Skip to content
acumatica blog header image 2
Darren Talley

Critical Factors When Selecting a New ERP

Critical Factors When Selecting a New ERP

Where to Start... 

The first step in any new purchase (especially large and costly ones like ERP) is to do some research and begin to compile your options. There are many online lists and resources out there that claim to present objective analyst opinions, reports, comparisons, and rankings. These industry analysts are completely independent, but be aware that just as many are paid by software vendors to include their products in the reports and lists.


So now what?

There are still plenty of online demos, case studies, blogs, and whitepapers to research software solutions and narrow down your search. Other valuable resources are peer networks, friends, colleagues, CPAs, or other professionals, industry groups, and networking groups. Typically you can learn best practices, what to avoid, and get some implementation partner recommendations. 


Paid independent consultants are still used, just not as often due to all of the information available online. However, if you lack a strong internal project lead, an independent consultant can be hired to assist in the software search.


Narrow Down Your Selection

With so much information available, it's essential to keep in mind your critical business requirements and narrow your search to 3-5 software programs to evaluate whether they will meet those requirements. 


In the past, the industry-standard was that if a program satisfied 80% of your business requirements, then the other 20% could be handled either outside of the system, through invasive and expensive customizations, clunky integrations, or disparate systems. 


This thought process is out the door (see our blog about tech debt - yikes!); today's flexible technology-enabled solutions should get you closer to 100% functionality than ever before without extensive customization. We realize that no one software provider can be all things to all businesses, but for many small- to mid-sized businesses, there is a perfect, customizable solution out there. 


It's essential to communicate all of your critical business requirements to vendors, but it is equally important that they show you exactly how their software meets your needs. Nothing says implementation failure like a crucial business requirement not being met after the contracts have been signed.


Integration Capabilities 

Regardless of how complete your solution is, you still need to consider integration capabilities. Even with a program intended to be an end-to-end solution, running a single application throughout your organization is rare. You need something that can allow for easy customization when it's necessary - not just to fill a gap or patch a hole in your processes.


User Experience

Part of what we sacrificed in previous accounting software implementations was the user experience. In the past, we took what we could get, as long as it was fairly intuitive, the user experience was not the top of the evaluation priority list.



Cost-effectiveness and affordability are also important factors to consider. While it's essential to invest in a software solution that meets your needs, it's equally important to ensure that it fits within your budget. Look for software options that offer a good balance between functionality and cost, allowing you to get the most value for your investment.

Analytics Tools

Lastly, built-in reporting and analytics quality should not be overlooked. The ability to generate accurate and insightful reports is essential for making informed business decisions. Look for software that offers robust reporting and analytics features, allowing you to gain valuable insights into your business performance and identify areas for improvement.


By considering these top considerations - fit and functionality, a single end-to-end solution, cost-effectiveness and affordability, integration capabilities, and built-in reporting and analytics quality - you can ensure that you choose the right software solution for your business needs.