Computerized accounting isn’t inherently efficient.
At this point, nearly every business uses computers for its accounting. Software for the everyman – like Excel – makes the process extremely accessible to organizations of all sizes. So, as long as you are more advanced than pen and paper scribbling, you’re up to date – right? Everything seems to be running smoothly so, if it's not broken, why fix it? We have some answers to that question : some businesses have broken accounting systems and they don't even know it. Worse still, it's costing them time, money and customers.
Is it time to customize your accounting?
Every business is unique and has different needs and goals. Even two businesses in the same field offering the same products and services will each have their own set of priorities. Maybe it's customer retention, or maybe it’s market expansion. Perhaps cutting costs is a crucial goal; maybe you want to focus on adding new product lines. Whatever priorities a business sets for itself, accurate accounting systems are crucial to reaching those goals successfully.
Consider a recent article by Forbes writer Bill Conerly. Conerly posits that a business can be hemorrhaging cash, but without a clear, succinct vision of its cash flow, there is no way to correct the problem. Almost any accounting system can tell whether a business is generally profitable from month to month, but what happens when it shows a loss? Does the system show exactly where that loss has occurred? Without knowing precisely what's going on, Conerly explains, and being able to identify the exact dollar amount a project is costing or making your company, there is no way for a business to choose a clear solution to the problem.
This is where a customized accounting software system or custom-built application becomes invaluable. To succeed, every business needs an accounting system that can help it accurately track its income streams, overhead and costs. With that information in hand, all of those crucial business decisions about marketing, expansion, investments and project bids can be made with confidence and accuracy.
These signs point to an outdated accounting system!
Still on the fence? Not sure you need a new accounting software system? There are other telltale signs that it's time to give your accounting system an overhaul. Here are a few of them.
- It's hard to find the data you need in time to make important, time-sensitive business decisions.
- The data bases crucial to the running of your business have outdated or inaccurate information.
- You've outgrown your data storage capacity.
- An unexplained expense creep is cutting into your profit margins.
- Security breaches are a growing concern -- for either you or your customers.
- It's become difficult to anticipate cash-flow needs.
- Reports and records have mathematical errors.
- Your sales staff can't close deals because they can’t access necessary data.
- Sloppy record keeping has triggered financial audits.
- You need to do extensive research to find out if a given project, employee or department is showing a profit.
If any of these sound familiar, it may be time to look at your accounting system. After all, it's not just a record of your business activities – it's a vital business tool driving growth, sales and profits. Don't let an antiquated -- or nonexistent -- accounting software system keep your business in the Stone Age.