What should you consider when choosing any software system for your business?

November 29, 2022

The world today seems to be filled with many choices and this is no different when you are making decisions for your business. Add marketing into that and how do you know that you are making the right decision on any accounting system you are using for your business and not just choosing based on clever marketing?

Like anything in business this is a decision not to be rushed and careful thought needs to be given to make the correct choice. A wrong choice in the system can cause lots of stress and additional cost to your business.

What are you trying to achieve with a new system?

  • Are you trying to improve your processes? Provide better customer service or save time on internal processes?
  • Are you looking for reporting options? What are the KPI’s you want to be able to report on?

Who is going to be affected by this change internally and externally?

  • Which members of staff will be affected by this change in system? Have you talked to them for their feedback?
  • Externally, who will be affected by the change, for example your accountant, will the new system still work for them?
  • Are importing from any other systems, for example a builder completing quotes may be importing a price list from Bunnings, is this functionality still available in your new system?

It may help to investigate the above questions and talk to your staff and external parties that will be affected and make a list of what they need, categorise them into must have, nice to have and not important (or similar labelling). This list could form the basis of questions for talking to prospective software suppliers, to make sure they can provide the must haves.

  • Budget is always going to be a consideration, depending on the software some is going to have an upfront cost and an ongoing subscription, others may just have an ongoing subscription. How does this fit with your financial goals? Perhaps you can consider the savings you will make from any improvements with the new software which will have an effect on your financial budget.
  • What kind of ongoing support and training is provided by the software supplier? In our humble opinion this is one of the more important questions, if there is no ongoing support or you have to pay a third party to help upskill your team to use the software, this can cause a budget blow out for this project. What is the response if you have a problem with the software - most online suppliers provide a status page for software issues - what do past issues look like? Are the constant outages and what is their response time for fixing the outages? What support do they provide? Is there a number to call or is everything completed online through automated systems? None of these are incorrect but will be a consideration for what works best for your team, some people like to be able to phone for support - others are happy to work via an online portal or email.

Other points to consider

Most accounting software has thousands of integrations or addons available, so you don’t need to find one software that does it all, you can supplement with an addon for missing functionality.

Ask around, there are plenty of facebook groups or online forums where you can ask what people in your industry are using and how they find the software. 

There is also the option to trial software, most online softwares offer a set amount of time to trial the software before signing up for a subscription. However it can be a fair amount of work to setup the trial just to see if the software will work for you.

Unfortunately there is no right or wrong answer here as every business is unique and has specific requirements which need to be considered.

Please reach out to the team at EBS if you want to chat.

Let us know how we can help you 
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