Practice Management Small Business Tech Trends

10 Questions to Consider When Buying Accounting Technology

Written by Jess Scheer

To help you become a smarter buyer – and to better advise your clients on their next accounting technology investment – Accountex’s editors compiled the following questions to help you think through your purchase decision:

Jess Scheer will present the session, State of Accounting Technology, at Accountex 2018 in Boston, August 22. For a complete listing of speakers, click here.

TRUST BUT VERIFY

  • Which of my peer organizations (similar size, similar systems, similar needs etc.) can I call to discuss their experience with your product?

 

  • If I’m not happy with the system, what’s the process for de-conversion? What are the terms of termination?

 

COMPATABILITY

  • Without significant customization, what systems does your product integrate into? (Consider all related systems – those that would be both inputs and outputs of the accounting system you’re considering purchasing.)

 

  • What are the software’s reporting capabilities? What systems does it “talk to” and will it provide access to all necessary information (i.e., dashboard with real time data)?

 

TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP

  • What is the total cost for the system you’re considering purchasing? (Are there annual upgrades, maintenance costs, that would require additional costs? What cost savings can be anticipated through implementation of the solution – what and how do you calculate that ROI?

 

  • How are future upgrades handled? (Are they included in the subscription cost? Does the vendor automatically upgrade the software to newer versions? What is the impact of the upgrades on the business — require downtime, scheduled during off hours? How often are new releases offered?)

 

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

  • What kind of training does the vendor provide? What are the costs associated with that support?

 

  • What types of customer support does the vendor provide? Web support? Phone support? On-site support? Is this support included in subscription?

 

SECURITY

  • What (cyber) security features are included? How secure is the data housed/transmitted to or from the system? What disaster recovery capability does the vendor have?

 

  • Is the software available on the cloud, or only on-premise? Does the vendor (if cloud-based) have its own data center?

About the author

Jess Scheer

Jess Scheer is an award-winning business journalist who began covering the accounting profession in the late 1990s.

Jess currently serves as the executive editor of Accountex, the largest online community connecting accounting technology providers and owners of small to midsize accounting firms. The Accountex blog is read by north of 65,000 accountants per month; an annual trade show in the Fall serves as the must-attend event for those who are in search of technology to enable better and more profitable performance.

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