Many small businesses jump into choosing an accounting software system before taking the time to really consider their options. There are a lot of software systems available on the market today that each offers slightly different benefits and user capabilities. Before making the jump to either an upgraded version of your current software or moving over to something else entirely, you need to think about what you really need from your system. This article will go over 5 steps to take before choosing your accounting software to help you make a more informed decision. Let’s get started:
- Find Out What Your Employees Think
It is imperative that you give your employees the chance to offer feedback about their needs from an accounting software system. Taking the time to get their input will help you determine what your business’s needs really are at all levels and departments. If you have a large company you can even form a committee with a representative from all significant divisions to evaluate the available options.
- Perform A Needs Analysis
Each representative on the appointed committee should create a needs analysis and a flowchart of their department’s significant processes. This needs analysis should include a list of what it takes for all employees of that department to complete their daily tasks. The flowchart will give you a visual of how these tasks are performed. The information from the needs analysis and the flowchart will give you a much better idea of exactly what is required for each department to complete their daily workload effectively and efficiently.
- Establish A Budget
Another of the 5 steps to take before choosing your accounting software is to establish the budget you have available for a new system. Before your committee gets too far into the process of recommending an accounting software system, you will need to provide them with a range of prices you will consider. It is important not be too restrictive with the budget to allow for a more expensive system that might end up providing a greater cost savings in the future. For example, a more expensive system will likely offer more task automation, which can cut down significantly on the time it takes for employees to complete their work.
- Identify Top Accounting Software Programs
Once your committee has a good idea of your company’s requirements, you will need to create a list of the top programs available that meet those needs. You can meet with technology consultants, certified public accountants and other independent professionals to get recommendations on programs that are able to meet your needs. You can also speak with other businesses in your industry to get their recommendations.
- Take A Demo
The final of the 5 steps to take before choosing your accounting software is to participate in a demo of all the systems on your list. Most reputable accounting software systems provide free program trials. You can then have your employees use the system to complete their daily tasks so you get a good idea of how the software will work for your business. Your committee can then make their final recommendation once a demo is completed of all top software contenders.