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CEO Insights

4 Factors to Consider When Choosing Business Software

Countless companies struggle to find the right software solution to meet their varied needs. The result is a tangled mess of software, spreadsheets, and systems. To find the right software for your business, you have to consider what you’ll need as you grow rather than what you need at this particular moment.

For many new businesses, the best software solutions are user-friendly and relevant to their current needs. This combination often leads to a reliance on accounting software like QuickBooks to manage tasks like payroll, income, and sales.

But as a business grows, this accounting software’s limitations can quickly become apparent. While the financials might be handled, operations related to logistics and supply chain management often get left out in the cold. This oversight forces companies to build a stack of other platforms to fill these functionality gaps, resulting in a bloated mess of solutions that get the job done — but not efficiently.

For businesses that want to reduce operating costs and ensure smooth sailing as they continue to grow, choosing the right business software is essential. If you haven’t taken a long, hard look at the software your company uses lately, now is a great time to do it.

The Right Software Brings Out the Best in Your Business

U.S. businesses lose an estimated $1.8 billion in productivity thanks to outdated technology. Software that no longer meets the needs of a growing business can end up being a short- and long-term drain on resources.

For one, there are immediate savings to be had by moving to something more full-featured, like enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. A good ERP can automate several menial office tasks, including accounting, record-keeping, and payroll. Meanwhile, more mobile-friendly solutions make it easier for employees to access data whenever and wherever they need to work.

As a business grows, so should its software. An ad-hoc software approach will eventually hit a wall when attempting to scale. Whether that software lacks sufficient features, collects data inefficiently, or simply doesn’t have a standardized system, issues will arise when a solution can’t function for a growing team.

In short, choosing the right software is about more than just finding an option that works a little bit better. It’s about choosing scalable business solutions that will help a company thrive rather than a software set that could actively prevent it from growing.

Questions to Ask When Picking Business Software

The question of whether a business should go with QuickBooks vs. ERP isn’t an academic one. It can have a tangible impact on your bottom line. If you think your current stack of solutions is no longer cutting it, here are some questions to ask yourself:

How much time do you spend on data entry?

If your employees spend the bulk of their day transferring orders from an e-commerce platform into QuickBooks, then your current system probably needs an upgrade.

Manual data entry not only exposes your company to human error but also eats up time that could be better spent elsewhere. Truly scalable business solutions know this, integrate with your workflow, and automate data entry.

Are you doing double entry?

It’s bad enough to have to manually input data a single time. Unfortunately, many businesses have to go through this process for every program they use.

For example, there’s no reason to have people spend time taking Amazon’s order information only to re-enter it into QuickBooks. As you scale, this minor inconvenience becomes a costly bottleneck. There are plenty of ERPs that allow you to automate this data input, removing redundant logistics and supply chain management tasks from your employees’ workloads.

How do you manage payment reconciliation?

Dealing with payment reconciliation can be a struggle. Even something as seemingly simple as posting different marketplace fees can be a massive drain on time. Some companies have employees whose full-time job is to input payment reconciliations into the system.

If these situations sound familiar, it’s time to find a solution that can automate this process. That decision can free up your team to concentrate on more pressing matters.

How many applications do you actuallyuse?

Over the years, many businesses have cobbled together an army of applications to fill various needs. A company might start with QuickBooks but later add an inventory management software, a CRM, or a production application.

Before you know it, that company can’t get work done without six or seven different applications on top of multiple Excel spreadsheets. However, there are plenty of cohesive and scalable business solutions available that can reduce operating costs and streamline operations.

If you plan to keep growing, you need to replace this assortment of solutions with a single service that grows with you. Streamlining instead of adding is an investment in your company’s long-term viability.

When choosing the right software for your business, you can’t just look at what you need at this particular moment — you have to consider what you’ll need as you grow. If you find you’re struggling with the limitations of your current services, now might be the perfect time to seek a solution that can serve your entire organization.

Written by Gustavo Zientek.

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Insights - 4 Factors to Consider When Choosing Business Software
Gustavo Zientek
Gustavo Zientek is the chief executive officer of Consultare, an ERP consultancy that specializes in helping businesses optimize accounting, marketing, and other elements of their workflow through the distribution and implementation of SAP Business One applications. Zientek resides in Miami.

Gustavo Zientek is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow him on LinkedIn.