How to get the most from an ERP system by using Excel

In today’s market, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and off-the-shelf commercial products are very common. These systems include tools and reports that provide added value and help run a profitable business. However, the blood running through the ERP system’s veins is information, particularly financial information.

Take for example an ERP system of a car dealership using information about the financial transactions the company conducts found in the company’s bank computers to:

  1. Check if customers are meeting their payment schedule

  2. Calculate and send reports to state and federal tax authorities

  3. Calculate sales-person commissions

Large companies have the resources to conduct large technical projects to integrate their ERP systems with their bank’s information systems. But medium- and small-sized companies lack these resources and are forced to find alternate ways to feed financial data into their ERP systems. This is where Microsoft Excel comes into play.

Excel is an invaluable tool in converting bank transaction data into an ERP system. Many banks allow their customers to download this information in a form that is easily read into Excel, such as a CSV file (comma separated value file). Once the data is transferred to Excel it can be modified and easily imported into ERP software by:

  1. Deleting unnecessary columns

  2. Changing column format

  3. Rearranging the column order

  4. Creating new calculated columns

If the bank does not provide a file easily imported into Excel, a PDF to Excel conversion tool can be used to convert PDF bank reports.

By using these tools a company will save many hours of typing each month while providing its ERP system with information that increases its usefulness.

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