Speak to an Independent Software Expert Now
(800) 827-1151 8am-5pm (ET)

Sharpening the ERP Buying Mindset

Overcoming the factors that stand in the way of making the most cost-effective software decision is largely a matter of applying a bit of commonsense and basic decision psychology to your ERP purchase. Let’s take a closer look at some of the decision-making traps that pop up when evaluating software and how to avoid them.

Overwhelmed? We’ll help you find your ideal software solution, absolutely free!

Find out why thousands of businesses trust Find Accounting Software to help narrow down thousands of options to a managable list of top recommendations. There’s no pressure, no obligation, and no cost. Sound good? Let’s get started!

The companies and representatives you sent our way were prompt and thorough… I definitely would recommend your company as a means to exploring options with qualified providers. — Bruce Conley
Your service saved me some very valuable time and hooked me up with some excellent resources. Thanks for providing this top-notch service. — Linda Vittori
Thanks! Having a service like this to help navigate the ocean of accounting software and help identify potential good-fits without having to delve through numerous bad-fits is of tremendous value! — Mark Carpenter

Disciplining the irrational buying mind

When thinking about your ERP decision, an important thing to realize is that people are not perfect decision makers. In fact we all make goofy decisions, often against our self-interest, on a fairly regular basis. We might eat a 2nd piece of chocolate cake in the midst of a diet. A lot of us are bad at saving, but good at spending on credit. We tend to fear spectacular, but less common risks (plane crashes) over more mundane, but probable ones (car wrecks).

Cognitive science has lots of pet terms for these little glitches that impair our decision making: confirmation bias, gambler’s fallacy, present bias, the anchoring effect, and so on. This article isn’t a Pscyh 101 course, though. It’s just an opportunity to self-check to make sure that these impediments to rational decision making don’t effect your critical ERP software call.

Considering all, rather than just upfront, costs

The reality is that there are many, many software options on the market. They range from very inexpensive options in the hundreds of dollars to extremely sophisticated programs that can range into the millions of dollars to address the needs of the largest companies.

Whichever general range you fall into, who wouldn’t want to believe that the program with the lowest initial costs is the right one? It’s an extremely easy trap to fall into. The good news is though, the right software really is the one with the lowest costs. It’s just important to make sure all costs are considered when running the math. When you are considering costs, are you really looking at the full costs or just the upfront price-tag?

Taking software out of the abstract

As buyers we naturally want to believe that the low upfront cost option is going to work. It fits our confirmation bias that it would be lovely to accomplish all of our needs without needing to spend to achieve the return. With tangible, consumer product purchases, we can easily see the differences. Software can be more abstract.

Enterprise software purchasing is also a difficult area in which to gain expertise. A company may only make an ERP software purchase every 3 to 7 years for example. That doesn’t provide much of an opportunity to become an expert. When multiple products purport to handle billing, for instance, as buyers we have to work harder to understand the differences in those offerings. Because of unfamiliarity, we may overrate the fact that each product claims to handle the same task.

But differences do exist. In our billing example, more sophisticated software will streamline processes, allow for approvals reviews, offer greater invoicing flexibility, sponsor electronic means of delivering bills, and assist with a more reliable means for collecting on a higher percentage of receivables. There is a cost benefit to all of these advantages. But, it can be difficult to get past our confirmation biases to take the time to quantify it.

Identifying likely ongoing sources of cost savings

Really, the fact you’re considering software at all is because you’ve identified that your current tools, or maybe even manual processes, are not cost effective. So, it’s important to make sure you are identifying the ways that improved technology can create savings and even enable new profits.

Depending on your particular needs, you will have different cost savings drivers. But some key areas to make sure you are looking at to quantify cost savings include:

  • Automation and efficiency
  • Better financial decision making
  • Tapping new markets
  • Lowering supply costs
  • More effectively upselling and customer relationship
  • Better prospecting tools
  • Lowering job costs
  • And, improving production or project management processes.

