Signs it’s time to upgrade systems

Modern accounting practice owners can’t afford to think small. They need to keep their mind on growth strategies to help them achieve long-term profitability.

But becoming profitable in the first place often requires working long hours on a shoe-string budget. They don’t always have time to implement systems that will support them when they’re ready to scale. It’s not uncommon for start ups to use free or low-cost software solutions that can get them up and running, but hold them back as their needs evolve.

Read on to learn if it’s time to upgrade your current systems to support your  business as it grows – and what to look for.

1. A growth spurt

If you’ve noticed, month after month, your profits are continually increasing, it’s likely time your business takes steps to increase capacity.

Beyond financial growth indicators, at this stage you may have already noticed a need for change. You may have experienced:

  • An increase in client demand, which has put stress on your current systems, resulting in delays
  • Internal bottlenecks which have negatively impacted productivity or
  • Poor cash flow because you’ve fallen behind with outdated systems for creating invoices, billing customers and collecting.

If you’ve experienced any of these issues, it may be time to look at, implementing new systems and processes.

2. Increased errors

Too many mistakes may be the direct result of capacity issues from sudden increased growth – or an indication your systems weren’t the right fit in the first place.

Errors are a serious problem for any practice, and pose a big risk to the long-term sustainability of the business. A practice that frustrates its customers by not meeting timelines, doesn’t respond to queries, makes poor decisions because its numbers are inaccurate will struggle to continue in the current climate.

If you notice consistent mistakes in one or more areas of your business, looking at your systems is a good place to start. Then you can make appropriate upgrades to eliminate frustrating and costly errors, and increase overall efficiency.

3.  Tips for implementing new systems

Change can be challenging for businesses, but without change, a company can’t reach its growth potential.

The key is to stagger big changes over time and, whenever possible, overlap implementation of new systems to minimise service disruptions.

Follow these tips when it’s time to upgrade your business systems:

  • Review your future plans for your business. Where do you hope to be in a year or two? How will you get there? Getting clear on what your business needs in the short and long term will help you decide on the right financial management, job management and customer relations management systems.
  • Share plans to implement new systems early with your employees. Together discuss the problems a new system will solve so staff are eager to embrace the change – and learn how to make the most of any new system.