For several years, my old accounting software has served my company well, but recently I’ve realized that my company has more and more spreadsheets, more overtime at month end and more frustrated employees. My staff keeps making excuses as to why reports aren’t on time and shipments are late. I feel the company could be growing faster, but at every juncture there seems to be an internal roadblock.
So, where do I go from here? The accounting marketplace appears crowded. How do I know what product to choose? Changing systems can be expensive; and my people will be burdened with even more tasks and more frustration, so I only want to do this once.
Changing accounting software is like having surgery. Your company hurts, but you keep putting it off until you can’t stand the pain. Then you have the surgery and for a while it hurts even more. Then finally one morning you realize how good you are. And you think why did I wait so long?
Some things to consider when looking for a new accounting application:
- Technology – Is the new accounting application using the newest technology? Is the software company committed to keeping up with new technology? You don’t want to be on the “Bleeding” edge, just the “Leading” edge. The largest issue with new automobiles is the adoption of technology before it is ready.
- Blocking and Tackling – Any new system must do the basics well. Build a list of required functionality and make sure the application can do it.
- Flexibility - Over time, your company will change: new products, locations or business processes. Is the software flexible enough to grow with your company? Can you change processes easily? The last thing you want is to go through surgery again.
- Cost of Ownership – Most people only look at the licensing cost for a new application to evaluate ROI. Licensing is just a portion of the cost. Implementation, conversion and training costs must be included. But most importantly, the everyday cost of using the system is almost never evaluated. If the system is too complicated, your staff will be fighting it every day. I know a company that bought an expensive enterprise system because they were growing to 15 locations, and a year later after losing several employees, they went back to their original system and spreadsheets.
- Personalization – No one system will meet every company’s needs out of the box, so most products have some way of customizing the system. This usually means bringing in developers, customizing code at a high cost. Now your company is stuck on one version and can’t upgrade. New systems allow their products to be “Personalized” by the end user. Add fields, add work change a business process. No developer needed and you can upgrade your system without losing the changes.
- Open Platform – Many of the systems on the market were written on a proprietary platform. They often provided bridges for programmers to automatically import data from a separate application. An open platform allows companies to build applications on the same database, same user interface, and same security. An open platform allows you to expand with new applications as your company grows without having to re-implement each time. Training is minimal because the User interface, actions tools are the same across the platform.
How do you find an Accounting System like this? Easily, Gravity Software, the technology just works!