Does your Chart of Accounts still fit your Organisations Reporting Requirements?

Does your Chart of Accounts still fit your Organisations Reporting Requirements?

October 23rd, 2020

Are you able to output the reports that your business requires straight from your Unit4 Financials system, without resorting to end user computing? If not, then your current Chart of Accounts design may no longer be fit for purpose.

In Unit4 Financials (U4F) the chart of accounts is not just a list of GL codes. It encompasses all of the accounting codes in your business including cost centres, projects, vat rates, customers, suppliers, employees, etc. and It does this through its element structure.

Your information is held in a specific location in its element structure. Through the flexible nature of this design users are able to produce any number of customised reports to reflect the state of their business. To make the most of this level of flexibility it is vital that your element structure is optimised to produce the correct information with minimal manual intervention.

As your business grows, the nature of the reporting requirements changes, and so your original chart of accounts may no longer be suitable to support this. Whilst most small businesses initially set up their accounting to meet GAAP and FRS requirements, they can often overlook the importance of having a robust Management accounting structure .

Management Accounting allows you to create the financial reporting that provides you with the information to manage your business. With a properly designed chart of accounts you can fulfil both your internal management accounting and statutory reporting.

Remodelling your chart of accounts can allow you to produce both your management and statutory reporting using standard Unit4 Financials Functionality, such as generic browse. It will also allow you to use more powerful analytical tools like metadata queries to produce more value-added reporting.

A properly designed Managerial Accounting chart of accounts will provide the following:

Here at Millennium Consulting, we can help you design a new chart of accounts and element structure within U4F to reflect your current business needs. Our skilled staff can undertake workshops to understand your organisational reporting needs and create an element structure and chart of accounts that will drive your business. To discuss further or arrange a workshop, please reply to this email.

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If you would like any further information on this subject, please submit your details and one of our experts will be in touch.


The future of the cloud: key trends in focus

The future of the cloud: key trends in focus

October 5th, 2020

With IT departments facing budget pressures, we might have expected cloud adoption plans to be put on ice. But in fact, the opposite has been the case. Recent trends have shown that financial constraints actually strengthen the case in favour of cloud migration.

Here’s a closer look at why, despite a challenging business landscape, cloud-based digital transformation has continued apace…

The cloud and business survival
Business continuity was the big priority in the first half of the year. As lockdowns took hold, firms needed new solutions for communication, collaboration, as well as remote access to business data and applications. Cloud-based services proved pivotal in ensuring operational continuity.

In its global cloud services overview, Canalys found that spending on cloud infrastructure services jumped 11 percent in Q2 2020 compared to the previous three months, and was up 30 percent year-on-year.

Fast forward to the autumn, and most firms have already covered the basics to adjust to remote working. So does this mean we are about to witness a dampening down on cloud adoption? It seems not.

COVID-19 has forced organisations to reassess their strategic priorities. KPMG, in its recent Enterprise Reboot report found that whereas the emphasis back in March was on continuity, “the immediate focus is now on survival”. Companies are investing in the areas where their cash is likely to have the biggest positive impact.

This includes investment in technologies that help companies maintain customer and stakeholder trust, to keep remote workforces connected, and to ensure that businesses are prepared for further disruptions.

Business decision making is another priority area. To compete, businesses need the ability to react quickly to changing circumstances, which means the ability to query data at speed is essential. On top of this, IT architecture must be compatible with increasingly demanding data analytics methods.

It means that more than ever, organisations need data warehousing solutions that are powerful, scalable, flexible and secure. This is precisely the type of environment that the cloud can offer. 38% of companies plan to increase their cloud spend this year (up from 31% last year). Small wonder that cloud adoption is continuing apace.

Slow adopters change their attitude
Some sectors have been markedly more reluctant than others to embrace the cloud. Factors holding organisations back include regulatory compliance rules (especially over data storage), nervousness over data security, and fears over reliability and data availability.

The banking sector was traditionally seen more cautious than most when it came to the cloud. Now though, things are changing. As a couple of high profile examples, AWS has recently agreed a multi-year partnership with HSBC, while Google Cloud has linked up with Deutsche Bank. For the banks, the emphasis is on modernising their architecture, increasing their data analytics capabilities and creating a more personalised customer experience.

So what is driving the change of mind? Money plays a big part. Whether you’re a global bank or an SME, it’s often the case that switching to the cloud is a cheaper way to scale up your capacity and capabilities, compared to trying to overhaul your on-premise legacy architecture.

It’s also the case that the cloud itself has evolved. For instance, improved container technology makes it much easier to deploy multiple cloud providers as back up, significantly reducing the chances of an outage. On the security front, there’s also the realisation that tapping into the cyber security expertise of the likes of AWS, Google and Microsoft is likely to be a safer bet than relying solely on in-house security capabilities. As fears over reliability and security are reduced, the case in favour of the cloud becomes impossible to ignore.

Achieving success and managing expectations in 2020 and beyond
The cloud promises a lot. But organisations need to realise that cloud migration is not necessarily a quick fix for whatever challenges they happen to be facing.