“If we run into issues, we’ll switch systems later”

If you hear yourself uttering those words, it’s time to do some hard evaluation of what’s gotten you there. There are two big, potential problems with this kind of thinking in terms of maximizing the cost effectiveness of your software investment.

A tendency to hope for success, without properly planning for failure

The first problem with counting on a back-up plan in case of insufficient software is the natural inclination to underestimate the risk of project failure, not to overestimate it. There are a couple of reasons that this is the case. Confirmation bias again plays a role. We want to believe that the positive experience others have had is most relevant. So, we tend to cherry-pick examples of companies having success with lower cost software. Without even realizing it, we may actively seek out and assign more weight to the evidence that confirms our hope that a solution, which we rationally understand as limited, will work for us.

We’re also prisoners of the moment. We have what cognitive scientists refer to as a present bias. Essentially, if a product looks to meet our current needs, we’re more willing to overlook the evolution of our requirements. The net effect is that issues like scalability and ongoing support tend to get short shrift when we consider the different decision factors.

Remembering to consider the costs of the back-up plan

The second problem with relying on the notion of switching software is that it is easy to fail to account for the full costs associated with something that we are identifying only as a contingency. Switching software is a major undertaking.

There are lots of hidden costs when it comes to a software change that should be considered:

  • Disruption of business continuity. Selecting a software program takes time. Because of the importance that is has to your company’s financial and operational success, that time is likely to belong to your most important employees.
  • Training. Learning a new system represents another investment in terms of both time and money.
  • Data conversion. Migrating data from one system to another is not an instantaneous process. In fact, most companies will rely on an experienced 3rd party to manage the data conversion, which represents another potential cost center.

Often times the most cost-effective solution, will be the one that involves purchasing software capable of scaling with the business. Being aware of confirmation and present biases can help in more carefully assessing the risks related to implementing a partial or temporary solution.

Overcoming bias

So, what’s the overall cure to these natural biases we bring into our software decision making? It’s really a one-word answer: information. By being aware of these biases we are in a position to overcome them. A careful software review involves consideration of various different approaches and quantification of their likely benefits. In many cases, you may find that a lower cost option will represent the most cost-effective long-term solution. In others, you will find that a more significant upfront investment generates tremendous returns. By gathering the data and shedding our natural biases, you position yourself to make the right decision for both the present and the long term.

Popular ERP Software Products

Looking for great ERP software options? Below you can check out a list of the products most commonly considered by others searching for ERP software. The list on this page is based on many years of real software matches. But everyone’s needs are different. Browse for fits with your specific requirements or let us help you identify your top options.

Which software is right for you? Get quick and accurate recommendations.

What if you could simply tell someone about your software needs and they’d find your best choices? Look no further. We’ll listen to your needs and find your top software matches. That’s it. There’s no pressure, no cost.

The companies and representatives you sent our way were prompt and thorough… I definitely would recommend your company as a means to exploring options with qualified providers. — Bruce Conley
Your service saved me some very valuable time and hooked me up with some excellent resources. Thanks for providing this top-notch service. — Linda Vittori
Thanks! Having a service like this to help navigate the ocean of accounting software and help identify potential good-fits without having to delve through numerous bad-fits is of tremendous value! — Mark Carpenter
  • Dynamics GP by Microsoft

    For more than 25 years, Microsoft Dynamics GP has delivered out-of-the-box business management functionality—from financials and human resource management to manufacturing and operations—to power diverse small and midsize companies around...

  • Intacct by Intacct

    Intacct provides professional-strength, on-demand financial management and accounting applications for small and mid-sized businesses. Get the same power, functionality, reporting and security that traditional legacy on-premise systems provide, but...

  • Acumatica ERP by Acumatica

    Acumatica Cloud ERP provides all of the features of traditional accounting, financial, and ERP software, but is web-based so it is less expensive to maintain, centrally managed, and accessible from anywhere. Customers can purchase a license and...

  • Dynamics NAV by Microsoft

    Microsoft Dynamics NAV delivers industry-specific functionality along with multi-language and multi-site capabilities. Its integrated development environment enables customizations with minimal disruption to business processes. Designed to work like...

