Canadian Manufacturing

8 signs your accounting software is holding you back

Whether you're evolving or losing business to competitors, it's time to consider how an upgraded system could better enable your company’s growth


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PHOTO: Accountant’s office/schnaars via Flickr

—Sponsored article by SYSPRO Canada

As a growing manufacturer, your accounting software package may have served its purpose in years gone by, but in light of a highly competitive global market and the emergence of Industry 4.0 technologies that threaten to disrupt your world, is it really supporting your business where it needs it most?

It might be time to consider how an upgraded system could better enable your company’s growth and expansion.

Here are eight indicators that your business has graduated beyond your current software program

1. You’re evolving from a small to a mid-sized business: As a startup with just a couple of employees, a basic accounting package was ideal for keeping the books, helping you sell to a local customer base, procure raw materials and report on inventory levels. However, now that you have more employees who are taking on specialized roles and you are expanding to more markets with a bigger product line, you will have more transactions and more processes that are generating more data and more work for everyone. Managing it all with your basic accounting system won’t suffice and you will start to see people using spreadsheets and buying ad-hoc software tools just to keep up.

2. Your accounting staff is bogged down by having to re-enter data: As ad-hoc systems and spreadsheets pop up in your business like weeds, trying to cobble together a picture of performance becomes increasingly more time consuming and it’s a colossal waste of employees’ time and skills. Worse yet, this mountain of paperwork is growing exponentially given the human error element in manual processes caused by re-inputting and reconciling data.

3. You need better control of production information and intelligence: Now that your production processes are maturing, you need to be able to align production with demand and start gathering accurate shop floor data to be able to understand production performance.

4. You’re losing business to competitors: Given the limitations of your accounting package, it’s likely your company’s information is spreading out into a variety of disparate systems, making it extremely challenging to obtain the holistic view you need in order to make timely business decisions. As a result, you can’t be as responsive or agile as you once were, and you start to lose out to the competition.

5. You’re struggling to get insight into business performance: Your accounting system is good at publishing the statements and lagging indicators of what happened. But in order to compete, your growing business needs insight into cash flow, profitability and your actual to budget projections. If you can’t immediately answer questions like where you are in the red or black, whether your profit margin is ideal, or if you can financially support a new project, you’re probably ready to move on from your current accounting package.

6. You can’t track or control changes: Your accounting software may not allow you to control access to vital data and there may be no way to perform an audit trail if those changes are not logged and accounted for. The lack of audit controls and visibility to transactional activities in your system puts your company at risk.

7. Your software doesn’t offer compliance capability: As your business grows – especially in certain manufacturing or production sectors such as Food & Beverage – you are likely to become subject to more compliance-related issues such as government regulations, traceability requirements, industry standards or internal quality assurance initiatives. If compliance data is being kept in filing cabinets, spreadsheets or ad-hoc databases, your business may be at risk of failing audits or falling out of compliance.

8. You’re experiencing major complications shifting to a national or international presence: As you plan to export and expand nationally or internationally, you’ll have to work with different sales tax rates and currencies – a level of sophistication your accounting software is not likely capable of handling.

If you’re feeling these pains, your accounting software is impeding your growth and competitiveness. It’s vital that your company has solutions that fit your long-term plan by enabling growth through access to information that is organized, automated, and drives intelligent business decisions.

To learn more about what to do when you’ve outgrown your accounting software, join Karen Chang of Umbrella Consulting Vancouver and me for a live webinar as we explore why accounting packages tend to fall short when growth is on the horizon and the steps you can take to future proof your business.

Register here to reserve your spot today.


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