What kind of funtionality would be "new" and "exciting" in the area of Accounting software and small ERP?
I'm searching for new ideas as far as Accounting software and small ERP is concerned. Functionality that is rarely found in affordable out-of-the-box software.
ERP is gaining great popularity as a good accounting software product. As businesses require better integration for their process, ERP products seems to be suitable. Few years ago, QuickBooks was the most used accounting software due to its automated organizational capability. It is very useful for small and medium scale industries. It provides facility to print checks as defined here https://www.checkomatic.com/quickbooks-checks/ or invoices online from anywhere. Even it is useful in managing payments, payroll functions etc. However, an ERP solution provides features like analyzing human resource, tangible and intangible assets, customer relations and much more. Choose a most suitable one according to your company’s need.
Tracking each and every banking transaction, listing who is yet to make a payment, tracking out the bounced checks and the feature to add multiple attachments and templates are some of the new accounting features that would be highly beneficial for a business organization in the accounting perspective.
I would look to a cloud based solution that fills the requirements you have. No hardware investment, and no capital expense. Generally, cloud solutions have more functionality that premise based solutions where additional modules cost extra.
One product to look at is Microsoft's cloud offering, Dynamics:
There are a lot of small business ERP's out there, and each of them is geared to particular industries. The same is true of accounting software, and many times the two are combined in the same product.
Just a comment: I am really amazed with the traction that this discussion thread is gaining. Much more than what I was anticipating. Thanks to all!
Our company is an OpenERP Silver Partner based out of India. Our primary focus is on End to End ERP implementations for Enterprise clients across the globe. However, we also provide development and consulting services to OpenERP partners. While we are adept with the entire OpenERP ecosystem, we have highly specialised teams in Accounting, HR and Warehousing modules.
Customization is best fit for your requirement.
It really depends what type of ERP and accounting services the business provides. I would like to see video and voice capture web services so the business clients could communicate with business in more human friendly way.
As a professional in this area, I would suggest QuickBooks Online coupled with Method (see www.method.me) as a low-cost but highly flexible and expandable solution to your needs. You can contact me if you need more information.
Mobile and other embedded interfaces like IoT devices could bring the back office into real-time. If customizations are really integrations through a standardized REST API, then the customer gets the flexibility without breaking the underlying functionality.
At its core, ERP supports mission-critical but not market-differentiating processes. That means that as long as the functionality represents best practices, it should be good enough. That is a long way to say that cool new functionality is not what would set apart accounting software or small ERP. But, things like self-service, mobile, and advanced analytics would. So would a simple approach to functionality that is typically present in big ERP (like multi-org or multi-currency or support for both discrete and process manufacturing).
When it comes to ERP, my personal rule is that we should never make any customizations. Why customize or make unique mission-critical but not marketing-differentiating functionality? Do customers do business with me because I am amazing at sending an invoice? Highly unlikely. Thus, I reserve my innovation (and customizations) for what will make a difference for my organization in the marketplace. Customizing ERP means I am over-investing in functionality that will not gain me even the tiniest sliver of market share. In my perfect world, I select a pre-configured (configured to best practices) ERP, convert the data while training the staff how to use the best practices functionality, and go live in about 6 weeks. But, that is just me - an angry, bitter CIO who exhausted teams and companies doing non-vanilla ERP implementations and decided to stop the madness.
With that rant complete, what would set apart small ERP and accounting would be very simple configuration and implementation and end-user tools like mobile, reporting, and advanced analytics - things that most ERP does not immediately support.