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I’m back with my monthly unbiased perspective on the business software environment. This month: how does a business justify the upgrade of accounting or ERP software?

Before I present the drivers that justify most upgrades, keep in mind this foundational concept:

  • Upgrades strain an organization – hence, be prepared, and be sure you have universal commitment from your employees (top to bottom)
    • These projects are time consuming, risky, and detract your staff from current work projects. Employees will more eagerly “buy in” to the upgrade process when they understand the reasons for doing it, and the benefits to be derived.
    • Hint for exec’s: during upgrade “crunch time”: leading by example goes a really long way! Examples…
      • Demonstrate your interest in the success of the process
      • Show appreciation for your staff and the increased workload they are experiencing
      • Convey a supportive attitude
      • Consider bringing in extra personnel to help during system upgrade crunch time

By now, you get it – ERP upgrades are not to be taken lightly. Now… here the most common drivers for upgrading accounting/ERP software:

  • Death by spreadsheet
    • Consolidating lots of systems and spreadsheets can reduce risks and increase controls and efficiencies.
  • The wheels are about to fall off the wagon! Help!!
    • This is the situation where there is too much information, or need for information, and the current system(s) and processes can’t keep up with demand.
  • The tangled web scenario
    • Existing systems and data are so customized and/or tied to each other without ease of managing the connections that the quality and integrity of the data becomes suspect.
  • Growth and maturity of business operations necessitate more robust systems
  • Business is preparing for a merger or sale; an upgrade provides evidence of maturity
  • Existing software is no longer supportable by the vendor

What about ROI? Is it important to an upgrade decision? Maybe… (read next month’s post)

If you’re considering an upgrade to your ERP or business software, feel free to ping us with questions about the process, as well as to help you justify undertaking the challenge in the first place.

We’re here to help. Unbiased, independent, and experienced. We’ve got CFO, CPA, software and technology skills that are uniquely positioned to help our clients in this area. Feel free to call or e-mail me.