For several years, your old accounting software has served your company well, but recently you've realized that your company has more and more spreadsheets, more overtime at month-end and more frustrated employees. Your team keeps making excuses as to why reports aren’t on time and shipments are late. You feel your business could be growing faster, but at every juncture there seems to be an internal roadblock.
So, where do you go from here? The accounting marketplace appears crowded. How do you know what product to choose? Changing systems can be expensive; and my people will be burdened with even more tasks and more frustration, so you 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 you're still experiencing some pain. Then finally one morning you realize how good you are, and you think "that wasn't so bad, why did I wait so long?"
CONSIDERATIONS WHEN LOOKING FOR A NEW ACCOUNTING SYSTEM
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.
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.
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 or change a business process. No developer needed and you can upgrade your system without losing the changes.
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 and tools are the same across the platform.
If your business is struggling with month-end financial reports, redundant data entry, lack of personalization and real-time insights, it's time to look at Gravity Software's cloud-based accounting app. Schedule an online demo of Gravity today to see how our robust solution can help your business grow faster and smarter.
Better. Smarter. Accounting.
This article was originally published in March of 2017 and has been updated and edited for clarity.