When an organisation sets out on a review of their accounting software, it's typically for a small handful of reasons...
It could just be time to change, wanting to understand what's new in the market since their last implementation. In some other cases, the organisation has been let down by their supplier and that relationship has fallen apart.
However, in the majority of situations, the often long overdue review comes about when the business has outgrown its current software and it's no longer fit for purpose. With the problems often manifesting in the form of manual data entry, re-keying of data between increasing business systems and clunky processes that rely on offline, paper-heavy steps. All of which leads to inefficient use of staff time and inaccurate reports that take so long to collate they're out-of-date before they're even finished.
Bob is a Finance Director at a large multi-entity retail and distribution operation that was grappling with a finance system it had long outgrown. He and his team were struggling to sustain the confidence and trust of the business and the board and were regularly let down by manual processes and severe business bottlenecks, including;
Systems that were unable to talk to each other
Their CRM system, ordering system and finance systems all stood in isolation. As a result, it was a full-time job within the finance team to manually reconcile the finance system and ensure data was as up to date as possible.
Management Reporting to the board was late and inaccurate
With reports due to the board on working day 5 of each month, Bob and his finance manager would always have to work full weekends to wrangle the information together in time. Even then it was often delivered past the deadline, and with frequent caveats and missing information caused by data issues.
An inability to see a clear picture of performance
With too much effort being put into managing disparate systems and ledgers, it became impossible to ever find time to step back and take a wider view of the business as a whole and identify areas that required attention.
Constantly feeling like they were falling behind and bogged down by heavily manual processes, the finance team and wider business were becoming demotivated and unhappy. Bob himself was at breaking point.
Eventually, Bob was able to implement a new finance system that revolutionised their business processes and lead to some significant changes:
No more manual re-keying
All systems were integrated, using web-service interoperability. This meant that information was passed automatically without timely rekeying and data was reconciled in real-time, without error.
Management reports were delivered accurately and on-time
Intuitive and powerful software meant that management reporting became a simpler, quicker process. With fewer steps involved Bob was able to invest time in considering what the information was telling the business, and the best way to present recommendations for change.
A happier and more motivated finance team
With more available time to proactively direct their efforts to more effective work, debts were chased in on time, creditors were managed efficiently, and staff were able to identify further process improvements.