Is it time to upgrade from off-the-shelf accounting software to an accounting ERP system?
Many small businesses use accounting software to handle their daily accounting needs. Some companies, however, may outgrow their software. If you’re using QuickBooks, Freshbooks, or another accounting software or you’re still using spreadsheets, there are three signs that you need an accounting ERP system.
Accounting software tracks, manages, and records a business’s daily cash inflows and outflows. Accounting ERP systems, or accounting enterprise resource planning systems, do much more than that. Accounting and ERP software are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are quite different.
An ERP system integrates multiple data streams from within a company. Various processes can be automated, including data inputs into the accounting system from various departments. Additionally, ERP systems can handle basic daily accounting, complex financial reporting, and CRM, warehouse, and HR data. Your accounting ERP system’s scope and functionality will depend on your chosen system and how you configure it. Still, in general, it offers a comprehensive, big-picture overview of the needs of a business.
Ultimately, only you will know when to upgrade to accounting ERP software. Typically, it’s time to upgrade if you see these three signs.
- You’re Always Looking for Data
Trying to locate a scrap of data you remembered seeing in a meeting last Tuesday requires reaching out to several people across multiple departments. Sometimes, you’re not even sure if your company is tracking a certain metric.
Accounting programs only track cash in and cash out—they do not track other types of data. With an accounting ERP system, you’ll have all departmental data at your fingertips. As users have access to data based on their permission levels, this eliminates the question of “Where did I see that bit of data?” Accounting software cannot offer the same level of transparency into a company’s data as accounting ERP systems.
- You Need Inventory Tracking
While accounting programs can calculate the balance sheet value of inventory, they cannot track inventory itself. Companies with considerable inventory must use either a separate system or spreadsheets to manage it.
This limitation can severely hamper company growth. Today’s consumers expect the “Amazon treatment” even in B2B transactions when they shop on an e-commerce portal. It is important for them to know if an item is in stock, when it will ship, and how they can track it once it ships. You can’t provide that without a digital warehouse management program integrated with an ERP and e-commerce platform.
- You Require Integration with Other Programs
Accounting programs often lack the ability to integrate with specialized platforms, such as those supporting manufacturing and distribution businesses. The inability to integrate with other programs can severely limit your company’s efficiency and growth.
In contrast, accounting ERP systems work differently. Flexibility is built right into them, often as open APIs or apps that allow other companies to build connectors to enhance the basic system with greater automation and functionality.
If you can see the three signs above, your company is ready to transition from accounting software to an accounting ERP system like Acumatica. It is a good idea to spend some time learning about the many ERP options available to you. Make a list of requirements, review various platforms, and then contact us when you are ready to discuss your objectives, business goals, and next steps. We’re here to help you.