and S/MIME encryption. In addition to offering users as much storage as they need, it also provides 250 participant video meetings, plus recording, noise cancellation, attendance tracking, and in-domain live streaming to as many as 100,000 viewers. This tier also offers Google's most comprehensive security measures including advanced security, management and compliance protocols, including Vault, DLP, data regions, and enterprise endpoint management. Enhanced Google Support is also offered, with a paid option to Premium Support available.


If you are a small to medium-sized GovCon who wants to learn more about the benefits of Google Workspace, as well as how utilizing an outsourced accounting service provider like Daston can impact your bottom line - then you will not want to miss this webinar!

To register, please click here:

Register Today for Daston's FREE Webinar on August 5th

"Benefits of Using Google Workspace in Conjunction with Outsourced Accounting"

7/20/2021

The Daston Corporation will be conducting a FREE webinar on Thursday, August 5th at noon. Entitled "Benefits of Using Google Workspace in Conjunction with Outsourced Accounting," the virtual session is designed for small to medium-sized government contracting firms and will be led by Adam Ulan, Daston's Cloud Practice Director, and Joe Alston, Daston's Vice President of Sales.

During the one-hour session, the executives will discuss Daston's 28 years of experience implementing technology solutions for a variety of federal customers and government agencies. As a Google partner for the last 12 of those years, they will also provide an overview of each tier of Google Workspace that is available as part of Daston's BPO offering (Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, and Enterprise). Additionally, they will detail how Google Workspace works in Conjunction with NetSuite, and the benefits of utilizing outsourced accounting services, like Daston's. The webinar will conclude with a Q&A session with Ulan and Alston.

If you are a small to medium-sized GovCon who wants to learn more about the benefits of Google workspace, as well as utilizing an outsourced accounting service provider like Daston can impact your bottom line - then you will not want to miss this webinar!

To register, please click here:


Why Daston's GovCon Essentials is the Best BPO Option for Your Growing Enterprise

6/18/2021

As an IT consulting and services provider who has successfully partnered with hundreds of corporate, military, and government customers throughout the country since 1992 - we regularly see customers outgrow their systems in ways that impact their focus, costs, and operational efficiency.

This is why Daston created our GovCon Essentials BPO Bundle that is powered by Oracle NetSuite. Our solution was built BY GovCons and is an extremely customizable, 100 percent Cloud-based (vs. Cloud-hosted) Software as a Service (SaaS) that is practical for users and administrators working anywhere. Our BPO bundle is a comprehensive package that includes Outsourced Accounting Services, Daston System Consulting, and GovCon Essentials, powered by NetSuite.

But why are an increasing number of fast-growth clients using NetSuite from Birth to Billions in revenue? Let's take a look at a few scenarios:

"I'm getting a lot of customers - I need CRM!"

If you deploy Daston's GovCon Essentials, powered by NetSuite - designing and implementing a robust and customizable CRM module is included in the cost of Daston's GovCon Essentials BPO offering.

If you use a system designed to run the financials of a small business, like Zero, QuickBooks, or Intaact - you will need to find a CRM system; buy licenses; implement and choose between the headache of integrating with your accounting system or lose time manually entering data into multiple systems.

"We're getting too big to handle operations in spreadsheets - we need a Project or Inventory System!"

If you deploy Daston's GovCon Essentials, powered by NetSuite - Daston can enable Projects or Inventory at no additional cost.

If you use a system designed to run the financials of a small business, like Zero, QuickBooks, or Intaact - you are back to the starting block. The small business systems you use no longer work, and you will have to purchase a mid-market system, which requires implementation, data migration, re-training of staff, and more headaches.

"Help! We're going global!"

If you deploy Daston's GovCon Essentials, powered by NetSuite - Daston can enable language, multi-currency, and international localization features, already available in NetSuite

If you use a system designed to run the financials of a small business, like Zero, QuickBooks, or Intaact - your system cannot handle this well. You will be forced to start from scratch or use a different system in every country you expand into.

"I need to customize my system to support my IPO!"

If you deploy Daston's GovCon Essentials, powered by NetSuite - Daston has helped many companies in this same situation, and can easily reconfigure your system as you join the hundreds of public companies using NetSuite.

If you use a system designed to run the financials of a small business, like Zero, QuickBooks, or Intaact - unfortunately, your system cannot be customized easily to meet this need. You will need a high-cost developer and a few more integrations to support the requirements of being a public company

Additional Benefits

Additionally, Daston's BPO Bundle carries the additional benefits of being a full-compliance solution that includes both services and software needed to obtain and maintain Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) compliance and Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) compliance. You will also gain access to pre-negotiated, fully vetted, and experienced managed accounting service providers (ASP's) - in addition to the software that pulls it all together. Our ASP's are highly qualified GovCon accounting experts, who are experienced and trained on GovCon Essentials. They offer a full range of services to maximize the use of your GovCon Essentials ERP software, and the solution is priced less than a full-time account services clerk!

The choice is clear: for fast-growth clients looking for a midmarket BPO solution that is affordable, customizable, and 100 percent Cloud-based, Daston's GovCon Essentials powered by NetSuite is the way to go. To book a consultation or live demo, click HERE to learn more.

Save Your Growing Enterprise Time, Money, and Headaches by Migrating from Quickbooks to NetSuite

5/24/2021

The company you "once were" when you implemented QuickBooks is probably NOT the company you are today. Now, you're a growing enterprise with more departments, data, and inventory. Therefore, you need a more comprehensive ERP system that can grow alongside you – and Daston's BPO Bundle for Accounting, featuring Oracle NetSuite, can help.

