Whether your clients’ software keeps tripping them up or just isn’t fitting their needs, here’s how to tell if it’s time for a change.
Are you spending hours trying to make your client’s old accounting software work for them? Whether they’re using outdated accounting software from years long gone—or their current software is just too dang complicated for them—it might be time for you to help them upgrade to something that’s a better fit for their business.
Using old and outdated financial accounting software (or worse, keeping the books in Excel spreadsheets) can lead to a lot of problems for business owners and their accounting professionals, including security risks and wasted time. And while change is rarely easy, switching their accounting systems can provide many benefits and ensure you can continue to meet their needs now and in the future.
Here are 5 signs that it’s time for a change.
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The Developer No Longer Supports Their Old Accounting Software
When a developer no longer supports accounting software, it means that the company is no longer releasing updates or patches to fix any security vulnerabilities that may have been discovered. Unfortunately, this is common on old versions of desktop accounting software, and it can be a major security risk as vulnerabilities that go unpatched could potentially be exploited by hackers.
Additionally, unsupported software may not work with newer versions of operating systems or other software, which can lead to compatibility problems and even data loss.
Their Accounting Software Isn’t Cloud-Based
Desktop accounting software is outdated and can be very unreliable. It can also be difficult to keep track of updates and security patches for these programs, which can leave your system vulnerable to attack.
These days, cloud accounting software is preferable because it’s always up to date, meaning you don’t have to worry about security risks. Additionally, cloud accounting is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, so you and your client can access and work on the books even when you’re on the go.
If your clients are neglecting their bookkeeping, it might be because their old accounting software isn’t readily accessible. Switching to a cloud-based system might encourage them to stay on top of their bookkeeping and other financial operations.
Their Existing Financial Accounting Software Doesn’t Offer a Mobile App
If your clients are like most small business owners, they probably spend a good chunk of their day on their phones. So it makes sense to use an accounting system with a user-friendly mobile app. Mobile access allows you and your clients to access the books and records from anywhere, which can be really helpful when clients need to check on the status of an invoice, a sales order, or their revenue numbers while they’re out of the office.
Switching to cloud-based accounting software with a mobile app can help companies save time and money and keep their business running smoothly.
It Doesn’t Integrate With Other Systems
Accounting software that isn’t integrated with other systems can be a problem because it can lead to data duplication and inconsistency. For example, when different applications, such as their customer relationship management (CRM), fixed asset management system, and payroll systems, don’t talk to the accounting software, it can be difficult for clients to track all of their data and ensure that it’s all up to date. This lack of integration can lead to mistakes and inaccuracies in their books as well as other systems.
Additionally, not being able to easily share data with other systems can make it difficult for you and your client to get a complete picture of the business. For example, if you’re trying to manage inventory levels, integration between the client’s accounting data and their inventory management data can help them to get an accurate picture.
If you’re still using an old version of an accounting software package, it’s likely that it doesn’t integrate with other systems. It’s time for you and your client to upgrade to something new.
The Accounting Software Offers Limited or No Automation
Small business accounting software that offers little or no automation leads to wasted time and mistakes. You and your client will waste precious hours on data entry, matching transactions, following up on invoices, reporting, and other accounting processes.
Automation can help to speed up business processes by automatically inputting data into the system or performing certain tasks. Accounting software that connects to the client’s bank and credit card accounts to automatically pull and classify business transactions can help ensure the business doesn’t miss out on any valuable tax deductions.
If their outdated accounting system doesn’t offer automatic bank feeds, you’ll have to manually enter all of those financial transactions. That’s not only inefficient, but it’s also prone to errors that you’ll have to hunt down every time you do a bank reconciliation.
Your Clients’ Current Software Is Just Too Complicated for Them
There’s a good chance that most of your small business clients wouldn’t consider themselves to be accounting whizzes. (That’s why they hired you!) There are a lot of accounting software options out there, and frankly, a lot of them are really complicated for the average small business owner to feel comfortable using on their own.
When your clients can use their accounting software on their own—without the fear of making a mistake—they’re more likely to take on day-to-day tasks like sending invoices and tracking expenses. That’s great news for you because it frees up your time for higher-value work, like advisory services. Not to mention it’s really empowering for your clients to feel like they have a better understanding of their business’s finances.
Accounting software with an easy-to-use interface, like FreshBooks, makes it easier for your clients to integrate a bunch of other features into one place, too. Small business owners expect more from their bookkeeping and accounting these days than simply recording income and expense tracking. They want real-time data, accounts receivable and accounts payable management, a high-level overview of their company’s finances, and advice to help them make better business decisions.
If your client’s old accounting software doesn’t offer all the features they want, such as time tracking, mileage tracking, creating estimates and proposals, analytics, and generating various types of reports, that’s a good sign it’s time to switch.
What to Look For in New Accounting Software
Once you’ve decided it’s time to switch accounting software, how can you know which accounting software option to choose?
It’s a good idea to select accounting software that’s cloud-based so it’s always up-to-date and accessible from anywhere. It’s also smart to look for software that integrates with other systems and apps that you and your client already use, such as their CRM, project management app, payroll system, or e-commerce platform. This will help you and your client save time on data entry and other bookkeeping tasks.
Accounting software with an easy-to-use interface, like FreshBooks, is a great choice for your business owner clients who want to feel comfortable using their accounting platform on their own.
When you switch to FreshBooks, you can choose to start fresh or bring in existing clients, expenses, vendors, tax rates, bank reconciliations, and other items from the client’s previous software via CSV file. You can also use a third-party data conversion or migration service.
(Pro tip: Certified Accounting Partners can get up to 3 years of data converted for free from another accounting software or Excel spreadsheet.)