The Best ERP Systems of 2023

The Best ERP Systems of 2023

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems can help small businesses efficiently manage their operations, from accounting to inventory management to supply chain management.


What is an ERP system?

An ERP system, short for "enterprise resource planning," is a process of analyzing and optimizing business functions to improve efficiency and productivity. This has traditionally involved consolidating internal data to streamline operations, but the use of centralized ERP software has revolutionized the process by integrating once-disparate systems.

The core of any ERP system is a central database shared by the various departments within a company. Rather than using separate data collection and management programs for each department, such as sales, inventory management, and production, an ERP system provides a single hub for all these functions.


To help you choose the right solution for your business, check out FORBES Advisor's ranking of the best ERPs for 2023:

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: This is the most suitable global ERP for small businesses, offering functionality for financial management, inventory management, project management and sales and purchasing. It is easy to use and integrates well with other Microsoft tools, such as Office 365.


  • Katana Manufacturing ERP: This is the best ERP for manufacturing companies. It offers real-time inventory management, production planning, order and sales management, and business performance monitoring.


  • AccountMate: This is the best ERP for financial management. It offers complete accounting, accounts receivable and payable management, customizable reports and budget management.


  • Cougar Mountain Denali Summit: This is the best ERP for non-profits. It offers donation management, nonprofit accounting, member and donor management, and grants management.


  • QT9: This is the best ERP for life sciences companies. It offers full traceability, forms management, audit management and quality management.


  • Acumatica: This is the best ERP for role-based solutions. It offers financial management, sales and purchasing management, inventory and project management, and a complete CRM.


  • Syspro: This is the best ERP for distribution companies. It offers inventory management, sales and order management, purchasing management and supply chain management.


Who Uses ERP Systems?  

ERP systems are not only for large companies but also for small businesses, including independent retailers and services. Any business that aims to collect accurate data can benefit from ERP systems, including those that track sales, inventory, and finances. Although manufacturing and production-based fields have long been popular users of ERP, it is now used in areas as diverse as healthcare, e-commerce, and nonprofit work.


How Do ERP Systems Work?

An ERP system is built on a consolidated database and offers customized management and tracking functions. While technical expertise is still required, it's easier than older siloed management software systems. Employees access the system through a centralized dashboard, which connects to the core database and provides real-time information from different parts of the company. ERP systems can operate on-site or in the cloud and serve as a central hub for a company's functions and data, enabling better decision-making.



ERP systems provide numerous benefits, including increased productivity, simplified reporting, improved accuracy, easier compliance, enhanced agility, better collaboration between departments, and scalability and integration with other systems.


By streamlining and automating business processes, employees can do more with fewer resources. ERP platforms make it easy to generate reports based on real-time data, so businesses can make informed decisions.

Consolidating data management under a single system reduces the risk of errors and discrepancies, improving accuracy.

ERP systems can also automate compliance-monitoring tasks and make it easier to implement changes when new regulations or reporting burdens arise.


Additionally, ERP systems promote interdepartmental collaboration and can be integrated with other systems.


How To Choose the Best ERP System  

When selecting the best ERP system for your organization, there are several key factors to consider:

Core Features:

  • Integrations: Look for an ERP system that can integrate data from various departments to streamline workflows across your business.

  • Shared Database: A centralized database allows all connected software systems to surface real-time data for every user, regardless of the module they are using.

  • Automation: Automation can help speed up cross-functional workflows, such as those involving HR and accounting.

  • Analytics and Reporting: An ERP should provide actionable business intelligence on internal and external factors that impact your business.

  • Security: Given the sensitive information managed by an ERP system, it should have strong security features such as data encryption, automatic backups, multifactor authentication, and system monitoring.



Consider the total cost of ownership, including licensing fees, implementation costs, and ongoing maintenance and support expenses.



Request a demo from the vendor to see the system in action and evaluate its usability and features.



Consider the complexity of implementing the ERP system, including data migration, customization, and training requirements. You may want to enlist the help of experienced consultants or vendors to ensure a smooth transition.



Ultimately, the choice of an ERP system will depend on the specific needs of your business. It is important to consider the functionality you need, the ease of use of the software and the overall cost.