It’s easy to see the value of the Salesforce platform. Salesforce CRM allows businesses to store and manage customer information, automate daily administrative tasks, and supercharge their reporting.
It’s these core benefits and more that have helped companies around the world streamline their technologies and processes while making Salesforce one of the most popular business platforms in the world.
As the Salesforce platform has matured, it has become about more than just sales. By using Salesforce-native customer service apps, HR tools, and ERP systems, businesses have been able to multiply the benefits they earn from the platform. Accounting solutions and other ERP tools especially make a perfect fit: Instead of hitting a wall when the deal closes, your customer data can continue on its path through service delivery and customer success, invoicing and billing, and revenue recognition and renewal. Some businesses have tried to reap these benefits through rough integrations between old ERP systems and Salesforce, but nothing is smarter or more effective than using an ERP solution built on the platform itself. For Salesforce users, it’s a no-brainer.
Even better: the Salesforce platform gets better and better every year with thousands of improvements to usability through the Lightning UX, intelligence and analytics with Salesforce Einstein, mobile and security upgrades, and more. So it’s not just your CRM that gets more powerful every year, but your ERP too. Highlighted here, you’ll find the most important and immediate benefits organizations experience by using an ERP built on the Salesforce platform.
In the new services economy, a business’ success is more than ever tied to the success of your customers. Whether you can consistently and authentically engage with customers—and demonstrate value—is the key determining factor of their loyalty and likelihood to continue buying your product or service. And every team, from sales to finance, has an opportunity to drive positive engagement. But if sales and finance live in completely different worlds, it’s hard to coordinate and keep track of customer engagements.
Using an ERP system built on the Salesforce platform automatically puts sales and finance on the same team. From initial customer engagement through deal close, service delivery, and accounting, everyone has access to the exact same customer record. Everyone has the same data. Everyone gets the answers they need. Everyone can serve the customer.
Managing your organization’s financials with a Salesforce— native ERP gives your finance and operations teams access to the same robust, flexible, and easy-to-use functionality that sales teams have enjoyed for years. Go from tracking leads, opportunities, and customers to also managing contracts, invoices, and other core financial resources. On the Salesforce platform, these aren’t siloed data points but rather an interconnected web of objects and insights you can tap into to achieve your goal, whether that’s just knocking out daily tasks or kicking off an enterprise-wide business transformation.
One of the most important metrics by which to measure an accounting team’s efficiency? How many people and how many days it takes to close the books. Closing the books faster is a function of how quickly tasks can be completed as well as ensuring accuracy throughout the accounting cycle so that adjustments need not be made at month end.
With an ERP solution built on the Salesforce platform, companies like Ansarada and Wyndham Destination Networks report that the time it takes them to close the books has dropped from a week or more to just a single day. Remarkably, they’re not just moving faster but they’re also able to manage their data more accurately and more efficiently, requiring fewer full-time employees to complete tasks.
Salesforce provides activity tracking so that, at a glance, you can see what tasks remain in month-end close procedures. For example, with five invoices still in progress (not yet posted), three payable invoices pending approval, and one bank state- ment not yet reconciled, the ac- counting team must complete these tasks in order to close the books.
A modern ERP built on Salesforce will not only surface these tasks to you but also automate their completion. Bottlenecks to month-end close often include sending invoices, booking rev rec journals, or approving final vendor invoices for payment. With everything automated, month-end close is greatly reduced and requires less manual touch. And because the data is more accurate from the get-go, there’s less work required from a reconciliation standpoint.
Invoicing isn’t what it used to be. In the consumer world, we’re all too happy to cancel the subscription for an unused product or service, and the business world is no different. As the services economy has evolved, your customers increasingly want to know exactly the value they’re getting from your offerings.
Customers want to view their account information on their own time. They want details around what they owe, and they want to make it easy to make payments or to ask questions about their bills. Because Salesforce is a highly intuitive, configurable, and secure platform, you have the tools at your disposal to offer customers their own personalized billing and payments portal. ERP plus CRM allows your team to collaborate directly with customers on any questions they may have while at the same time adding support for multiple currencies, lowering days sales outstanding (DSOs), and optimizing cash flow. It’s a win for everyone.
With their finances on a Salesforce-based ERP system, CFOs and other finance leaders can leverage “customer communities” to personalize invoicing and collections. Like many a self-service billing platform, these communities give your customers access to all their billing information as well as a direct line to your finance team should they have any questions. Most importantly, it gives them an easy way to pay their invoices online.
Making repeatable, predictable tasks easier has always been the point of technology, and with cloud software it’s no different. From the ground up, ERP built on the Salesforce platform automates accounting transactions and accelerates billing cycles, ultimately requiring less resources for transactional, day-to-day administrative tasks. Methods, a medium-sized professional services firm based in London, reported that using Certinia allowed them to automate 95% of finance functions.
In turn, this led to a 40% reduction in back office costs and a 70% reduction in project administration. On the flip side, having a more efficient team means that individuals have the opportunity to shift their focus to more advanced projects that support business growth.
For example, we can auto- mate revenue recognition entries (which are often tedious calculations managed in spreadsheets); fixed asset depreciation entries; and prepaid expense amortization. Additionally, we can automate tasks like collections notifications and report preparation. And with automation we can even enforce control over approval processes. All of this leads to a faster month end close.