Consider these Five Steps When Upgrading Financial Management Software
Growing firms know they’re doing something right when they need to upgrade their financial management software. Basic accounting tools like QuickBooks and Excel are adequate for a start-up. However, as their business grows firms must deal with more complex accounting challenges, and often start-up software can’t keep up. Needing to upgrade is a sign of a successful business.
As exciting as that may be, choosing the right financial management software isn’t easy, and the consequences of choosing the wrong one can be significant. There are dozens of options on the market claiming to be the ideal option, so how do you see past the sales pitch and honestly evaluate one solution against another? We recommend following these five steps:
1 – Consider the Return on Investment
Software can upgrade your capabilities, but if you do it right, it can add value to your bottom line as well. When estimating the ROI, factor in the cost of the software and hardware you’re replacing, personnel costs you’re eliminating, and revenue-generating opportunities you’re creating. Realistically, new financial management software can be expensive, but the cost is well justified if the ROI works to your favor.
2 – Functionality Fit
Your firm needs better tools, not a bunch of bells and whistles you won’t use. Evaluate software based on how well it matches your actual needs and wants. Consider the pain points you experienced with the previous software, and make sure whatever you choose can be customized to fit your overall financial needs. Finally, remember that no software is perfect. Instead of looking for something the checks off every little box, look for one that addresses your biggest current challenges.
3 – Gauge the Scalability
You’re looking for new financial management software because you’ve outgrown the previous one. Make sure that doesn’t happen again anytime soon by exploring how scalable new solutions are. Ideally, they should be able to accommodate more data, more users, and more workflows with as few limits as possible. Consider adaptability too, namely how well software can integrate with other applications you have now or may have later.
4 – Investigate the Support
Great software is backed by great support. Whichever partner you choose should be eager and able to assist you before, during, and after the implementation. They should also work within an ecosystem focused on whatever financial management software you choose. IT is essential but also complicated, which is why it helps to have lots of experts to draw on for answers.
5 – Calculate the Full Cost
Enterprise software has lots of hidden costs, from the amount you must invest in implementation to the cost of ongoing maintenance. Understanding these costs is critical for estimating the true value of a software solution, so take some time to dive into the numbers. Look at the cost of cloud software versus on-premises, learn about the price of upgrades and add-ons, and think realistically about the expense of implementation.
Let Us Help
Working through all these steps can be a lengthy process but being thorough is absolutely worth it when it points you to the very best financial software (and vendor) available. Make sure Madken Advisors is on the list of candidates. We work specifically with a variety of firms, delivering industry-specific experience, expertise, and insights. Please contact us for more information.