Are you ready to make a change to your accounting or business management software solution?
Researching and evaluating the numerous options on the market to find the right fit can be a daunting task, but you can take a few steps to make it easier.
At DWD, we’ve helped a number of companies choose business software solutions that best fit their needs. Over the years, we’ve learned a few important lessons about the key areas to consider when evaluating new software for your business.
We want to share them with you to help you the next time you’re faced with this task. Below, you’ll find the five most important considerations when selecting your next software solution.
Considerations When Choosing an ERP Software Solution
Specific Wants and Needs
The first step you need to take before you begin evaluating software is to sit down and create a list of must-have features and nice-to-have features. It’s important to identify features that are vital to your business so you can rest assured the selected system fulfills your most important needs.
If possible, enlist a software partner to help you narrow down your must-haves to the absolute essentials and make sure you don’t miss anything. A software partner will likely have a needs assessment document or process that can help you assemble and organize your lists. Once you have your personalized priority list, you are ready to evaluate other key considerations.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is one of the most important considerations when selecting a new piece of software. Even though you might find a software package that boasts an extensive list of features, that doesn’t mean it’s the right program for you or your business. Sometimes the software features are too complex, making it more difficult for you and your staff to use. Other features simply may be unnecessary.
Take the time to make sure the software you select fits your day-to-day needs and is easy for you and your staff to learn. Software that’s tricky to use adds unnecessary challenges to your workday.
Is the software you’re interested in customizable or adaptable? Because it’s unlikely that any software will fit your exact needs now and for the foreseeable future, it’s important to find out if it can be customized. These days, almost all accounting software has the ability to customize minor report changes or changes to forms such as invoices and checks. However, not all software programs allow you to add fields you require to screens or change the way the program functions.
It’s inevitable that your business needs will change over time, and a customizable program is more likely to adjust to those changing needs. A customizable program ensures you can adapt the software as necessary rather than continually needing to change software programs as your business grows.
When evaluating software, keep in mind your hardware limitations. Before you begin, take note of the operating systems you’re running, the age of the computers, the amount of storage and any other relevant specifications.
As you examine different software options, check the systems specifications set by the developers that describe in detail the hardware required to run the application. Will the software still run on your current setup? Depending on their age, your server or workstations may require hardware updates before you purchase new software.
One of the final steps to take when evaluating software is to ensure the software company is financially sound and committed to the product. Over the years, a number of software developers have gone out of business, leaving their customers without program upgrades or support. Protect your software investment by doing your research to determine whether the company is stable and reliable. You need access to support not only now, but into the future.
It’s not easy to find the perfect software that meets every single one of your needs. However, taking into account the above considerations will make your search a more positive experience and help you find the best solution for your business.