When is the right time to switch to full Cloud ERP?

Choosing when to invest in an ERP suite can be a challenge for many organisations

Do you find yourself at the crossroads like so many small businesses face as they grow - whether to continue to pour resources into your legacy systems or make an investment in a unified, ERP platform?

Well, it's a good time to be faced with this choice. With the Cloud democratising access to what once was only privy to businesses with hundreds or thousands of employees, Cloud ERP software is a good fit for fast-growing companies.

Previous investments, growth, new markets, new business models or lack of current system functionality and effectiveness are just many reasons to make the switch from entry-level accounting to a full ERP suite. Here are some of the other indications that the time is now.

Making the Switch: Tipping Points 

Inconsistent customer data. CRM software often syncs with the accounting system, but it does not happen the other way around resulting in duplicate customer records.

No access to real-time business data. Due to inherent limitations of APIs, accounting software vendors limit the frequency with which third-party applications exchange information with the accounting software database. That means third-party applications sync sporadically – no more than once a day, something that’s simply not viable in today’s operating environment.

Lack of reporting to make insight-driven business decisions. Without a single source of data on inventory, orders and customers, information from each database must be synched to provide reports on sales, costs of goods sold, inventory levels and every other key business metric.

Insufficient global functionality for multi-subsidiary, multi-currency support. Accounting software is designed to handle the assets, liabilities and liquidity of a single entity. Introduce a different structure, or different currencies, and you have a problem. While functionality exists to manage multiple entities, consolidating the financial activity requires manual processes that introduce errors and inefficiencies. Calculating tax in different currencies also requires time-consuming manual processes.

Limited access control. Employees accessing multiple applications with multiple log-ins introduces security risk, especially when employees leave and it becomes difficult to ensure that access to all systems has been revoked. And without the ability to implement controls on data access in different systems, implementing workflows that ensure efficiencies, security and regulatory compliance isn’t possible.

Look to Cloud ERP

Smaller businesses often don’t even enter the discussion on ERP implementation because they think they can’t afford the investment, when a unified platform actually provides long-term savings. Cloud ERP software opens the door for small businesses to realise these advantages by freeing them from costly infrastructure investments and maintenance.

A unified, cloud-based platform allows users to access consistent, reliable data in real-time. It ensures a business has access to all the functionality it needs to operate in the global economy, while ensuring it is protected from risks. It provides end-to-end visibility across operations, and lends easy access to data for executives to make insight-driven business decisions.

For more on the differences between entry-level accounting and a full ERP suite and what that can do for the business, download our white paper 'What are the main differences between SMB account software and an ERP system?'.