How much does ERP cost?

Your ERP cost will vary depending on many factors, including your vendor’s licensing policies, your number of users, the industry you’re in, and how many customizations and integrations you need. Read on to find out what to expect—and how Cloud ERP changes the game.
Cloud ERP Pricing - How much does ERP cost

How is ERP cost determined?

Changing your financial and business management software represents a significant investment of time and money. Invariably, one of the first questions will be, “How much does an ERP system cost?”

The answer is: It depends on what you need.

ERP applications are complex and there are many factors that need to be considered before a final price can be given. However, since there are many elements in common among most ERP products, we can provide some general guidance on typical, user-based ERP pricing.

Before you read any further, you should be familiar with the terms included in the section, “Clearing the confusion from buzzwords around the cloud,” from What is Cloud ERP Software?

ERP Licensing

In general, you either buy the software license outright or pay a monthly subscription for the license. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, including:

  • Tax advantages of capital vs. operating expenses
  • Paying one large upfront cost vs. on-going monthly costs
  • Total cost of ownership over the lifetime of the product

When purchasing the software outright, you will also be expected to pay an annual maintenance fee for upgrades. Upgrades are usually included as part of subscription pricing.


In addition to the base software cost, almost all ERP vendors will charge a fee for every user of the system (Acumatica does not). Users are typically categorized as “heavy” users (those users that need access to the system all day as part of their work, like the accounting staff) and “light” users (those users that only use the system occasionally for price lookups or to enter time and expenses). Licenses are either given to specific user names that can only access one system at a time (named users) or by the total number of users that can access the system at the same time (concurrent users).


Your ERP cost will also vary depending on your industry. For instance, a large manufacturing or distribution company will need to augment base Accounting and Financial functions with capabilities such as inventory management, bills of material, and shipping and receiving, functions that most strictly service companies don’t need. These additional functions add to the overall cost of the base product.


Since every company is unique, there will typically be some additional customizations required to get the software to operate with your business processes. Whether you provide the software developers or your implementer does, customizations will increase your ERP cost.

Additional Products

Most ERP solutions support a number of third-party software products (or extensions) that can help businesses meet specific needs that the base system does not, such as integration with credit card vendors, EDI compliance, sales tax automation, and marketing automation, to name a few.

Jo Young
"If you want a modern forward-thinking ERP that’s easy to implement, flexible, and a joy to use, put Acumatica on your evaluation shortlist."
Jo Young, Managing Director

So, How Much Does an ERP System Cost?

In addition to the cost of the software itself, the final ERP cost to actually implement the software is also affected by factors including:

  • The complexity of your particular implementation
  • The complexity of migrating data from your old system into the new system
  • The number of external interfaces you need to support
  • Transaction volume
  • The complexity of customizations
  • Training users on the new system

These ERP cost factors can vary widely, but, for most ERP products, expect to pay about 1.5 to 2.5 times the base cost of the software for implementation services.

To find out for yourself the real cost of an ERP system, and to get an estimate of the Return on Investment (ROI) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of a new system, use Acumatica’s ERP cost calculator. See the blog ERP ROI Calculator: How to Get a True Return on Investment (ROI) Calculation for more.

How does the cloud affect ERP cost?

Deploying ERP software in the cloud offers companies distinct advantages, most notably: Convenience and cost savings, because there is no upfront cost to purchase the hardware or staff to maintain it. The hosting providers usually handle:

  • Hardware configuration and maintenance
  • Software installation and maintenance
  • Data backups
  • Multiple levels of security
  • And more

Most cloud implementations are only available with subscription pricing.

For more benefits of cloud ERP, see the article, Why Is the Cloud the Future for ERP Implementations?.

Why flexible cloud ERP pricing and licensing is important?

Business growth can be attributed to many things: smart decisions, motivating leaders, customer satisfaction, team effort, and modern technology. This last item in particular can be a game-changing proposition. Technology, in the form of a cloud ERP solution, can be the backbone of your business. It streamlines and automates your financial, sales, customer management, business intelligence, and reporting processes. Deciding to implement cloud ERP is becoming a necessity for succeeding in today’s marketplace.

As you evaluate your cloud ERP options, you should ask yourself some important cost-related questions:

  • Do I want to buy ERP licensing outright or pay a monthly subscription?
  • How does the industry I’m in affect the cost (e.g. a manufacturing or distribution company may need additional functions, such as accounting and financial as well as inventory management, BOM, etc.)?
  • Will my customizations be cost prohibitive?
  • How much will it cost to integrate with third-party software products?
  • How much is the ERP implementation (which is based on complexity, data and transaction volumes, number of external interfaces to support, and more)?
  • Does the ERP solution offer deployment options—on-premise or cloud-based version—and which one do I want/need if it does?
  • How will our team learn the new software and at what cost?
  • And is there a consumption-based cloud pricing option?

Per user pricing limits growth, but if you’re charged for resource usage, then you can expect to provide all (not some) employees with real-time data. They can use this information to do their work quickly and accurately and to make good business decisions. Additionally, having the ability to grow-shrink resource levels and data storage when you need is a huge cost-saving benefit.

See what’s possible when you have a future-proof ERP platform that truly puts customers first.