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msi - cloudaccountingBy Marcus Siah, MSI Ragg Weir, Accountants, Melbourne.

With so many cloud accounting products available like MYOB’s AccountRight, Intuit’s Quickbooks Online, Xero and many more to come, which one is right for your business? Much thought should be given to this question before you buy. Just diving in could result in unwanted frustration and a missed opportunity to gain business efficiencies.

So here are some tips for you to consider:

Tip # 1 – What do you need from your accounting system?

Sometimes we do not need all the bells and whistles that come with an accounting package but sometimes we do. What is important is what you need to obtain from your accounting system to help run your business or to help make important timely decisions to grow your business.

Sit down have a think and seek the advice of your advisors as they may provide insights you have never thought of before.

Tip #2 – Wouldn’t it be good if…

Have you ever thought “wouldn’t it be good if my system could do this”? What could not be done yesterday may be able to be today or in the future. A new inventory management system, client relationship management system (CRM) just to name a few may offer new features that may address some of the frustrations that you have with parts of your current system. Known as add ons there are many on offer that can integrate with your accounting systems.

So have a think about what other parts of your business that could be improved with new software. Investigate if there any products out there that suit your needs and can integrate with your accounting system as a seamless system reduces data duplication and errors. The best place to start is in the “add on” section of the website of the accounting package that you are considering using.

Tip #3 – Try before you buy

Now that you have an idea of what you want and investigated the products you want it’s time to try before you buy. Many of the cloud products offer a free trial so take advantage of the offer. Test the products to see that all the features in the sales material stack up to your expectations and give you the business efficiencies that you seek.

Tip # 4 – Planning and Training

“A failure to plan is a plan to fail” and this saying is never truer when implementing a new system. Considering the time and money that you will be investing in this change you want bang for your buck. It is important that time is spent thinking about the following before you start using your new system:

  • How you will move from your current system to your new system, and
  • The initial and ongoing training of you or staff in the use of the systems

 

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