Part 2: You are Ready to Leverage Technology for Transformation
In our last post, we talked about six wants and needs of companies that have outgrown Intuit QuickBooks. Here are seven more – most of which are focused on ways that technology can be leveraged to support expanding businesses’ transformation and continued growth.
7. You’re not getting enough innovation for your money.
If you want to take advantage of business functionality that helps you enhance your profitability, you’ll need to make the move to an ERP platform that delivers new features and innovations that radically enhance the way you run your whole business – not just your accounting.
8. You’re not receiving the benefits of a true SaaS system.
A true software as a service (SaaS) system provides users with access anywhere, anytime on any device. A modern cloud ERP platform allows you to access your business applications from any web-enabled device without installing software. There won’t be additional services to buy, applications to install or special configurations to endure. Additionally, cloud-based SaaS products are generally designed with open APIs that facilitate quick integration with other technology. This also expands your ability to experiment with emerging proptech solutions and quickly integrate with nearly any other technology you use to run your business.
9. You’re running out of user licenses.
When you first signed up, your software’s user capacity probably seemed like more than enough. But as your business grows and adds locations and headcount, you may find that you’re running through those licenses quickly. Perhaps more importantly, you can’t even consider providing limited secure access to users such as investors, project managers, site managers, or outside accountants for fear of using up precious licenses. This situation leaves your core accounting team with the extra burden of extracting data and running reports for these additional colleagues and team members. A good ERP system won’t limit platform usage or force you to pay extra in order to expand your user count. The platform should grow with you, only increasing in cost when you your transaction volume and data storage dramatically increase.
10. You need more control over workflows to minimize errors
An ERP enables you to guide and control all users with predefined workflows designed by your team so that users know exactly what to do within defined boundaries. You should be able to set permissions for accessing modules, applications or even specific features at the field level. That way, data that should not be accessible to a particular user won’t appear at all. For example, not all team members should be able to use the Purchasing module, or authorize credit memos with Accounts Receivable, or write-oﬀ a remaining cash receipt balance on a cash application screen.
11. You can’t get straight answers in the support documentation.
Industry expertise is a key driver to success and not likely to be achieved with a generic FAQ. When you subscribe to a robust cloud-based ERP, you will likely work with a highly trained and experienced value-added reseller (VAR). This firm’s employees have to go through robust training and certification. They not only know the advanced feature set of the tools you own, but more importantly they know how you need to use the system and what outcomes you expect. Further, your VAR can provide training for your employees to help them quickly get up to speed on the features and functionality of the new product. When you add new staﬀ, your VAR can train them without tying up your current staﬀ.
12. You want the benefits of SaaS but need to pay for it as a capital expense.
One of the most appealing things about SaaS for a growing company is the ability to get started on the platform by paying a recurring subscription fee, rather than a gigantic software licensing fee. Many smaller companies appreciate the ability to record their SaaS fees as an operating expense rather than a capital expense. But others may wish to purchase their SaaS platform as a capital expense. Look for a cloud ERP provider that oﬀers you this option (but doesn’t force you into it).
13. Potential investors might not take you seriously.
Looking for investors and limited partners for your business? Congratulations! But even if you’ve kept detailed records, you should know about a potential pitfall with a basic accounting system: there’s a very limited audit trail behind your accounting data. Keeping accurate books is one thing. Being able to drill down to the reasons behind the facts is another. Many experienced investors will tell a smaller business to migrate to a “real” accounting system and establish an audit trail before coming back to reapply for funding. This ties back to this article’s original point: when you’re ready to take that next step in terms of capital, multiple properties, and multiple revenue streams, the rest of the industry will expect you to show that you’re keeping professional financial records, too.
Your business is growing. Don’t let your accounting software slow you down. Upgrading your operations to a true cloud ERP system allows your company to establish a firm foundation for long-term, profitable growth. IBS is here to help. We would love to have a conversation with you and answer any questions you may have. Or you can download our free white paper right away.