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5 Things You Need to Consider BEFORE Deciding on What Practice Management Software to Invest In

by | Sep 17, 2018 | Operations

So you know that you need accountancy practice management software – it’s a must for any small accountancy firm to keep track of revenue, expenses, client information, workflow, and any other financial data – but you don’t know where to start. With so many great tools and systems out there, making the decision to invest in software can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be. This article outlines the five things that you need to consider to make the right decision for you.

 

What’s wrong with the type of Accountancy Practice Management Software that you are currently using?

First things first, take a look at the accountancy practice management software that you currently have:

  • Is it tailor-made for accounting practices?
  • Does it satisfy all of your firm’s needs?
  • Has it made your firm more efficient and productive?
  • Are the different functions (client communication, task management) efficient enough?
  • Are you optimising your profitability per task, client and accountant?
  • Can your employees access it from anywhere at any time?
  • Does it support scalability and growth or does it limit your firm?

If you find that you answered “No” to one or more of these questions, you now know that you need to update your software and what you are looking for from your next one.

If you answered “Yes” to all of them, then at least you know that it satisfies your requirements right now and you don’t run the risk of investing in software that you don’t actually need.

Chances are, if you are looking into accountancy practice management software, you’re probably not happy with it, so here are five things you need to consider to help you make the right investment.

1. Do you need it?

While “does everything” software may sound like the easiest and most convenient solution, think about what your firm actually needs. Think about what features, functions, and reports that you will need the software to do. Consider its ease of use, the type of support that you want and its integration into your firm.

Once you have identified what you really need as opposed to non-essential features, you can make the best investment decision instead of paying more for suite software that has features you will never need or use.

2. Does it integrate with your compliance software?

The last thing you want is to make a big investment in some top-of-the-range software only to find that it isn’t compatible with your existing software. Always check this beforehand for a smooth integration!

Accountancy practice management software that does integrate with your compliance software provides many benefits for your firm as you won’t need to continuously update client details when they change or adjust your workflow; accounting workflow software automatically updates when accounts go out and are filed.

3. Is it cloud accounting software or hybrid?

When choosing an accountancy practice management software, you need to consider whether to use a cloud system where everything can be accessed via the internet or a hybrid system.

While working in the cloud means no installations, no hardware, no worrying about updates, and mobilisation of your workforce, software that is full cloud may lose some full functionality that you may be used to from a desktop solution.

4. How long will it really take to set up?

It’s important to be objective when looking at workflow software for accountants as most are going to claim that it is “easy to install” with “effortless integration,” so consider how long it will actually take when looking at each system.

Don’t underestimate how long it will take to set up. Most software will take hours and hours, so do some research and even pay the vendor to help set it up if possible.

5. How much growth do you expect from your firm over the short-to-medium term?

Keeping up with trends in technology can really help to propel your accounting practice forward, so when choosing your accountancy practice management software, consider where you want your firm to go and how long you realistically think it will take to get there.

You want software that will make your practice work more efficiently and cost-effectively, but after you make your projections about your business’s growth, you also want it to be scalable so that it can meet your growth and help you grow even more.

6. Is best of breed better for you than an all-in-one solution?

Accountancy Practice Management Software typically falls into either being an all-in-one solution OR a best-of-breed which will only do one part of your practice management. Click here to download our Practice Management Cheatsheet to find out whether your practice needs a best-of-breed or all-in-one solution (or risk wasting time and money)

In summary

In order to successfully choose and implement the right accountancy practice management software, you need more than just product information.

Consider the needs of your practice, the strengths and weaknesses of your current system, and your vision of the firm’s future and you’ll make the right software investment for you.