You know the story of the frog in the pot of boiling water? It doesn’t realise the water is heating up until it’s too late. How do you know when it’s time to jump and re-evaluate your current software?
Perhaps this scenario will resonate: you need some financial data in a format that your accounting software can’t give you so you build a spreadsheet to deal with it.
A few months later, your business continues to evolve and before long, your staff are spending hours creating and updating spreadsheets that are out of date as quickly as they’re done. You might even have to pay external parties to help with extracting reports, integrating add-ons and so on. Then you might be saddled with maintenance and support costs.
This happens over a long period but one day you realise the truth: you’ve built a resource-hungry monster!
If only you could travel back through time and have selected an accounting software package that would have provide the information you needed in the format you needed it.
At Wichwon, we can’t take you back through time, but we do help you identify and select the right accounting package.
What’s the right time to jump out of the pot?
If you are experiencing more than a few of the following pains across the various levels of your business, it may be time for you to contemplate a change:
- Increased costs of operating and maintaining hardware and software
- Overworked staff who are compensating for old technology
- Reduced productivity and user satisfaction
- Lack of real-time access to financial data
- Limited visibility to accurately manage cash and budget
- Increased manual effort to access critical financial information and reports
- Increased usage of spreadsheets with limited functionality
- Limited ability to access financial data anywhere, anytime, from any device
- Limited integration between systems, causing manual data re-entry
Out of the pot … and into what?
Before deciding on a new solution, it’s important to define what your software needs to be able to do. Naturally it should enable you to manage these core business processes:
- Payment of bills
- Customisable Reporting
But you may also want other features such as:
- Bank Feeds
- Perpetual Stock System
- Asset Management
- Document Management
- Job Management
- Project Management
- Real time business insights
Another basic decision is whether to choose cloud or desktop? In other words, where the software is going to sit. You need to work out which will be the best fit for your business. Is your internet fast and reliable? If so, you could consider a cloud solution. If not, you may have to remain with desktop software. Will you require add-on modules or work via mobile – if so, you are more likely to be looking at the cloud.
But how do I match so many requirements against the latest software features?
You’ve now listed your key requirements and considered where the software will be housed. Now it’s time to actually evaluate which solution will provide the best fit. Start the process by following the tips below:
- Create a priority list of your requirements, identifying the “gotta haves” over “nice to haves”. Stay focused on what your business needs to run more efficiently.
- Research the software reviews online to gauge how the software is perceived in the marketplace.
- Try to find some existing users to ask them questions about the product and service levels, and if they had their time again would they make the same choice?
- Look into cloud vendors’ infrastructures and business practices.
- Make sure their security, performance, and availability capabilities are much greater than your own.
- Know who will own the data (you need to).
- Check how you get the data if you decide to move providers.
- Some features of the software vendor to look for are:
- They should focus on accounting systems
- Look for a proven track record, sustained growth, and financial strength
- Do they have products focused on organisations of your size?
- Don’t get distracted by shiny features you may never use!
A strong accounting system should provide your business with a good ROI (Return on Investment). Typically, you will find value in three areas: business visibility, revenue gains, and cost savings. Consider some of the features that will do this for you:
- Automation – set it up once and allow the system to do processes automatically. This saves labour time and reduces human error risk.
- Bank Feeds – reduce data entry time and errors
- Real time Reporting & Visibility – make informed decisions quickly
Wow! There’s a lot to consider. I need help!
At Wichwon, we’ve applied 25 years in an accounting practice to develop a free analysis tool to enable you to know which platform will suit your business the best. You enter some key criteria into our comparison engine, and we match it against the latest products from all the major vendors, then provide you with a free report.
Not only can you buy the software of choice through Wichwon at the market rate (of course you’ll receive any special deals the vendor offers at the time), we can also optionally team you up with the best trainer in your region in case you need assistance.
Making a great business decision never felt so sweet!