  • Sage 300 by Sage

    Traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solutions provide an automation platform that connects the functional areas of your business—accounting, distribution or warehouse, and manufacturing. Modern ERP software solutions have...

  • SAP Business One by SAP

    SAP Business One provides a single, affordable solution for managing your entire business, including financials, sales, customer relationships and operations. Streamline your end-to-end operations, gain instant access to complete information and...

  • NetSuite by NetSuite

    NetSuite enables companies to manage all key business operations in a single, integrated system, which includes customer relationship management; order management and fulfillment; inventory management; finance; ecommerce and Web site management; and...

  • Sage 100 by Sage

    Drive growth with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that helps you run your business better. Sage 100 is an innovative, flexible solution for growing businesses with a low total cost of ownership which offers modern architecture, robust...

  • TRAVERSE by Open Systems

    TRAVERSE is an ERP system from Open Systems, Inc. offering financial, operations, and sales functionality. Traverse provides comprehensive integration for key business processes, while offering the ability to scale from 5 to 500 users....

  • Adagio Accounting Suite by Softrak Systems

    Adagio Accounting is a multi-ledger, modular accounting system that provides best-in-class audit controls and financial reporting capabilities. It is designed for small and mid-sized businesses that process significant volumes of transactions –...

  • VersAccounts Cloud ERP by VersAccounts

    VersAccounts was created to bring the power of a modern full-function ERP system to even the smallest business that needs it. It is a recognition of the fact that even small businesses with modest budgets have business operations that are every bit...

  • Denali Business+Accounting by Cougar Mountain Software

    Everything you expect from a leading business accounting solution, plus the tools to manage cash flow, monitor profitability, analyze trends, track inventory, and make informed financial decisions based on real-time accounting data. Let us show you...

  • Sage 100 Contractor by Sage

    Sage 100 Contractor is an integrated business management and accounting system for general and engineering contractors and subcontractors of all trades. The software includes estimating, scheduling, project management, equipment management, payroll,...

  • Dynamics SL by Microsoft

    Microsoft Dynamics SL (formerly Microsoft Business Solutions—Solomon) is designed to meet the specific business management needs of project, service, and distribution-driven organizations, including companies in these industries: *...

  • Sage ERP X3 by Sage

    Sage ERP X3 is the most powerful and flexible business management solution offered by Sage. It empowers mid-sized and larger companies within the manufacturing and distribution industries with the ability to grow a competitive business with limited...

  • Dynamics AX by Microsoft

    Designed for mid-size and larger companies, Microsoft® Dynamics AX (formerly Microsoft Axapta) is a multi-language, multi-currency enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. Its core strengths are in manufacturing and e-business, and it...

  • Multiview Financial Suite by Multiview

    For organizations seeking a solution that easily conforms to their existing operations, Multiview Enterprise .NET n10 offers a flexible, integrated suite of financial solutions. With Multiview Enterprise .NET n10, companies gain superior visibility...

  • Abila MIP Fund Accounting by Abila

    Gain more time to focus on your cause Abila MIP Fund Accounting is a configurable fund accounting solution that allows you to report and track information that is most important to you, your board and your supporters. To help you deliver on...

  • SYSPRO 7 by SYSPRO

    SYSPRO - Software You Can Count On Every day thousands of people on six continents rely on SYSPRO for information, functionality and technology. Formed in 1978, SYSPRO has stood the test of time as a company and as a business solution for...

  • Epicor Manufacturing by Epicor Software

    Epicor Manufacturing is a tightly integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution for identifying and planning the extended enterprise resources you need to capture, produce, ship, and account for customer orders. A distributed,...

  • Business ByDesign by SAP

    The SAP Business ByDesign cloud-based solution (formerly referred to as code name A1S) is a new addition to the SAP offerings for small businesses and midsize companies. It is targeted to the unmet needs of these enterprises, which have...

