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Signs you have outgrown your Accounting System – Part 1

As a Chartered Accountant, my background is quite different than the consultants I work with at Fenwick Software. During my career I’ve experienced first hand the frustration of trying to work within the constraints of an accounting system. System deficiencies have caused me to work many late nights creating reports that the system was not capable of producing.

Below are some of my observations which I believe are common indications that you have outgrown your accounting system.

Inability to Handle Multiple Locations/Companies/Currencies/Systems/Languages

More complex company structures and businesses require more complex systems. Many businesses start out quite simple, but as they grow and expand their operations, complexities creep into day to day activities. These are often very challenging for existing systems to cope with. Examples of these complexities may include: expanding into overseas markets—can introduce the requirement to account for foreign currency transactions; establishing foreign operations—may need to report in an additional currency; the acquisition of an additional warehouse—will need items to be accounted for in multiple locations; staff in foreign countries—may need to access information in their native language.

Successful businesses do not usually start out with a need for a sophisticated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, they develop the need over a period of time as their demands for information evolve. Sometimes the increasing inefficiencies resulting from growth go unseen by a business, to the point where new positions are created to ease the workload of staff bogged down in processing manual transactions—processes a well implemented ERP system could do automatically.

At Fenwick Software, it is not uncommon to be approached by a prospect that has ‘grown up’ on MYOB, with separate systems to handle payroll, warehouse, manufacturing, distribution and operations. The benefits in efficiency and cost savings of integrating disparate systems into one ERP system can be enormous. The Fenwick Software customer base is filled with case studies and testimonials from customers who have been through this experience and would not look back.

Join me in next week’s blog when I go through a few more observations that may help you identify whether you have outgrown your accounting system…