Software Connect recently looked at 3,000 different accounting software projects conducted by businesses in a wide range of industries. This survey provides some interesting insight into how businesses expect more than ever before from accounting software, and into why they are upgrading to solutions that provide more than just standard accounting functions.
Why are businesses upgrading to more advanced accounting software?
The Software Connect survey reveals a general trend - buyers are looking for simplicity and performance. Increasing functionality is the top motivation for 43 percent of buyers who invested in new accounting software, followed by replacing a legacy system for 29 percent, improving usability for 17 percent, and consolidating multiple systems for 10 percent.
There are a few changes in the business landscape that can be tied to these trends. As mergers and acquisitions become more frequent, it is understandable that businesses are shopping for better reporting and business intelligence tools.
Telecommuting is another contributing factor, since legacy systems are often not designed with remote users in mind. Cloud solutions--particularly those with quality mobile apps--address this need. Compliance issues might be another driving force behind businesses switching to more performing accounting solutions, especially for government contractors who need to meet strict billing requirements.
It seems that QuickBooks is no longer adapted to the needs of many businesses, since 35 percent of accounting software buyers surveyed had upgraded from a QuickBooks product. Meanwhile, 11 percent switched from Sage 50.
Accounting software became a new necessity for 37 percent of buyers who made their first purchase. This last statistic reflects the growing demand for actionable insights from smaller businesses and a tendency to move toward automation to streamline different processes.
More than just accounting
A majority of buyers are looking for a solution that includes some elements of an ERP system. In fact, more than 10 percent want features like invoicing, job costing, and purchase orders. Features like bank reconciliation, fund accounting, cash management, and estimates are important for 5 percent of businesses. The ideal accounting software should include a wide range of features and aggregate different processes.
Larger businesses are more likely to expect even more features from their accounting solutions. Companies with 50 or more employees are 70 percent more likely to want advanced features like budgeting, business intelligence and fixed assets.
Other features that are valuable to these larger businesses include purchase orders and bank reconciliation. Cloud and local hosting are viable options for most businesses since 60 percent of buyers said they would be satisfied with either approach.
Solutions like BQE Core provide the features that buyers are demanding, and thanks to advances in technology they're also largely affordable. Instead of investing in multiple platforms to handle different areas of their business, integrated software cuts down on costs while improving work processes and insights. Cloud software, meanwhile, greatly reduces companies' IT burdens while providing the flexibility that companies want. With all of these positives, it's no wonder why buyers are expecting more from their current accounting software.