By Paul Sparkes, Commercial Director of iplicit, an award-winning accounting software developer
Is your accounting software having a laugh at your expense?
Prudence is more than a mantra. It’s the deep devotion that underpins the entire finance function. And yet thousands of organisations are using accounting software that undermines this fundamental credo.
No-one is implying that finance departments are being profligate. Far from it. Nor is one suggesting that the software at the very heart of their work is betraying them (though some of the more idiosyncratic systems may sometimes feel like that).
No – the issue is one of experienced finance professionals placing their trust in legacy software that sadly comes with superfluous costs. And yet these costs could be eliminated so quickly and so easily.
It’s terrifying how many SMEs and non-profit organisations are still struggling along with old on-premise or fake cloud accounting software. Here are seven key cost benefits that they’re missing out on…
- No more server, no more server maintenance
Migrate your accounting software to the cloud and you’ll no longer need a server on which to host it. You can also kiss goodbye to all those costly server maintenance bills.
Furthermore, your data will be more secure in the cloud. And easy to access from any location with a reliable internet connection. The pandemic proved how crucial, convenient and appealing that is.
So forget all the expense and hassle of hosting your accounting software on your own server. That’s old hat these days…a bit like owning a fax machine or a typewriter.
- Smarter, faster and more cost-effective software updates
Rather like death and taxes, software updates will always be with us. They’re an IT inevitability. But that doesn’t mean they have to be time-consuming, inconvenient and costly.
Updating old legacy software can be a laborious process. Not least because it has to be done on a system-by-system, PC-by-PC basis. You’ll also certainly have to pay a sizeable chunk of money every time your old software needs updating.
And those intervals may well become more frequent as your legacy software gets older. It’ll need more patching to help it keep up (if it can) with the ever-increasing requirements of the modern finance team.
Contrast that old 20th century approach with true cloud accounting software that is updated regularly at source – so you’re always running the most modern version. Those updates are quick and seamless.
And they’re usually free within the normal monthly cost of your software.
- Redirection of resources
True cloud accounting software enables much smarter working – especially if it’s designed to meet the requirements of the mid-market. This will be very happy reading for anyone currently having to stretch their entry-level software with manual rekeying and spreadsheet workarounds.
Work gets done faster with true cloud software – especially if you make good use of automation. Nervous about automation? Test it first in a sandbox environment to avoid errors. You’ll soon gain confidence and wonder why you didn’t adopt it sooner.
All this means you can free your colleagues from soul-destroying mundane tasks and redeploy them to higher value and more important work that drives growth.
- Smaller offices, lower energy bills
True cloud technology liberates and empowers teams with more efficient WFH and hybrid working. You and your colleagues can spend more time doing productive work and less time stuck in traffic jams.
More flexible working offers you the opportunity to reduce overheads significantly: smaller offices, lower utility bills, smaller insurance premiums, lower routine property maintenance charges, less demand for perks such as cars, coffee, snacks and all the other baggage that goes with running a large, human-intensive office.
- Powerful accounting software need not be costly
There are usually two reasons why organisations may have been reluctant to upgrade from their existing entry-level software:
- Cost – it’s a huge leap from Xero, QuickBooks and Sage 50 to big ERP systems such as Dynamics, NetSuite and Intacct.
- Fear of change – many organisations worry about the time/hassle involved. Implementing a big ERP system can take months, sometimes longer than a year.
So some organisations elect to soldier on with their existing software. But their fears are based on a fallacy. Major changes in the mid-market mean that users now have access to accounting software that’s right for them…at a fraction of the price of Dynamics, NetSuite and Intacct.
And it can be installed in just 16 applied days. So you can go live in a matter of weeks. Long gone is the disruptive upheaval of yesteryear.
- Data archiving is much cheaper with the right provider
Do your existing software providers threaten you with punitive data archiving charges if you try to leave? We regularly hear about providers charging anything between £15,000 to £20,000.They think they have you over a barrel because you need access to your data to keep HMRC happy. So the software vendors believe this gives them a licence to slap on the expensive handcuffs.
It does not. And besides, now there’s a very real alternative that enables you to migrate and archive your data for a small fee. So you don’t have to keep your old software running.
- You don’t have to put up with the old paradigm
In the past, the big software developers had tremendous power. And they were not afraid to wield it.
Why do some providers charge such eye-watering prices for their software? Because they can. Or to echo Robert Mitchum in the movie Anzio: “Because they like to.”
There’s also the matter of long contracts. The big providers like to tie their clients in for at least five years. That’s seldom appealing – and especially not now with the state of the economy.
But times are changing, and they’re doing so very quickly.
A new agile breed of developer is starting to disrupt the accounting software market – notably the underserved mid-market. They’ve created smart, scalable and intuitive software that’s quick to implement, easily customisable and very user friendly.
And they’re taking the battle to the greedy developers on your behalf.
So get on board and enjoy the ride.