What is the Best ERP for Small Business?

Discover 10 of the best small business ERP solutions

What is the Best ERP for Small Business? post image

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solutions are all about ensuring that your most essential business management functions can operate within a single system.

Download Your Free ERP Comparison Guide 2022

When looking to deploy an ERP solution, you will likely require software that integrates human resources (HR), sales, inventories, planning, customer relationship management (CRM), and finance into one platform.

The software should be capable of serving a variety of business functions, and nowadays there is an expectation for the best ERP for small business to be cloud-based and easily accessible for all members of a team across the world.

However, a one size fits all-approach doesn’t always suffice when it comes to choosing the best ERP for small business and the right choice of vendor will depend on your specific needs and the functions provided by the specific software they have on offer.

To aid in the buying process, the software procurement experts at YourShortlist have compiled a handy list of some of the best ERP for small business available on the market.

Man and woman in office using headsets

1.      Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Features: 

  • Payroll, inventory, order, project, supply chain, and risk management
  • Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365 integrations
  • Power BI integration for analytics
  • Secure Azure cloud architecture
  • Microsoft partner support
  • Wide pool of third-party software integrations
Microsoft Dynamics 365 on a tablet

Summary:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is an all-in-one ERP solution to help small to medium businesses streamline processes, enhance customer interactions, and enable business development. It is designed to connect teams in finance, sales, service, and operations through a unified, integrated application and is flexible, customizable, and easy to use.

2.      NetSuite

Features: 

  • Inventory, vendor, and order management
  • Manufacturing and product lifecycle management
  • Accounting (General ledger and configurable)
  • Custom reporting
  • All-in-one ERP solution with modules in financial, HR, professional services automation, omnichannel commerce

Summary:

NetSuite is a suite of cloud-based ERP and accounting modules, used by more than 28,000 customers in 200+ countries and commonly used by mid-sized enterprises within the Computer Software sector. The software presents itself as the first and last business management solution a business could ever need and comes in different editions suitable for varied sizes of business.

3.      Sage Intacct

Features: 

  • Payroll, inventory, and order management
  • Enterprise accounting
  • Collaboration features
  • Multi-dimensional reporting
  • Subscription billing option
Graphic illustrating Sage software

Summary:

Sage Intacct is a cloud ERP system for small business, medium business, and high-growth companies that aims to provide visibility and agility to enable timely, data-driven decisions. It can also integrate with third party CRM software like Salesforce. Additional reporting features include revenue recognition, multiple account charts and reporting books, Graphs/Charts/Performance cards, and report visualizations.

4.      SAP Business One

Features: 

  • Payroll, inventory, order, and logistics management
  • Accounting (General ledger, subledger, configurable and financial process)
  • Procurement, project, and grants management
  • Purchasing, operations, and CRM functionality
  • Relationship maps

Summary:

SAP Business One is an integrated ERP software solution ideal for small to medium businesses, commonly used by mid-sized companies in the IT services sector and rated for its pay calculation and benefit plan administration. The software also has industry-specific features for manufacturing, retail, and wholesale distribution.

5.      IFS Applications

Features: 

  • Sales, manufacturing, distribution, and finance management
  • Powerful and varied interfaces
  • Third-party CRM integrations
  • Built-in reporting and analytics tools
  • Adaptable permissions and access

Summary:

IFS Applications is presented by the vendor as an agile application suite that offers enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprise asset management (EAM) and enterprise project management. The platform supports several manufacturing modes and can act as a support function for ERP and EAM or as a logistics solution in demanding environments like aviation and defence.

6.      QuickBooks Enterprise

Features: 

  • Payroll, inventory, and order management
  • Accounting (General ledger and configurable)
  • Advanced pricing controls and job costing
  • Single sign-on capability
  • Custom reports, including industry-specific reports
  • Dedicated account management, on-demand training, 24/7 technical support
QuickBooks screenshots

Summary:

QuickBooks Enterprise is a scalable accounting and business management software designed for small to mid-sized companies. It enables up to 40 users, with 200+ third party integrations including industry-specific apps. Dedicated versions of the software are available for construction, manufacturing and wholesale, retail, non-profit, and professional services.

7.      Epicor Kinetic

Features: 

  • Inventory, order, and supply chain management
  • Accounting (General ledger and configurable)
  • MRP scheduling
  • Business activity query builder
  • Easy setup and user-friendly interface
  • Customizable, accessible, and scalable

Summary:

Epicor Kinetic is a modular ERP solution system able to solve a breadth of common business needs and help lower management costs, streamline company processes, and improve customer responsiveness. It is designed to be an end-to-end single software solution for small to medium businesses, and can be deployed on-premises, on a private server, or in the cloud as a SaaS solution.

8.      Acumatica

Features: 

  • Payroll, inventory, and order management
  • Accounting (General ledger, subledger, financial process, and configurable)
  • Warehouse management and CRM
  • Automated invoice processing
  • All-in-one ERP solution with modules/Suites in Project Accounting, Distribution Management, and Customer Management.

Summary:

Acumatica ERP is a cloud-based solution providing a range of applications that can be utilised in many ways to accommodate the specific needs of the business. Acumatica is industry-agnostic but promotes its capabilities for retail, eCommerce, non-profit organisations, and small to medium-sized businesses looking to automate their business processes.

