Finding and Switching Accounting Systems: Why It’s Better to Commit Early

Are you a start-up brewery looking for a software service to manage your inventory? Or an existing brewery thinking about changing your accounting software? Are you thinking that it can wait, since you’re not open yet anyway? If you’re still looking for a good reason to switch now rather than later, you’ve come to the right place.

As technology has evolved, so thus has accounting. Technological developments in cloud-based document tracking have allowed for most accounting to be done quite easily on a computer, meaning it can be saved online and shared easily with other people.

If accounting has become easier to do individually, though, then why do we still have accountants?

Just because people can do their own accounting, does not mean that bookkeepers no longer have work to do, it just means that their work has changed.

In order to fully understand the importance of taking initiative when it comes to your accounts, we talked to accounting expert Sherri-Lee Mathers, who knows first hand that, even though accounting has become cloud-based, it has not necessarily become simpler.

silver laptop computer near notebook

“Accounting is no longer a singular activity in a singular software – today’s business’s and related app systems can be complex,” Sherri-Lee explains. She continues to demonstrate that accounting is no longer just accounting; it is also “inventory management, point of sale systems, CRMs, tax reporting, staff software apps(s) access, types of hardware being used to access, cloud or desktop, and of course both system & hardware security.”   

While you may be putting off switching or setting up your accounting system, it’s important to recognize that, since accounting is not just accounting, it is best to get it set up when you still have lots of time to spare.

It would make more sense to wait until the new year to switch, right? That way, you’re starting with new information and get a nice, clean start. But, if you remember that switching accounting systems is more than just switching account, as Sherri-Lee mentioned, then you can see how waiting until the new year to start with a brand new system might get very overwhelming, very quickly.

Sherri-Lee told us that, when switching accounting systems, “There are so many things to consider prior to accounting software selection.” There are not only lots of other areas that you have to account for (pun not intended), but there are also many things that you need in order for these areas to work together.

man wearing white top using MacBook

Furthermore, learning a new system is not easy. If you’re not switching until the new year, that means you’re going to have to learn how to use your new software fast. This is not always the easiest thing to do, because new software can be hard to learn, especially if you have multiple team members using it. Sure, you might be able to learn it in a couple of days, but it could also take weeks or months, especially if you end up making mistakes early on in the learning process.

In order to avoid the rush and panic, it is best that you start migrating early, so that way you have time to troubleshoot and make sure everything is entered properly.  Additionally, Sherri-Lee emphasizes that it is important to find an accounting professional with an industry niche who can:

  • determine a needs assessment of software
  • give related software recommendations
  • create a phased implementation plan to minimize disruption and stress to the business team
  • perform a system follow-up and health check

She explains further that, “An accounting professional with an ‘industry niche’ will not only have a deep understanding of the industry and accounting software, but they will have developed tools/automation, workflows, and processes to optimize ensuring efficiencies.  

Even though you might be able to manage it yourself, it is best that you rely on professionals who know how to help you, because they know best what and how they need to help you and keep you on track, such as,
“Having a key understanding of where and how specified apps integrate to ensure ‘clean data’ is flowing correctly to the accounting system will also allow for future artificial intelligence integrations and better business intelligence to the business owner.”

Not only can a professional teach you how to use the systems that you need, but they can also make sure that those systems are working to their peak capacity, such as allowing for cloud storage and generated reports.

two person writing on paper on brown wooden table

The biggest takeaway from this article is that it is never too early to start. No matter what your concerns are about starting early – perhaps the cost, perhaps you don’t have the time to learn a new system right now – you should understand that starting now means less trouble down the road.

We consulted Sherri-Lee Mathers from Balsam Way Bookeeping for the advice presented in this article.

If you’re looking for a professional to help you manage your accounts, reach out to Sherri-Lee at 778 427-1122 or sherri-lee@balsamway.ca.

Check out her website at www.balsamway.ca

Thanks for Reading!

Further Suggested Reading:

Is this the best time of year to switch from QBO to QB Desktop?

3 Ways the Role of the Bookkeeper is Evolving

Sherri-Lee Mathers and Bookkeeping’s Identity Crisis