ERP for Small Business

Automate workflow with small business ERP software

Today most companies are probably familiar with Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP software. Cloud ERP solutions integrate essential business functions like accounting, inventory and order management, procurement, billing, and services into one system in the cloud. Cloud ERP software is used by thousands of companies, large and small. FinancialForce Cloud ERP provides small businesses the opportunity to grow efficiently and rapidly. As small businesses are experiencing rapid growth, the company cannot maintain that growth without additional organizational advancements such as a solid cloud ERP solution.

What is small business ERP?

FinancialForce’s ERP solution for small businesses (SMB) is built on the Salesforce® Platform. It enables small businesses to align their internal processes with frontline touchpoints, thereby creating a unified, informed voice across the entire organization.

With the ability to instantly leverage the advanced cloud, social, mobile and customer facing technologies, FInancialForce’s suite of cloud ERP software solutions support customer-facing, and back office employees in their everyday workflow.

Interested in learning more about small business ERP software?
Download the Ultimate Guide to FinancialForce

Why should you move to small business cloud ERP?

Spreadsheets not working. Many small businesses begin with old-fashioned spreadsheets. Now you’ve grown to the point where you can’t do without automation, efficiency and auditability. A full function small business ERP cloud solution is critical for a growing company. Adding business models. You’re expanding or changing your business model and require a platform that can support a more complex financial structure which leads you to cloud ERP software for small business.

Modern requirements. Your older system or feature-light solutions don’t cut it anymore. It’s time to graduate to a small business cloud ERP application with today’s must-have features, such as collaboration, mobile device support, advanced analytics, and business intelligence. Scalability. As your company expands, you need back office functions (accounting, inventory, billing, etc.) that can scale to handle more users, more currencies, and more than one business entity. Equally important, you want a cloud ERP system that can keep growing with you—so you don’t have to replace it every few years. Cost-conscience. Whatever your specific reasons, this general rationale applies across the board: cloud ERP is smart business. Deploying or expanding an on-premises system requires major capital outlays for software, hardware, and infrastructure... and after that, ongoing IT overhead for operations and maintenance. A cloud ERP solution for small business replaces all these expenses with a single, affordable subscription. It’s the most cost-efficient kind of system to own and run.

What are the differences in cloud platforms for a small business ERP solution?

Clouds come in three basic varieties, and they’re not all created equal:

Hosted single tenant. This model is also known as hosted software-as-a-service (SaaS), or single-tenant SaaS. It means that the vendor houses (or hosts) your small business ERP solution on its own servers, in its own data center... or on hardware belonging to a third-party supplier they work with. You have your own private “instance” (or copy) of the cloud ERP software and related data, running on hardware dedicated to your company alone. In technical terms, you’re a “single tenant.”

Multi-tenant SaaS. Also known as public cloud, this is a vendor-hosted option in which a single software instance serves all customers. Your company’s information is logically separated from everyone else’s. Security is airtight: your small business ERP application data is kept completely private and safe from intrusion. In fact, on a mature multi-tenant platform such as the Salesforce platform, security is even better than on physically separate servers.

Private cloud. In this model, you buy and own the software system and run it yourself, in a “cloud-like” environment that only your company can access. Instead of residing on servers at your physical site, the software runs on cloud infrastructure that you lease from a third party—for example, a service like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.

Which cloud do most small businesses choose?

Multi-tenant. For small businesses, multi-tenant SaaS is generally the simplest, safest, and most cost-effective option. There’s nothing to purchase or install: the vendor operates, secures, and maintains everything. System customization and scale-out are quick and easy, and updates are automatic and painless—you’re always using the most current software version. In short, someone else handles IT so you can focus on running your business.

What capabilities should you look for in a platform for small business cloud ERP?

This is an important consideration: the capabilities built into the cloud infrastructure itself. Each vendor platform comes with different features, and these too are not created equal. Here’s a helpful checklist of must-have capabilities:

Robust Security. Opt for a cloud ERP platform that protects your critical data from theft or compromise. Measures to look for include multi-level security, failover data centers, and automated backup and recovery.

Mobility. In this era of “bring your own device,” your accounting app needs to work smoothly on whatever smartphone or tablet employees prefer when working somewhere other than the office.

Easy customization. Your cloud ERP platform should come with tools that let non-IT users tailor applications to your company’s needs.

