Where should you look for when you consider investing in new accounting or financial management software? These 7 tips will help you choose good business software. A good choice of software can save you a lot of time, money and frustration.
1. Good business software combines “the best of both worlds” of “off the shelf applications” and “customized software”.
Good business software adapts to your way of working and business model and not the other way around. Turnkey accounting packages often determine how you should do your accounting. They give you little or no options to choose which features you do or don’t want to use. Nor let they decide you how your financial processes are organized. How do you want to book the fixed assets depreciation? Which depreciation method do you want to use? Are the invoices made within the accounting application or within the ERP system?
Thoughtful software is written in such way that you can determine these things by parameterization during but also after implementation.
2. Short implementation period
Why do prospects have difficulties believing you when you say that the average implementation takes about thirty days work in a lead time of three months?
Good business software is created in such a way that you need no or little customization to adapt the software to your processes.
This is only possible when your chosen solution is adaptable by parameterization and when there are sufficient possibilities to connect with other systems.
3. There are ample, high-performance facilities to communicate with operational-and other applications
Accounting- and financial management software gets its data from all kinds of sources and should deliver data smoothly in multiple formats. Manually transferring this data is very time consuming, brings no added value and is therefore out of date.
How much faster could you close when all the data was delivered smoothly and in the right format?
4. You can create clear outlines and reports yourself, without intervention of others.
Every CFO or financial Director recognizes the situation where, just before or during an important meeting, the question is asked to analyze or compare certain figures or to view everything from a different point of view.
How often did you have to reply that it is not possible to provide this data in the short term because highly skilled IT staff is required to add an additional column to a report? Isn’t it normal to expect as a user that you can realize this all by yourself and instantaneously via drag and drop?
After all it is your data.
5. User-friendly and logically built user interfaces make the need for end-user training minimal.
The training at the startup of new business software should focus on how you can use the new application to improve your efficiency? Much time however is lost on: “Here you should use this Icon. Please note however that in the next screen you can only find this functionality in the menu. “.
Good business software has a limited number of icons at the top of any screen that always represent the same functionality and menus are always built according to the same principle.
6. Rapid and efficient support by specialists
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Raposa we questioned our customers whether and why they are still happy with RACS and the service of Raposa.
At first we were surprised that the help desk was mentioned so often. For us, it seems logical that customers are helped quickly and friendly by permanent staff that is familiar both with the software and the world of a financial Department, and with your specific situation.
No one likes to repeat his question three times before he finally gets a specialist on the line. Isn’t it?
7. The maintenance contract guarantees quick updates after changes in the legislation
Companies often opt for an internationally reputed supplier for their business software because they think its scale will offer only advantages and the least risk.
They do not consider what will happen if one of the Governments in Belgium once again decides to make a change in the VAT regulations or other legislation. Would this important change be treated as a priority in America? Is this covered by the next update? Or does the local partner has to solve this with even more customizations?
It is clear that not only the software has to be performant, but that the implementation partner is equally important.
Is he local and easily accessible? How well does he know your business? What about his accounting and financial skills? How is his service for-, during-and after the implementation period? Is the staff turnover low or high? Do you get a different junior on the line every time you call or can you ask your questions directly to the person who did the implementation at your company? Does the partner have access to the source code for small adjustments or should all this be done through (in the longer term) expensive work-around?
Do you want to be sure you make the right choice? Contact different references and ask about the above points.