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Accounting (ERP) and CRM System Integration

By: Elizabeth McNally on September 11, 2012

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Accounting (ERP) and CRM System Integration

ERP and CRM Systems  |  Integrations and Development

You don’t have to be a business owner with an MBA to know that giving your salespeople free access to your accounting system is unwise.

Nothing against salespeople, but they just don’t understand the importance of debits and credits. And quite frankly, they don’t have to. It’s not their job. Their job is to sell.

That being said, it is important for a salesperson to have access to sales data and key metrics for their customers.

Why Give Your Sales Team Access To Your Financial Data?

Your salespeople need to know who bought what, when and for how much. They also need to know who pays and, more importantly, who doesn’t pay their invoices. All of this data resides in the ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, AKA the accounting system.

So how can we easily make sales and credit information readily available to the sales staff without opening the doors to your entire ERP system? There are a lot of manual ways to accomplish this, such as having someone in accounting run periodic reports for sales, having sales keep their own sales records, and having sales call accounting when they need information. All of those methods work but none are very efficient, and only the third option might result in up-to-date information.

The answer is to use CRM (customer relationship management) software and integrate it with your ERP software.

CRM systems manage not only prospects, leads and campaigns to target potential customers, but also maintain a record of all interactions with these prospects and your existing customers. This includes communications such as emails, phone calls, quotes, orders, invoices and payment history – all of which are critical information to salespeople.

Integrations Abound

There are CRM programs that come ready-made to integrate with ERP software. For example, Microsoft Dynamics CRM readily integrates with Microsoft Dynamics GP, and Sage CRM readily integrates with Sage ERP products such as Sage 100c (formerly MAS90/200) and Sage 300c (formerly Accpac).

If you have already invested in CRM or ERP software that is not created for an out-of-the-box integration, no worries. There are plenty of integration tools available to help allow your ERP program to “speak” to your CRM software. Our favorite is Scribe.

The level of access to accounting data required by non-accounting staff differs from organization to organization, so it’s vital that the solution you choose allows you to decide on that level of access. It’s also vital that the integration or synchronization between the two systems be real time. Salespeople move at a fast pace and therefore need real-time data.

Best of all, when you integrate your ERP and CRM systems, everyone in the organization is using the same data. There’s no need for the sales staff to maintain records in their own “systems,” duplicating work done by accounting. This gives them more time to do what they do well – SELL.

Questions?

Our ERP and CRM experts are ready to get your systems talking to each other. Contact us here or call 410.685.5512 to get started.

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About Elizabeth McNally

Beth specializes in implementing accounting and business intelligence software solutions and CRM systems for clients. Her work with clients doesn’t stop with system implementation, though. She also provides training and ongoing support for clients. Her clients and coworkers know Beth as someone who truly loves “figuring out the puzzle” when it comes to system issues. Not many people can say they’ve been guarded by U.S. Secret Service agents, but Beth can. She once babysat Vice President Ford’s grandchildren at his son’s wedding.