5 things to consider when changing software for your business.

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Changing software is a big task, it is time-consuming to research, move data, train staff, update procedures and implement. These are our top 5 considerations
Outline

You want to change the software your business uses?

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  • Changing software can deliver operational benefits.

  • Choosing the wrong applications can cost time & money.

  • Some accounting firms can provide software support.

  • Integrating your software into your financial operations can improve efficiencies.

Changing the software that you use in your business is a big task, it is time-consuming to research, move data, train staff, update procedures and implement it. It takes a lot of time and commitment throughout the whole process from start to finish. To ensure you make the right decision before going down the road of changing, it is important to consider what you need from the software and what will best suit the needs of your business. 

Some accountant services that help business owners will purely focus on helping process transactions, balancing the books or submitting BAS. Although at our accounting firm in Sydney we will also provide support to enable you to use all the latest software tools seamlessly, even a migration from other tools or applications.

Why do businesses change software?

There are many reasons why businesses in Australia may choose to change the software they use for their accounting or operations. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Need for better functionality: As a business grows, it may require more advanced features that its existing software cannot provide. For example, it may need more advanced inventory management capabilities or more sophisticated reporting and analysis tools.
 
  • Cost savings: Switching to a new software package may be more cost-effective than continuing to use an existing one. This can be particularly true if the business can negotiate better pricing, or if the new software requires fewer licenses or is easier to maintain.
 
  • Compatibility: As technology changes, it’s possible that the business’s existing software may become incompatible with newer hardware or operating systems. This can create issues with data security, performance, and functionality.
 
  • Scalability: Some businesses may need to switch software to accommodate growth. For example, if a business starts expanding into new markets or taking on more customers, it may need a software solution that can scale to meet those needs.
 
  • Vendor support: If a business is using software that is no longer supported by the vendor, it may be forced to switch to a new solution. This can happen if the vendor goes out of business, discontinues the software, or simply stops providing support or updates.

What is the cost of changing software?

The cost of changing software for a business can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the size of the business, the complexity of its operations, the number of users who need access to the software, and the specific software being considered. Some of the costs that a business might incur when changing software include: 

  • Software licensing fees: The cost of purchasing new software licenses can be a significant expense, particularly for larger businesses or those with a large number of users. 
 
  • Implementation costs: This can include the cost of customising the software to the business’s needs, data migration, and training for staff on how to use the new software. 
 
  • IT infrastructure costs: Depending on the software being implemented, there may be additional hardware or infrastructure requirements that need to be met. This can include server upgrades, networking equipment, or other IT systems. 
 
  • Ongoing support costs: Once the new software is implemented, there may be ongoing support costs associated with maintaining and updating the software, as well as providing technical support to users. 
 

Given these factors, it’s difficult to provide a general estimate for the cost of changing software for a business. However, businesses should carefully evaluate the costs and benefits of switching software and consider all of the potential costs and savings associated with the change before making a decision.

Are you considering a software partner?

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Deciding to change your software may be a great business idea, choosing what to use is obviously important as well. Although the other big aspect to consider is whether you need the support of a software partner. While most applications are relatively straight forward to use, if you don’t have the expertise, time or even patience, then working with a licensed or qualified partner can save you time and money.

This is one of the reasons why our accounting firm is a Xero Platinum Partner for example. We wanted to make sure we could deliver a high level of expertise to help a business transition from paper based operations to use the latest cloud accounting tools. We can help each step of the transition process, even migrating from other tools like MYOB or Quickbooks. This means everything is set up to correctly operate your business and there is no downtime.

5 considerations before changing your software

1. What are the main functionalities/requirements you will need in the software?

Make a list of what requirements your team will need from the software. Will they need templates, access out of the office, a section for new leads, etc. Get feedback from your team on what they would like to see and what they need to do their job efficiently.

 

 

2. What are the main issues with the software you have now?

Make a list of frustrations that the team has with the current software. This will give a good idea of what to look out for when researching and questions to ask when speaking with the software specialists.

 

3. What is the budget for the new software?

Do some research on the average software cost and find out how much you are currently being charged for the software you are using now.  Compare the pricing to the average. If there is a substantial difference raise with upper management (if it is not you) your proposed plan to change the software and how it could improve staff efficiency and productivity ultimately resulting in more profit. With some calculations, your budget might increase. It is important to not let your budget become a barrier as it is a very big investment and you don’t want to be stuck with software that doesn’t match your requirements because it was cheaper.

 

4. How many users will need access?

This is important as many software charges per user, increasing the cost. It is also important to ensure the software enables you to have the number of users you require all logged in at once and it won’t affect the speed or access. You don’t want to have great software in place that can only be used by 5 team members at a time when you have triple that number.

 

5. Will it need to integrate with other software?

Look at your other software programs and think about the possibility of them linking together, the reduction of doubling up work and re-saving documents, etc. Many software applications can now sync with each other, reducing admin time and minimising room for human error.

 

The points noted above are only the start of what to think about when looking at changing software. It is important to take your time when researching and deciding on new software. Reach out to other businesses for feedback on the programs they are using, read reviews, get feedback from your team on what they would like and not like to see, and trial out different software before making the final decision.

Our business advisory service can help in these types of situations where we draw on our experience from being involved in other implementations that could be from similar sectors or business types.

Rick & Bryn
Rick & Bryn

Experienced accountants who love helping other business owners in Sydney to maximise profits, improve cash flow & grow their business.

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At Fitzpatrick and Robinson our purpose and reason for being is to help business owners make more money, pay less tax while growing in a sustainable & methodical way. We have a team of bookkeepers, accountants, tax accountants for business, a CPA, Xero accountant specialists while also providing business advisory services.

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