Eight Rules for Investing in a New Accounting System - Slide 3

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A business owner can’t navigate without good information — which starts with the data captured in your chart of accounts. The chart forms the structure that enables you to compare results year after year and budget by budget. Accounting systems that offer only segmented account numbers or free-form accounts simply can’t capture information in enough detail to support sophisticated reporting. A powerful system should offer multiple ways to segment information so you can extract the insights you need.

  • User-defined dimensions give you the ability to associate relevant business data with any type of transaction. Multiple dimensions are the key to rich planning, reporting, and analysis.
  • User-defined charts of accounts and account groups deliver superior flexibility so you can define account structures for your unique business and industry requirements.
  • User-defined statistical accounts enable you to incorporate operational data into your budgeting, financial reporting and managerial metrics including custom KPIs and ratios.

Captains of industry rely on timely and accurate insight into their business. They need to track data at a fine level of detail without cluttering the chart of accounts and slowing reporting. At a minimum, they need to stay on top of cash flow, operating profit, and top-line revenue growth just to keep their business afloat.

A good financial and accounting system, like a powerful engine on a seafaring vessel, should propel your business forward. It should give you the specific insights you need to spot the storms ahead, help you maximize resources with streamlined processes, and be nimble enough to help you navigate the changing currents of today’s business environment. It should turn information into insights and give your employees the access they need to make informed decisions. Despite vendor claims, many accounting systems do just the opposite. They tie you down, restrict your progress, and make you change the way you operate on a daily basis. Rather than offering you ‘smooth sailing’ as you steer your business forward, these ineffective software packages act like anchors that keep your business stuck. Accounting software is a strategic investment, and you should not settle for less than exactly what you need to reach your business goals. Before you embark on a search for the right solution, you need to make sure you have the facts straight about what to look for, and more importantly, what to look out for.

Sailors learn not only what to do in an emergency, but also how to identify potential trouble — and what flag to raise when they see it coming. In this slideshow, Intacct, a provider of cloud-based accounting software, offers tips on how to avoid making the wrong system decision by separating the characteristics that matter from those that could run your business aground. You’ll learn how to compare fair-weather solutions to systems that are designed to weather rough regulatory seas, facilitate international business, and provide clear navigational guidance. The goal is to help you find a system that provides a solid foundation to help your business steam ahead—rather than just stay afloat. By taking the time to carefully select the right solution, you can confidently set sail on a grand business adventure.

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