Excel is like a cordless drill. A cordless drill is cheap, easy to use and available at every hardware store. You don’t need a contractor to hang a picture frame on the wall. But there are jobs that are not so suitable for the cordless drill. Assembling your garden shed may be possible with a cordless drill, but building a multiple story house will probably require other tools.

During my carreer as Dynamics NAV consultant I’ve come across many companies that keep their accounts entirely or partially in Excel. They started using Excel years ago and don’t really see why they should switch. Usually the Excel sheets have grown to huge files with tens of worksheets. But Excel offers them all the freedom and control they want. Why switch to an ERP system? Here are twelve reasons to switch from Excel to ERP in the cloud.

And by the way: most of these reasons also apply to accounting in a custom built system, such as an Access database or Lotus Notes.

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There are still people out there that assume it’s risky to move to the cloud. Usually, this is more a feeling than a logical assessment. Letting go of control can be a difficult thing, especially if letting go means entrusting your business-critical data and processes to an off-premise entity. 

Most organisations don’t buy an ERP system for fun. They expect benefits for this, and the benefit of course must outweigh the costs. So they start with making a cost benefit analysis. Unfortunately, this is more difficult than it sounds. But it does pay off.

In the over 15 years I’ve been an ERP advisor, I’ve discovered a trend in oversights managers and business owners make when they are thinking about buying ERP. Although most seem obvious, it’s surprising how many businesses neglect these basic rules: scalability and adaptability, TCO, avoiding dream systems and keeping your freedom.