A business that wants to replace their computer system will usually take one of two routes towards that end:
Ask the auditors. The external accountants or auditors will usually need to maintain their own database of the client data and it will possibly be able to provide a better service if they can use and understand the software in use by the client. As such, in recent years many accountants will recommend IRIS Exchequer or Sage as they will tie in with their in-house software. Software suppliers will give free copies of software to accountants and provide commissions and introduction fees to practices that recommend their software, but is it the best software for YOUR company?
Do it yourself. Companies may set-up an in-house team to trawl the software marketplace to attempt to find what they feel is the best software for their company. This is often the best way to buy software, but only if the team understand what they are buying, have sufficient time to spend on the project and, most importantly, fully understand the needs of their own business. All too often a busy senior manager will select the software based upon little more than a cursory investigation, with little idea of how their own company works at grass-roots level and no real understanding of what the software can actually do now, as opposed to “vapourware” – what the software sales person falsely claims it can do or hopes it will do in the future. Worse still, I have known businesses to change their software on the strength of a marketing call from a software seller, or a pretty sales rep, with no evaluation of competitors products at all.
An alternative solution is to use me as an experienced external advisor who has the time to talk to everyone in the company to find out how they work and what is required, who can fully research the current software market and who has direct experience on both sides of the contract having spent over fifteen years on each side of the fence – as a customer and as a software supplier. If you have already made your software choice then I also project manage implementations, both large and small.