Avocent

Z Option Simplifies Accounting and
Acquisitions for Avocent™

Customer Profile

With more than 1,800 employees, Avocent provides an industry-leading portfolio of software, hardware, and embedded technologies to enterprise-level IT organizations. Some of the world’s leading brands depend on Avocent technology to help them manage mission critical physical resources, in the data center, remote branch location, and at end point devices.

Avocent’s sales, operations and R&D centers are located globally, with U.S. headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama. Avocent Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emerson Electric Co.

Challenges

Avocent acquired SAP in 2000 and spent several years manually uploading journal entries into SAP. Eventually, the Accounting Department realized that this manual task was becoming too great to continue. Avocent also entered an acquisition phase, and they needed an efficient method for consolidating data from the acquired companies.

Solutions

Avocent chose GLSU from Z Option, which they considered a better option than creating their own solution.
“We process 500 or more journal entries per month,” says Amy Broadway, Senior Accountant, Avocent. “Everybody likes GLSU. In fact, many have never known life at Avocent without it. They just came in to this really cool tool and don’t know what it was like uploading the entries into SAP manually.”
GLSU is used across many areas of the accounting practice, including GL, AP, AR adjustments, and cross-company entries. (continued)

“We process 500 or more journal entries per month. Everybody likes GLSU. In fact, many have never known life at Avocent without it.”
– Amy Broadway, Senior Accountant, Avocent

Solution (cont’d)

Avocent mostly uses the General ledger functions of GLSU, with a workbook of 10 to 20 journal entries that are loaded, all at once. “When there are big adjustments at the end of the month, they link those up and they are ready to go,” Broadway says. Although changes to standard templates are minimal, when needed one person adds the fields and stores the templates in a folder on the drive. Within the templates, they use VLookups in Excel to pull in data for various cost centers, link sheets so they can refresh the source data, and add skip rows so they can add comments and more information. In AP, certain bills are paid with one GLSU template that is refreshed for different departments and companies instead of rekeying all the data. – for example, health insurance, cell phone bills, and American express – saving them several hours a month. Broadway says she can’t imagine reverting to errorprone manual uploads. “With GLSU, there are so many checks and balances you don’t waste time,” she says.

Results

Simplified Cross-Company Postings: We have 25 to 30 legal entities so we have a lot of inter-company activity. GLSU saves us a lot of time, especially in AP where we pay a lot of our invoices out of one company and just cross-charge the other company. GLSU really saves time in posting those invoices. GLSU makes crosscompany and inter-company postings easy.

Easy to Access Source Documents: Prior to GLSU, Avocent scanned the journal entries and stored them on an external drive (not in SAP). “It used to take one person a whole day to scan the entries in,” Broadway recalls. “With the attach source document feature, supporting documents are stored in SAP where they can be pulled up, printed and viewed. They are just a click away – extremely helpful when audit time comes up.”

Easy to Use and Customize: GLSU promotes data integrity through a pre-validation process that identifies the majority of errors in a pop-up box before posting, making line items easy to delete or correct.

Hassle-Free Training and Support: “Typically it takes very little time to train new users on GLSU because it’s very user friendly – usually less than an hour.” Likewise, Broadway calls the product support from Z Option “awesome.” She adds, “I haven’t logged many tickets, but replies are instantaneous and problems are usually resolved within an hour.”

“GLSU has helped us to become much more accurate and efficient, especially now in the crunch time we are experiencing. It gives us time to focus on other things that benefit the business.”
– Amy Broadway,
Senior Accountant, Avocent

Business Benefits

Broadway calls GLSU a real time-saver. With Avocent’s recent reductions in headcount, GLSU has helped them continue to meet productivity targets with limited personnel. “We’re a very lean group at this time, so every second we can save counts,” Broadway says. “We use GLSU to improve overall productivity. For example, with the volume of entries we have, it’s great to have everything in one place. It makes it fast and easy to find things.” When you’re processing as many journals as we have here, I can’t think of any better way than GLSU.”


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