Filipino-owned businesses and operations are known for being somewhat slow to update to new practices, and the same pattern applies to accounting system upgrades. The types of adopted accounting system in the Philippines are more likely to be ad hoc pencil and paper and Excel-based systems that hamper their progress rather than modern accounting systems that facilitate it.
At this point, most Philippine businesses understand the need for an updated accounting system, not just because it makes BIR regulations and other legal matters easy to comply with, but because it is now widely recognized as necessary for jumpstarting the next stage of any business’s growth.
The right accounting system suites can make data accessible to different parts of the enterprise in an instant, and cut down on the need for red tape and redundant labor. It removes the need to constantly copy-paste data into different documents — a practice fraught with human error. It also allows your business to learn more, do more, and see more with a much smaller team than is often traditionally seen in Filipino businesses.
Unfortunately, the cost of upgrades can be high, and the costs grow higher as your business expands as well. While situations may be different for every enterprise, we have a few useful tips for ensuring your accounting system upgrade stays within a manageable budget.
1.) Try, try, try, before you buy
Many businesses purchase accounting systems or more comprehensive enterprise resource management (ERP) software suites without checking out the other alternatives available on the market. The fact is virtually all these different systems offer the same core functions. The difference is in the interface and the optimization and the possible add-ons, all of which can be suited or detrimental to your company, depending on what it does and how you do things. By taking the time to shop around, you avoid choosing an accounting system that isn’t already optimized for your business, right out of the box.
2.) Consider customizations carefully
As we mentioned earlier, many available accounting systems in the Philippines could be modified with add-ons or different types of customization to better suit your business’s needs. This where businesses often make their most expensive mistakes when upgrading, as the development of these modifications can easily outstrip your available budget for an accounting system update.
In the Philippine setting, many customization requests are often unnecessary and sometimes come from interdepartmental politics, where different groups may try to assert their importance by making customization requests when the software suite already does, in fact, have the functionality required. This means any project managers responsible for upgrade implementation, testing, and requests should carefully consider every demand to prevent delays and keep their development costs from spiraling out of control.
3.) Consider free modular systems
If you are running a small enterprise, many top accounting and ERP software providers such as SAP Business One have free packages and modules that do away with many of the unnecessary and confusing functions of many all-in suites. You can always add other modules as necessary or upgrade to a more expansive and functional version when your needs start to dictate it. Best of all, it offers an opportunity for your employees to become familiar with the system without you paying for a full-fledged version.
Given that all modern accounting systems do the same thing, it often comes down to cost and usability. If your employees find it difficult to navigate and use the accounting system you choose, it doesn’t matter if it’s more expensive or cheaper than the competition — it simply does not give your enterprise it’s promised value.
Thus successful system upgrades become a matter of both finding the one best fit for your business and training your employees in its judicious and efficient use. To reduce costs and obtain maximum value from any upgrade, it’s important to consider, test, and avoid unneeded changes to stock accounting software suites without a good reason.
What other tips for accounting system upgrades can you share? Tell us! Contact ANSI to find out which solution is best for your business.