Red Wing Software has been in business since 1979, and some of you were even here for the grand opening! And, now we are blogging. Who would have guessed it? We’ve all come a long way, haven’t we?
This is Red Wing Software’s official company blog, and it is meant to provide you, our readers, with information to help you improve your business, whether you are a customer or a prospect.
For this inaugural blog, we decided that a good subject for all readers would be a useful list of things to consider when choosing accounting software or payroll software. We hope you enjoy it!
Ten Crucial Points to Consider when Choosing Accounting Software or Payroll Software for your Company
Choose a company with experience and a proven track record.
There has been a lot of change in the accounting software industry over the past ten years. If you or a company you know of has endured your software company’s being purchased, you know that the process can be painful. The software’s support, enhancements, training and other aspects of the company’s service can all be affected in the changeover. You want your business to run smoothly, and that’s why it’s important to choose a company who you feel is stable.
Choose a company with on-staff experts to help you decide whether their software is a fit for you.
During the software selection process, the most difficult part is trying to maneuver through a software system with which you are unfamiliar, in order to determine whether it’s a fit for you. Check to see whether there is a staff or partner available who will listen and understand your needs, and then clearly show and prove to you whether their software fits for your company. Some companies have experts on staff or partners who can guide you through this process. Some do not charge for this valuable service—take advantage of this service when available. It will take half of the burden off your shoulders, and your time invested will pay off greatly in the long run.
Choose a software package that will grow with your company, considering your goals for the next ten years.
The average company changes software every ten years. As a company grows, so does its business accounting software needs. Look at your company’s goals for the next ten years. Will you need to open and manage an additional warehouse? Will you need to add another product line and see its profitability separately? Will your sales commission payment scheme need to change as your profit margins change and you add more sales reps? These are important considerations, and having a system to handle them will keep your business running smoothly instead of becoming a stumbling block. Be sure to communicate these anticipated needs clearly in order to ensure your needs will be met as you grow.
Choose a company who provides excellent support.
Whether you are learning how to use a new function of your software, trying to streamline processes with it, or even trying to troubleshoot, it is crucial that you have a team of experts to help you through it. By accessing the software company’s team of experts, your company can save time and money. Check into the software company’s team of experts—their support department. Does the company outsource their support, or handle it in-house? Be sure they can clearly communicate with you, and also that they are easily accessible to you. Be sure you know what their guaranteed response time is. In times of need, it will become crucial to your company.
Choose a company whose updates are meaningful, and include customer feedback.
Have a look at the company’s most recent version update. Ask a company representative how those enhancements were chosen for the update. The answer should include customer feedback as a primary component, which in turn creates a software package constantly being shaped and formed by its own users.
Be sure the company’s training options will meet your company’s needs.
No matter which software package you choose, you and your employees will need training. The more time invested on training at the start, the more successful your company will be at implementing the software and moving forward with it. Does the company offer training that will meet your needs? Perhaps you cannot have all of your employees gone at the same time to attend training, so you need to have web training available. Maybe you don’t have a high-speed connection so you need to have the training done in person. Or maybe your needs are so specific, the training must be customized and done at your facility. Be sure to choose a company who can accommodate your training needs.
Choose a company who will provide you with references for you to contact.
By speaking with references, you can get a third-party, unbiased opinion regarding the software’s performance and functionality. If the software company can provide references of similar businesses to yours, even better.
Find out whether there is a local partner.
Do you prefer to have a representative local to you? Ask the company if they have a representative near you, typically called a ‘partner’. If so, get the partner’s information and contact them. Partners can provide a wealth of services, ranging from implementation, data transfer, training, and may also offer other valuable services. If the company does not have a partner near you, check out what services the software company can provide you directly.
Choose a software company who has proven itself helpful in moving its customers forward to newer products.
Technology is always changing; hardware is constantly being improved. Be sure your software company is also changing with the times. Check out what they have done over the years to be sure they have constantly improved their products. By choosing a company who keeps up with technology, your company can always choose to take advantage of the newest technology available.
Choose a software package that, with its value proposition, can pay itself off within a year.
Accounting software is an invaluable tool for providing you up-to-date financial information. In addition to providing financials, many software packages also offer tools to help companies streamline their processes and improve efficiency. Choose a software package that provides these tools. When considering all of the tools available, get a general feel for how much time and money your company can save within one year. This amount of money should exceed the cost of the software within one year. Your sales representative should be able to help you determine your potential savings.
Choosing an accounting software package to fit your company can be a long and complicated process. By following the above key points, you can ensure that whatever software package you choose, the company will be there to stand by your side and grow with you for years to come.