- Reporting is improving, but mostly in third-party products. This part of the accounting software market has had more change than most of the other segments in the last five years. XBRL reporting from Rivet Software has made reporting easier and more flexible. BizNet Software’s BizInsight has enabled powerful Excel reporting for most of the mainstream accounting products like MAS 500, MAS 200, Dynamics GP, Epicor and more. Even built-in reporting options from Intuit QuickBooks and Sage Peachtree have made good advancements. Repeatable reporting that takes very little intervention to create a final work product, like the reporting in AccountantsWorld, can save your firm money and time.
- Specialized products are extending the capabilities and solving specific business problems. There are so many products to write about in this category, it is almost impossible to summarize. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software improves business contact, development, customer satisfaction and cross selling. Results CRM, Sage CRM, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM have all made great progress in the last two to three years. Integration to accounting products, such as with QuickBooks and Results CRM, is elegant and transparent. Other examples include MISys for manufacturing, BillQuick for Time and Billing, Big Time for DCAA project management, and Wasp Barcode offerings are just a few of the examples. More are listed at www.accountingsoftwareworld.com/industry_solutions.
- Traditional software is improving, too. After spending so many years watching, helping and implementing software from QuickBooks to SAP, I can definitively state that most software publishers are continuously working to improve their products. Few have stood still. If you or your clients are not on the most current version of any of these software products, you are not getting the benefit of your software maintenance. You potentially have the opportunity to solve annoying problems by upgrading and training your people.
Hopefully, this brief tour through the accounting software market has given you enough reasons to invest some time to look around at what is new … and what could benefit your firm and your clients. Using accounting software more than five years old is not saving your clients money; in fact, it is draining productivity, wasting both time and money. Staying on the same old software is just false economy. It is probably time to make a change! But please don’t make the mistake we see firms making left and right in the market. Don’t make an emotional purchase decision without doing an accounting software selection process. Buying accounting software without a selection process is a sure path to failure and squandered resources. In addition to the reviews you read in The CPA & NSA Technology Advisor, you can find additional information on accounting software at www.accountingsoftwareworld.com, including a selection process, reviews and other information. Best of luck in making the changes that I’m betting are needed for your firm and your clients. n