Many accounting firms utilize software and technology to make their lives easier. Automating tasks such as time and billing, invoicing, and document management has allowed organizations to be much more productive with less manual effort. This has led to increased profitability over time.
There are, however, complications with more technology. One big issue is that many firms either piecemeal their tech stack with various software subscriptions or have an “all-in-one” solution that contains too many modules. The result is too many tools that prevent you from being as efficient and profitable as possible.
This article will help you address an overcomplicated tech stack and consolidate your software to run your business efficiently and profitably.
What is a ‘Tech Stack’?
A tech stack is a group of technologies used by an organization to run its operations - either for the full company or a specific project or function for larger companies. These technologies typically include a database, a front-end tool for users, and underlying programming code. While tech stacks in large companies are sometimes very complex, for most accounting organizations it commonly refers to a set of different modules such as time tracking, payroll, invoicing, secure file sharing, document management, and so on.
Take Stock of Where You Are
The best place to start when evaluating your tech stack is to assess your current situation. This can be accomplished by first making a list of all the tools that are currently in use. When making your list, also note the tasks being accomplished with each tool and how frequently they are being used. You may find that there are some applications you use rarely or never.
During this inventory, you should also request feedback from employees at each level on their user experience. Which tools are easy or difficult to use? How well does each software interface with other programs? What improvements would the employees make if given the opportunity?
Decide Which Software Features are Critical
Now that you have a list, the next step is to assess which features or functions are most crucial for your business. The priorities for your firm will likely be different from other organizations. For example, if you have a small shop with only a handful of employees, you may rank advanced payroll features fairly low on your list.
Ranking your list of needs will make it much easier when shopping for a software solution. If you don’t know where to start, focus on common activities that you do often such as time tracking and invoicing. Furthermore, think of the ways in which these separate modules can work in conjunction to make your life easier. For example, a connected software solution will take your time data and pull it into client invoices with a couple of clicks.
Do Your Research
Now that you are armed with a list of your most critical needs, you can begin to research options. Rather than patch together a piecemeal solution made up of different vendors and packages, consider an Accounting Practice Management Software solution that brings everything under one tent.
Don’t just research each option by visiting websites. Check out training modules, sales videos, blog posts, guides, and other materials that can help you understand how the software works before purchasing. If available, consider requesting a demo or a free trial so you can obtain hands-on experience before making a commitment.
Software has unquestionably made life easier by automating tasks that were previously completed manually. However, technology also comes with complications. One of those problems is having too many tools that don’t integrate with each other seamlessly.
To gain an edge on the competition, it is not enough to just automate your business functions. In order to be profitable and efficient, you need a software suite that prioritizes the needs of your firm and makes your life as easy as possible. Consider Workflow Automation Software that integrates each step, from time and billing to invoicing to payment processing.
Purchasing an accounting practice management software solution is an important decision that should not be rushed. Take the time needed to assess where you’re at, prioritize needs, and research the products out there. When you find the one that is right for you, it will streamline your business and maximize profits.