While QuickBooks might be great for handling payroll, Oracle NetSuite can nimbly integrate all of your financials, CRM, e-commerce, inventory, and more on one cloud-based platform. What are the other advantages of switching from Quickbooks to NetSuite?

One Central System

QuickBooks was designed only to automate a handful of core accounting functions and limits how you run operations. Your business needs software that scales alongside it and can handle the large volume of customers, vendors, and inventory items. NetSuite offers one cloud-based platform that can handle all of these functions.

Saves Time and Money

With QuickBooks, your staff spends hours of time each week on manual processes from creating invoices to filling in complicated timesheets. This results in wasted time, human error, and end-of-the-month headaches! With NetSuite, these accounting processes are completely automated – saving time, money, and extra hassle. Plus, NetSuite eases the hurdles of DCAA and CMMC compliance and is priced at a fraction of the cost of the competition – allowing companies to save 20-50 percent on account functions.

Enables Growth and Better Decision-Making by Increasing Visibility

Different applications used by divided departments result in chaos, making scaling up and gaining 360-degree visibility across your business virtually impossible. Keeping data in QuickBooks, and storing other critical updated information elsewhere results in complex systems, conflicting data, and a severe lack of reporting. With Oracle NetSuite, your business can gain comprehensive and valuable insights across departments – allowing for easier decision-making with increased accuracy.

Reduces IT Complexity

QuickBooks is a siloed product with a myriad of apps that need to be updated and supported. Often customers must deploy inefficient workarounds, manual spreadsheets, and poorly integrated point solutions to get the job done. NetSuite resides in the cloud and the software can be updated easily vs. being dependent upon individual process-driven systems.

Boosts Efficiency and Sales

QuickBooks does not offer an agile or responsive solution for doing business. With NetSuite, your customers can see stock levels in real-time; confirm delivery schedules while placing an order, or allow calls to customer service minutes after an order is placed. QuickBooks is simply not designed to handle processes such as these.

As a fast-growing company with more complex business processes to manage, it's time to migrate to an ERP system that can address the issues of today, not the ones that "once were." Contact us today to learn how Daston's BPO Bundle for Accounting can help your growing company gain the full capabilities of NetSuite, at a price that is comparable to QuickBooks

Gain Access to Important Google Tools with Daston's BPO Bundle for Accounting

5/7/2021

When you purchase Daston's BPO Bundle for Accounting for your growing enterprise – your employees gain access to Google Workplace Starter Edition for just $6 per user, per month. This cloud-based productivity suite is used by more than five million organizations worldwide, from large banks and retailers to fast-growing startups. So, how can Google Workplace Starter Edition help your growing GovCon or small business?

Provides First Class Tools

Businesses of all sizes are looking for tools that enable fast, flexible collaboration – when, where, and how people need it. Google workspace brings together the productivity tools users know and love – like video, chat, email, and tasks – so remote teams can embrace more real-time collaboration, engage in richer, more seamless communication, and make the most of their workday.

These top-ranked tools include:

  • Gmail Business email

  • Google Meet video and voice conferencing for 100 participants

  • 30 GB of Google Drive secure cloud storage

  • Google Chat team messaging

  • Google Calendar shared calendars

  • Collaborative content creation with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

  • 24/7 Google customer support

Enhances Productivity and Collaboration

By utilizing these tools, your company can enhance productivity and collaboration. Google Workspace is designed to help teams work together in new, more efficient ways, no matter where members are located or what device they happen to use.

Keeps Data Safe

At Google, security is a priority and is the cornerstone of the account controls, compliance audits, and certifications they offer to customers like you.

Security features include:

  • 2-step verification

  • Group-based policy controls

  • Google's Advanced Protection Program

  • Google's Fundamental Endpoint Management controls

No matter where employees are working, these features ensure your data is kept safe.

Daston's BPO Bundle for Accounting, including Google Workspace, can help deliver more value in the areas that employees and companies care about most. Help your employees ramp up productivity and collaboration, while you gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing your data is safe and secure. To learn more about our BPO Bundle for Accounting, contact Daston today!

DCAA Compliance FAQ

4/22/2021

1) What is outsourced compliance accounting?

Outsourced compliance accounting provides companies with professionals outside of their organization who can:

  • Set up DCAA-compliant accounting systems

  • Provide monthly ongoing outsourced accounting services

  • Tabulate accounts payable and receivable

  • Prepare invoices

  • Administer timesheets

  • Tabulate company financials

  • Provide financial services for seniors

  • Handle KPI reporting

  • Monitor policies and procedures

  • Augment staff

2) How are smaller government contractors meeting DCAA requirements with NetSuite?

Utilizing NetSuite's BPO program, contractors can procure the NetSuite ERP solution and its DCAA compliance SuiteApp (called "GovCon Essentials") for mere pennies on the dollar. This solution includes:

  • DCAA-compliant timekeeping

  • Labor dilution and distribution

  • Cost allocations

  • Government contract billing and revenue calculations

  • Formal project and indirect cost reporting

  • Industry-specific KPIs and leading practices

To learn more about The Daston Corporation's BPO bundle, click here for more information.

3) What are the benefits of GovCon compliance-ready software?

Improves Visibility

With an ever-changing business environment, getting timely visibility into your business operations is really crucial. To be best-in-class in the GovCon industry, you must have:

  • Real-time business intelligence - Enables instant knowledge of how your government contracts are doing in the present moment.

