I have recently formed a single person LLC for computer consulting services. I imagine I might expand over the next few years. I have been looking at free accounting packages like NolaPro, but then came across the concept of an ERP (like OFBiz).
I think an ERP would make sense as it is pretty comprehensive, but I also feel like it will be massive overkill for my current one person organization. I realize there is some degree of "it depends on the business", but does an ERP generally make sense for a one person shop, or will I get killed with overhead? What are other people in similar situations doing?
An ERP will cost you in licencing costs, time costs, hardware costs for it to run on, and support costs. Let's say you got it for free, an ERP would make little sense, because as a single person shop you have more to worry about.
It's great that you are thinking big. Be aware of advantages of different ERP apps so that in the future, when you are large enough, you can make the switch.
ERP as you said is massive overkill for a 1 person company. Get Quickbooks and you should be good, as you expand slowly work an ERP system in.
The initial future growth for most consulting firms is to hire more technical help. Most of your problems are going to center around managing projects, proposals, hours and work products. Since these people may be geographically separated, you may want to look into online solutions (37Signals.com comes to mind.).
Non-essential tasks like payroll, billing, can be handled with basic accounting software or outsourced.