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How Long Should You Wait To Update Your Accounting Software?

“Well, it still works, and everyone knows how to use it, but….”

Most likely, you’ve heard this before in your workplace. Organizations often tend to keep their accounting software far too long for these very reasons. What comes after the word “but” in that first statement; this is what organizations need to consider.

Managers and employees often struggle with old systems because they don’t provide the full functionality they need, including the ability to generate certain types of financial reports. In addition, older software might constantly freeze up or crash, causing valuable work time to be lost. In some cases, the product may even be so old that support is no longer provided.

Timing is everything when it comes to updating accounting systems. If your system is functional and secure, you might want to hold off on seemingly unnecessary spending. At the same time, waiting until your system becomes too old could mean losing your competitive edge, suffering a data loss or corruption, or incurring a security breach.

Building A Knowledge Base
The first question to ask yourself is: When was the last time we meaningfully upgraded our accounting software?

Many more products may have hit the market since you bought yours — including some that were developed specifically for your industry. Although most accounting software has the same essential features, it’s these specialized functions that hold the most potential value for certain types of companies.

To make an educated choice, employers and their leadership teams need to gain a detailed understanding of their specific needs and the technological savvy of their employees. You can go about this knowledge-building effort in various ways, including conducting a user survey and putting together a comprehensive, detailed comparison of three or four accounting software products that appear best-suited to your organization.

If it appears highly likely that a new accounting system would markedly improve your financial tracking and reporting, you’ll be able to make a confident and well-advised purchasing decision.

Preparing For The Transition
Keep in mind that buying the software will be the easy part. Transitioning to the new system will probably be much more challenging. When changing or significantly upgrading their accounting software, companies must walk a fine line between:

  • Rushing the timeline, potentially mishandling setup issues and not providing sufficient training
  • Dragging their feet, potentially falling behind on financial reporting

You might need to engage an information technology consultant to help oversee the data transfer from the old system to the new, catch and clean up errors, and ensure strong cybersecurity measures are in place.

It’s A Big Decision
Moving onward and upward from a long-used accounting system is a big decision. Let us help you determine what software features would be most beneficial to your organization, identify which current products would best fulfill your needs, and develop a sensible budget for the purchase.

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