What is an ERP anyway?

Common accounting software terms translated into plain English

Are you on the search for new accounting software? Does your initial research leave you scratching your head at the numerous acronyms and convoluted terms? Here are a few technical terms in the accounting software world, translated into plain English:

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

While we often refer to ERP and accounting in the same breath, the truth is that Enterprise Resource Planning software encompasses much more than basic finances. A comprehensive ERP product allows you to manage every aspect of your business. It works in tandem with multiple other applications to provide your company all the tools it needs in one streamlined, customizable solution. If we were to use a building metaphor, we could think of the ERP software as the foundation or frame of a house.

Value Added Reseller (VAR)

A VAR is a company that sells accounting software, usually in combination with other services, hence the “value added.” Boyer & Associates is a top 100 VAR in the U.S. We not only sell Microsoft’s Dynamics ERP/accounting software; we also help implement and support that software through an ongoing maintenance plan for our clients. If an ERP product is the foundation of a house, then a VAR is like the contractor managing all the pieces and putting together a finished home.

Independent Software Vendor (ISV)

As you might expect, an Independent Software Vendor refers to a company that sells another software independent of the product with which it works. In the world of accounting software, an ISV then can be likened to the specialty workers that the building contractor hires, such as an electrician or a painter. Depending on how your company operates, the ISV and what they provide could be essential to your solution or a “wish list” item that makes life so much easier.

Add-on Product

An add-on product is just like it sounds, a software piece added on to the original software to help meet your company’s precise needs. Independent Software Vendors sell add-ons geared toward specific industries or processes. For example, you might look for an add-on to manage your supply chain, calculate sales tax, run payroll, etc. Boyer & Associates partners with dozens of these vendors to help you do more with your Microsoft Dynamics software. In keeping with our house metaphor, an add-on would be any of the pieces that help finish the house, such as the lights, kitchen appliances and more.

Hopefully this gives you a little head start as you begin the journey to finding the right accounting software for your company.