Home / Blog / 10 top signs your small business needs cloud accounting ERP software and the free solutions available in South Africa
You have been running your successful small business and it has grown in leaps and bounds. Perhaps like most businesses, you started off by managing the business data on the easiest to get tools available such as spreadsheets, word documents or familiar entry level off-the-shelf function specific packages. As the business continues to generate multi-levels of information, this has increased the demand for richer information critical to decision making. You may not be thinking too much into your small business information requirements until it begins to cost it a significant amount of money and time that could be better utilized elsewhere.
If your small business has three or more of the signs listed below, then it is time to consider leveraging a free cloud based Accounting ERP software. Listed below are the top 10 signs that indicate your small business now needs a cloud accounting ERP.
#1. High bad debts and negative cash flow.
High bad debts are sometimes a result of failing to keep up with the information more than the capacity to pay. When a company has a pot of debtors, being able to remind your clients that it is time to pay up can be time consuming and as a result your debtors grow and for them to pay you becomes another task.
Failure to receive money on time will result in negative cash flow and in the end you are paying for the business using your own money or worse- taking loans from the banks to stay afloat . To avoid this you need a system which is readily available and can be accessed from anywhere. ERPNext is one such system.
#2. Business documents generated manually.
Business documents such as customer quotes and invoices are nonstandard and generated manually with variations of the same documents flying around the office. Preparing client documents takes longer than it should, we won't get started on the effort it takes to find documents older than three months. A good accounting system will make it simple for you to maintain a standard template of your business documents. You will even be able to trace which documents you issued out in the most recent times. ERPNext will help you to stay the most organized amongst your peers.
#3.Recapturing of data
Data is captured at the point of transaction via pen and paper and inefficiencies arise with cost implications because additional staff must be employed that recapture the information on computer applications for invoicing or other functions. The computers at your small business are filled with folders created to store each and every document that the business generates for the customer – you cross your fingers and hope for the best when you think of the ransomware virus! Wastage in the office occurs when there are too many manual processes which require time and resources. A good accounting system will save you on time and effort which in the end is the saving of money and the realization of time to perform more business critical processes.
#4. Business halts when key individuals are absent
Key business processes are only known to one individual or in the worst case are scattered amongst individuals and not fully documented for business continuity. Such a situation makes a business less of a business but more of a dependent on specific people. Processes should be standardized so that they can be captured and able to be reproduced when it matters.
#5. Daily manual reporting to sales reps.
Someone’s daily routine is to compile emails with spreadsheets of stock figures and distributes these to sales reps .ERPNext gives you the ability to have reports at the click of your mouse or swipe on tablet/ smart phone. You are able to compile reports in seconds which would normally take hours and in some cases days to compile.
#6.Weak inventory management or personnel planning
Struggling to meet customer demands because of weak inventory management or personnel planning .One of the biggest business shortfalls is the inability to manage inventory satisfactorily. This can result in losses which are recognized and some are completely missed. It is important that inventory management be done as efficiently as possible so that opportunities are not missed for meeting customer need. A good system can help you to know the inventory turnover and can alert you when stock required re-orders. Don’t let your business lose valuable customer sales, use a dependable system to stay up-to-date.
#7.Ecommerce website divorced from inventory .
The job description of someone in your small business includes: “manual recapture of sales from website in the back-end as well as manual update of inventory quantities after each sales transaction”. ERPNext will help you to integrate all your business processes such that there is no divorced process which will cost you time and labour.
#8.The business is considering spending a small fortune to develop integration between your ecommerce website and your accounting system
With an open source system cost saving is the key word. There is no need for you to spend a fortune when all the capabilities already exists and when customization is needed, experts are available to assist you achieve your objective. Go cloud based today and be ahead of the rest of the competition.
#9.Your sales reps fight over available merchandise to sell.
At any company there is always competition to perform certain activities and with sales reps it’s even more serious due to commissions and their need for work as well. ERPNext will assist you to organize your stock such that everyone can be assigned their appropriate allocations. Your Sales Reps do not need to wonder what is available, they can all have access and you will always know what needs to be sold.
#10.Your CRM solution is independent from the rest of your business systems.
If your CRM is separate from your main operational system there is always that double or triple capturing that will occur which is what you need to avoid. To succeed in a good office workflow you need a seamless capturing of information and the relationship management that can be applied instantly without needing to capture the same details all over again.
The cloud came and changed everything.
The good news is that the cloud came and changed everything. Freely available comprehensive cloud accounting ERPs are now available to small businesses.Because these are cloud based, the accounting ERPs systems offer more capability than traditional ERPs with total ecommerce capability plus payment integration to payment gateways such as PayPal or other payment gateways and they even let small businesses SMS customers from within them. The big advantage with SMS is that it provides a low cost practical alternative for debt collection or functions as a simple communication tool with clients on business matters.
Business process workflow tools that were once exclusively available to only big businesses are now available to small businesses through cloud ERP accounting systems. Small businesses can leverage free business process workflows tools embedded within them that offer a more proactive way of managing business in that transactions are reviewed before transactions hurt the bottom line.Poor proactive management of both expense/purchase transactions and even sales can result in serious liquidity and stocking challenges. Whilst proactively managing expenses is obvious, the less well known is the proactive management of sales; for example ,the sales process must consider the customer’s credit limit, otherwise there is the real business risk of the customer defaulting on payment. It’s a no brainer why small businesses should take advantage of free ERP accounting systems that they can utilise to manage their business to improve their cash flow and reduce bad debts.
Cloud based accounting ERPs mean that sales reps and field service personnel can check real time inventory levels and prices. Fields service personnel can capture data directly into an ERP accounting system doing away with data recapturing: saving the business time and money by eliminating inefficiencies.
Sales reps can generate quotes on the move via mobile devices and because the data is in the cloud – it’s always accessible, anytime, everywhere.
Free cloud accounting ERP solutions are available that make inventory management a breeze – inventory management can be stepped up bymanaging it at batch and serial numbers level.
To experience these and other great features, login to our South African demo company and explore ERPNext.