7 steps to choosing the right client accounting software

28th January 2016

When it comes to choosing client accounting software there are plenty of options available. However, not all client accounting  software packages are right for every business. It’s important to consider the needs of your business and factors such as integration with leading industry applications, budget, goals, scalability and users.

As a leading proptech firm we might have been developing, selling and supporting client accounting software for more than 25 years and have an impressive client roster, but we’re not going to tell you that Veco™ is the best client accounting software for your business. In this post we’re simply going to cover 7 things you should consider when choosing client accounting software.

1. Business goals

Analysing your business and determining what you need from your new client accounting software and its place in your Digital Mesh is the first and most important step when choosing a new system.

Up to date functionality on all government legislation including immigration requirements and RICS client accounting regulations is essential to keep your business compliant with the law.

Integration with industry standard technology such as Fixflo, DocuSign®, inventory and banking applications is the approach to take if you’re looking to grow your business. It will give you more control, improve efficiency and save time.

2. Requirements

What do you need from your software and what are nice to haves? Entry level software does the basics such as key financial reports, client statements, VAT, supplier invoices and records.

If you need features such as automation, BACS payments, bank reconciliation, credit management and powerful, real time reporting tools then you’ll need to be looking at a more advanced client accounting system.

3. Look at the costs — short term and long term — and decide if you can afford them.

Evaluating costs can be a challenge. The retail price for client accounting software rarely reflects the total cost of the solution. Try to measure costs by looking at the broader picture: How much will it cost to implement? How much will you have to invest in training? What costs will be associated with the disruption the new client accounting software will bring? Even free tools can bring enormous practical costs. Failing to evaluate costs thoroughly with an eye toward the future will lead to painful overruns, and embarking on a project you can’t afford to complete well ensures you’ll do little more than waste money.

4. Scale

You don’t want to be held back by your client accounting software in a year’s time. Therefore, it’s essential to look at software that has the capability to grow with your business. For example, does it give you the flexibility to add additional users and portfolios easily and quickly? If your plans are to grow your business invest in software that can store a large number of transactions or lets you track property in multiple ownership.

5. Users of the software

When selecting client accounting   software you should involve the people who will be using the software on a daily basis – your property managers, accounts staff and lettings staff. Have they used a client accounting software package before and did they like it? If so, it might be worth adopting the same software so they can get up and running quickly. Alternatively, invite them to any product demonstrations you see so they can get a feel for the software early on.

6. Develop a project implementation strategy

Buying a new piece of client accounting software is only the first step. To get the most out of your investment, the software needs to be implemented well and staff need to be educated to use it properly. It’s common for client accounting software projects to go astray during this step. Sometimes an overspend on the software can leave little money for the implementation, or a reliance on internal resources that prove insufficient. In other cases, client accounting software may be installed and configured properly, but a plan is never executed to ensure that staff understand and utilise the key features that justified the expenditure in the first place. Firms can avoid such waste by ensuring that a solid project implementation and training plan is in place before the first pound is spent on the actual software.

7. Software provider

Finally, take a closer look at the software provider. They think their software is great, but don’t just take their word for it. Look at customer testimonials to see how they are supporting customers in the same industry as you. What challenges do they face and what benefits are they seeing from the software?
Has the company or its clients won any awards? This is a good sign that the software you’re looking at is industry leading.
Also consider the reputation of the software provider. Have they been around for a long time and do you feel confident they’ll be around for many years to come. You’ll need to bear this in mind for future software upgrades, development and support.

rich

Eurolink director Richard Murray says:

“At Eurolink we understand the complexities of client accounting and our experience over the last 25 years as a leading property management software provider means our clients can rely on best-in-class software backed by brilliant support from knowledgeable staff”.