When it comes to choosing the right accounting solution for a growing business, the worst place to be is sat on the fence as this can be a real barrier to progression. But it is also important to weigh up the potential move to ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Software.
Every company goes through a journey, whether that is from humble beginnings with a passionate entrepreneur, or a growing multi-national organisation expanding into international markets.
Running parallel to the business growth cycle is a piece of software that helps take care of the financial information for the company. This might start out as an Excel Spreadsheet, and then move towards a small business accounting software such as Sage One or Sage 50 Accounts.
However there is a critical fork in the road that every successful business hits and this is the part where choosing the wrong path can have a direct influence on the continued expansion for the business. The fork in the road is the choice to invest into ERP or staying with the current accounting software.
Of all the different aspects that have a bearing on the direction to take, there are a number of driving forces towards ERP and a number of challenges towards the change management.
The first thing to consider is the functionality requirements of your business today. Has your business begun operating overseas? Do you have to transact across different legislations and currencies?
Alternatively are you growing from a start-up to an established force in the UK market place and are noticing your system requirements are no longer catered for with your starter accounting package? Common challenges facing these types of businesses are the lack of reporting, systems running slow, too many users, and lack of CRM integration, the ability to open and close accounting periods and batch and serial number traceability.
Excel Spreadsheets and small business accounting software is just simply not designed for this type of use. It is the breaking point that a tiered ERP solution is required to not just promote better business practice, but also helps make your business more social with CRM and work smarter with Business Intelligence data and reporting.
In choosing the right ERP solution to scale out with your business here are 5 tips to consider.
- Evaluate your current business processes (this can be carried out jointly with an ERP partner)
- Identify the ERP solutions to consider - Global or Domestic?
- Arrange demonstrations to view the products and be sure to prepare questions
- Consider the deployment options – if you want a low tech setup then a cloud solution might be better. Or if you rather the On Premise deployment check this is available with your hardware setup.
- Ask for references from your ERP partner
If you follow these steps then you can get a better understanding of the ERP project you may be about to embark on, while feeling more confident in the fact you are making a weighed up decision.
About the Author
David Weaver works in marketing for Oakley Global Business Solutions Ltd, where he helps leverage the delivery of key information from a leading Sage accounting software provider to an end user market place. For more information on Sage Business Partner Oakley Global Business Solutions visit www.o-erp.co.uk
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