Top Tips for Choosing an Accounting System
As we discussed previously, accounting implementations are like dentist visits (sorry dental friends), necessary but definitely not fun. Yet, before we get to the implementation part, we have to go through the process of system selection; identifying and choosing the best system for your business.
We’ve compiled what we consider to be the top tips for choosing your new system. With these tips, accounting systems should be easier to decipher, understand, and implement for your business.
- Have a team to evaluate your options.
The minimum number of systems you should be evaluating for implementation is three. We’ll say that again: Evaluate a minimum of three systems (but probably no more than 5) to find the best fit for your company when choosing an accounting system. This means you will need a team of people from your company who understand your business processes and the nuances of your business needs to take part in the evaluation. The key stakeholders in the decision to implement a new system are:
- Executive Leadership
- Project Managers
- IT Admin (hosting/software)
Including people from all of these stakeholder categories will ensure that (hopefully) all needs are met when choosing a new system.
- Choose an End-to-End system.
Your accounting system, once implemented, should provide you with visibility, clear reporting, and above all more time spent on BD and other tasks instead of transaction processing. The reasons you’re moving away from your previous systems are typically due to the lack of visibility, lack of streamlined processes, failure to be contract compliant, and increased transaction volume. These are not issues you want to bring with you to the new system. We’re looking to ease tensions, reduce integration points, and gain efficiencies through automation of end-to-end transactions. Since efficiency is the name of the game, the question of how to choose an accounting system is made much easier by reducing the pool of candidates. Pick an end-to-end system.
- The user experience should be intuitive.
End users of the system should be able to navigate within the system without intense training. It should be configured with automated controls that reduce the need for redundancies that manual controls create. While each system has its own way of doing things, for the most part users should feel that the processes they’re using fall in line with their current routines versus creating something completely new. The ease of use and ease of transition should be a top concern when choosing an accounting system.
- Choose a system you can configure.
The best system is one that you can take directly off the shelf and implement with minimal configuration. You’re not looking to redesign or customize a system to fit each piece of your business. Rather, you need something that will fit into the slot and fill the needs that were identified within your previous system. The name of the game here is plug-and-play for the most part. If you’re finding that during your discovery phase, the questions you’re asking are how to change, manipulate, or redesign the system or the system provides solutions for less than 80% of your business, that system probably isn’t the one for you. If you’ve got all the stakeholders together in making this decision, choosing an accounting system should be much easier, assuming they’re comfortable enough to voice their concerns and changes they would like to make to prospective systems.
Above all, your accounting system should work with and alongside you. In an ideal world, it will be able to grow with you for a time as well. Choosing a new system should not be taken lightly and if your executive and accounting teams need guidance through this process, we would be happy to assist. We’ve got years of experience in managed GovCon accounting, and the implementation of new systems is something we specialize in.
At BOOST, we thrive in helping clients to identify needs, find solutions, and get more time out of the system and back into the billable day. Find more information regarding this digital event and register here. If you’re ready to find a new system now, contact our Managed Accounting Experts here.