  • Self-service reporting - You cannot afford to wait for someone else to build the project status reports you need.

  • Integrated user experience - Gives you everything you need to manage responsibly by choosing the right course of action.

  • Shared view of the data - Provides consistent and reliable data across the business, so you can act without worrying whether your colleagues are making decisions using information that is different from yours.

  • Role-based dashboards - Provides information that is relevant to you and your responsibilities.

  • Summary to detail - Enables transparency into the underlying data and its context to better understand what's going on.

Increases Profitability

Today, organizations are looking for solutions that are much more compatible with making decisions at the speed of thought, that can cater to everyone in the organization. This is why GovCon Essentials is designed to run your business - not just manage your financials. This solution:

  • Forms the dynamic core of your operational systems with a single data store and a unified data model.

  • Comes with built-in GovCon industry functionality, allowing you to manage effectively across all your business processes.

  • Is centered around key workflows and a role-based interface that works for all users, not just those in the finance department.

  • Offers a customizable dashboard, reports, and alerts, giving managers access to critical information on budget vs. actual costs and profits by department, customer, and project.

  • Allows users to react quickly, make actionable decisions, and drive cost efficiency and improved profit.

Mitigates Risk Through Built-in Charging Controls

This helps with:

  • Contract-specific project types

  • Timekeeping

  • Project Expenses

Ensures Transactions Retain Accuracy

This is accomplished through:

  • Alerts for non-compliance

  • Exception reports

4) Why is GovCon subject matter expertise so important?

Leveraging the leading practices in your industry can give you a leg up as you compete in the fierce GovCon marketplace. Managing basic and complex accounting tasks can be time-consuming. Automating business processes and outsourcing compliance accounting can maximize your time, enabling you to better grow your business and focus on market trends, cost competitiveness, and operational delivery excellence.

5) What are the risks of non-compliance?

During your analysis, you may find gaps in your ERP system's ability to meet DCAA's compliance requirements and/or its' ability to assist you in achieving or maintaining compliance. Because penalties associated with non-compliance can be severe, you may find yourself highly incentivized to put remedies in place prior to your audit. For further guidance on operating in a DCAA-compliant environment and penalties for non-compliance, please click here.

(FAR) Compliant Software and Passing (DCAA) Audits

4/20/2021

"Where Quick Script Solutions Fail"

Overview

Thousands of clients use NetSuite as their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system of choice to manage their businesses. The Daston Corporation provides the only application “Built for NetSuite” that ensures U.S. Federal Government Contractors can obtain and maintain Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) compliance. Daston is committed to providing “NetSuite Compliance Ready Software” as part of our DCAA-on-Demand SuiteApp and service offerings.

SDN Partner SuiteApps

“Built for NetSuite” is a NetSuite initiative to educate and consult with SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN) Partners in accordance with the mandated goal to provide quality SuiteApps to NetSuite customers. This goal is to ensure that SDN Partner solutions meet the same level of standards for security, data privacy, and overall quality as the solutions offered by NetSuite.

Ensuring software that is developed using the same code as NetSuite, leveraging its’ existing account, project, and classification structures while enhancing and extending NetSuite’s native functionality (without taking anything away). In short, it ensures that custom scripts (individual or bundled) are not passed off as “Built for NetSuite.” software.

Quality Control and Support

All SDN Partners are required to complete the “Built for NetSuite” review process for each of their SuiteApps prior to going to market with their products. The program continues to provide SDN Partners with educational advantages through the principles and guidelines published in the "SuiteApp Architectural Fundamentals & Examples", or SAFE, guide. Once obtained, the BFN approval status must be renewed in each new NetSuite product release cycle, which is semi-annual.

Daston’s Software Subscription Agreement ensures the quality and support of its’ software for the life of the subscription. This includes changes and updates required to meet future releases of FAR, CAS, and NetSuite. With our Service Level Agreement, you never have to be concerned that your SuiteApp will work as NetSuite and regulations change over time or if you will be supported should you encounter an immediate need in its’ use.

GovCon Accounting and Regulations

The DCAA-on-Demand SuiteApp was built specifically for Government Contractor (GovCon) Accounting and has the systematic tools needed to obtain and remain compliant. The below provides more information on the sources used for ensuring compliance and the governing bodies.


Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA)

The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) provides audit and financial advisory services to the Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal entities responsible for acquisition and contract administration. DCAA operates under the authority, direction, and control of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)/Chief Financial Officer.

  • Information for Contractors:

https://www.dcaa.mil/Customers/Small-Business/

NOTE: This whitepaper addresses all areas identified in the above guidance for an acceptable accounting system and can be used a resource to support your system documentation as you address your DCAA audit(s).


Cost Accounting Standards

The Cost Accounting Standards Board (as presently constituted) is located within the Office of Federal Procurement Policy under the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Cost Accounting Standards Board has issued the Cost Accounting Standards (‘CAS’), which have been incorporated into the Federal Acquisition Regulations (‘FAR’) and are incorporated by reference into most Federal Government Contracts. Please note that not all Federal government contracts are covered by the CAS and not all Federal government contractors must comply with the CAS. For more information on CAS, please seek guidance from your Accountant.

  • Information for Contractors:

https://www.dcaa.mil/Portals/88/Documents/Guidance/CAM/Chapter_08_-_Cost_Accounting_Standards.pdf?ver=2019-10-10-155312-227

DFARS 252.242-7006 – Definition of an accounting system

“The contractor’s system or systems for accounting methods, procedures, and controls established to gather, record, classify, analyze, summarize, interpret, and present accurate and timely financial data for reporting in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and management decisions, and may include subsystems for specific areas such as indirect and other direct costs, compensation, billing, labor, and general information technology.”

