5 Considerations When Choosing a Software Solution Share Are You Looking to Change Your Accounting or Business Management Software Solution? Over the years, I've helped a large number of companies choose business software solutions that best fit their needs. Through these years, I've learned a few important areas that should be considered when evaluating new software for your business and I would like to share them with you. Considerations When Choosing a Software Solution Develop a list of must have features and like to have features. A software partner may be able to assist you with this. It is important to identify features that are absolutely vital to your business so that you can be sure the selected system fulfills your most important needs. Often a software partner will have a needs assessment document or process to help you assemble and organize your list. Make sure you can use the software for everyday activities. Ease of use is one of the most important considerations. Even though a software package may have tremendous features, it doesn’t mean it is the right software for you at this time. Sometimes software features can be too complex for you or your staff to use for everyday activities. Ask if the software can be customized. If it cannot be customized, it is crucial to ensure it meets your needs now and in the foreseeable future. These days, almost all accounting software has the ability do minor report changes or changes to forms such as invoices and checks. But not all programs allow you to add fields to screens or change the way the program functions. Your business needs will change over time and it's important to take into consideration that a customizable program is more likely to adjust to those changing needs thus eliminating the necessity to change software programs again in the future. Determine if your current hardware will run the desired software system. Most software developers have systems specifications that describe in detail the hardware required to run the application. Be sure to consider whether hardware updates to the server or workstations are needed before purchasing new software. Ensure the software developer is financially sound and committed to the product. Doing so that support will be available not only now, but into the future. Over the years a number of software developers have gone out of business as they weren't able to survive tough economic times. Unfortunately, when this happens often times their customers are left without program upgrades or support. Be sure to protect your software investment by learning if the software company is financially sound and committed to the software application.