Selecting an Accounting Package Post 2

Thursday, April 7, 2011 6:11
Posted in category Shopping

Step Two: Evaluate Software Packages
After you have determined your needs, you will want to compare them with various software packages, the more the better. This process can be done efficiently through the use of the marketing materials and specifications each software company should provide on its package. After the initial “weeding out” stage, you should be able to narrow down your search to three to five packages.
Next you will need to make sure the software can perform your must-have functions. Arrange for product demonstrations to evaluate each software package. I have found that demonstration, which are controlled by the software provider, are designed to show their products strengths and generally will not show you what you really need to know Ewill it do what you need it to do? Obtain an evaluation copy of the software and put it through the paces. It is highly recommended that you check out and confirm each functionality requirement with test data specifically pertaining to your company.

Step Three: Evaluate the Manufacturer and Reseller
It is important to choose a stable company that is going to support the product and is committed to enhancing their accounting package on a regular basis. Do some research into the backgrounds of the companies that wrote the software packages you are considering.
How long have they been in business?
Is the company financially stable?
How often is the software upgraded?
How many installations do they have?
What is their reputation for customer service and support?
Can you get access to the source code?
What about customization?

Choosing the right reseller is also very important. A reseller should be able to provide you with the software, installation, implementation, training, and on going technical support you need to maintain your system in a timely and accurate manner. Here are a few questions you should ask each reseller.
What sort of technical support do they provide and what is the average response time?
Does the reseller provide telephone and modem support?
Does the reseller provide classroom training?
Does the reseller provide on-site assistance?
How many successful installations has the reseller completed?
Can they provide you with several references from satisfied customers?
What if you don’t like the software after you purchase it?
Does the reseller have a return policy?
Are they available after or on the weekends?

Step Four: Choose the Best Package for Your Business
If you do your homework up front and evaluate your business and its processes to determine what you need in an accounting package, then thoroughly evaluate packages with good reputations and solid resellers, you should not have any trouble choosing the accounting package that best suits your needs.

It is important to remember that you will not find a package that has every thing you need and want. It is best to choose the package that best fits the majority of your needs, then learn everything possible about how that package functions and make it work for your company.

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