Social collaboration. Productivity soars when work teams can communicate and share information—right from the page they’re on, rather than having to toggle back and forth between systems.

Large ecosystem. No app should be an island. When you choose a cloud platform that lots of vendors have built on, you gain a ready-made universe of complementary business apps that work seamlessly with yours. This eliminates the kind of integration hassles it hurts to even think about.

Why do many small businesses select the Salesforce platform?

The Salesforce platform supports all of the above and more and is the foundation of Salesforce’s multi-tenant cloud (see multi-tenant SaaS above). The Salesforce platform ranks among the largest and most mature cloud platforms in the world, serving millions of users for 20 years and counting. Here’s why:

✔ Security-wise, the Salesforce platform has all the safeguards listed above, plus audited compliance with high-level certifications including ISO 27001 and SSAE16.
✔ The platform is natively optimized for tablets and smartphones: users get a consistent experience across devices, with data that’s always up to date.
✔ Apps built on the Salesforce platform can be quickly and easily tailored or extended with clicks, not code. No more waiting for IT to get around to doing what you need. Instead, non-technical users and admins can customize your system themselves.
✔ Salesforce Chatter – the business social networking system - is built right into Salesforce platform. It’s easy to embed Chatter within your small business ERP, so users don’t have to jump to another environment to collaborate and share files and data.
✔ Salesforce Platform wires you into the AppExchange marketplace—a pre-screened ecosystem of complementary business tools that integrate smoothly and naturally with your cloud accounting app.

The most important of these solutions is Salesforce CRM, the pre-eminent system for managing customer relationships. You can embed Salesforce CRM within your cloud ERP, to unite all relevant customer and financial data on the same screen. Think how much more productive that will make your team.

FinancialForce: The only customer-centric ERP on Salesforce

FinancialForce’s ERP solution for small businesses (SMB) is built on the Salesforce® platform. It enables small businesses to align their internal processes with frontline touchpoints, thereby creating a unified, informed voice across the entire organization.

With the ability to instantly leverage the advanced cloud, social, mobile and customer facing technologies, FInancialForce’s suite of cloud ERP software solutions for small business support customer-facing, and back office employees in their everyday workflow.

What are must-haves in a cloud ERP system for small business?

Most likely your small business is selling products, subscriptions, and professional services and multiple combinations thereof. In today’s new services economy, where customers in both B2C and B2B are devouring subscription-based services, the billing landscape is getting more complex and the customer experience more important. But some small business cloud ERP solutions are not equipped to help you execute and this could impact customer retention.

Customer-centric ERP is requirement

Most cloud ERP systems are still designed for the linear, transactional order-to-cash process. Using such systems will unfortunately turn the back office into an anchor, slowing innovations and new models developed by the rest of the business. If you want to be able to act rapidly and intelligently to best serve customers in the new services economy, you must instead choose a small business cloud ERP solution built around the following key elements.

1. Business model agility

The vast majority (80%) of companies have noticed a change in how their customers want to access and pay for goods and services, and 50% of those same companies are changing their pricing models as a result, according to The Economist. Businesses must now be able to develop and leverage flexible, ever-evolving business models that can adapt to changes in technology, the competitive landscape, and customer expectations.

Running your business in entirely new ways requires an ERP system that allows you to view multiple revenue streams, easily add new business models, and transition to emerging regulations (e.g. ASC 606, IFRS 15) without disrupting core business processes. The ideal ERP solution will not just let you redefine your business but will also give you real-time access core metrics around forecasting, profitability, and customer success.

2. The master customer record

A truly customer-centric ERP will connect all back-office functions and data (ERP) to the front office (CRM) to produce one master customer record. With a single record, you get a single, seamless experience from customer acquisition, quoting, and contracts to internal financial operations and fulfillment. Every conversation, every transaction, every quote, every request, and every documented customer interaction will be accessible from one place stored within your small business cloud ERP application. Not only does this empower customer-facing staff to provide immediate, high-quality support, but it also grants financial leaders a wealth of data with which to develop strategic insight into pricing adjustments, contract amendments, and service delivery tracking – all with the end goal of customer satisfaction and retention.

3. Predictive insights

Ultimately, the ideal small business ERP solution should offer you a complete view of your business within the context of your customers' journey - from transactions to people hours to process details and interactions. Those best positioned to thrive, will be those that can access all this data to derive future best practices and predictive intelligence.

