In today’s competitive and changing business environment, technology is playing an increasingly important role. Knowing what to deploy and how can be difficult. Accounting and audit firms may find themselves uncertain of what software would best work for them, and may lack the technological savviness required to make an accurate assessment. This is particularly true of smaller firms without a dedicated IT department. Knowing what to expect from the software and how it will help them become more productive and efficient requires up-front knowledge.
To make the process easier, we’ve put together a check-list that highlights the key attributes of financial statement and audit software solutions that help modern accounting and audit professionals to deliver their services more efficiently while simultaneously increasing their value to clients and positioning them ahead of the pack.
These ten items should be on every audit and accounting software checklist:
You need to be sure that your software will be able to expand alongside your growing business. This could mean servicing different industries in the future, which might require new modules and add-ons. You need to check that the software is sufficiently scalable before committing to anything.
Before making a financial outlay, you need to be clear on what the investment is going to get you. Compare your requirements with the software’s functionality – is it providing enough for you to run an efficient practice? It is important to remember that the lowest-priced product is rarely the best choice. If the system lacks support, flexibility and performance, it can end up costing you more than it is worth.
You cannot afford to compromise on regulatory and compliance factors if you want to succeed as an audit or accounting firm. Speak to suppliers about the ways in which the software ensures compliance – and to what extent.
The key advantage of next-generation software solutions is that they use cloud and hosted technology platforms. This allows 24/7 access to tools and resources that facilitate collaboration. They are also superior to traditional stand-alone systems in that they do not require significant hardware and human resource investments, ensuring better return on investment.
- Compatibility and Integration:
Businesses tend to use a variety of systems and software platforms in the management of their operations, making application compatibility a point of concern. Before purchasing any new software, ensure that it will be compatible with the other applications in use. Centralising data sources in a single software application elevates the efficiency of your practice, resulting in quicker turnaround times and happier clients. Disparate systems are difficult to control and organise, and can cause lags in work processes. Good financial statement software should resolve these issues.
If the software is not intuitive and easy to use, it can lead to delays in work and frustration for both clients and staff. Make sure that it is user-friendly for even the least technologically-minded members of your practice for quick integration and streamlined work flow.
A software product is only as good as the support it comes with. Does your vendor’s support system have the requisite experience and specialist knowledge to help you get the most out of your investment? Technical support is not simply about resolving issues; it should help you realise the full potential of the software for your practice.
- Data Safety:
Protecting the integrity of data is a valid concern for any business in the digital era. Your software should be able to ensure that firm and client data is safe at all times. Ask vendors how their product offerings do this.
Redundant, repetitive processes are the bane of any business, and a root cause of inefficiency in the workplace. Software suites can simplify daily administrative tasks and operational processes, and in so doing vastly improve efficiency. Speak to suppliers to assess how well their offerings can do this for your firm.
CaseWare: Supporting compliance, efficiency and success
CaseWare Africa offers a solution that meets the changing needs of modern day accounting and audit professionals. Our systems are robust, agile and ready to take your practice to the next level in terms of efficiency, productivity and compliance. CaseWare easily scales to the needs of your business, regardless of operational size and area. This is evidenced by our wide range of clients; there are over 18000 using the CaseWare suite – these range from municipalities to international blue chip organisations. For more information on our full range of accounting and auditing solutions, please contact us.