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How to Find the Best ERP Reporting Tools

A reporting tools riddle: what’s faster than your hand, a calculator, and a file cabinet worth of documents?

Before you answer that one, try another.

What’s faster than two software applications that need data exported or converted to make a report?quote management software

If you guessed ERP software, congratulations. You get a prize. As you may already know, today’s cloud ERP is much different than the giant, tunneling enterprise applications of the past. It’s much more suited to SMB, and its reporting functionality can’t be beaten.

After all, what company doesn’t want on-demand reporting for complex data from multiple sources? It’s the perfect recipe for any organization to make smart decisions based on the information they’ve identified as being important.

The Power of Integrated Reporting Tools

The amount of success your business sees is largely a function of your ability to track performance and other data throughout your company. It’s about having the insight to make decisions based on what you’ve seen, and what you can reasonably predict for the future.

Here are some ways that ERP reporting tools can process the complexity and scope of company-wide data sources much better than individual applications.

ERP software has faster reports

For reference, see the opening of this article. Because ERP software is designed to store large amounts of data, it can automatically make calculations without intervention. That means you won’t need to enter a formula or (worse) create one yourself.

In addition to speed, accuracy is essential to good reporting. After all, what’s the point of a quickly generated report if the data is wrong?

ERPs have more dynamic (and customized) reports

Part of what makes ERP software so powerful is its ability to report on data from anywhere in your organization. That means you can generate many different types of reports from within a single source.

Here are just a few types of reports you should expect to run:

Revenue Projection
Project Profitability
Task and Project Status
Sales Order Status
Opportunity Reports
Service Metrics
Team Efficiency
Customer Data

Balance Sheets
Profit and Loss
Cash Flow
General Ledger Transactions

And there’s more beyond that. Because the true power of an ERP solution is its ability to generate custom reports. Pre-defined reports are great for the amount of time they save. But sometimes you’ll need to define data fields specific to your organization.

Setting up custom reports should be easy, intuitive, and flexible. When you’re able to run reports on the exact data you need and filter when necessary, you’ll have the right information to make the best decisions.

ERPs can store documents in one place

ERP systems have excellent document storage and management capabilities. These applications connect data from multiple departments within an organization and store them in a central location. That means finding the data you need is an easier process.

Many companies experience major strains on time and efficiency when they have to pull data from multiple sources to report. Others use integrations to connect two or more applications. Those integrations result in varying levels of accuracy. A single storage source ensures that there is only “one version of the truth” for your data.

Data is easily accessible with ERP software

Because your data is centrally stored in an ERP system, all employees can access what they need with the click of a button. Your company should, of course, be able to restrict employee access to sensitive documents. By simply managing permissions and organizing your files, you can easily gather data from multiple sources.

ERP Software Enables Predictive Analytics

Whether you’re managing a supply chain, customer pipeline, or financial records, ERP software can help you leverage the vast amount of data it collects for future decisions. As Aaron Continelli writes, “By incorporating entire data sets full of information instead of sampling… Big Data allows ERP systems to find patterns and derive meaning from those patterns, supporting decision making with more accurate information.”

Reports work for multiple job roles using an ERP

Without integrated software, employees will be generating reports from different applications. Not only will those reports look different, they may also lack consistency in data. ERP software will allow people in management, finance, admin, and sales roles all to gather data from the same source. The result? Reports become more consistent, and each manager gets the insight needed to create action plans.

Integrated source reporting is also great for project managers who need to track profitability and expenses. Because this data is going to come from the accounting department, it could take a long time to gather. In the ERP, however, financial data is instantly accessible.


Reports exist for insight and action. Your company’s divisions need to process data in order to understand how you’ve performed in the past, how you’re performing now, and what the future could look like. The faster you’re able to get that insight, the more time and care you can take to make the best decisions.

Data stored in separate applications can waste your time and effort to gather. Integrated ERP solutions allow for company-wide data to flow through a single system, accessible to anyone who needs it.

If you’re interested in an ERP system, it’s important to do your research in order to find the best business management solution for you. When you do find it, you’ll undoubtedly have a much better data solution, and the ROI to prove it.