Eight common accounting software complaints (and how to avoid them)

If you and your staff have complained about certain features or problems in previous or current accounting software packages, you’re certainly not alone. Here we talk through the most prevalent problems with business software and how to avoid them.

#1 Slow software

When you start to outgrow your software you’ll notice that it becomes slow to display data and react to your inputs, particularly when the system is being used and updated by multiple users simultaneously. The solution? Upgrade to a new system that can handle the volume of data and users you require.

#2 Gated features

The free software package you’re using does the simple things well, but when you want to branch out into the more complex features it offers you’re met with greyed out tabs or prompts to upgrade to a paid version. If this frustrates you often, don’t pay the provider for the extra features until you’ve scoped out what the rest of the market has to offer – and at what price.

#3 User limits

Similarly, almost all software packages will allow for a limited number of user accounts, and perhaps a limit on the number of users that can access the software simultaneously. Unfortunately, the only solutions here are to bargain with the provider for more accounts, or to upgrade to a package that’s built for a company of your size.

#4 Steep learning curve

Complex software is likely to be a challenge to learn inside out, but software should still be intuitive for new users to operate. Menus and layouts should be organised in a logical fashion so that the software is easy to learn. Additionally, your provider should offer a thorough training programme to ensure all users are up to speed.

#5 More complex and less efficient than previous software

Moving away from your old software to a system with more features is meant to make your operations more efficient, but what if staff think the opposite? Encouraging staff to embrace new features and learn to use an entirely different system is a challenge – but with enough training and guidance, this concern should fade. If it doesn’t, you may wish to switch to another provider.

#6 Need for workarounds

If you operate in the construction industry, you need accounting features that manage applications and retentions – and your basic software package doesn’t contain them. You’re forced to use workarounds, wasting you hours every month. The solution? Research software that’s built specifically for your industry.

#7 Poor support

Free or basic software packages may have extremely limited support offerings – perhaps just an email address where responses are only sent during office hours. It’s likely you’ll have to pay a little extra for good support – but bear in mind that software specific to your industry is likely to have a support team that understands your software problems thoroughly.

#8 Lack of updates

Your provider may shut down, start supporting a newer (more expensive) product, or simply not have the resources to provide software updates on a regular basis. If your software provider hasn’t updated the system to deal with new legislative requirements such as auto-enrolment pensions, it’s time to look elsewhere.

Often it is inertia and uncertainty that lead to businesses ‘making do’ with their current software package, despite their complaints. If you’re concerned about the upgrade process, take a look at our seven step guide to upgrading your accounting software e-book, and give us a call if you have any questions.

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