A reminder of this came in a recent survey of 350 companies by security vendors Fortinet and supply chain specialists, IHS Markit. Of the respondents, 74% had migrated at least one asset into the cloud, only to later move it back into their on-premise infrastructure. The two top reasons for the reversal, cited by 52% of respondents, were performance and security.

Organisations migrate their data and applications to the cloud for a wide variety of reasons. For instance, it could be to support wider business transformation initiatives, to boost your storage capacity, to facilitate wider systems access, to reduce your IT spend – or a combination of all of these and more.

These days, with resources under pressure, it’s going to be more important than ever for businesses to take a planned, measured approach to cloud adoption. What do we expect from the cloud – and what do we want to do when we get there? Only once you have articulated this can you define the performance levels you need – and hone in on the specific cloud solutions you need in order to reach them.

Why Millennium Consulting?

Our cloud migration expertise – combined with innovative tools for data cleansing, mapping and reconciliation – ensure that your move to the cloud is as efficient and effective as possible.

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Looking for help with a move to the cloud? Submit your details and one of our experts will be in touch.


Millennium Million Step Challenge

Millennium Million Step Challenge

October 1st, 2020

Please support us with this worthwhile initiative! You are invited to take part in the Millennium Million Step Challenge to help us reach our combined overall target of 100 million steps by the end of the year whilst raising £10,000 for UK charity Shelter UK.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced funds raised by most charities this year and we expect that UK homeless people will be particularly affected this coming winter. We are now asking volunteers to support us by taking part in the Million Step Challenge to raise funds at the Millennium Million Step Challenge “Shelter” Just Giving page.

Download the ‘Move Spring’ app and join our challenge using this link: https://app.movespring.com/signup/confirm-organization and connect your fitness tracking device.

We have set a deadline of Sunday 13th December 2020 – join us today and you’ll need to walk an average of 13,700 steps per day to reach 1 million (73 days!) Walking 20,000 steps per day will take 50 days. The app will record yours and overall group steps so progress can be tracked towards the overall target of 100 million steps.

Ask your friends and families to sponsor you at our Just Giving page and/or also take part.


Unit4 Financials 2020 Webinar

Unit4 Financials 2020 Webinar

With twenty key new features and fixes included in the latest version of Unit4 Financials, we arranged a webinar with our Principle Consultant, Phil Leaf.

During this webinar, Phil explains the key new features including Element Authorisation and Anonymous Change Log and demos the changes to Year End including the Provisional Year End and Year End Undo.

This free webinar continues the series of Unit4 Financial events Millennium is running and will contribute to ensuring you operate an efficient finance function.

Recorded live on Thursday 24th September 2020. Rewatch, on demand below.

V2020 latest features include:

Element Authorisation

Give authorisers more information when approving accounts by displaying elements during a workflow authorisation.

Provisional Year End

Perform all your Year End processes without closing the year - allowing you to continue posting to that year.

Anonymise Change Log

Make GDPR compliance simpler, removing personally identifiable information from history and audit trail records.

Undo Year End

You can now undo both provisional and full Year End processes, giving you greater control and flexibility in your finance function.

VIEW ALL UPGRADE FEATURES

Does your Chart of Accounts still fit your Organisations Reporting Rquirements?

Is It Time to Upgrade Your Unit4 Financials Software?

READ OUR TIME TO UPGRADE DOCUMENT

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If you would like to book an online demo of Unit4 Financials 2020, or would like a quote for upgrading, please contact us via the form below.


Millennium Raising Futures Kenya Golf Day 2020

 Millennium Raising Futures Kenya Golf Day

September 29th, 2020

Following postponement in June on account of COVID-19, the annual Millennium Consulting Raising Futures Kenya Golf Day finally got underway last Friday at Surrey National Golf Club.

Millennium has supported Raising Futures Kenya (formerly Vision Africa) for over 15 years and thanks are due for the support of our corporate sponsors and the players who took part including special guest, former World Light Heavyweight Boxing Champion John Conteh.

The players faced cold weather, high winds but thankfully no rain. It was a Ryder Cup style Europe v USA team competition with the US team captained by Clive Hunt emerging as winners. The 4 ball team prize was won by Jono Hill’s team whilst Matt Sutton won the individual stableford prize with a creditworthy 41 points. Closest to the flag was Tom Edmonds whilst the longest drive was achieved by James Conteh who clearly packs a punch in common with his father John Conteh.

Following the golf and post round dinner, a short presentation was provided by Andy King, Board of Trustees Chair at Raising Futures Kenya, who shared an update about how the funds raised in 2019 have been spent. He explained that with lockdown forcing the closure of all Seed of Hope centres, the team has adapted their education programmes to provide young Kenyans with distance learning via smartphones. This has been a successful initiative although additional smart phones (costing £43 each) are needed so that the program can be extended to a larger number of students.

£3,000 was raised for the charity and we look forward to hearing how the funds are being used when we meet again next year. If you are interested in taking part in 2021 then please refer to www.millenniumconsulting.com for details and registration.