As a business grows, they often realize that they have outgrown the features and capabilities of their current accounting software system. When support for a broader user base and more complex financial transactions becomes critical, these organizations must replace their existing accounting software applications with more sophisticated and robust solutions. By following these five tips, you can simplify and accelerate the process of changing accounting software.
What is prompting your organization to make the move to another accounting software package? Are the limitations of your current system forcing your users to use manual tasks and activities, or turn to other tools in order to process and track vital financial transactions? Or, do you simply feel that there are other, more advanced accounting software features that would be nice to have? Remember that changing to a new accounting software system is a huge undertaking for any business, and requires a tremendous amount of time and money. So, be sure it’s really necessary, and that your organization is truly ready, before you make the switch.
You already know that your existing accounting software system is no longer satisfying your requirements, and that you need something more; but before you begin looking for a replacement, you need to outline exactly what’s missing and what the ideal accounting software system will provide. Make sure to work with all stakeholders – not just those in the finance department, but in other divisions and business units as well – to put together a complete list of the minimum requirements of features and capabilities the new accounting software system needs to have.
Smaller organizations typically use price as their primary decision criteria when choosing an accounting software system. Now that you’ve seen how quickly you can outgrow your accounting software system, you probably realize that functionality and scalability may be far more important than finding the least expensive option. An accounting software system that can not only satisfy all of your current requirements, but provide plenty of room for future growth in terms of both user capacity and feature sophistication, is the best way to go.
The more you plan and prepare, the smoother the transition will be. Avoid making a switch during critical or particularly busy periods, such as quarterly or year-end closings, and train all end users before you deploy your new accounting software system. This will minimize the impact on your business activities.
Many businesses seek to improve collaboration and communication by sharing financial information with customers, vendors, and other business partners. If you plan to make your new accounting software system accessible to outside constituents (for example, to allow vendors to update the status of open purchase orders, or to allow clients to check invoices or pay bills), then be sure to bring them on board before you roll out the application. Their feedback may be quite valuable, and help you make the best possible selection.