Today, businesses are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing an accounting system. There are, of course, some businesses carrying on with the same software they’ve used well over a decade ago, and others that have yet to understand the benefits of implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) or accounting software.
If you’ve finally come around to realizing the benefits of having an updated accounting system for your business, here are a few things to take into consideration before you undergo what may be a disruptive transition.
1. Understand the problem you want to solve
Too many businesses invest in ERP or accounting software simply because they feel left out and not because they want the new system to solve a problem. This mindset can lead to high failure rates, unwanted redundancy and employee dissatisfaction with the new software – all issues that an accounting system is supposed to address.
Before you purchase accounting software, make sure that it has the right set of functions needed to address an identified problem and fewer functions that are not needed by your business. SAP Business One’s modular set-up makes it a particularly attractive system for this regard, as you can order just the module you need, with all the relevant functionality, rather than be bombarded with pointless or redundant features.
2. Closely define the scope of implementation
A study by Panorama on ERP and accounting system implementation found that 61.1% of took longer than expected while 74.1% went over the allotted budget. A lot of this can be attributed to scope creep during the implementation process as well as different parties within the purchasing organization attempting to request customizations and changes that were not initially brought up early on.
To keep costs down, implementation goals should not be solely based on the overall capabilities of the software after customization, but rather, what the software is able to accomplish towards achieving a strict set of predefined goals out of the box. This will reduce the number of systems you will need to look at as well as the necessity of making inadequate software fit your requirements after you have already bought it.
3. Demo the viable options
In 2015, a Capterra study determined a third of ERP and accounting system buyers did not try out the product before deciding on the purchase. Perhaps more disturbing, almost a quarter bought the first accounting software they looked at. 93% of companies that actually bought software also had customizations ordered.
What that tells us is that either the vast majority of accounting software companies have no idea how to make a product, or that most businesses did not spend enough time researching their options. Thus, taking the time to actually demo the prospective software suites is absolutely critical to the success of any accounting software implementation.
4. Check for implementation requirements
Does the new system require a painful data migration? Do you require new hardware upgrades to use the new system? What is the expected learning curve for your workforce to be able to start using the system as intended? Typically you will want an accounting system upgrade that requires the least disruption to the flow of your business.
Finding a vendor or implementation team that can help assist you through the transition can be more critical than the raw capabilities of the software itself, so make sure to invest the time finding the right partners to help you upgrade.
Get in touch with an experienced SAP Partner today, and start taking your business to the next level.