(336) 315-3935

What Every CFO Needs to Know About Buying an ERP Accounting System

Instruction Manual

Written by Laura Schomaker

December 18, 2020

 

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions are transformational tools that can make a significant difference to business process and financial decision making. As CFO, you may look forward to the possibilities that will result from the purchase and implementation of an ERP accounting system at your company. If you have never been through an ERP buying process before, however, you may not know what to watch out for during the process. Here is what every CFO needs to know to have the most productive ERP buying process possible. 

 

It’s not just an accounting solution—it’s a global solution.  

While your focus is on ERP as an accounting tool, ERP is not just transformational for processes within the business office. It impacts every silo across your company. While your priorities are on the financials, understand that your ERP solution will touch everything from sales and marketing to the production floor. This makes the process more complex. But see it through and you get a bird’s-eye view of your data and enable much more dynamic decision making.  

You have to take part. 

ERP is about the user experience, collaboration, and your business processes. You need to take part in the process and get your hands dirty, so to speak, in sussing out what type of ERP will work for your company. Don’t leave it to IT. You need to be in there, taking part and making the key decisions during the ERP buying process. Also, you want key stakeholders from across your company taking part in the conversation, as well. Their input and the discussions you have as a team will provide the insights you need to select and design an ERP that works specifically for your company and is not just a “one size fits all” solution that won’t produce real results.  

A new ERP accounting system is an opportunity. 

Treading the same ground you have for years will not do anything for your business. Finding and implementing an ERP needs to be done in tandem with a very detailed assessment and restructure of business processes. Simply sticking with existing pain points and inefficiencies will drain all the value out of your new ERP solution. Look at the ERP buying process as a genuine opportunity to sit down as a team and find out how you can make things run better and more efficiently at your company. During the buying process, ask: 

  • How will the ERP solutions you are considering help you control costs?  
  • What new insights into your business data will each ERP offer? 
  • What process improvements must you make before implementation? 
  • Who will have access to key financial data? 

Regarding the last question, you of course need to consider security when selecting an ERP accounting system. Your team should consider carefully user permissions. You need to consider the architecture of your ERP accounting system: Is a cloud-based solution sufficiently secure for your industry, or do you need the heightened control of an on-premises system? Your ERP vendor can help you assess regulatory guidelines within your industry and determine the architecture that best serves your company’s data security needs.  

Buying a new ERP solution involves a lot of detail but it delivers significant ROI. Have you had your own experience with ERP purchases as a CFO? Let us know in the comments below. You can explore your ERP options and get a more detailed look at the ERP purchasing process with our ERP buying guide 

 

You May Also Like…

What is the Best QuickBooks Alternative?

Consider each of these in light of where your business is now and where you want to see it five years from now. Once you have identified where QuickBooks has not served you well, you can consider some QuickBooks alternatives to find the one that is the best fit for your business.

read more

Top Five Disadvantages of QuickBooks Every Buyer Needs to Know

QuickBooks is a popular accounting solution for small businesses or those just getting themselves off the ground. But just because it’s the first name that comes to mind, does that mean it’s the best choice? Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. Your company’s unique answer to this question rests on what you need out of an accounting solution and how fast you envision your company growing. Understanding the difference between accounting software and an ERP often is the single largest factor in deciding whether QuickBooks is the right fit for you. But there are a few others to consider.

read more

What is the difference between ERP CRM and SCM?

Business management software solutions have improved and diversified dramatically over the last decade, so much so that today’s businesses almost have too many options on the table. To that point, decision makers at companies must choose between multiple solutions, including ERP, SCM and CRM. What is the difference between ERP CRM and SCM, and how can they affect a business?

read more