Accounting and Payroll Software – Five Signs it’s Time to Switch (Even when You Don’t Think You Need to)

Has anyone ever tried to sell you something you were completely uninterested in purchasing? You know, the long and drawn out sales pitch with the salesperson talking non-stop about features, not even stopping to take a breath for fear you will say, “NO.”

It’s times like this when we appreciate our ability to be assertive and walk away. This situation can happen just about anywhere from the car dealership to the perfume counter, or to a work situation. The simple resounding answer to give these tenacious sales people is “NO.” Purchasing software for your company is no different! If you are currently satisfied with the accounting or payroll software for your business, it’s probably a good idea to stay with what you have. After all, switching software involves a learning curve, and your company will need to take the time to adjust.

While the above is true most of the time, there are certain times when a business person believes they don’t need to move to a different software application, yet for the good of their business, they absolutely should. Here are the main reasons a company should consider a software move, even when they don’t think they need to.

  1. You are still using a DOS based product. There were many excellent DOS products available in the 1980’s. In fact some of them still work well to this day. This leads some people to believe they can keep using the program(s) to run their business indefinitely. If you are using a program that was created in the 1980’s, the upside is that the company you bought it from must be pretty good to have kept it working that long. If you drive a car from the 1980’s you have surely had a lot of work done just to keep the thing running. Nothing can last forever. When it comes to software, DOS based software is a thing of the past and you need to move forward as soon as possible, or at least develop a plan to do so. Operating systems are moving forward and Microsoft has released Vista, with talk of the next system around the bend. Your DOS system probably won’t work on either one. So if any of the computers in your operation crash, you will need to purchase a new one. Where will you be when there aren’t computers available to run your DOS program? Develop a plan now, and you won’t have to panic later.
  2. Your software product is no longer being supported. If your product is no longer supported, you will not be able to get your questions answered and will be left to handle questions and problems on your own. Updating to something newer will allow you to ask questions and get help when you need it.
  3. You are spending more time ‘tricking’ your system than simply working with it. This is the kind of thing you don’t realize you are doing until after you change software. Set aside one whole week where you consciously keep track of how much time you or your staff spends manipulating your software to handle the way you need to enter or analyze your data. Are things such as invoice entry or inventory tracking taking you three to four steps when they should really only take one or two? If so, you and your staff could save significant time by moving to a system that can handle your needs.
  4. You have a hard time finding hardware that will work. Simply put, you should be able to find hardware such as computers, printers, and other devices for your business without much hassle. If you have to search from store to store or on eBay to find a device that will work with your old software system, it’s time to upgrade your software.
  5. You stay with your accounting software and/or payroll software because you are afraid. Don’t feel bad. There are many business people who simply stay with the software they have even while they know full well they really should move to something different. They know that their security would be better, their processing would run more smoothly, and that they would save themselves and their staff valuable time by moving to newer software. Feeling bad won’t help, but developing a plan to move forward will. Even if you can’t make the switch now, planning it out ahead of time will reduce the worry and stress you are feeling right now.
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