New ERP vs Grant Management Software –  which takes priority?

This is a hypothetical, but very real dilemma for many Government Agencies, Non Government and Not For Profit organisations. Your organisation has a choice between investing in upgrading to a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system vs Grant Management Software (GMS). Which one should take priority?

The Finance Team will likely align itself with ERP. The Grant Manager will argue the importance of the Grant Management System, and IT will be thinking both implementations will drain its resources.

We will sit on the fence a bit here and make the case that both are important systems to have, for any Government agencies and larger NGO or NFP organisations. There is great value in both systems. They have each been designed to do very different things, but they are also designed to work very well together, and complement each other in differing functionality.

Here are a few things to note before prioritising one over the other. Hear us out.

As powerful and transforming as an ERP system can be, it has limitations when it comes to Grant Management.

ERP systems lack specialised features required for grant management. It will become very apparent, when you try and perform a seemingly simple Grant Management task, like a grant-specific report. They will struggle to produce grant-specific reports across multiple financial years, without considerable intervention from a data analyst or spreadsheet whizz.

As a standalone solution, ERP systems are often inadequate at tracking important data across the life cycle of the grant, ie. grant performance, recipient management, indirect costs, matching and multi-year grants.

The Finance Team vs Grants Team Challenge, who wins out?

Delaying Grants Management Software implementation can lead to inefficiencies and compromises in the grant management process. This may be absorbed by smaller organisations as a headache, but something we can all live with.

For larger organisations, working with a considerable volume of grants, high value grants and complex grant parameters, the absence of a robust Grant Management System will be felt by both these teams.

The Grants team will be burdened with a clunky administrative process. Without integration between ERP and a Grant Management System, the Finance team will be burdened with frequent reporting requests, payment queries and issues. Having to manually extract financial data within the ERP system. Think about how many grants your team have to manage every year and how much extra work this creates.

There may be no winner in this scenario.

IT carry the world on their shoulders; IT Resource Challenges for implementing not just 1, but 2 new systems.

Outside of the Finance and Grants Management teams, there is also the common dilemma nearly all organisations face: IT resource constraints.

Both ERP and Grant Management System implementations will traditionally require considerable involvement from IT. This is where implementation consultants can help ease the burden and streamline the implementation process. Implementation consultants will free up IT resources, whilst also bringing valuable experience and knowledge to get either or both systems up and running faster.

Walkerscott for example, are certified Microsoft Solutions Partners. We are technology consultants who help organisations implement Microsoft Dynamics 365. Our Grants Management App “Klevr Grants” has been designed as an extension that easily integrates with the D365 platform on the Microsoft Cloud. We are able to assist with much of the project, including requirements gathering, configuration, data migration, data integration, deployment, as well as training and support.

So to answer the title question, there are huge benefits in implementing these 2 systems together, it’s worth investigating upfront to see if it’s feasible for your organisation.

The decision between ERP vs Grants Management Software is a critical one for organisations managing grant funds. Grant managers should be vocal advocates for dedicated Grants Management Software solutions, as overlooking their specific needs can result in inefficiencies, compliance risks, and missed opportunities to maximise the impact of grant dollars.

Effective integration of ERP and Grants Management Software systems can offer a comprehensive solution to meet both financial and grant management requirements.

So which one will you prioritise – ERP vs Grant Management System?

To conclude, it is very beneficial for the Finance, Grants and IT teams to all participate in ERP selection and assess its adequacy for grant management needs. Finance and IT teams may not fully understand the intricacies of grant management, but both will stand to benefit from the efficiencies Grants Management Software can offer.

Are you ready to start planning your Grant Management System implementation project? You should check out our free to download Grant Management Software Project Plan Template and GMS Requirements Gathering Document Template.

About Us

Walkerscott are certified Microsoft Solutions Partners in Australia and New Zealand. We specialise in helping Government and Non-Government Agencies and large Not-for Profit organisations implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 and extension apps that integrate with the D365 platform.

Did you know you could be managing your entire Grant program online on the Microsoft Cloud?

Built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform, Klevr Grants has been designed to streamline and simplify the way in which your organisation manages and administers grants.

If you would like to find out about our Grants Management app and how it can seamlessly integrate with your Dynamics 365 set up, please contact us today.