E-Handbook:

Selecting SaaS accounting software need not be intimidating

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Cloud accounting software offers choices and complications

The rise of cloud platforms gives users new freedom to shop for accounting software. Buyers can find SaaS accounting software and other cloud options for their specific industry, size and growth plans. But this market is so saturated that users face complications. They will have to understand what their future business needs are and sort through several vendors to discover the right one. Gartner calls this a consequence of the postmodern ERP era. As enterprise software shifts to the cloud, users are no longer compelled to rely on monolithic or megasuite ERP systems.

Users can adopt an accounting software platform that makes the most sense. If their industry is hospitality, for instance, using a cloud-based platform that specializes in this industry may lead to new efficiencies. But users will have to be demanding and disciplined in their selection process. Vendors should be asked to deliver proof, such as demonstrating how their software will manage specific financial transactions. Processes will have to be mapped out.

The standard vendor selection checklist still applies in this new scenario. How responsive is the SaaS accounting software vendor in meeting service and support levels? What's the vendor's innovation investment capability? Will the vendor be able to adapt to your changing needs? Multivendor integration is a must-have with many of these products. They may be designed to work with existing applications such as QuickBooks. The warning from analysts is to avoid signing up any vendor, no matter how attractive they may initially seem, without first going through a rigorous vetting process.

This handbook offers the important points to consider when making the decision to purchase ERP accounting software.