This question was posed to me a few weeks ago during a phone meeting: how do I know if I've outgrown my existing accounting software? (This person is currently using QuickBooks.) In just a few minutes we identified three very telling signs that pointed to a "Yes". Do any of these apply to your business?
- The system is (or gets) slow: This may be a little subjective - we all think our system is slow a few weeks after we first get it and think it's blazing fast. But if you have to wait for minutes while an invoice posts, or if generating a report takes longer than lunch, then your transaction volume and / or data file size may simply have grown beyond the capabilities of your existing system.
- Manual Spreadsheet Duplication: If you're manually keying a lot of business information into Excel, either duplicating or supplementing data that's in the accounting software, then it's time to consider moving on. And the more time spent in your company manually updating Excel, the more true this is. (And yet some companies will rather hire extra people to handle these manual updates than spend considerably less money on a more appropriate ERP System.)
- Making Business Decisions based on Software Limitations: This one was the clincher on the phone call. The company is considering turning down an exclusive distribution right for what they believe will be a very lucrative product line. Why? Because these products have to be tracked by lot number for potential health recall purposes, and the only way they could do this currently would be manually, outside their accounting software. That would not only be costly, but fraught with risks.
I don't know if this company will decide to upgrade to a proper integrated ERP Software system with lot tracking capabilities, but the fact that they're even thinking this way is a clear indication: the answer to the question above is a resounding "Yes".