Your accounting software maintenance has lapsed, now what?
Software maintenance often flies under the radar for business leaders who have more pressing things to worry about in their day-to-day responsibilities. This can sometimes lead to maintenance lapses where leaders simply forget to renew their maintenance plan. Other times, managers intentionally let their maintenance lapse because they don’t see the point. They figure everything is working fine now, why pay for something I don’t need? But the truth is, software maintenance plans are critical for not only maximizing the value of your software investment, but also protecting your critical data. Let’s look at why accounting software maintenance is so important for the continued success of your small or midsized business.
What is accounting software maintenance?
The first thing to understand about accounting software maintenance is that it’s about more than just fixing bugs in the system. It also includes making updates to the system to improve functionality and boost security. Software maintenance in general falls into four categories:
Corrective maintenance – This is the traditional “bug fixing” type of maintenance with changes made to correct problems that are discovered within the software.
Adaptive maintenance – These kinds of changes help the software keep up with the industry and changing market conditions so that the system better reflects the current technology and business environment.
Perfective maintenance – These are generally updates made to improve the software over a long period of time. These changes may include new performance upgrades, new features, new design updates or other system upgrades.
Preventive maintenance – These changes are aimed at preventing future software problems, particularly when it comes to potential cybersecurity threats.
So, as you can see, maintenance covers a lot of ground when it comes to keeping your software running and performing its best. Inversely, there are some major drawbacks and potential risks if you let your software maintenance plan lapse.
What happens if you let your maintenance lapse?
If you let your maintenance plan lapse, you no longer have support for your solution from the software provider. That means you won’t get any of the upgrades listed above. This also means you may be more susceptible to security incursions. When it comes to accounting software that houses critical business data, this is a threat you can’t ignore.
Eventually, older versions of software products get “maintenance retired” and those businesses either need to upgrade or else risk using the solution without any technical support if something goes wrong. This can actually be a good opportunity to reexamine the value of your software investments and perhaps upgrade to an entirely new system. But it’s still not a position you want to be in. Renew your maintenance plan regularly to keep your system up-to-date so you can maximize your investment.
What should I do if my maintenance has lapsed?
If your maintenance plan has expired, the best thing to do is simply contact your software provider and renew your license agreement. You should be able to immediately resume your plan and start getting the support and improvements you need to protect and advance your business.
As mentioned above, you may want to take this opportunity to consider the value of your software and why you let your maintenance plan lapse in the first place. Were you seeing no significant improvements or changes to the system over a long period of time? Did you have security breaches despite supposed security upgrades? Were there bugs or functionality problems that just never got fixed? If any of these scenarios sound familiar, it may be time to start over with new accounting software designed specifically for small and mid-sized businesses.
Maintenance means peace of mind
If you’ve ever owned a car, you know you get your oil changed regularly not because there is a problem currently, but because you are trying to prevent future problems while improving the performance of your vehicle. You can think about accounting software maintenance in much the same way. Making sure your maintenance plan doesn’t lapse can help you get the most out of your system by giving you access to the latest upgrades and improvements. It can also improve security protections, preventing future problems.
The thing to realize is that software evolves over time. Providers are continually making tweaks and upgrades to improve their systems. But without a maintenance plan, you could miss out on these changes and potentially put your business at risk. For your accounting software or any other technology solution, make sure to stay on top of your maintenance plan to get the best possible value and capabilities for your business.
A SaaS model
Today most software is sold under the SaaS model (Software-as-a-Service). As part of the service component all software upgrades, maintenance patches and enhancements are included. This means your software is always up to date. You never have to worry maintenance again.
Ready to upgrade your accounting software? Schedule your online demo today to see how Gravity Software's® innovative cloud-based accounting solution can help drive efficiency for your accounting team.
Better. Smarter. Accounting.