Why do I need an ERP System if I already use QuickBooks?

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Okay, so this is one tricky question most small and mid-sized businesses that use QuickBooks — a valuable accounting system — face at some point in time. Some face it when their business starts registering exponential growth, which exposes them to spikes in workload in their accounting department. Some others come to terms with it when rest of the areas of their business, barring finance and accounting, show signs that they are either crumbling, or require attention. But to get the answer to this question, and to understand it in totality, we need to look at few things such as why businesses use QuickBooks, what all things QuickBooks can, or can’t, do for businesses, how is having it different than having an ERP system, etc.

To begin with, we know that accounting and finance are two of the most important functions of any business. Companies run on money, and in order to have complete control over their business operations, companies need to control that money. That is where the accounting and finance functions gain significance. While accounting is an ideal way to keep a tab on company’s financial activities, finance function keeps a check on overall operations of the business and acts as its lifeline by playing an important role in business’ decision making process. This is why businesses pick QuickBooks, a comprehensive accounting system that looks after the accounting and finance needs of a business.

But hold on, are businesses only about accounting, or managing financial transactions? If we talk specifically about the process manufacturing businesses, there is a lot on the manufacturers’ plate, as they need to manage a whole gamut of activities of their business’ various disciplines. There is manufacturing, inventory management, planning, formulation, Quality Control (QC), regulatory compliance, etc. to worry about, apart from finance and accounting. And to manage all these functions, the process manufacturers need an expert ERP system. Accounting software can be good, but ERP solutions are crucial for overall smooth functioning. Through this blog, let’s try and understand where an ERP scores over any accounting software, and why does your business need ERP if you are already using QuickBooks.

What QuickBooks can, and can’t, do for your process manufacturing business?

QuickBooks is essentially a bookkeeping software, which combines different accounting processes into one system, allowing businesses to manage invoices, pay bills, prepare for taxes, generate different financial reports, and track the cash flow. A user-friendly system, it basically rids the businesses from the use of complicated tables and spreadsheets necessary to document and maintain its accounting tasks. While most businesses use the software as it is, some even customize it based on their unique financial and accounting needs. But all-in-all, it remains a tool to manage any business’ financial and accounting activities.

As mentioned above, managing financial transactions is not the only purpose of a business. And when we are talking about process manufacturing businesses, i.e. formula/recipe-based businesses such as pharmaceutical, paint & coatings, food & beverages, personal care & cosmetics, and specialty chemicals  manufacturing, there is a strong need for a software that can look after all the aspects of the business namely formulation, R&D, regulatory compliance, QC, etc. And the QuickBooks software cannot handle all these areas of a process manufacturing business. This is where the need for ERP integration with QuickBooks arises, as an ERP software can streamline all the processes, increase the business visibility, and overall organizational productivity, apart from managing different areas of the business.

This is why you need an ERP even if you already use QuickBooks

Process manufacturing businesses face numerous operational challenges on multiple business ends. There is a dire need to manage the vast trove of business data, achieve accuracy in reporting, planning & scheduling, deal with the quality and traceability issues, manage formulation, meet the different industry and environmental regulatory requirements, develop new products, manage inventory, etc. And to effectively deal with these challenges, process manufacturers need a specialized ERP software, or an ERP for QuickBooks.

An ERP software helps the process manufacturers manage and control countless formulas/recipes for production through its formula management module. Using an ERP, manufacturers can store, retrieve, and revise every formula used in the manufacturing process. It comes with features such as version control, automatic formula sizing, multiple units of weight and volume for ingredients, instant roll-back capabilities, etc., which make a process manufacturer’s life easier.

All the process manufacturing industries are heavily regulated and strictly controlled, which means that the manufacturers need to meet certain quality standards. An ERP software assists them with this requirement as well, with an array of related functionalities such as lot and serial traceability, audit tools, NC & CAPA, electronic signatures, compliance to different local, national & international regulatory requirements, etc.

Managing complex production processes such as mixing, grinding, heating, state change, filling, and assembling, calls for a great degree of automation in the manufacturing operations. And production management module of an ERP software empowers businesses with that automation through easy and quick creation of batches, and complete tracking of different production activities like batch creation, allocation, inspecting, quality checking, automatic batch sizing and material substitution, to full and partial closing.

Another important area where ERP scores over any accounting software is inventory management. While accounting software merely allow inventory tracking, a specialized ERP software can give the manufacturers complete control over their inventory. The manufacturers can efficiently manage their perishable inventory, maintain requisite stock levels required to complete the manufacturing process at any given time through real-time visibility of inventory in stock, and reduce the inventory wastage. Moreover, ERP’s QC module ensures quality control for inbound as well as outbound inventory, by defining different quality checks at every required stage of the supply chain. The results of the QC tests help manufacturers take immediate as well as counteractive action against the items that fail inspection.

What if you don’t want to lose QuickBooks?

If you are into a process manufacturing business, and using QuickBooks, you must have got the answer to the question- why your business needs an ERP system if you are using QuickBooks? And now that you know the utility of an ERP software to your business, you must be wondering whether you need to lose your existing software in order to switch to an ERP. Don’t worry, because if you don’t want to lose your existing QuickBooks software, BatchMaster, a leading provider of ERP solution for process manufacturers, has easy integration available for you. BatchMaster ERP for QuickBooks — the QuickBooks and BatchMaster ERP integration — transforms your business into a more process manufacturing-centric one.

The expertise of BatchMaster, which has been a force to reckon with in the process manufacturing ERP landscape for over 30 years now, when coupled with the prowess of QuickBooks in handling finances and accounting, makes for a potent combination for process manufacturing businesses. The resultant force of ERP integration with QuickBooks excels in completely streamlining operations, handling finance, and satisfying statutory requirements in line with the current government regulations, reach out at sales@batchmaster.com to discuss the integration options for your business.