9.      SYSPRO

Features

  • Payroll, inventory, and order management
  • Accounting (General ledger and configurable)
  • Role-based user permissions and user-level audit trail
  • Custom reports and interface
  • Document management and reporting
Screenshots of SysPro software on desktop, tablet and mobile screens

Summary:

SYSPRO is a flexible ERP software designed to simplify and streamline critical business functions for the manufacturing and distribution sectors. SYSPRO is modular and allows for scalability, with extensive customization, reporting capabilities, and a high level of data security. 360-degree vision of key activities and business areas allows for insight-driven decision making, strong cost control, and increased productivity.

10.  Odoo

Features: 

  • Procurement, risk management, and logistics
  • Manufacturing and supply chain management
  • Open-source software
  • Module integrations for CRM, project management, and more
  • Business instant messaging and website builder

Summary:

Odoo is a popular open-source ERP solution with over 4 million users and an active online development community, offering a selection of modules and applications that can be tailored to your requirements. Unlike most solutions on the market, you can download a basic version of Odoo for free. The system is easy to extend and develop, fully cloud-based, and has a wide, customizable feature set.

Download Your Free ERP Comparison Guide 2022

How to choose the best ERP for small business

While there are many options on the market, your decision on the best ERP for small business will ultimately come down to whether the system deploys effectively into your working model and integrates with any existing business management software you may be using.

Some criteria may vary, but when assessing whether a small business ERP software will mesh with your business and provide value, consider these key questions.

Is there industry precedent for the solution?

Learn from your peers and competition on what is the best ERP for small business within your industry and research whether the software can deliver as promised.

Reviews or testimonials can provide proof of functionality and help flag any potential issues that will affect implementation for your business.

If in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask the ERP provider about the industries for which their software has a successful track record of implementation.

Many of the best ERP for small business will have features specific to one or a few industries, meaning you can be confident about whether they will provide value or not.

Will it provide a return on investment?

Consider specific functions or processes within your company where you want to reduce long-term costs and increase efficiency the most. These areas are where an ERP solution will be most valuable.

For example, if your business is suffering from an undermanaged HR department, you should choose a small business ERP software that specialises in this field. Or if you’re looking to integrate ERP and CRM functions, then the best ERP solution for small business will provide both from a single platform.

You should then consider the system’s specific long-term savings on hardware, software, or workload costs, and ensure that the benefits make implementation worthwhile. 

Many of the best ERP for small business come in a range of subscription-based or modular plans, often increasing in cost with additional users or applications, so you should discuss your requirements with the ERP software provider to assess which package or license will be a worthwhile investment.

Young man working on laptop

Will the solution provide longevity?

Software implementation is costly, time-consuming, and disruptive, so when you choose an ERP provider you are effectively trusting them to continue supporting their software solution for many years to come to avoid repeat implementation projects.

The best ERP for small business will come from software partners that are able to provide effective support during and post-implementation.

If the provider ceases to trade or discontinues the software, then your company will be forced through the challenge of migrating to another system.

Issues can arise even if the software is updated infrequently, as this can set you back in terms of new quality-of-life features or functionality and make the software less effective than more agile, advanced solutions.

A lack of updates can also put your ERP infrastructure and data at risk from security breaches, cyberattacks, or compliance failures.

Thoroughly research your chosen software vendor, their customer base, and financial position to determine if they will likely be able to work with your business for many years to come and keep their software regularly updated and futureproofed.

What functionality is on offer?

The best ERP for small business should provide functionality that supports and improves your current business processes.

Many platforms are modular and provide a suite of applications that can be used in conjunction to serve different business processes or functions.

A key aspect of the best ERP for small business is a user-friendly interface, with ease of setup and access for all users within your business, providing intuitive functionality that can be explained or taught with minimal hassle.

Implementation of your small business ERP software should be seamless and should not disrupt the day-to-day operation of your business.

Your chosen ERP solution should be able to effectively expand and grow alongside your business, with regular updates or new modules to keep the platform functionality current and efficient.

We hope this list has given you some ideas on how to choose the best ERP for small business, but the easiest way to find the shortlist of ERP platforms and vendors that suit your business is to speak to one of the software procurement experts at YourShortlist.

Your ERP Needs. YourShortlist.

As a key decision maker, you’ll have to do your homework before choosing the best ERP for small business. Rather than spend time and money sifting through hundreds of potential options, why not speak to someone who can tell you exactly what’s out there that meets your requirements.

At YourShortlist, our goal is to make technology procurement simple, transparent, and cost-effective by matching businesses with the right software providers.

We’re all about helping our members understand, choose, and implement the solutions that will pay dividends and facilitate successful growth. We manage a wide database of over 680 software partners providing solutions in ERP, CRM, cyber security, cloud migration, finance, IT, HR, and more.

With the help of YourShortlist, IT buyers across the globe have made better-informed decisions on new software, infrastructure, and managed services to improve their business.

Our non-chargeable service includes:

  • Independent buying advice on the best ERP for small business
  • A bespoke shortlist of specially selected partners experienced in implementing ERP solutions for your industry
  • Partner background information
  • Free call-backs from partners with no obligation to purchase

If you’re on the hunt for the best ERP for small business, then speak to a member of our team today to discuss your requirements and begin the journey towards a free, no-obligation shortlist tailored to your business; YourShortlist

Book a meeting with our team or call us on +44 (0) 20 4532 5532 and we can work to match you with the software partner you need.       

Get in touch to find out more about the benefits of becoming a YourShortlist Member.