If you have considered trading in your old accounting software for the latest and greatest, you are not alone. Working with out-of-date or manual processes can be as frustrating as they are time-consuming.
Like any new addition to a company software roster, understanding where to start and identifying points of difference is crucial. Here are 6 things to consider:
- Could your time be better spent on other aspects of the business? How much of your time are you spending analyzing, adjusting and following up for answers? These are processes that can take up most your day when your accounting tools are not up-to-date. By using streamlined accounting software, you get access to real-time account information, client billing, inventory tracking, hours and even the ability to pull reports almost instantly.
- The cost of your existing accounting process is often doubled when you consider the amount of resources going into analyzing and reporting manually. Whether you have a dedicated accounting team or you are a small business doing it on your own, considering the value of automated accounting software versus saved resources is a comparison that can shed light on the true cost of your monthly accounting. While quality accounting software will truly save you time, finding the right fit for your business should not take it up. Look for a company that will work with you to identify your needs and provide customized solutions to address them.
- Deciding between hosted versus desktop interfaces can make a big difference when it comes time to rollout a new accounting protocol, as this will impact how data is accessed, processed, backed up and even archived. When making this decision, it is important to consider not just the cost, but how this model will be used in your business and the workplace culture itself. If you will need remote access, anytime, anywhere – a hosted model would be vital.
- What are your primary goals when switching your current accounting process? Is it to save time? To keep up with your growing business? Or maybe it is to have a polished and professional reporting process or to keep closer tabs on the health of your business? No matter what goals come to mind, creating a function “wish list” can make your research into a new system consistent, while keeping your current needs top of mind.
- Making a successful transition from manual or out-of-date accounting software to a new accounting system is an important factor when weighing the pros and cons of this type of investment. Since downtime is almost non-existent when dealing with accounts payable and receivable, preparation is vital to ensure the transition is as seamless as possible. How are the files transitioned into the new system? How far back does our data input go? How much training does the team require, and is that provided? Are all important questions you should ask before you commit.
- What changes could impact your businesses accounting in the next 2-5 years? Consider your business in the future. Are there any needs you can predict right now? By looking at the big picture you can ensure you are setup to handle any major or minor changes in accounting without having to upgrade your software again. This could include expansion into new markets with different regulations and currencies, increases in size, etc.
Let’s not forget that while there may be a learning curve when changing your accounting process or system, the whole purpose of doing so is to make your life easier. Finding a software company that understands your business and can provide support from the first quote to final training is key.