DCAA-on-Demand for Netsuite provides the system automation to assist you in obtaining and retaining a DCAA “approved accounting system”. Your company will be responsible for utilizing the tools and systems within your internal control infrastructure to ensure the methods, procedures, and controls are in place to meet DCAA’s terms for an approved system.

Approved Accounting System Requirements (FAR/CAS)

Linked here is a summary of the key criteria for an approved accounting system.

Executive Summary

To summarize, a set of custom scripts is not a substitute for compliant accounting software. Doing the due diligence before procuring a solution is an important step to ensure your ERP system can meet your FAR/CAS requirements today and well into the future as your company grows. The Daston Corp highly recommends that you perform a system’s gap analysis as part of your ERP Software Evaluation. Feel free to use the above matrix and have your potential vendors provide their method for addressing the FAR and CAS requirements of a successful system. Knowing before you procure about how the software will address these key requirements will go a long way in making your most informed decision concerning your new GovCon compliant software.

Partner Profile: Daniel Kim/Chevron and Rockers, LLP

4/5/2021

As the managing partner of Chevron and Rockers, LLP in Columbia, Maryland, Daniel Kim has proven to be an important Accounting Service Provider (ASP) and partner to Daston and our clients over the past two years. Daniel and his colleagues provide invaluable implementation services for several of our government contracting clients with a key focus on compliance, including Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) requirements.

Daniel is such a tremendous asset to our clients because of the breadth and depth of his government accounting experience. As an MBA, CPA, and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Daniel worked directly for DCAA for 10 years as a technical specialist and supervisory auditor, before starting his own accounting services business for government contractors and grant recipients in 2016. He has gone on to consult with more than 10 Daston GovCon clients and continues to work with five of them today.

Once a Daston customer decides to implement one of our accounting software packages, Daniel and his team are brought in to help install the system and train the customer’s accounting and implementation teams to use it properly. Understanding how a new system processes FAR and DCAA compliance information is especially crucial, and Daniel and his team carefully walk customers through these steps and other vital functionalities - becoming a key resource for them, even after the implementation is complete.

During COVID times, these processes have been conducted virtually, with Daniel and his team training sometimes hundreds of new users via Zoom, many of whom are located thousands of miles away! Yet, Kim finds the whole process exciting, and mutually beneficial for both his business and for Daston’s. In fact, several Daston customers have called upon Chevron and Rockers to take on additional accounting duties such as timekeeping, payroll, and invoicing once their training was complete “based upon the confidence we built with them during the implementation,” he said.

As a venerable accounting systems expert, Kim has observed three things that make Daston’s Oracle NetSuite offerings so beneficial for GovCons:

1) The automation exceeds the competitors’ systems – According to Kim, “although there is the burden of complexity in the implementation, enduring the burden is an accurate and full automated, convenient job-costing system.”

2) The NetSuite base provides unlimited capabilities – Beyond job-costing, there are “so many possibilities with the various NetSuite modules. This is really the beauty of the system,” Kim said.

3) Real-time improvements can be made as customers’ demands change – “Throughout implementation [the Daston team] is not only responsive but extremely capable of finding solutions and improvements to the system, which makes the capabilities that much stronger,” he said. “This is yet another thing that makes Daston’s NetSuite solution stand out.”

Overall Kim has been “so happy” to work with Daston and has the “highest respect for the technical support, project, and leadership of the company. This is why I hope to continue working with Daston and remain a valued partner for them and their clients in the years to come.”

Are you interested in becoming a Daston accounting services provider? Contact Sheila Tomlinson at sheila.tomlinson@daston.com to learn how partnering with Daston can benefit your enterprise!

Daston's BPO Accounting and Software Bundle vs. the Competition - Why Choose Us?

March 16, 2021

Analysis paralysis is a real problem – especially when you are a government contractor seeking the right outsourced accounting solution for your small to medium-sized business. Yet real differences do exist. While the Daston Corporation is proud to offer GovCon outsourced accounting services and a secure, cloud-based, federally compliant accounting solution that allows for a fully remote workforce at an exceptionally low cost – where do we stack up with regard to the competition? Let’s take a closer look…


Daston’s GovCon Essentials: Cloud-based, Nimble and Affordable

At the Daston Corporation, we are a government contractor (GovCon) ourselves and are deeply familiar with the ins and outs of doing business with the federal government. Our GovCon Essentials BPO ERP Solution is powered by Oracle NetSuite and was built BY GovCons FOR GovCons. Our solution is an extremely customizable and 100 percent Cloud-based (vs. Cloud-hosted) Software as a Service (or SaaS), that is easy to use for users and administrators working anywhere. Daston's BPO bundle is a comprehensive package that includes Outsourced Accounting Services, Daston System Consulting, and GovCon Essentials powered by NetSuite.

Our BPO Bundle is a full compliance solution that includes both the services and software needed to obtain and maintain Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) compliance and Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) compliance. Our clients gain access to pre-negotiated, fully vetted, and experienced managed accounting service providers – in addition to the software that pulls it all together. Our accounting service providers are highly qualified GovCon accounting experts, who are experienced and trained on GovCon Essentials. Be sure to compare apples to apples in your evaluation. Plan to compare the true cost of ownership for software plus accounting services with our competitors and you will see that Daston’s BPO Bundle is an outstanding value. Our providers offer a full range of services to maximize the use of your GovCon Essentials ERP software, and our solution is priced less than the cost of a full-time account services clerk!

