When it comes to accounting software, you have more choice than ever before. But how do you know which option will offer true value for your business? Read on for our full guide to reviewing your accounting software and comparing suppliers.
Have you been keeping pace with the new technology? And if you have, which way do you want to turn now? If you’re deciding between a cloud or on-premise system and you’d like to know what to expect from your suppliers, here are some hints and tips to help you on the journey.
Understanding your own business
Instead of starting with the software, start with your business. How do you see yourselves working in the future? What’s mission-critical for your organisation success? More agility, remote working, delivering your strategy... once you’re focused on where you want to go, you can make sure your software can take you there.
Identifying your current pain points
Is there anything that’s holding your organisation back? Ask yourself a few quick questions:
• Are your processes inhibited by your system’s inflexibility?
• Do you struggle to get the information you need when you’re out of the office?
• Is your data inaccurate because it’s been manually entered from one system to another?
• Have you recently restructured, impacting your business processes?
• Are you/your senior managers and directors unable to help themselves to key financial info because the system’s just too complex?
A brand spanking new finance system could help to solve these niggles and get you firing on all cylinders once again. And by focusing on the issues you face, you’ll make sure that your future purchase is future proof.
Who will be using it?
Who’s going to be using the system? The finance team, clearly. But with a properly devolved system, you can give lots of people access to the data –including yourself!
Managers can see their budgets and directors can get up-to-the-minute reports - being able to make informed decisions on the go? Checking up on the P&L whilst in that management meeting…. brilliant!
You can wave goodbye to those bottlenecks in the finance department. Find out who wants to see the system what they want from it. So if directors want to see reports, ask them how often, when and why. Then you can choose a system that delivers just the way they want it.
Don't be afraid to get technical
What kind of kit are you going to need? If you want speedy access to your data when you’re out and about then it should probably be cloud based.
On the face of it, cloud-based systems look the same as on-premise systems. But with cloud - all your data is hosted elsewhere and is looked after by a top team of cloud experts. You’ll have improved up time and military-grade security. It also means that your IT team now have more time to focus on more
critical areas of the organisation.
What about if you want to share information with your other business systems? That could be a big benefit if you currently have a lot of people rekeying information.
Choose a system that talks to your other current systems and you’ll save people time and effort. You’ll cut back on human error too.
This means you’ll at long last have no need to worry about the accuracy of the data that’s being reported on – it’ll always be up to the minute figures as well. So what’s this revolutionary piece of tech called? Interoperability.
True interoperability allows any of your business systems to talk to any other of your business systems, without the need to buy a suite of products from one supplier. So make sure your supplier is able to offer this.
Put the supplier under the microscope
It’s important to ask your supplier the right questions, not only about how they can help you, but about their business as well.
How they can help you:
• Functionality – don’t just ask suppliers what their kit can do, but what can they deliver to your business.
• What’s included in the quote – make sure to ask for a full A to Z list of what comes as standard and what’s extra.
• Support – what kind of support structure can they offer you and everyone who will be using the system?
• Your business objectives – web access, remote access, multiple site reporting, tailored access: think about your must-haves and your nice-to haves.
About their business:
• Financial health – you want a partner that’s built to last. Size is no safety net. So ask them if they can
show you reports of their profitability. If they’re successful year in year out then they have the cash to reinvest in their own business – and in the technology that can benefit you.
• Their borrowing - how much have they borrowed in the past? Are they currently in debt?
• Implementation – how long do they see it taking? They should be pulling out all the stops to get you
up and running as quickly as possible.
• Their business model – are they solid and dependable? And keeping up with the latest technology?
At the end of the day you want a supplier that’s a good fit with your organisation. A partner, not just a provider.
At bluQube we do things differently to deliver real, tangible benefits to our customers. That's why some of the UK's leading businesses have chosen us as their partner. If you'd like to know what it would be like to work with us, complete the form below.