That four-column custom Excel spreadsheet may have served your business well when you turned over only a couple of thousand pounds a month, and that ultra-affordable upgrade to basic accounting software was a great idea at the time. However, your business has grown and evolved since those days, and you’re starting to wonder whether another accounting system would serve you better. Upgrading to a new software package is not without its risks, and the decision to move to a different accounting system is a significant one. If you’ve outgrown your current software package, delaying an upgrade will only cause a steadily increasing amount of damage to your business. How can you determine that your software is restricting your growth?
#1 User limits
Perhaps the most obvious sign that you’ve outgrown your accounting system is if you’ve reached the user limit. Many basic software packages restrict the number of user accounts you can set up, or the number of these accounts that you can use simultaneously. If you find that staff are having to share accounts or you are limiting the number of staff you give access to, you need software that’s designed for more users.
#2 Using workarounds or other databases
The whole point of accounting software is to make life easier for your business by saving you time and paperwork. If you use a second or third database for part of your accounts, or you’ve set up extra spreadsheets to help you manage certain functions, you’re losing valuable time. It’s not unreasonable to expect your software package to manage everything for you in one central database. Using workarounds is a sure sign your business has grown beyond the capacity of your software.
Different software packages are designed to handle different amounts of data. If your software is built to handle the data of a business that own turns over a few thousand pounds a month, don’t be surprised if it starts running extremely slowly when you’re processing far more data than that. Sluggish software can be a sign of antiquated hardware, but in all likelihood it’s the accounting software that’s the main issue.
#4 Data management vs. analysis
Your software should enable you to search and access your company data with ease, giving you the tools you need to analyse it and turn it into useful information. If your software’s search and filter features are sub-par, you’ll spend more time trying to isolate data than actually analysing it. Reports need to contain up-to-date information – if it takes you several days to pull data together for a report, you’ve definitely outgrown your software.
#5 Competition troubles
A basic, generic accounts system is perfect if you’re just starting out, but in a sector such as construction you’ll need more features than a standard software package allows. For example, few basic accounts packages will understand retentions and subcontractor verification. Your competitors will gain an edge over you if they have software that can manage these processes for them automatically. If you’re encountering this problem, considering upgrading to a sector-specific solution.
Do these warning signs sound familiar? If so, it’s time to start thinking about upgrading your accounting software…
Feel free to get in touch now with our Integrity Software team to request a demo and take your first step towards upgrading your accounting software.
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