Accounting Apps and Add-ons – Where do I start?
How to Choose Your Accounting Apps or Add-Ons
Finding and implementing the right accounting Apps or Add-Ons for your business can be an overwhelming task. The technology landscape is so fast moving and sourcing the best apps or add-on software is no way an easy task.
At 2 Peas our passion is to help guide our clients to ensure they have the right information systems in place to effectively support their business for growth and to reduce as many of the laborious mundane day to day tasks.
Building on your current accounting stack through the use of apps and add-ons helps to better streamline most off those mundane laborious manual tasks and in turn create efficiencies as well as allow business owners the freedom to focus on their business growth.
I was recently invited by one of add-on partners Link4 to present a webinar on ‘How to choose the right accounting add-ons for your business so here is what I had to say to the audience.:
Here’s 6 tips to help guide you on this journey to determine the right tools for your accounting stack.
1. Identify Pain Points
Determine what your pain points are in your business. What challenges do you face day to day? Which tasks take forever and are laborious and you feel yours and your staff’s time can be better spent? Create a list of all the things you would like to see automated or enhanced.
What shortcomings are you currently experiencing from your accounting software? What would you like additionally to see your accounting software do?
Is your business paperless yet? What process can you implement to support a paperless environment?
2. Create a Checklist
Once you have determined some of your pain points you then need to create your checklist in order of priority, beginning with the biggest pain point you would like to resolve. Do not attempt to resolve all your pain points all at once as it will overwhelm you and your team.
Collaborate with your staff to prioritise the order in which you will execute your first add-on or app from biggest to smallest pain point. Selection should be based around the apps that provide the biggest impact of automation as well as deliver instant results to your bottom line whilst saving your business valuable time and money for your investment outlay.
3. Research Add-Ons and Apps
Once you have the worked out what you would like to automate you can begin the research process. Begin with your accounting software provider’s market place and from there you can investigate further look by reading reviews posted on industry specific websites platforms like AppFinder, GetApp and Trustpilot.
It is also a good idea to check what systems your competitors as well as other businesses are using and what feedback they have about these products.
It is at this point too, that you would want to determine that the benefits that you want provided by the app or add on would justify the cost of implementation plus the ongoing charges.
4. Demo Add-Ons and Apps
Most providers offer free online demonstration or trial download of their product. This provides you with an in-depth look at what it offers as well as the opportunity for you to ask the difficult questions not only about the app but also about the app provider as well. Through your demo ask as many questions as you can, ask them to provide examples of your business process so that you are assured the add-on will be able to handle the complexities you face in your business.
Make good use of the free trial period. Get your staff testing it by adding some data scenarios and to provide feedback. Integrate the software to your accounting system and review how it manages your data flow, is it what you would expect?
Provide your feedback to the app provider so you can assess how responsive they are. Discuss software enhancements with them and the timing these are likely to happen if at all. Test the customer service level so you are confident the provider will responds in a timely manner.
5. Implementation Process
Once you’ve decided on the app or add-on you are ready for the implementation process. In preparation work closely with your software advisor and or provider to determine timelines and the roll-out process. Included in the process allow for the accounting integration, training of staff, feedback and troubleshooting.
Review the performance of your add-on and provide any feedback negative and positive you have collected along the way from your team to the software provider.
At the 3, 6 and 12 month mark check in with your team and provider to see if there are any further enhancements available or other pain points.
Finally, having worked with add-ons and apps for a few years now we have found that they have the possibility of creating an immense positive impact on business. Some apps give great reporting, some give information re cash flow, some eliminate data entry, others are industry specific and provide industry tools.
All businesses should take time to plan and for innovation. It’s an investment to future-proof your business as it allows you the ability to continue positive growth. Investing in the right people, tools and services is key to continued success.