Common Mistakes People Make When Selecting Business Automation Software Print This Page

Software evaluation and selection process builds the foundation for the entire implementation project. A foundation that includes one or more of these flaws will inevitably crack under the pressure associated with a mission-critical software implementation. A structured and disciplined software evaluation and selection approach will mitigate this risk and establish a solid foundation from which to move forward.

Mistake 1: Not doing enough homework
Analyzing and then selecting accounting software takes time and effort. Information is critical to selecting the most appropriate system for your organization. Hiring a software company or a programmer directly can make you in the mid of real agony. As they may be good programmers, but they never have good business knowledge. Always hire a business consultant who has the experience in Accounts automation.

A Consultant can document your existing Manual System and Evaluate different Software available in the market, hence, can find best available solution. This is most important to understand that “a software” may not be as useful for your company as it for some other. So documenting the requirements is very critical.
Requirement Definition is a simple concept, but one that is often bypassed due to expediency or difficulty. A comprehensive set of business functional and technical requirements serves multiple purposes:

  • Acts as a basis for software evaluation
  • Acts as a basis for defining software gaps, hence provides requirements for customization.
  • Acts as a basis for final software testing (system, performance, user acceptance, etc.)
  • Acts as a basis for training
  • Establishes project scope

Mistake 2: Think Long Term

Another mistake people usually do, while choosing Accounting Software is, they only consider existing requirements.

An Accounting Software is a long term investment. Broaden your vision while thinking about your requirements. A five year forecasting should be made about the growth of the company before formulating requirements.

For example, you have a company who is buying and selling goods. And you formulated a good detailed document about the existing requirements. Now Broaden your vision and think about the future, e.g.,

  • Will I open new branches in the futures? If yes, then your new software should be capable of handing different branches.
  • Will I be selling online? If yes, then your software should be capable of integrating with your online Portal.
  • Will I be integrating my Supply Chain? Etc.

Mistake 3: Misunderstanding the benefits of automation
Automating accounting and related functions can save your organization considerable time and effort. It’s difficult to calculate possible future gains in terms of increased productivity, better decision-making and other factors after a new system has been successfully implemented. The results following the time-consuming selection and implementation of the best accounting solution can dramatically increase your bottom line.

Mistake 4: Non-Involvement of Key Management
Top management and other Key personnel within the organization must be involved in the selection and implementation process. A software evaluation and selection team that does not include affected parties will invariably face high-levels of resistance and increased risk of failure. When implementation troubles set in or questions arise over the software capabilities, organizational buy-in and support will help you manage through these issues. Without it, the project can and will lose momentum.

Mistake 5: Don’t focus on price!
Price is obviously a key component of any business purchase, and software is no different. But price is not the right factor to weigh. The cost of the software itself is minor compared to the long term costs associated with its "care and feeding". Instead look at Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), which includes

  • support costs (both internal and external),
  • service fees for implementation,
  • enhancement and ongoing growth of functionality,
  • maintenance fees,
  • vendor viability risks,
  • software upgradeability, and
  • hardware requirements.

Often the cheapest software solution ends up being the most expensive over its lifetime. For example, one factor that significantly impacts the total cost of the solution is software customization. Modifying packaged software is strongly discouraged due to the high-cost and complexity in supporting and upgrading the software over time. Often the lowest priced software lacks functional depth, driving companies to adopt a software customization approach. When a software customization path is chosen, expenditures for software development, long-term support costs, and upgrade costs must be included in the total cost of ownership and ROI models. Invariably, when TCO is considered, the lowest priced solution becomes more expensive and the benefits of the cheap price are lost.

Mistake 6: Thinking accounting software is only for accountants
Accounting software will deliver results in the form of critical need-to-know information to every manager in the company. Don’t select a system that wouldn’t provide detailed reporting and other company-wide information.

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