Deltek Costpoint: Cloud-Hosted, Rigid and Overpriced

Deltek Costpoint is the “Granddaddy” of project-focused software. While their solution has been around the longest, it cannot provide the modern and flexible, cloud-based features that Daston’s NetSuite solution can. Deltek is now part of a holding company that diverts its resources to many other sister companies (several of whom use Oracle NetSuite themselves.) Costpoint is not a SaaS, but rather is “cloud-hosted” by Amazon Web Services. Cloud-hosted solutions are often more expensive to purchase up-front, more costly to maintain, and more expensive over time. This high cost of ownership may explain why Costpoint software is often more expensive than its competition. Plan to add the cost of a third-party report writing tool and an administrator for both Costpoint and to write the complex reports needs to access its’ underlying architecture.


Additionally, when compared to GovCon Essentials, Costpoint lags in its business management offerings such as a modern, relational database for easy report building and saved searched within NetSuite; over 250 plus out-of-the-box GAAP reports and ability to offer custom workflows, flexibility, and easy tracking of key GovCon leading practices and KPI’s.


Intuit Quickbooks: Bargain Solution with No Capabilities for Growing GovCons

Intuit’s Quickbooks is bargain-priced and best suited for small businesses and gig workers – not rapidly growing GovCons. Offering only basic accounting capabilities, Quickbooks is able to provide basic add-on modules and compliance assistance; but does not offer modern and flexible cloud-based technology or dashboard capabilities that allow for easy building and customization of management tools to track KPI's and other business-specific objectives.


Intacct Sage: Older Solution with No Compliance Tracking Capabilities

Sage by Intacct is a basic accounting software that is moderately priced and does not offer many bells and whistles, including compliance tracking capabilities. This is clearly a “no-go” for any growing GovCon that is looking to stay compliant while working within the Federal Government.


Jamis: Decent but Limited Package, Not Suited for Scalability or Growth

While Jamis’ accounting ERP solution features a pleasant look and feel, it has limitations, including very few report-writing capabilities. The solution is moderately priced and may be a good fit for smaller GovCons, but is not suited for scalability or growth – nor is it likely to perform for the lifetime of a growing business.


Microsoft Dynamics: Partially-Built Solution that May or May Not Be Compliant

Microsoft’s Dynamics software is preferred by many CPA firms who sell consulting services; however, it is not a fully-built solution and requires sizable consulting funds to customize for GovCons. Add-on and compliance capabilities are available, however, additional consulting or development investment will be required. This solution would work well for GovCons who have their own software developers on staff.


In the end, Daston’s GovCon Essentials BPO, powered by NetSuite is a solid investment for any growing GovCon looking for a state-of-the-art, Cloud-based ERP solution that offers ease of use, better time-to-value, and lower total cost of ownership. Our complete solution goes beyond simple accounting functions and will keep your enterprise compliant, while also offering the comprehensive accounting services, system consulting services, and Cloud-based tools your growing GovCon needs. Plus, it’s developed BY GovCons FOR GovCons!


To learn more, click here to see a matrix of how our BPO service offerings compare to those of our competitors.

Automate Your Project Accounting Processes and Watch Your Profits Soar

February 16, 2021


When Capturing the real costs in a services business, project activities need to be connected with company financials to ensure accurate accounting and billing throughout. However, retaining tight financial control across all projects can be time-consuming and challenging when the right tools and processes are not in place. What are some of the challenges that can arise when your project data isn’t integrated with your financial systems and how can they be addressed? Read on...


1) Process Controls

When organizations keep project financials and company financials separate, project revenue will not be accurately represented, which can hinder growth. When project managers and consultants input timesheet data, it goes through a lengthy approvals process, which can affect cash flow if the projects are not tied into core financial systems. Such an approach can make it harder to accurately forecast throughout the project cycle and connect key costs to revenue and the general ledger - thus determining the profitability of a project is very difficult.


2) Manual Billing and Invoicing

Often, companies rely on disorganized processes such as email or phone to communicate between project teams and finance about when billing needs to occur. This can create problems when tracking projects and company financial data and performance. It can also be a drag on time, creating inefficiencies like long approval processes, slower cash flow and greater days sales outstanding.


3) Recognizing Revenue

When the proper processes are not set up, recognizing revenue can become a manual process just as billing and invoicing is. This manual effort can lead to under-reported financials and compliance issues, which can then create risks like audit discrepancies, spreadsheet errors and even a need to restate earnings. When revenue isn’t accurately tracked or is out of compliance, fines can result.


4) Monitoring and Reporting

Projects demand frequent reporting to ensure that they are on track financially and meeting deliverables. However, it can be hard to track and report on what is happening with project financials by merely using spreadsheets alone. Without the right tools to help project budget variances or show KPIs through a project summary or profitability report, project invoicing can quickly become problematic.


However, Daston can help your company avoid these challenges by installing NetSuite’s Project Accounting product. By connecting project activity with company financials, services organizations like yours can use project accounting software to determine the status of direct costs, overhead costs, and any revenues that their specific projects are generating. Such software helps organizations control revenue leakage and achieve higher profitability by automating key project components of projects, connecting them to financials. This allows companies to:

  • Gain a complete view of a project’s financial health by capturing all project costs.

  • Maintain project profitability with reports on project budgets vs. actuals so that organizations can adjust forecasts and budgets when strategies shift.

