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Flow-Rite controls design, manufacture, and market fluid control devices for lead acid batteries, recreational fishing boats, and laboratory use. They currently have about 130 employees and are located in Michigan, but they ship nationally and internationally.

Flow-Rite was actively looking for budget planning software to connect to their Epicor Kinetic system and help them upgrade their way of working with reports and budgets. Flow-Rite needed a solution that could help them move away from their spreadsheet way of working to a more structured and easily managed process to address their pain points.

The most important considerations for Flow-Rite were that they could find a budget planning software that could connect to their ERP system and could help them get the most accurate results on what’s happening to their business in real-time.

The Challenge

Temwani Mtonga is an accountant at Flow-Rite, and he describes their challenge as this:

"We were doing our budgeting process in Excel. This was a labor-intensive and cumbersome process. Coordinating the process took much work among the VPs to get inputs. Reviewing the budgets every month was also a chore. I had to physically go in there every month to get data out of Epicor, update the budgets and actuals, and make the comparison.

No one in the finance department liked Excel for all these. We all wanted to ease in creating budget reports. We wanted the ability to go into the system and access the budgets at any time.

We were longing for accessibility and visibility, and at the same time, we wanted people to see only the relevant figures so that we don't need to worry about people looking at numbers they aren't supposed to look at."

Temwani recalls how they learned about Epicor Financial Planning and Analysis (Epicor FP&A).

"We first saw Epicor FP&A at the Epicor Insights. The guys there were kind enough to demo Epicor FP&A for us, and my boss specifically loved what she saw. She saw all the possibilities. She really liked the budgeting workflow; she liked the graphs. She liked everything she saw within Epicor FP&A. We looked around and considered other options like Prophix, Power BI, and one internal Epicor solution. Based on what we saw at Insights, we knew Epicor FP&A fit our needs well."

The Implementation

"From the time we decided on going with Epicor FP&A until getting Epicor FP&A up and running, that process took about 2.5 months. We had an aggressive timeline, but setting up our chart of accounts correctly in our ERP system was the one that took the most time."

The implementation had its challenges, but the overall experience was positive. Temwani said, “We were quoted fifty-five hours to get Epicor FP&A up and running, but we used only forty-seven hours. So we still have eight unused hours."

According to Temwani, the Epicor FP&A team was very responsive. Whenever they needed something and had questions, the Epicor FP&A team was responsive and attended to their needs within 24 hours. On the implementation, Temwani says, "I felt like the training we got during the implementation was enough. We just needed time to get used to the system. This perhaps would have been easier if we had any experience with other systems, but because we are coming purely out of the Excel way of working, we needed time to wrap our head around a new way of navigating."

Once I finished the set-up in Epicor FP&A, creating budgets was just a few hours. You need to get the templates and change the year; that's it. So, in summary, three days of manual work in Excel down to just a couple of hours in Epicor FP&A is how I would quantify it.

On what they have learned after the implementation, the team at Flow-Rite said, "We would have benefited from a clearer and more documented way of setting up our Chart of Accounts before implementing Epicor FP&A. We implemented our ERP system years before we bought Epicor FP&A, but looking back, I just thought it would have been better if we knew this. Matching our ERP system to how Epicor FP&A looks at things was challenging.

For example, we had department codes for some things but not for others. That consistency would have been good. We had to do workarounds to make the data work cohesively. We were forced to rethink and redo things so that it worked better.

Ultimately, Epicor FP&A forced us to structure our Chart of Accounts (COA) to match our company's reporting set-up and the US GAAP."

Initial Experience with Epicor FP&A

Flow-Rite went live with Epicor FP&A in December 2021. It has been over 2 years since their Excel working method. They were able to do their budgeting for 2022 in Epicor FP&A.

They now use Epicor FP&A for budgeting and are transitioning to using Epicor FP&A for reporting. They prefer the web interface of Epicor FP&A, but they would also like to get comfortable with the Excel interface with time eventually.

Eight people are actively using Epicor FP&A within Flow-Rite. According to Temwani, "On-demand reports are so much easier to do in Epicor FP&A. If I am looking for a journal entry, it is a lot easier and quicker to find this in Epicor FP&A. The transaction details are better organized in Epicor FP&A, making it easier to find them. This required several steps in ERP before. Since using Epicor FP&A, no one has bugged me for reports. People do it themselves now. I finally get to spend more time doing other things. I get peace of mind that everything comes through, and everyone can adjust the budgets themselves; I don't have to do that for them."

When quantifying the benefit of using Epicor FP&A, he said, "Once I was done with the set-up in Epicor FP&A, creating budgets is now just a few hours. You just need to get the templates and change the year; that's it. In Excel, honestly, it took sixteen hours of focused work just to set up the budget templates. Finalising it would take another eight hours of focused work, and I can't always do focused work. There are many things to do on the side. In summary, three days of manual work in Excel down to just a couple of hours in Epicor FP&A is how I would quantify it."

When it comes to the finance team’s acceptance of Epicor FP&A as a new solution:

"The finance team loves it; no one really liked our Excel before. Now people can drill down into the details. You can do much self-analysis now and data investigation. The team doesn't need to talk to me to let me find additional details. Epicor FP&A has afforded independence to the finance staff.
As with any solution, you need time to get used to it, to accept its unique way of navigating, especially if you do not have any experience with previous solutions like Epicor FP&A."

The Recommendation

Temwani considers Epicor FP&A as a real upgrade to their budgeting process.

I would recommend Epicor FP&A for reporting and budgeting. It gives you independence, visibility, and the ability to manage the entire process more effectively. Epicor FP&A is the way to go.

"If I am to rate Epicor FP&A as a product/solution to our pain points, with one being the lowest and ten being the highest, I would rate Epicor FP&A 8. This is because we are just getting started, but I know we can get to ten. I just need time. If I were to rate the implementation experience, with one being the unhappiest and ten being the happiest, I would say eight. This was mostly because our ERP system dragged the implementation time of Epicor FP&A, not so much about Epicor FP&A itself. The implementation needed pre-work from our side, which we needed to know."

The web version is so user-friendly that you don't have to be tied to the ERP system. In our case, I can access my data even when travelling or at the airport. I think that's great."

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Epicor FP&A

Epicor FP&A offers an AI-powered Financial Planning & Analysis solution that assists businesses in supporting business analysis, directs strategic focus, and offers a vantage point for understanding overall financial performance.

Powered by cutting-edge machine learning technology, it enables businesses to report quickly, budget and forecast accurately, and consolidate reports seamlessly.


Company Facts

  • Location: Byron Center, MI
  • Specialist Industry: Fabricated Metals Manufacturing
  • Website:


  • Labor-intensive, error-prone, cumbersome budgeting in Excel
  • Budget Coordination
  • Need a user-friendly solution for the finance team in creating and  managing budgets
  • Need for time optimization
  • Reduction of manual work and improved accuracy
  • Afford independent workflows within finance staff


  • Integration with Epicor Kinetic
  • Budget workflow and drill-down functionalities
  • 3-day per month time savings on budget creation activities
  • User-friendly user interface
  • Complete budgeting and reporting abilities
  • Improved team collaboration
  • Good implementation experience
  • Prompt and attentive product support
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