“We have QuickBooks for accounting. I am just looking to manage inventory”
We sometimes hear this answer when we ask some wholesale distribution businesses if they are looking for an all-in-one distribution ERP software. Oftentimes, those assigned with the task to find better inventory software for the company are looking for just that – standalone inventory software to use on top of other systems already in place such as QuickBooks. However, through our initial discussions, we often unearth bigger issues facing the business by having multiple disconnected systems such as siloed financial and inventory data and manual data entry resulting in numerous errors. To us, the answer is simple. Have one system to manage all accounting and inventory needs to eliminate these issues. Here’s why it’s important to keep an open-mind about replacing QuickBooks or other introductory software with all-in-one distribution ERP software.
First, let’s take a look at the inventory management side of things. Inventory management software helps to evaluate and maintain the health of your inventory. It’s about gaining insight into what you have on stock at your warehouse(s), exact locations of product, track where that inventory was shipped and who it was shipped to. However, without accounting and financial reporting functionality, it is very difficult to optimize that inventory and find opportunities to increase profit. The marriage between the two allows you to not only verify your inventory asset value to what you have in your warehouse but you can easily pull real-time, accurate financial reports based on the inventory data stored in the system to make smart decisions for your business. Doing this with two separate systems only leaves your business at risk for manual error and missed opportunities.
You might ask, “why not integrate QuickBooks or introductory software with a more robust distribution ERP software?” While there are valid reasons to integrate two systems such as eCommerce integration or electronic document management software integration, think of it this way. Would you pay twice or work twice as hard to achieve the same results? Why have multiple disconnected systems if all inventory and accounting processes can be managed from one system? Organizations utilizing both accounting as well as inventory data from one central system gain more accurate insight to improve operational processes and drive profits.
Here are a few examples of how inventory and accounting functionality works hand-in-hand in distribution ERP software:
No matter what you sell, every business needs to verify inventory with accounting data to avoid financial discrepancies. Having inventory and accounting information stored within one system allows for accurate financial statements, a clear idea of cash flow, liquidity, forecasting and thus, improved organizational efficiency. Using executive summary dashboards, you have insight into all aspects of your wholesale distribution business instantly on a daily basis. Information such as views of sales outstanding in A/R, available credit, and A/R aging summary. You can have an additional dashboard that you can switch back and forth from that covers inventory information such as sales by product, inventory quantities, top selling products, etc. all from one system.
Ditch Tracking Invoices Manually
Although invoicing processes differ depending on how your business is set up, the idea is to automate invoicing as much as possible to avoid data redundancy and manual errors. For example, by having both inventory and accounting functionality, once an employee ships an order and marks it in the ERP system as such, you can have a workflow that automatically posts the associated invoice and changes the status in the system. Since inventory and accounting are tracked from one system, employees are able to see add billing or banking details and minimize time spent on administration and redundant tasks.
“Blue link does all of it, it takes orders in, manages the inventory, processes the orders, does the invoicing, accounts recievable, accounts payable… it takes care of everything!”
-Melanie Beckett, SAGA Sciences
It’s vital that the right employees have access to both accounting and inventory information to aid in their daily tasks. Do the same QuickBooks users have access to inventory, sales and warehouse information or just accounting information that lives within QuickBooks? How easily can inventory and accounting reports be shared with others? Look for distribution ERP software that allows for user and group permissions so that the right employees gain better insight into both accounting and inventory information without having to log in to multiple systems.
Accurate Financial Reporting
Ensuring the accuracy of your financial reports such as monthly statements, tax returns, reports pulled for audits, etc., is vital for business growth. The value of your inventory is part of your business assets and is important that these numbers are the same as what’s in your physical warehouse and what’s recorded in your books. With all-in-one distribution software, robust reporting functionality allows for real-time visibility into the status of accounts, orders, inventory and sales all from one system.
Blue Link ERP – All-in-one Functionality
At Blue Link, we like to see our customers get the most out of our software and we advise against integrating with other introductory accounting software such as QuickBooks– it’s simply unnecessary. Blue Link’s distribution ERP is designed for wholesalers and distributors who are frustrated with multiple disconnected technologies to manage their business. The all-in-one system operates as a centralized hub for important data for departments such as accounting, inventory, CRM, warehouse, shipping, etc. This means you don’t need to switch back and forth through multiple systems to have access to real-time, accurate accounting and financial information to make smart inventory decisions.