  • Sage 500 ERP by Sage

    Maximize your operations, insight and competitive advantage to stay ahead of the pack. Sage 500 ERP solutions (formerly Sage ERP MAS 500) provides customizable enterprise resource planning software designed to run every business function at peak...

  • BillQuick by BQE Software

    Flexible, Award-Winning Billing—Choose from 150+ invoice templates that organize your information beautifully. Automate bills to go out on the schedule of your choice to keep cash flow coming in smoothly. * "The Select Items in reports will...

  • Spectrum Construction Management Software by Dexter + Chaney

    Version 14 is the most innovative new version of software in Dexter + Chaney’s 30+ year history. With v14, Spectrum enters the cloud. But we’ve done much more than simply move our existing software to a hosted environment. We’ve completely...

  • Bluegrass Software Solutions by Bluegrass Technology

    A full accounting software system designed by Bluegrass Technology, Inc. Scalable software ideal for small to large contractors. Affordable packages for startup businesses. The best integrated Service, Dispatch and Construction software...

  • Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate by Sage

    Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (formerly Sage Timberline Office) has proven accounting and estimating applications, covering the entire project lifecycle. Integrated Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate product suites include accounting,...

  • Deltek Vision by Deltek

    Powerful Software for Project-Related Businesses At any given moment, effective decision-makers need to understand how your business is performing, why problems occur, the impact on the business, and what you can or should do to enhance...

  • Visual Ledger by Aboard Software

    Visual Ledger is a robust, very scalable and perfectly priced ERP software package that addresses the present and future needs of your growing business. The system incorporates as standard features many unique features that are either not...

  • QuickBooks Enterprise Software by Intuit

    QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions offers the most comprehensive business management tools for growing businesses with up to 30 simultaneous users. Enterprise Solutions allows you to customize any of the 120+ built-in Reports and forms to look the way...

  • Infor CloudSuite Business by Infor

    *Power your company with a cloud-based operations platform built for speed, agility, and growth.* Strategic decision-making is essential for any small or medium size organization, no matter if it’s B2B or B2C. Next-generation companies thrive...

  • Executive Series by Searer Business Technology

    Executive Series Executive Series is a completely integrated accounting solution with strong drill down capabilities. Executive Series is fully customizable through source code to meet the unique needs of your company. Standard features...

  • AccountMate 9 for SQL and Express by AccountMate Software

    AccountMate 9 is a real-time, customizable business management and accounting solution designed to address the needs of medium-sized businesses. AccountMate takes advantage of the speed of client/server technology and the latest...

  • Infor VISUAL by Infor

    Infor VISUAL Enterprise was the first true Windows-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for custom, assemble-to-order, make-to-order, make-to-stock and mixed mode manufacturers. Its leading-edge technology is designed to manage the...

  • True ERP by True ERP

    TrueERP is a software solution that goes beyond accounting. It is a true ERP solution designed to integrate the information from all your key business functions from inventory control, purchasing and manufacturing through to sales and fulfillment...

  • Infor Service Management by Infor

    ##Infor Service Management * One end-to-end solution manages the entire company. * Advanced functionality supports efficiency. * Familiar Microsoft tools and navigation. * Embedded best practices and workflows. * At-a-glance analytics...

  • E‑Syst by Rennie, Lindsey and Associates

    Wholesale distribution package includes the applications listed below * Accounts Payable * Accounts Receivable * Customer Service * Foreign Currency * General Ledger * Inventory Control * Purchase Order Processing * Sales...

  • eTEK Construction Systems by eTEK International

    For close to 20 years, eTEK has offered a broad range of accounting & business management systems designed specifically for general contractors in the construction industry. Systems are available for either cloud-based, traditional LAN-based, or a...

  • Financials, Distribution, Manufacturing and Planning ‑ R4 Enterprise by Royal 4 Systems

    As a Total Solution, R4 financials complete your operation. R4 back office financials delivers a multi-entity, multi-currency and multi-lingual enterprise resource planning system. This system fully integrates AR, AP, GL, and other financial...

