In the fast-paced world of accounting, where numbers reign supreme and clients depend on precision, staying up-to-date with the latest software is increasingly important. Where we could once buy a software package and forget about it for years at a time, we now have to be aware of emerging technology, security threats, utility, operating cost… so many factors.
Choosing, maintaining, and assessing the software you use in your firm is something that now requires vigilance on your part — as well as planning.
Software Utility and Compatibility
Accounting software isn't just about crunching numbers; it's a tool for transforming data into actionable insights. However, the utility of software is like a fine wine – it gets better with age, but only if you choose the right bottle. Choose the wrong one, and well, it’s vinegar.
Old, outdated software might still do the job, but you'll miss out on new features that could save you time, such as automation, improved data visualization, and advanced reporting capabilities. It can also be a huge security risk (more on that in a bit).
The compatibility aspect is equally important. Your software should play nice with other applications you use, as appropriate. Incompatibility can lead to data transfer issues, slowing down your workflow and potentially causing errors that could come back to haunt you later.
So, make sure your software isn’t stuck in the digital equivalent of the Stone Age. Keep it fresh to harness the full power of modern technology.
While updating your software might seem like an expense, it’s actually an investment. In this case, investing in the future of your accounting firm. In many cases, updates don’t require you to lay out any additional funds, but there can be learning curve and other associated operational costs — they’re almost always worth it.
Outdated software often requires more maintenance, more support, and more time to achieve the same results. Plus, the risk of security breaches increases with older software, and the cost of dealing with a breach is far higher than that of regular software updates.
In a cost-benefit analysis, continuously updating your software often turns out to be a wise financial move. And besides, staying ahead of the curve just might impress your clients. Who doesn't want an accountant who's always on the cutting edge?
Difficulty of Mastering Software
Many firms have software packages that new employees struggle with. And those same packages can frustrate and stymie even your firms’ experts in using them.
That’s a factor that should be sending you a message: there might be something better out there. Whether your current software is riddled with bugs you have to work around, or has a non-intuitive interface, or just makes it too hard to do simple things, critical software packages that fall into this category can cause you all kinds of havoc, from employee attrition to pronounced inefficiency.
It’s likely this software will, or already is costing you more than you know in lost productivity. Keep up with what’s out there. When you see a better option, weigh it carefully and see what it might be able to do for you.
And keep this same measure in mind when assessing new software. If it’s a kludge, you’ll have an uphill battle making it work well for you. Look elsewhere.
Accounting firms deal with highly sensitive financial information. Keeping it safe isn’t just an obligation, it’s also critical to your good reputation.
Security vulnerabilities in old software can open the door to cybercriminals, and once they're in, it can be a Herculean task to evict them. Keeping your software updated ensures you have the latest security patches, reducing the risk of breaches and helping you sleep soundly at night.
Remember, no one wants to be the accounting firm that makes the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Keeping your software up-to-date is your invisible fortress, guarding your client's valuable data.
If your team can't get the hang of your software, it can lead to a decrease in productivity and even cause some of your best talent to walk.
Keeping your software updated, or swapping to something better suited, can improve user-friendliness. Modern interfaces are designed with user experience in mind, making it easier for your employees to embrace the technology in a giant hug of profit.
But don't just assume your employees are on board with your software choices. Conduct surveys, training sessions, and check-in meetings to ensure they're comfortable with the tools you provide. Happy employees are productive employees, and having software they can easily navigate is a step in the right direction.
In the world of accounting, numbers rule the day. And when it comes to software, it's the numbers game that matters too. Keep your software up-to-date and ensure it’s fit for purpose, and you'll see the numbers on your balance sheet and client satisfaction soar. The utility and compatibility of fresh software will make your work more efficient, and the benefits will far outweigh any costs.
Are your software packages keeping up with you?
As your firm grows and changes, once useful software can sometimes become an albatross. At Botkeeper, we are continuously updating our platform to address what’s most important in firms by adding features and refining our approaches. It’s software that grows with your firm, and offers so much more than just automated bookkeeping.
When Botkeeper Infinite launches in Q1 of 2024, we’ll be providing the tested-and-loved Botkeeper platform for firms as a software-only option. Firms will be able to mix and match services to offer individual clients a software-only experience that the firm manages for them, or added services that bring in our expert accounting team to help you manage the client even more efficiently.
Botkeeper Infinite will provide the kind of flexibility today’s firms need. And that’s the ultimate value in today’s accounting software environment.
Interested in trying it out? Join our waitlist for Botkeeper Infinite and you may be chosen to participate in the exclusive Beta, months before anyone else can use it. Sound good? Just click the button below to get signed up!