  • Benefit from flexible and automated billing and invoicing with billing rules and practices to help provide better control of the process and generate invoices easier.

  • Manage revenue recognition easily, so that project communication is simplified to automate the creation of compliant journal entries


NetSuite’s project accounting solutions can integrate with your company’s general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, purchase orders, and inventory management to empower visibility, productivity, and efficiency throughout.


To learn how Daston can implement a NetSuite solution that can easily automate your company’s project accounting and invoicing systems - contact us today!



FPA&A Trends for 2021

February 16, 2021


As a government contractor and/or an accounting BPO, you can take pride surviving 2020, which was easily one of the most volatile years on record. Chances are, you relied heavily upon your financial planning and analysis (FP&A) teams throughout the ups and downs of the year to provide quick insights into forecasts, operational performance and data-driven answers to make important decisions. Now that the first quarter of 2021 is underway, here’s what you can expect from an FP&A perspective, according to our partners at Oracle NetSuite...


1) Fixed Costs will continue to face scrutiny

In times of uncertainty, organizations must turn a critical eye toward which costs can be cut, without harming the future of the company. FP&A teams must continue to monitor several categories continually, including payroll and benefits, outsourcing, cost of operations, supplier contract terms and culture expenses. This scrutiny will continue and may be more extreme this year.


2) Organizations will cut legacy systems

FP&A teams cannot afford to be slowed down by old legacy systems any longer. In 2021, organizations will need to either enhance or eliminate systems that cannot keep up. Additionally, they will need to either create efficiencies in their processes - including

migrating to cloud-based planning and budgeting solutions, such as those offered by

Oracle NetSuite. These tools allow for better remote access and greater collaboration for

companies of all sizes.


3) Agility becomes a priority

Now more than ever, it is important for FP&A teams to adjust to plans quickly and communicate insights early and often. These teams must continue to enhance technological capabilities that allow organizations to reduce planning cycle times, improve forecast accuracy, deliver insights quickly, and proactively plan as the world changes quickly.


4) Strong but flexible financial planning becomes vital

2020 forced FP&A teams to rethink the art of prediction, and highlight the importance of mitigating risk. Organizations faced additional strains on their financial planning and forecasting processes, which will likely continue in 2021. Throughout 2021, there will be an increased focus on driver-based modeling and collaboration with those most familiar with a defined driver. Additionally, planning teams will rely even more heavily on external economic drivers.


NetSuite’s Planning and Budgeting solutions are easy to use and deploy. They eliminate manual

data entry, with reporting at your fingertips and no need to worry about who gets what data when.

Plus, it’s easy to include everyone within the company who needs to be involved in the planning

process. Contact Daston today to learn how an Oracle NetSuite Planning and Budgeting solution can work for your enterprise!



3 Things You Need to Know When Planning a Compliant Time Capture System

February 12, 2018

DastonDCAA

Being a Government Contractor means needing to ensure timesheet compliance. Although systems themselves cannot be certified as compliant, the right systems built with the right solutions can make your job of producing compliant results, much easier.

When planning a federal government compliant Time capture system, there are a few factors you need to consider:

  1. An Organization’s projected growth plan. The design and implementation of a system should factor in the future growth expectations of. your organization. Doing so will help prevent your organization from out growing the current design in the short-term business operations by making room for expected growth.

  2. Current use of Manual tracking and reporting. Manual tracking and reporting tends to engulf large amounts of time and risk of inaccuracies.

  3. Reconciliations between ancillary systems. Although the comfort of spreadsheets is prevalent in smaller organizations, the pros and cons of manual spreadsheets and reports need to be weighed. An ancillary system source for details ultimately will require manual reconciliations between the timesheet labor reported, the project management reports, as well as the financial and indirect reporting.

While it is known a software system alone is not certified as a compliant time capture system by the federal government. The software product design, implementation and well defined internal policy and procedures combined for a purpose-built system results in a federal government compliant timesheet and utilization reporting tool. Daston’s DCAA-on-Demand SuiteApp, built on NetSuite for Government Contractors by Government Contractors, is specialized in these areas to provide a solution for federal contractor timesheet and reporting compliance.


You Can’t Run Government Like a “Great American Company”…. but what can be done also applies to GovCon….

June 7, 2017

DastonDCAA

Being a Government Contractor means needing to ensure timesheet compliance. Although systems themselves cannot be certified as compliant, the right systems built with the right solutions can make your job of producing compliant results, much easier.

When planning a federal government compliant Time capture system, there are a few factors you need to consider:

  1. An Organization’s projected growth plan. The design and implementation of a system should factor in the future growth expectations of. your organization. Doing so will help prevent your organization from out growing the current design in the short-term business operations by making room for expected growth.

  2. Current use of Manual tracking and reporting. Manual tracking and reporting tends to engulf large amounts of time and risk of inaccuracies.

  3. Reconciliations between ancillary systems. Although the comfort of spreadsheets is prevalent in smaller organizations, the pros and cons of manual spreadsheets and reports need to be weighed. An ancillary system source for details ultimately will require manual reconciliations between the timesheet labor reported, the project management reports, as well as the financial and indirect reporting.

While it is known a software system alone is not certified as a compliant time capture system by the federal government. The software product design, implementation and well defined internal policy and procedures combined for a purpose-built system results in a federal government compliant timesheet and utilization reporting tool. Daston’s DCAA-on-Demand SuiteApp, built on NetSuite for Government Contractors by Government Contractors, is specialized in these areas to provide a solution for federal contractor timesheet and reporting compliance.