  • OpenPro ERP by OpenPro Web Based ERP Software

    OpenPro Web Based ERP Software enables companies to manage all key business operations in a single, integrated system, which includes customer relationship management, supply chain, order management and fulfillment, inventory management, finance,...

  • Data Pro by Custom Design db, LLC

    Custom Design db offers a variety of customized applications to accommodate your specific needs. Each software application is focused to a specific type of work or process or industry. Our applications are customized to fit your business so that the...

  • DENALI FUND+Accounting by Cougar Mountain Software

    A modulated nonprofit accounting software solution for small to large organizations, and CPAs who support these organizations. Our nonprofit accounting solutions are used by The American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Club, Girl Scouts, United Way, YMCA...

  • Activity by nQativ

    nQativ’s Activity software is an accounting solution like none other. nQativ and Activity are an excellent fit for small to medium-sized organizations needing to fuel their business decisions with accurate and actionable data. With flexibility...

  • DS90 by Software Concepts

    DS90 is an integrated and comprehensive software application ideal for small and emerging businesses. It is comprised of ten modules optimized for the IBM iSeries i5 server family, and includes a function-rich suite of applications available in both...

  • AccuFund Accounting Suite by AccuFund

    Accounting software for non-profits, municipalities and other government agencies is the specialty of AccuFund. The AccuFund Accounting Suite is powerful, flexible and affordable financial reporting and accounting software designed specifically for...

  • Focus I ERP by Focus Softnet, LLC

    Focus i is a revolutionary product that combines business intelligence (BI) tools with traditional ERP implementations enabling users to run statistical models, analyze data, extract, and generate business intelligence reports on the...

  • Openbravo by Openbravo

    Legacy ERP systems were designed for dedicated back office users who would undergo extensive training to work the system. Consequently, many ERP projects continue to suffer from adoption failure during rollout, due to poor usability - today's busy,...

  • xTuple ERP for Windows, Linux, Mac and mobile by xTuple

    Use xTuple on-the-go, anytime, anywhere. xTuple’s multi-client approach empowers customers to leverage today's — and tomorrow's — technology, especially employee preferences to BYOD (bring your own device). Users may access xTuple via our...

  • Assist 2K by Rennie, Lindsey and Associates

    Wholesale distribution package includes the applications listed below * Accounts Payable * Accounts Receivable * Customer Service * Foreign Currency * General Ledger * Inventory Control * Purchase Order Processing * Sales...

  • Eagle Business Management Software (EBMS) by Eagle Business Software

    EBMS contains complete enterprise resource planning tools that are important in managing a business more efficiently. The EBMS software is a great upgrade from more basic software such as QuickBooks and Sage 50/Peachtree without a large budget...

  • SouthWare Excellence Series ‑ ERP Software by SouthWare Innovations

    SouthWare Excellence Series - ERP Software SouthWare combines traditional accounting functions with innovative products and services to make work easier for organizations of all sizes in many industries. Our family of integrated financial and...

Your ERP Software Recommendations

Ready to find out which software solutions are best suited for your needs? Great! Understanding that you’re motivated to find ERP software gives us a great start. We’ve helped companies of all shapes and sizes meet their ERP software needs. With a bit more information about your unique requirements, we’ll narrow down to your top options. Let’s get started!

d
What kind of system are you looking for?
What functionality do you require? (check all that apply)
How may we best reach you with follow-up questions? A brief, free needs-analysis conversation helps us identify your top software recommendations.
RequiredFull name, pleaseNice to meet you!
(no abbreviations, please)RequiredThank you!
(we don’t spam, ever)RequiredFormat: bob@example.comValid Email Address
(why do we ask?)RequiredFormat: (555) 555-1212Valid Phone Number
RequiredFormat: 90210, K1A 0B1Valid Postal Code

Your unique business needs cannot be fully articulated in a short web form. That's why, completely free-of-charge, we conduct a ten-minute needs-analysis discussion with people like you who need accounting software. This is not a sales call, and you will not be pressured to buy anything.