What is ERP?

ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning, refers to business software and systems designed to help companies manage their day-to-day business. A complete ERP suite allows a company to manage multiple business processes in one, streamlined system. At a minimum, most ERP software systems feature financial management, project management, business intelligence (reporting) and supply chain capabilities right out of the box. Additional modules may include sales, payroll, human resources, manufacturing, and services management or can be configured to add on those modules. Any ERP system must be implemented either on-premises or in the cloud and configured to meet the company’s business processing needs.


How is ERP different from QuickBooks?

QuickBooks is an entry-level accounting system that’s perfect for the startup business or companies with less than $5 million in revenue. It’s easy to learn and easy to use. As companies grow, keeping up with the increasingly complex financial demands of the business can start to put a strain on the system. Companies who are experiencing growing pains with QuickBooks frequently turn to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that is designed to manage a more sophisticated business model. An ERP software system bundles multiple day-to-day business processes — including the financial management capabilities of a system like QuickBooks — in one system, allowing the company to streamline a variety of business processes all under one umbrella system.


How much does ERP cost?

There is no simple answer to how much an ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning, the system will cost. Each ERP system comes with out-of-the-box modules as well as additional modules available for an extra fee. The implementation process is typically done by an outside consultant and takes several months to complete. Factors that affect the total cost include which software is chosen, how it’s delivered (on-premise or in the cloud), if any additional modules or third-party services are purchased, how much customization and staff training is needed, what the annual maintenance fees are for the software and what the consulting partner charges. In general, a small or mid-sized company can expect to spend between $50,000 and $500,00 on an ERP system.


Why is ERP so expensive?

The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is not necessarily expensive on its own. In fact, the software purchase typically accounts for only 15 to 30 percent of the entire cost of the ERP implementation. ERP is so expensive because it requires the expertise of an outside consultant and months of work to complete the implementation project and any necessary customizations. The initial implementation often accounts for 30 to 60 percent of the entire project cost. Training, annual maintenance, and third-party add-ons or customizations make up the rest of the total cost. When we refer to the cost of ERP, we generally refer to the total cost including related services.


What’s the best accounting product?

The best accounting software for your company will depend on the company’s size and complexities in financial operations. A startup company or small business with simple operations can do well with an introductory product such as QuickBooks. A growing business with 20 or more employees, complex financial operations or more than $5 million in revenue might be ready to upgrade to an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system such as Microsoft Dynamics that helps manage multiple daily business operations including accounting. With the complexities inherent in each industry, a product that works for one company may not work for another. Even companies within the same industry frequently have enough differentials so that the same product may not be the best fit.


What’s the benefit of ERP software?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software systems are typically designed for small to mid-sized companies that are struggling to keep track of all the moving pieces of their business. An ERP system combines the capabilities of financial management software with the oversight of other business processes. This allows the company to manage its financials, sales, projects, inventory, payroll and other related day-to-day processes all in the same system. Using one system for multiple processes eliminates the headaches of manual data re-entry and helps departments communicate better. This, in turn, improves efficiency and gives the company’s leadership a much more cohesive overview of the business’s overall health.