Explore how NetSuite and Daston enable government contractors to run their entire business with a single integrated platform

March 27, 2017

https://youtu.be/XqKPovvp6YU


Unified Data Management- The Asset Often Overlooked at a Costly Price

February 23, 2017

What is UDM?

Per Philip Russom of The Data Warehousing Institute, unified data management is the concept of managing data as an organizational asset with the ultimate goal of achieving strategic, data-driven business objectives, such as fully informed operational excellence and business intelligence, plus related goals in governance, compliance, business transformation, and business integration.

Why should we care?

Per his article, data-driven business initiatives (including BI, CRM, regulatory compliance, and business operations) suffer due to low data quality and incomplete information, inconsistent data definitions, noncompliant data, and uncontrolled data usage. UDM helps avoid these problems, plus it enables “big picture” data-driven business methods such as data governance, data security and privacy, operational excellence, better decision-making, and leveraging data as an organizational asset.

What does it look like?

For the platform to be truly unified, all tools in the portfolio should share a common graphical user interface (GUI) for development and administration, servers should interoperate in deployment, and all tools should share key development artifacts (such as metadata, master data, data profiles, data models, etc.) as the article illustrates.

To read the full research paper, access this link:

UDM

What is the cost of overlooking it?

When high-growth companies have several siloed applications, there are many business challenges that arise. These challenges can become so severe, that they can cripple growth. Below is a summary of at least four main issues that can hinder your growth if you run a business with disparate business software systems.

Wasted Employee Productivity: When your company is in growth mode, every employee must be operating at optimal productivity. If your employees are bogged down with inefficient and disjointed processes, it increases errors and takes time away from their more important core duties. Important processes such as order processing, invoicing, expense approvals, and fulfillment, to name a few, can take a lot longer to get completed, and are often erroneous. For instance, your employees may be spending hours manually re-entering order information into the accounting and invoicing system, while other employees pull that same information from your CRM system for their order fulfillment processes and to calculate sales commissions. If any orders are canceled in the meantime, your employees have to sift through mounds of data to reconcile this information again. Such labor-intensive and manual tasks reduce the agility that your company needs to grow.

Lack of Real-time Visibility: When software systems are un-integrated, you have multiple overlapping databases, and cannot easily get a view of business performance in a timely fashion. Reports showing performance across your finance, sales, marketing, service, and fulfillment departments are crucial to giving you an integrated view of your company’s operations. Most companies simply give up on acquiring this information on a regular basis because of the amount of time it takes to source, extract and analyze this data. For those that do, countless hours are wasted trying to tie unrelated, error-prone, and out of date information together. Consequently, businesses either end up making critical decisions slowly, based on inaccurate information, or they make hasty and risky decisions off of gut instinct.

Integration Complexity and Cost: With so many disparate applications, IT wastes an enormous amount of time and money on integrating, maintaining, and acquiring new versions of these applications. Often times, once new versions are purchased, even more integration and maintenance needs to be performed for all the different versions of software to work together. Consequently, valuable IT time that could be used to make the business more productive is wasted, while maintenance costs skyrocket.

Increased Customer Churn: Customer acquisition and revenue growth are key pillars to your company’s continued success. With fierce competition, it is essential that your company provide an exceptional customer experience or risk having customers take their business elsewhere. When customers are unable to quickly get information on their order status, can’t get issues resolved in a timely manner, or have to frequently deal with products being out of stock, they will be less satisfied and less likely to continue purchasing from you. An integrated software system ensures that customers have the right information and customer experience and that your employees have the instantaneous access to all the customer information they need to service and sell to your customers.

Conclusion

Today, companies in virtually every industry are using sophisticated business software to fuel their growth but many are still struggling to keep up with their growth and manage costs effectively because of a hodge-podge of disconnected functional systems causing process bottlenecks and employee productivity issues. Unified platforms are transforming how companies run, and enabling them to transcend growing pains that previously were holding them back from taking their business to the next level of profitable growth.

To learn more, either respond directly to this post or email sheila.tomlinson@daston.com for more information.

5 Ways Technology is Transforming GovCon Management Practices……

January 25, 2017

Here are just some of the benefits managers are experiencing with modern ERP solutions……..

Improves Visibility: by adding new functionality that captures total costs of projects through actual payroll cost and indirect cost allocations directly to the associated projects and tasks

Enables Efficiency: Enhances and extends billing, unbilled and revenue processes to accommodate all government vehicles to include Cost Reimbursable, Fixed Price and Cost Reimbursable calculations and formats

Improves Profitability: Empowers project managers with project inquires and reports in real-time, giving them instant visibility into summary or transaction details needed to make timely decisions, effect change and manage project costs and profitability

Mitigates Risk: Enhances existing timesheets to comply with DCAA timekeeping regulations and enables project specific charging controls that enforce your companies’ government contracting vehicle requirements

Is DCAA Compliance Ready: Let’s face it – CAS and FAR standards and regulations can and have changed over the years impacting GovCon business and accounting practices. Technology assists users in meeting these guidelines today and in the future.

To explore how Netsuite with DCAA-on-Demand can bring these benefits to your company please call or email sheila.tomlinson@daston.com for more information.


Oracle + Netsuite: The Long-Term Vision

December 29, 2016

In his compelling TED Talk, Martin Reeves discusses how his research has proven that business’ that model the human immune system stand the test of time (see link):

The 100 Year Business

Given the latest information about Oracle’s acquisition of Netsuite (see Link):

Oracle + Netsuite

I decided to test the hypothesis and came away with an even greater respect for this union.

