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ERP Systems: When To Take The Leap

When you decide it’s time to scale up your business, your first port of call probably isn’t to get yourself an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

For a start up business, the initial systems set up don’t require much specialist skills to use or maintain.  There may not even be any systems in place and spreadsheets may be used for business data.

The name ERP can be perceived by many as being a software exclusive for large corporations and multi million pound enterprises.  This however is not the case.

If you are a business owner who has this perception but also want to scale up, you will need to take the necessary steps at some point.

But the truth is, a maturing and growing small business at some point needs to take the leap and level up its systems to enable further expansion.  This also means saying goodbye to solutions that may have been a good initial stepping stone, but you have now outgrown, and it’s standing in the way of further progress.  In our experience, upgrading your accounting system is a critical factor to enable your next phase of growth.

So, when and why is an upgrade to an ERP such as NetSuite a good idea for a start up, scaling business?


Poor Integrations

At some point, the limited ability of your system integrations will be problematic.  Basic accounting software isn’t designed to provide the functionality required by more complex business processes.  To fill the required hole, organisations often look to third party applications.  Eventually, most of the functionality is performed outside of the core accounting software.

Or a few hasty integrations or add-ons are implemented.  As more applications are integrated with the accounting software, a uniform view of the business is longer in existence.  Further more, this adds to the reporting challenges using inaccessible, inaccurate insight.

In addition, every application brings its own lifecycle management and application dependency challenges.  It creates more moving parts to oversee and manage, further reducing business control and visibility while exponentially raising the possibilities of failures, instability and downtime.  Not to mention the risk of vulnerability to cyber threats.


New Markets Expansion

For many growing businesses, the opportunities to grow can come from new markets.  This may involve establishing a foreign presence or selling to customers via eCommerce.

Often, smaller accounting packages won’t have the capabilities to help you comply with the unique needs and requirements or each market.  Managing multiple currencies, foreign tax, financial and accounting regulations and multi entities can quickly overwhelm a small business.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?  If you’re struggling with any of the above you will need to start thinking about moving to a more sophisticated finance solution such as NetSuite.


Complicated Reporting Processes

If you’re noticing that your staff are spending a lot of time attempting to integrate reports across your business with ever more stores, outlets or products to account for, it might be time to consider an upgrade to an ERP.  A typical warning sign is that your team is relying on manual and spreadsheet workarounds to get the job done which is not only cumbersome but also extremely error-prone.  It’s a common scenario.  In the end, reporting becomes frustrating and onerous, swallowing countless hours that could be better spent on more valuable endeavours that have a measurable impact on your business’ bottom line.


Insufficient Data

When small businesses start out, standard reports from a basic accounting system probably provide sufficient business insight to keep things moving.  But as the business model, entity and data all become more complex, you will likely need access to customised reports to achieve deeper more detailed analysis.  The more basic accounting systems just can’t give you the real-time access to data analytics and reporting needed to make confident business decisions.


NetSuite to Grow Your Business

If you are looking to grow your small business, NetSuite ERP is the answer.  It is a cloud-based platform that’s designed to support small businesses on their growth journey.

NetSuite ERP allows small business leaders to automate accounting for their core operations, provides functional depth to support complex business models and processes.  It can be customised exactly to what you need and can be tailored to your specific business processes.


At Cofficient, we can provide you with bespoke packages and can offer support every step of the way.  Get in touch to start your journey.