Embezzlement and Computer Software

Two companies I have met with in the last two years discovered embezzlement in the last few weeks. One was on the front page of one section of the local newspaper. The other was reported in confidence by a CPA friend.
Interestingly enough, I’ve been privy to information on about a half-dozen embezzlement cases in my 25 year career. A couple were clients; a couple were clients of friends; and a couple were businesses I’d met with during the years.
There is, however, a common thread in all these cases: in every case–100%–the computer systems the companies were operating with were out of date in some way. The businesses had all identified areas in which they wanted to improve their systems, but for one reason or another, had failed to do it.
Does this mean that the computer systems were the source of the fraud? No. I think it means that the fraudster didn’t want a detailed examination of the business processes, and didn’t want to put better data in the hands of management.
I think the real commonality in all of these situations was that management wasn’t managing with data.

Does How Software Looks Make a Difference?

In the most recent releases of two Microsoft products in the Dynamics line, the look and feel of the product has changed. For years, we’ve been using tabs to increase the number of things we could store on a single screen. Invoice information on one tab; shipping address on another.
Microsoft’s new interface is more like a web page, with tabs converted into collapsible sections. In the new CRM interface, there are links at the top left of the page that move you to individual tabs.
I think I like it. It seems to be more productive, and quicker. Take a look when you can. If you’re interesting in taking a look at the features of a couple of CRM systems, including the new Microsoft system, watch our newsletter for information. We’ll be starting a new series of webcasts in June.

Numbers Make a Difference

When I go to the doctor for a sore throat, they take my blood pressure, weight, oxygen saturation, respirations, and pulse. Usually before they are done, a needle has gone into my arm, a quart of blood has been withdrawn, and some very expensive tests have been run. My doctor stares at these numbers and then pronounces something profound like, “You’re healthy, but you need to take Vitamin D every day.”
When I was in public accounting, I remember delivering financial statements to clients. They were carefully bound, checked, and reproduced. The client would open the cover, read the “Accountants Report”…”These financial statements were examined in accordance with generally accepted…blah blah blah,” then open the bottom right drawer of the desk and deposit this year’s report right on top of last year’s.
Why do doctors manage by the numbers but businesses don’t?
I asked a distribution client the other day what their pipeline was. I was looking for a number! “Well,” said the president, “I have these sales managers. If I ask them, they could put together a spreadsheet in a couple of days. But the salespeople know their pipeline!”
Why don’t businesses manage by the numbers?
Actually, some do. For these, information technology is the secret to making their numbers each and every month. It’s the secret to keeping customer service high and communication with clients current. It’s the name of the game to them.
Want to manage by the numbers? Keep watching. We have some new opportunities for you!