Redundancy– Netsuite will be well positioned using Oracle’s global reach as a Best-in-Class Cloud Services provider with millions of copies of each component in the Cloud. Expect major growth in global markets as this union promises to replicate\evolve solutions in order to provide coverage for every customer in every geography.

Diversity– Netsuite’s unified platform will be expanded to new industries. With Oracle stating that every industry and every market will be covered from startup businesses to global enterprises. To back the claim Oracle promises significant R&D dollars for both the Netsuite and Oracle platforms.

Modularity– More emphasis will be placed on adding resources both natively and through strategic partnerships. Deeper product specialization will be realized via Suiteapps and their modules with specific vertical focus.

Adaptive– As market leaders Oracle and Netsuite understand, leverage and plan to remain on the cutting edge of technologies with expansions in Software-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, and Platform-as-s-Service capabilities. Netsuite’s ability to span a wide range of industries will continue with Netsuite’s Solution and Software Development Partner Programs investing in implementation and SuiteApp technology and reach as well.

Prudence– The union will continue to monitor technology disruption, detect and react to every threat over the long-term. Unlike other software companies that have had to abandon software platforms due to their dependencies on decommissioned third-party solutions; Oracle is the platform for Netsuite.

Embeddedness– Oracle + Netsuite will ensure that their systems are embedded in a platform that will allow for currently available integrations and those not yet imagined.

The scientist in me is well satisfied with my hypothesis conclusion, Oracle + Netsuite is indeed a union fit for a 100 year company!

To learn more, either respond directly to this post or email sheila.tomlinson@daston.com for more information.

Your DCAA System Audit- “When Failure Is Not An Option”

November 30, 2016

As government contractors, we have either experienced this audit or have it looming in our near future. This article is intended as a refresher for those who have experienced the audit and a helpful resource for those who are anticipating it.

To start, it’s important to know who will be auditing your company and by what authority.

Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA)

The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCA) provides audit and financial advisory services to Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal entities responsible for acquisition and contract administration. DCAA operates under the authority, direction, and control of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)/Chief Financial Officer.

Next, you will want to explore any guidance the agency offers about the audit and what to expect during the auditing process.

Please feel free to reference the following website link for:

Accounting System Requirements

http://www.dcaa.mil/small_business/Accounting_System.pdf

Then you will want to perform an internal system’s gap analysis. If during your analysis you find any gaps in your ERP’s ability to meet DCAA’s compliance requirements and/or it’s ability to assist you in achieving and/or maintaining compliance. Weighing the fact that penalties associated with non-compliance can be severe; you may find yourself highly incentivized to put remedies in place prior to your audit. For further guidance on operating in a DCAA compliant environment and penalties for non-compliance, please access further information via this link:

Detailed Contractor Information

http://www.dcaa.mil/DCAAM_7641.90.pdf

In addition, please feel free to reach out to us for more information on how we can help you. We are happy to share our experience helping many Netsuite clients close their system gaps and pass the audit. As government contractor’s ourselves, we understand your situation and understand the pressure of operating in an environment where “failure is not an option.”

To learn more, either respond directly to this post or email sheila.tomlinson@daston.com for more information.

DCAA-on-Demand for Netsuite “A Whole New Cloud Based World”

October 17, 2016

The announcement on March 7, 2016 that Daston Corporation’s DCAA-on-Demand module received the “Built for NetSuite” verification is indeed tremendous news for Federal contractors. This news truly opens a “Whole New Cloud Based World” to companies that do business with the U.S. Federal Government. The new module leverages the inherent power of NetSuite, its SuiteApp logic and platform to provide the sorely needed Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) functionality for Federal contractors. In true SuiteApp fashion, the experience is seamless to the end-user and appears in the menu bar as additional modules to the already robust Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) capabilities that clients have come to expect from Netsuite. NetSuite with DCAA-on-Demand opens a new market of approximately 20,000 customers for Netsuite and its partner community.

To further, this new market is heavily weighted with government services, software and manufacture companies. These companies are typically involved in various fields, such as financial services, healthcare, defense, information technology, science and space technology with any combination of these business segments represented within the same company. These companies are but a subset of the Government Contractor Industry that spans small, medium and large contractors throughout the United States.

The greatest benefit of this new DCAA-on-Demand module is that it enables government contractors to meet Federal contractor regulatory compliance requirements. “Companies who do not routinely update their reporting and accounting practices are at risk of losing Federal contracts or paying thousands of dollars in fines.” “Daston DCAA, is a world-class fully customizable solution and paired with NetSuite brings one of the most compelling solutions for DCAA compliance in the cloud” said Gary Callen, President of Daston.

The module extends NetSuite’s Industry Specific Bundle Editions to meet Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) and to comply with DCAA regulations. DCAA-on-Demand benefits from the following:

  • Built entirely on the Netsuite Suiteflex Platform

  • Works with existing organizational structures and chart of accounts (COA) in Netsuite

  • Requires no additional Installation, Hardware or Software

  • Mirrors NetSuite’s Security Features

  • Enables Quick Responses to DCAA Auditor Inquiries

The DCAA On-Demand solution consists of integrated modules that support the following functionality:

  • Project Status Reports

  • Indirect Cost Allocation

  • Payroll Cost Allocation

  • DCAA Compliant Time Entry

To learn more, either respond directly to this post or email sheila.tomlinson@daston.com for more information.