Most businesses using an entry level accounting system or legacy ERP application manage many of their processes outside of the system, usually with spreadsheets. These workarounds as their called may even keep the business running pretty smoothly. They are easier than replacing the system and less expensive than a custom application.
The risk of spreadsheets
Workarounds may have become a comfortable way of doing business in your organization. Excel spreadsheets that hold customer and inventory information are stored in shared folders and carefully managed. But there are risks associated with those spreadsheets that put company assets in jeopardy.
Questions to consider include:
Are all the folders housing spreadsheets backed up regularly?
If a salesperson was hired by a competitor, could he make a copy of the customer spreadsheet and take it with him?
Can you pass an audit by your industry regulatory agency based on your spreadsheets?
Are you sure that the equations in your calculated fields are correct?
As your business grows, the risks associated with unsecured and potentially corrupt data increase. Decisions that keep your business going are being made based on the information in those spreadsheets.
Centralize and secure data
Most ERP workarounds exist either because the old system is too hard to use or it doesn’t provide the function at all. To get rid of workarounds, you need a system that is easy to use and works the way your business does. Today there are many types of ERP systems which have become far more user friendly and flexible than the solutions of the past.
Through standardized processes, ERP will improve employee productivity and the consistency of output – whether you create services or products. With all the company information in a central system, managers will be able to make decisions with complete data, without the extra spreadsheets to check.
To keep the foundation of your business strong, you need to centralize and secure corporate data. Today’s ERP solutions are more affordable than you imagine. Cloud options such as Hosted ERP put software in reach for every size business.