How long have you had your accounting software? Transitioning an accounting system in the Philippines to a new platform can be tricky. However, it’s often necessary to update these systems as the needs of the business and the market changes.
Whether you’re thinking of getting an all-new system that can do more than just accounting or you simply need something that can help you comply with BIR requirements, the ideas presented below should make moving to a new accounting system a bit easier.
1. Look at modular systems
Full enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) that perform more than just accounting and payroll operations are now starting to get some traction in the Philippine business scene. Unfortunately, many systems that offer all-in capabilities tend to be bloated, slow, buggy, and hard to use. On the other hand, when they work well, they can be a game-changer for business.
If you’re on the fence about getting a complete ERP or if you like just one part of an offered system but don’t need the other parts, a modular software suite such as SAP Business One is worth looking into.
Modular systems are typically priced per module, so they tend to be more affordable than all-in-one systems. Individual modules also tend to have fewer possibilities for bugs simply because they are not interacting with so many other parts of a larger system. They also offer better flexibility in allowing the business to respond to future developments.
2. Give sufficient time to study different possibilities
Whether it’s due to interoffice politics, the pressure to upgrade to a new system immediately, or simple ignorance, it’s fair to say that many Filipino businesses will either use the first accounting software offered or choose one that is either too expensive or unsuited for their purpose.
While most competing accounting software suites will get the job done just fine, the minor details in their capabilities and interface can make a huge difference in how well they integrate with your business. This makes it important to do a deep dive into what each competing system is capable of. Fortunately, you can download trial versions of these systems or ask a vendor what your options for a system test are.
3. Study different systems before requesting for customization
Systems should be thoroughly vetted for their suitability before any commitments or customization requests are made. Customization is always expensive and carries an increased risk of delayed delivery and software bugs.
While transitions to new software and systems in the Philippines often involve some customization, the fact is these customizations are, by and large, unnecessary. Or at least, these modifications would be unnecessary if the buyer takes the time to better understand the possibilities of the systems they are considering.
Unless you have an unusual business model, chances are there are off-the-shelf accounting solutions that will work just as well as custom systems, if not better.
4. Invest in employee training
Money spent on a new accounting system might end up wasted if users are not sufficiently familiarized and trained in its use. Many of the pains of transition can be avoided if users are given sufficient guidance on how to use a new system.
Unfortunately, in the Philippine setting this isn’t always given much thought, Many users, instead, learn to operate the new accounting software by themselves. This often leads to inefficient utilization, frustration, or even reduced employee morale.
Many organizations also fail to train all the potential users of the new system. This can lead to an over-reliance on a few key people with knowledge in the new system to train everyone else. This can be harmful to the business if these key people suddenly resign or are unable to work, taking their knowledge with them.
Even with preparation, it’s rare that transitions to new accounting systems are without issues. But if you know what to expect and prepare accordingly, you can drastically improve the overall experience. If you’re already looking at software to purchase, be sure to get in touch with a vendor that can help guide you through the whole process.