10 Steps to Accounting Software Selection

Finding the right accounting system can be a daunting task.  It is easy to get overwelmed by the abundant amount of information.  If the wrong accounting system is selected the result can be devastating.  The entire business can be jeopardized.

It is important to approach any accounting system review with a plan.

Step One:  Establish a technology project management committee.  This team should be recruited from each company department so the needs of every part of the company are considered.  Try to keep it under 7 members.
Step Two: Every accounting system review should begin with a needs assessment.  This may be the most important part of your review process.  Gathering appropriate and sufficient data informs staff of the correct process required to develop an effective model to address the company's needs.  Needs assessments can reveal performance needs, instrumental needs, conscious needs, unconscious needs, organizational needs, individual needs and causes for needs.
Step Three:  Develop a comprehensive business process assessment.  This process documents the measurement and assessment of the existing business processes.  This can come in the form of a checklist defining a weighted value of importance to the individual business processes critical to the company.
Step Four:  Define your milestone and budget projections.  The technology project management committee prepares a project timeline and preliminary budget.

Step Five:  Compare accounting systems functionality against your needs and business process assessments.  Create a matrix comparing each accounting system for functionality addressing your needs.

Step Six:  Weed out accounting system misfits.

Step Seven:  Prepare a simple checklist request for proposal and submit it to the paired down list of vendors. It is important to keep this simple, some vendors will not fill out lengthy requests for proposals especially if there is an independent software consultant involved.

Step Eight:  Request product demonstrations.  Invite the RFP respondents who checked off the requirements meeting your needs to demonstrate their accounting system.

Step Nine:  Select your new accounting system.

Step Ten:  Check references and purchase accounting system.