Six Clues that You’ve Outgrown Your Accounting Software

Accounting & ERP Software Packages are constantly being enhanced with better functionality. Efficiency and flexibility are generally improved with each new product version, and many accounting software developers integrate user-requested changes into later version releases.

We consistently see clients suffering financially and/or operationally, because they are not aware of the fact that their current accounting package may no longer be a fit and should be replaced or enhanced.  The replacement doesn’t necessarily mean a change in packages.  It could be an upgrade or an enhancement or an update to the existing package.

Here are few signs that suggest it’s time to consider a move:

1.   Slow Performance for reports, updates, and/or data entry

The amount of data amassed and stored in your accounting system is causing the software you’ve come to rely on to function slowly.  A slow performing accounting system is a business hindrance, and a more powerful solution may not be difficult to find.   Naturally, one alternative could be to simply remove much of the history currently being stored in the system.  However, if this option doesn’t exist, a change may be appropriate.

2.  Heavy Dependence on External Tools like Excel

How many reports are you creating with Excel because your accounting software can’t generate them the way you want?  The time involved in this can be staggering, and it can creep up on you.  It starts with one report, then another, then another….  A couple years later, if you take a step back, you can see that practically all of your reporting is being generated by Excel.  This is a problem.  The Accounting & ERP Software itself should generate 90% of the report requirements with the push of a button.

3.  Extensive Manual Entry & Compilation of Data

Is your website getting orders that then need to be re-keyed into your Accounting Software?  Are you taking orders by hand and then manually entering them into the system?  Are you keeping a set of customers in your database and also in your accounting software?  Have you added multiple warehouses that your software can’t support?

These are common occurrences encountered as businesses grow and eventually outgrow their accounting software’s capabilities.  If you are creating little tricks and codes to accommodate shortcomings like this, it may be time to look into something new.

4.  Excessive Requirements for Customization

Your complex accounting needs call for customization of a system that it would be more effective to simply replace.  If the cost of accounting software customization approaches the cost of the problem which needs to be resolved, a different package may be something to consider as part of your long-term strategy.

5.  Multiple Databases & Multiple Systems Required for Managing the Business

Your vital business data is scattered across different systems and databases instead of being integrated into one functional program.

If you have various technologies and software elements in place to perform the job of one more powerful accounting package, it’s time to let go.

6.  Lack of Real-Time or Timely Access to Information 

If you lack real-time access to your vital business data, across locations or in just one location, a new accounting package can help you gain visibility.  Or, if you have to wait until the end of the day or the end of the month before being able to review key financial reports, something may be amiss in your system.

These factors are not all compassing nor are they comprehensive in determining that an organization definitely needs a new package.  However, they are clues and should not be ignored.  An organization’s information systems provide the key data that helps management make critical decisions that impact the future of the business.  A system that runs slowly, doesn’t produce timely information, requires a lot of manual manipulation, needs “outside the system” analysis and reporting, and has consistent requirements for enhancement may not be the best fit.  Many business owners and financial people have been living with shortcomings like these for so long, they think it’s “business as usual”.  It’s not, and it doesn’t have to be that way 🙂