As companies grow, they inevitably reach a point where they switch from accounting software to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions. Accounting packages like QuickBooks have their place in the beginning of a venture. You outgrow them.
But, when is the right time to switch? In our experience working with businesses that have made the shift off of accounting software, the business will tell you when it’s time. It’s not as if your phone rings and a voice says, “Hi, it’s your corporate operations calling. We need to talk…” No, a business will display signs of distress that you should know how to spot
One of the most obvious signs that your accounting software needs a serious upgrade is your adoption of tools like Excel and Outlook to fill operational gaps. This scenario creates too much room for human error that can cascade into confusion. Using multiple programs to manage budgets, sales forecasts, financial reporting and customer support is asking for trouble.
Siloed Data or Systems
A growing business will also eventually discover that its siloed systems do not play nicely with each other. They may be unable to link vital data and business processes. Employees have to duplicate manual processes when re-entering information into multiple software—risking consequential errors. What if your finance department needs to run data analytics and get real time reporting for audits, but this requires someone manually pulling data from multiple sources and putting it all together by hand? That’s a clear sign that you need an integrated ERP suite.
The Solution: ERP Software
The process does not need to be difficult. ERP keeps all the relevant data on the same platform. Solutions like Acumatica Cloud ERP enable your team to manage data in real time, across multiple operating modules. For example, unlike a simple accounting package, ERP software can manage your entire company’s inventory, operations, field service, logistics, accounts, sales and marketing, HR and finance. The modules can connect with one another for inter-operation, e.g., Acumatica’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module can seamlessly integrate with the solution’s sales order management, customer support module, accounting and more.
Managers get the overview, with all critical data displayed on custom dashboards. Any employee who touches a transaction, from proposals to paid invoices, is able to access what is necessary for their department without phone calls, emails or online meetings. Your staff has access to data anywhere at any time on multiple devices. For instance, they can quickly get at data that helps them predict demand for preferred products. If you are feeling the need for this kind of functionality, that’s another sign that you’re ready to move off of accounting software. Cloud ERP can help detail and track essential data such as shipping fees, availability and how customers purchase items: the who, what, where and how.
Forecasting and budgeting are activities that can further reveal the need for an upgraded operational software experience. Accounting software may have limited features for forecasting and budgeting, but a more mature and large-scale operation will have sophisticated needs in these areas. Cloud ERP enables you to build forecasts based on current data from multiple systems, such as inventory management, sales order management, field service and more.
To take a deeper dive into whether it’s time to switch to ERP, contact us for a dialogue that will help clarify your thinking on this important business decision or watch our Acumatica demo to learn more.