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Failing to upgrade your business management software can be very costly indeed, says Fiona Dixon of HLB Mann Judd 

When talking to SMEs about their current accounting and business management software, or how they manage workflows in their business, all too often they have not reviewed the software in a number of years, if at all. Indeed many are still using manual workflows to do work that can now be automated.

Research conducted in the UK showed that an average of 40 minutes per day per employee is wasted on slow or outdated technology. It’s likely that Australia would have similar results.

When we speak with clients about changing finance or accounting systems, one excuse that comes up again and again is the cost of changing systems. 

Understandably, it is easy to focus only on the cost of purchasing a new accounting system. However there are hidden costs in not upgrading that are not always factored in, such as:

  • the server costs to host and back up the software
  • paper costs for printing
  • employee costs to manually enter invoices and file invoices
  • time costs to extract information and manipulate it into the required format.

Investing in software that can perform some if not all of the low value work frees up employees’ time to perform high value work such as analysing the data, generating accurate budgeting and providing timely information to assist the business owner in making strategic business decisions. 

It also helps ensure business processes and records are properly documented, which helps both in meeting regulatory requirements as well as in putting the business on the proper footing for future growth.

When making the decision to invest in new software, it is important to consider what the business actually requires now as well as what might be needed in the future. If the ultimate finance system is too expensive up front, maybe consider breaking it down into smaller projects. It’s not always necessary to do everything at once.

Even the smallest of businesses can benefit from some of the new technology now available, to become more efficient, more professional, and ready for growth.

Fiona Dixon is a partner at HLB Mann Judd Sydney

Visit HLB Mann Judd for independent accounting advice

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