Archives for September 2015

ERP Pros and Cons

change-aheadMany of the clients Accountnet works with are businesses who have outgrown Quickbooks and other business management systems and are looking at a more robust, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution.  In a nutshell, ERP systems integrate all of your company’s individual department functions into a single software application, which make it easier to track workflows across the entire enterprise. ERPs can reduce operational costs that come with the manual tracking and data clean-up/import/export using separate, stand-alone systems.

But there are a number of things to consider before jumping into ERP.  Here we outline some of the pros and cons of introducing an ERP system to your organization.

Pros of implementing an ERP System:

  1. The various modules of an ERP system (such as Finance/Accounts, Human Resource Management, Marketing/Sales, CRM and more) make it easier for order and inventory tracking, revenue/sales forecasting and all related activities to be managed from one, centralized system.  Employees – especially senior management – benefit from having complete visibility into all the important processes across all departments within an organization.
  2. Since a single ERP system can be used across departments to fulfill their individual functions, there is no longer a need to buy and maintain disparate software systems and try to make them work together — or have to rely on manual reporting processes — which saves both time and money. And because a single database is implemented on the backend to store all the ERP data, companies can consolidate storage and back-up of all enterprise data.
  3. Accountnet can help you extend your ERP systems to provide robust Business Intelligence functionalities that provide insights on your business processes and can help you identify potential areas of problems or where to make improvements.

Disadvantages of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Systems:

  1. It’s very important to find the right ERP implementation partner to work with you through the entire process. Many companies are surprised to find that their new ERP system does not do everything they need it to do “out of the box.”  The right integrator can help ensure your new ERP solution is in-sync with all your important business processes.
  2. User adoption is perhaps the most important factor for a successful ERP implementation. Comprehensive user training and an easy-to use interface is critical.
  3. Evaluation prior to implementation of ERP system is critical. If this step is not done properly and experienced technical/business resources are not available while evaluating, ERP implementations can (and have) become a failure.

Interested in learning more? Contact us at Accountnet for a free phone consultation. 

Three Ways Cloud ERP Can Cut Costs

For the past few years we’ve witnessed cloud ERP solutions, like Microsoft Dynamics, become widely adopted and hailed for their ability to save money on upfront licensing and hardware costs. But there are other savings to be had when deploying ERP in the cloud, including these three things you might not have thought of when considering Microsoft Dynamics in the cloud.

Implementing an ERP Solution | AccountantCost Efficient Scalability

When you purchase any on-premise software license, the cost of scaling up or down can be surprisingly expensive.  Most software licenses apply to a single individual so if your bookkeeper leaves the company you can’t just pass her license on to her replacement. Security and user access concerns dictate that you purchase a new user license for a new employee.  Costs can also mount if you fail to renew your annual maintenance plan. On premise software installations will require you to pay back fees before you can add new users, modules or updates.  With a cloud solution you can easily terminate a subscription to one user license and add another without losing any money, and your cloud ERP provider handles all the user onboarding so your IT department is not bogged down with the routine set-up tasks of every time you add or remove a user.

Upgrades, service packs and hot fixes

Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions installed on premises give you the ability to purchase a maintenance plan that lets you upgrade to newer versions of the product and install service packs and hot fixes. Pricing for an annual plan of this kind can range between 16% and 25% of the total cost of the system.  Compare that to a cloud-hosted system where updates, hot fixes/patches and services packs are included as part of your monthly subscription. Here again, not only is there a savings on the cost of an annual maintenance plan, but internal IT resources spent on ongoing management and maintenance of the system are eliminated.

Identical experience regardless of location

Perhaps the least obvious (but most important) cost savings occurs when you consider remote access and mobility. Think of the cost of deploying Dynamics in house and having to build, secure and maintain a secure VPN connection to allow employees to connect to the system. In addition to the additional expense, you may see decreased functionality and usability of the tools. This, in turn, may slow down remote users’ productivity. A cloud-based ERP system allows you to provide a seamless digital experience — the same environment workers would find in the office.  Again, because cloud ERP solutions are maintained and secured by host, you save significantly on the resources required to support remote users.

Want to know more about Microsoft Dynamics in the cloud?  Contact Accountnet.