Finding the Right Accounting/ERP Software for your Business

We live in a world with so many choices for just everything in life.  It can be over-whelming trying to find the right car, refrigerator, or even accounting/Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software for your company.   Sometimes I spend hours doing my research when I can put my time and energy into something more productive.

In the business world, there are so many choices for accounting/ERP software.  Where do you even begin to find which one is right for your organization?  Working for small to medium sized organizations as a Controller, I would spend hours trying to find the right software.  The worst part of the process was dealing with the sales people.  They would try to sell me something that I did not need, want, or promised me that it did what I needed it to do, but it did not.

Five Things that you should look for in an accounting/ERP system:

  1. Functionality

The accounting/ERP software must have the required functionality to run your business as efficiently as possible.  For example, a manufacturing company will look for an accounting/ERP system with built in Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP).  Everything outside of the required functionality are “bells and whistles” that are not necessary to run your business.

  1. Platform Scalability and Flexibility

When looking for an accounting/ERP system, you need to make sure that it can grow and expand with your company.  There are systems that will only handle so many transactions before it will stop working or become unbearably slow.

Many of the systems in the market today are developed for a broad range of industries and businesses.  One of the things you need to look for is to see how flexible the system is to customize to fit your business without costing a fortune.

  1. Reputation

Look for an accounting/ERP system that is reputable in your industry and what other businesses are using.  Ask for references of customers who are currently using the system.

  1. Total Costs

There are many costs associated with implementing an accounting/ERP system.  You have the cost of the software, consulting/implementation fees, ongoing maintenance, and customization.

Typically, software companies will sell you the software at a bargain but will make it up in the backend with consulting and maintenance fees.  Look at the overall cost of ownership to make sure it will be a positive return on your investment.

  1. Mobile Solutions

Organizations are moving to mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets to conduct business.  Having a mobile solution will allow sales people to access pertinent information in the field quickly.