Last issue we learned that not getting what you expect from your software is probably not the software’s fault. We talked about individual user training and in this part, we’ll examine software utilization at the organizational level. Certainly, these two are tightly intertwined; insufficient employee training will most likely result in ineffective utilization company wide. For this discussion, we’re going to look at the business’ processes and procedures.
The foundation for a successful and thriving operation includes good employees and good work flow. How about software? Well, weren’t there successful businesses before the advent of accounting software? Arguably, a computer based accounting system is not a required building block. Such systems are tools, however, and we know that good employees work better and more efficiently with good tools. Successful and thriving are relative terms in a competitive business environment where employees and processes that can handle higher volumes with fewer errors and greater efficiencies are an advantage. Would anyone want to run a business of any size today without a computer based accounting system?
One benefit of accounting software is the intrinsic discipline built into the product. The way the software works defines its operating procedures. But what determines whether or not the software delivers the expected results? It’s how well the business implements the software’s operating procedures and integrates them with work flow processes to meet the organization’s business requirements. The software’s selectable operating parameters and the set of operational procedures available with the software must be matched to the businesses’ work flow processes to get the expected results.
Initial software selection and implementation should include a System Review to identify business requirements and work flow processes. This becomes the criteria for setting up the system’s optional parameters and selecting the appropriate set of software procedures. Over time, a business will change. Software procedure utilization can get out of sync with the ebb and flow of changing operational requirements. A periodic Systems Review will identify inefficiencies and misapplied software procedures.
A System Review analyzes business requirements, examines work flow processes, and develops functional specifications for automating accounting processes. Implementing the recommendations of a System Review is the way to insure that you are getting what you expect from your software.
Here are the benefits of a system review: