In 2022, there were 33.2 million small businesses in the US, making up 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses and employing 46.4 percent of U.S. employees. Essentially, small businesses rule the economy, and when each one of these businesses first opened their doors, many did one thing in common: they turned to standalone accounting software to help them run their books and manage their finances.
The fact is, they made a smart decision. Accounting software does exactly what they need when first starting out, but then these small-but-mighty businesses often grow into larger, thriving enterprises with more complex business processes. And these more complex business processes drive the need for a more sophisticated solution.
Their best option? A modern Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that not only allows them to easily and effectively manage their accounting and finances but also acts as the central repository for business-wide data, streamlines workflows, and integrates every aspect of their business—(e.g., projects, operations, distribution and more)—from a single, unified platform.
Upgrading from a simple accounting solution to a comprehensive ERP solution is a big decision. Today, we’ll help you decide if the time is right by looking at some of the signs that your accounting software isn’t getting the job done. We’ll also explore why businesses should consider a modern ERP system and explain how to go about choosing the right solution for your business.
Is It Time to Upgrade to ERP?
Making decisions is not easy, and it can be time-consuming. According to a McKinsey survey, a little over half of the respondents indicated they spend more than 30 percent of their time making decisions and “a majority [of respondents] say much of the time they devote to decision making is used ineffectively.”
To help you make a quick, decisive and wise decision, we’ve put together the following signs that now is the time to upgrade to ERP software —and that you need to do so sooner than later.
Scalability is a system’s or application’s ability to grow as demand increases. Unfortunately, many accounting software applications—such as QuickBooks—are not designed to expand functionalities in order to accommodate company growth.
For example, QuickBooks is limited in its ability to track inventory, restricts its number of users, and doesn’t support multi-entity businesses. As a result, businesses using QuickBooks (or similar accounting software) are required to integrate third-party applications, perform manual workarounds and spend time and money they don’t have to ensure they can continue to grow.
Lack of Reporting Capabilities
Business reports provide organized and accurate information business leaders use to make short-and-long-term decisions that will affect the success of their organization. While accounting software supplies accounting reporting capabilities, it lacks the ability to supply you with finance, scheduling, quality, purchasing and sales data.
In addition to your accounting software’s lack of reporting capabilities, you’re likely utilizing multiple systems and applications to run other aspects of your business, such as CRM, inventory management software and supply chain requirements. If they aren’t integrated (or integrated well), you and your team may be dealing with double-data entry duties, which can lead to inaccuracies and errors.
Running into Storage Limits
With the vast amounts of data businesses of all sizes generate, it’s critical they have adequate storage. However, small-business accounting software frequently sets storage boundaries, forcing you to make some tough calls about how to manage your data moving forward. Should you purchase additional storage, retain less data, or outsource your data storage needs to a third-party vendor?
Regardless of how you manage your data storage woes, simple accounting software is not the answer.
Not being able to report on company-wide data, having concerns about your data’s reliability and dealing with storage issues are bad enough, but add in the fact that your accounting system is a standalone solution that may not play well with other applications, and you have one more concern: siloed data.
Simply put, siloed data is segregated within each department, making it difficult for team members and decision-makers to access organization-wide, real-time and accurate information—and the consequences are disorganization, miscommunication and inefficiency.
Inability to Forecast
Forecasting is an essential tool for business leaders as they work to set budgets, plan ahead and evaluate future growth based on historical data. But if you don’t have access to past or even current data, your forecasting abilities are limited at best and non-existent at worst.
It’s Time to Upgrade to ERP Software: Now What?
As you’ve just read, there are definitive signs that it’s time to upgrade to ERP software. If you decide to replace your multiple, disconnected systems with a comprehensive, cloud-based ERP solution, you’ll gain a single, centralized solution that will help you manage your business effectively. It will provide complete visibility into every aspect of your organization and concentrate all of your data in one place, allowing every user access to the same information at the same time. In essence, you and your team will have the insights and control needed to take your business to the next level.
With all of this in mind, the next step is finding the right ERP solution, but how do you know which solution is right for you? The system you choose should be all of the following:
1. A true ERP system: A true ERP system is able to connect every application (e.g., accounting, sales, manufacturing, inventory, human resources and more), provide a single source of truth, automate workflows, streamline business processes, integrate with existing tools, scale with a business and allow remote access anytime, from anywhere. Stay away from ERP systems that lack this full functionality.
2. Personalized for your industry: Every business in every industry has unique needs. A modern ERP system should provide off-the-shelf functionality as well as industry-specific features. It should also be customizable to specific business requirements that don’t require expensive assistance from your ERP vendor or a full contingency of IT experts (e.g., low-code, no-code capabilities).
3. Backed by a team of experts: Choosing highly regarded and award-winning ERP software is incredibly important, but if the software isn’t supported by a capable and reliable team of ERP consultants, then businesses are forced to spend valuable time and energy implementing the solution and automating tasks when they could be spending it on reaching business goals. Look for implementation and consulting partners that are certified and come with a team of solution architects, developers, project leaders and service staff.
“NexTec helps us continually improve by introducing progressive new ways of getting things done. They are a segment leader—second to none.”– Austin Mathis, IT Director, Empire Candle Co., LLC
The NexTec Difference
NexTec Group is a gold-certified Acumatica implementation partner and a Sage X3 Platinum Reseller. We have almost 30 years’ experience in the consulting industry.
At NexTec, we take a holistic approach in integrating the many moving parts of our clients’ businesses to remove the manual guesswork and improve their ROI. As leaders in our industry, we bring a unique advantage to our clients that allow us to:
- Focus on providing the best software options.
- Leverage our experience in ERP and the industries we serve.
- Support our clients’ key business initiatives.
- Drive tangible growth across our clients’ businesses.
Let us help you upgrade to ERP software. Contact our experts today. We’d love to chat.