Signal Peak Silica Experiences Better Reporting with Excel-based Solution Velixo
We recently sat down with Garrett Thompson, Chief Financial Officer, and Josh Moore, Vice President of FP&A and Treasury for Signal Peak Silica to find out more about their experience with Velixo – an Excel-based reporting software for Acumatica, MYOB Advanced, and CEGID.
Signal Peak Silica started in February 2019, following the restructuring of Preferred Sands. The three legacy Preferred in-basin sand facilities are now operating collectively as a separate Company under Signal Peak Silica. They focus on providing high-quality frac sand closer to the end-user and are committed to being a responsible and safe neighbor in the communities where they operate.
The restructuring of the entities brought new opportunities, challenges, and systems that needed to be put in place to enhance growth.
Soon after the merger, SP Silica implemented Acumatica, as they grew dramatically and needed more enhanced capabilities in their ERP system.
However it soon became apparent that the systems in place were not as efficient as they could be, and the process of financial reporting was becoming very time-consuming. “The implementation with Acumatica started with uploading old GL and it was the first function of the business. There is a big difference when you can simply refresh it from Excel to when you have to manually extract it, repopulate it in Excel, and then reconcile it back whenever the numbers change. That’s time-consuming and that added time decreased our ability to be efficient,” said Garrett.
Without having a specific Excel-based reporting tool, SP Silica was left to do a lot of data manipulation, which can often lead to mistakes and frustrated clients and accounting teams.
“As part of the financial reporting before we would hard code the trial balance into the reporting package and we wouldn’t be aware of any subsequent journal entries that would be made to it. There were times when a vendor would request a reporting package, we would send them the latest and greatest, and even if it was heavily qualified, we would learn after the fact that there were journal entries not included, and we would have to refresh those packages to resend to important stakeholders,” claims Josh.
According to Josh, without Velixo, SP Silica had their financial statements, the reporting, and mapping all ‘living’ in one Excel file on one employee’s computer. This meant that the data wasn’t communicated well within the team and any changes to the numbers were not automatic and therefore handled inefficiently.
“We needed something where we were able to pull in the classes and chart of accounts dynamically, meaning any changes were spread throughout the whole group, and we can all see the changes in real-time”.
Inefficiencies like these lead SP Silica to ask themselves – Is there a better way to do our reporting?
The missing link
After months of using Acumatica, SP Silica began searching for an Excel-based reporting solution with their Acumatica Partner AIM Solutions.
With employees across 3 plants, SP Silica needed something reliable and had a minimal learning curve. By partnering with Velixo, SP Silica was confident that they were always working with live data.
“Our Acumatica partner is AIM Solutions, and they spoke very highly of Velixo and Gabriel. We did look around and we saw nothing of comparison to Velixo services” said Garrett. “We had a call with Gabriel to discuss our needs and have a walk-through of the product. He was very responsive, and he looked at it from a consultant viewpoint, taking the time to understand our business and he implemented it based on our needs” said Garrett.
It was during this demo that Garret and Josh realized, this is what they were looking for.
“When we first started seeing the data being retrieved automatically, that’s when I knew this would make such a difference to our work and save us so much time”.
According to Josh, his favorite part of the process was Gabriel’s open-mindedness to suggestions, changes, and catering to the product for the client.
“One thing I have loved about implementing Velixo and working with Gabriel is that when he came here from Montreal, he was open to conversations and suggestions ‘Like wouldn’t it be cool if the system did this or that’…that was cool”.
Since implementing Velixo with Acumatica, SP Silica has seen major reporting improvements for their entire team. Finally, they found a solution that worked.
“Velixo has changed our monthly financial reporting system for the better.”
According to Josh, they have been able to streamline the entire reporting process for the accountants.
“Meetings have gone from 6 hours monthly, down to an hour and a half over lunch. It’s a much more seamless and quick process. It’s gotten better each time Velixo is updated” said Josh.
With Velixo, SP Silica can now query-specific GI’s and can build out vendor-specific spending reports. It allows them to go beyond just looking at the balance of their GL accounts, and they can get into a more detailed area of reporting, in less time.
“By having Velixo, our offices can have reports ready for management, in less than 15 business days. This used to be a 2 month process. It was very well received and recognized by management, and we will continue to push it forward and use it”.
“The financial reporting process is so much easier with Velixo. We have a good file set up that updates dynamically and we can populate financial statements, income statements, and balance sheets for any period instantly. It’s streamlined our work in a meaningful way,” said Josh.
With unlimited User Licensing, the entire team at SP Silica and their plant accountants have benefited from Velixo, making financial reporting streamlined, detailed, and accurate across the entire business.
“Velixo’s journal entry template will be really helpful for reconciling our books, auditing our financials, and our plant accountants have built some very robust Journal Entry templates that they use Velixo for outside of the month to month structured reporting. That’s been really helpful for us”.
With 750 million people across the globe, using Excel each day, it’s no surprise that many businesses want to continue reporting in this great tool. Being Excel-based, Velixo Reports allows you to use a system you already know and love. For SP Silica, who’s team needed a simple yet sophisticated product, an Excel-based tool like Velixo was the key.
“At my old job, the whole attitude towards Excel was that we needed to get past it, we need more reliable reporting system. We looked at lots of BI tools to meet those needs, but we must get into cell level detail.”
Velixo adds 60 extra functions to Excel, allowing you to work with a product that you know and love.
“Velixo allowed us to keep the reporting package format that the company has always had. In the meetings when we talk about P&L, everyone wants to know everything, and staying in Excel allows us to get all of that information immediately.”
Combining the power of Acumatica with the ease of Velixo Reports means the whole business can benefit, particularly the financial team.
“Combining Acumatica with Velixo has helped me do my job better because it’s eliminated manual errors, and I don’t surprise management with expenses and changes that are not picked up. All of the changes are picked up immediately and automatically,” said Josh.
What excites you about Velixo
With new features being added constantly, Velixo offers a wide range of added benefits to any business. Our simple functions remove the need for manual operations, complex calculations, or VLOOKUPs, giving you 100% accurate and fully drillable data without the need to manually update the spreadsheets to reflect the most current data. Relatively new to Velixo, SP Silica are still yet to explore the full capabilities of the product.
“We are very satisfied so far but I honestly don’t think we are using Velixo to its full extent and I am excited about that, I look forward to it. From my standpoint, the budget vs actual type reporting, being able to pull the data and have that uploaded in Acumatica and retrieve that is next. We would also like to build out management reports and utilize statistical accounts to show us different things within the business,” said Garrett.
Since implementing Velixo, SP Silica has realized that it would have greatly benefited them from implementing it at the same time as Acumatica.
“We would have benefited greatly from implementing Velixo at the same time as implementing Acumatica. We learned after the fact, the hard way, that some of the processes we had set up, would have benefited from better planning and we could have availed from Velixo earlier’ claimed Garrett.
We would like to thank SP Silica and Slap Five for this interview!