Taking the Stress out of FMS
Financial Management Software (FMS) is an area with lots of competition. This is healthy – it drives efficiency – however it can make finding the right solution for your business a time-consuming process.
Standard features – such as ledger management, invoicing, and payment processing – are offered by many vendors, but, as we begin 2018, there are several other factors in the marketplace that also need to be investigated:
The subscription model
Hosting your software in the cloud vs keeping it on-premise. Desktop software has a high initial cost, and so many firms opt for an online model, which is pay-as-you-go. However, if your internet connection goes down, so does your visibility of your finances. You therefore need to consider the trade-off between risk and upfront cost.
Friendly user interface and navigation
Cloud-based solutions are clean and simple, with a smooth interface. However, desktop versions have better graphics, which may be preferred when working with graphs and charts in reporting. You must therefore decide how much you value a visual representation of your data.
Does the vendor have a number of variations available, with different price tiers and service levels to match the requirements of your business? As your business expands, you may wish to progress through these levels without having to navigate elsewhere. However not all providers offer different tiers, and so you may have to sacrifice other functionality.
As businesses grow and expand, they may require greater functionality added to their current package, for example, expenses and inventory management. Are these options? How easily can the provider add on benefits and adapt to your requirements?
Cloud-based solutions benefit from being used anytime, anywhere. As a result, developers have made a number of the platform’s features available via smartphone and tablet. Kashoo, for example, was the first to build an iPad app, and One Up was initially created for mobile use and only later made available through web browsers.
When the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) finalize a new standard on revenue from contracts with customers, many accounting systems have to be updated to match the new set of standards. If you’re using a cloud solution, the system upgrade is taken care by the vendor. However, for a desktop platform, this update will be a manual process.
It is therefore imperative that you find the right FMS software for your unique business requirements, which will require a comparison of several different providers. For example, newer solutions like ZipBooks are working quickly to add features, while much older websites like QuickBooks Online are concentrating on the usability factor. Freshbooks is regarded in 2018 as the best overall accounting solution for small businesses with great scalability, however Zero is recommended for any businesses which run primarily on Mac computers.
At Software Advisory Service, we engage in an initial discussion to understand your business requirements, before researching the marketplace and creating a bespoke shortlist of solutions tailored to your individual needs. We are therefore able to undertake the comparison process for you – removing the strain on your resources – and we do it for free as we are funded by the UK technology marketplace. Get in touch with us today on 020 3866 3694.
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