The right ERP should grant you deep understanding of your utilization metrics and give you the power to predict future customer patterns and behaviors so at any given time you can act in the best way for your business. In the new services economy, every organization will have countless paths to choose from, but focus will remain as important as ever. Optimizing your business outcomes based on leading indicators vs lagging indicators will allow you to guide your business in the right direction.

4. Harmonious billing for customer retention

Your company’s credibility, which took so long to build during the marketing and sales cycle, can disappear the second a billing error occurs. Manual entry, inflexibility, and lagging payments can turn customer wins into bitter losses. To avoid discrepancies or cumbersome steps that don’t make sense for your customers, ensure that you have flexible billing systems and processes that support your various revenue streams, which are often only found within a cloud ERP solution. It’s important you fffer a seamless billing experience from the time an opportunity closes all the way to billing, payment, renewal, and revenue recognition.

Why small businesses choose FinancialForce ERP on the Salesforce platform

FinancialForce offers the leading customer-centric ERP, helping small businesses and other sized organizations rapidly translate demand into new revenue models, run more predictable business operations, and increase customer lifetime value.

Unlike other ERP applications, FinancialForce extends the value of your Salesforce applications (e.g. CRM, CPQ, and Einstein) by seamlessly unifying sellers, professional services teams, and traditionally back-office professionals. Running your business with customers at the center empowers you with highly actionable and holistic insights at every step of the customer lifecycle, ultimately driving business growth.

Solution Overview

Whether your company offers professional and business services alongside products, delivers products-as-a-service, or leverages a services-only business model, FinancialForce was built for you.

  • Accounting & Financial Reporting
  • Order & Inventory Management
  • Procurement
  • Professional Services Automation
  • Revenue Management
  • Subscription & Usage Billing
  • Analytics - Powered by Salesforce Einstein
  • ERP Community
  • Services Community

“With workflow efficiencies, automation opportunities, and integrated data driving business decisions, financialforce does not feel like additional cost but more like a cost-saving exercise for our organization.”

Dan Paget, Chief Solutions Officer, Jellyfish

FinancialForce ERP product benefits for small business

Ideally featured for a startup yet robust enough to serve the most complex, multinational organization, FinancialForce ERP automates your entire opportunity-to-cash process, helps you manage revenue precisely, and delivers the flexibility you need to take on new business models and thrive in the new services economy. Plus it’s easy to implement, straightforward to learn, and trouble-free to maintain.

What are some key attributes?

Limitless revenue models
Extensible and configurable, the small business ERP app manages multiple revenue streams so you can add new lines of business, move into new markets, and expand overseas while staying in complete control.

360° view of financial health
Get comprehensive customer reporting, spanning conversations and transactions in billing, accounts receivable (AR), sales, and services. Have everything you need to better serve and delight customers with this small business cloud ERP.

Master customer record
Eliminate the costs and risks of synchronizing transactions and master data across different systems. Share workflows and approval processes, use common reporting and analytics tools, and break down walls between departments.

Automatic opportunity-to-renewal
Automate the entire billing and collections process from the time an opportunity closes all the way to payment, renewal, and revenue recognition. Keep days sales outstanding (DSOs) low and cash flow strong.

Limitless revenue models
Extensible and configurable, our app can manage multiple revenue streams allowing you to add new lines of business, move into new markets & expand overseas while staying in complete control.

Seamless decision-making
Get 100% real-time financial analysis and modeling, so you can make real-time decisions anywhere, anytime. Also, take advantage of our advanced analytics and reporting powered by Einstein.

Enterprise-class audit trails
Adhere to numerous compliance requirements with built-in features and reports for ASC 606, IFRS 15, Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT, SOC 1 and more. Simplify audits with all your transactions, supporting documents, approvals, and conversations in one place.

Get started with FinancialForce cloud ERP software

Our software is easy to deploy and understand. The implementation consultants ensure you are up and running very quickly and efficiently, with a minimum of impact to your IT team. Our goal is to ensure quick return on investment for small business owners; you pay for only what you need.

If you are a small business owner looking for cloud ERP solutions to streamline your business, contact us today!

Cloud ERP Tour

ERP CRM software

FinancialForce ERP is a customer-centric, end-to-end enterprise resource planning solution built on the Salesforce platform. By keeping the focus on the customer, FinancialForce, helps companies accelerate high growth, deliver maximum value and increase efficiencies.