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Cost of Doing Nothing: Should You Upgrade Your Outdated Accounting System?

By April 15, 2020 No Comments

What happens when you have a system that is no longer supported? You’ve invested time, money, and effort into your accounting system, both as a CFO and a company. When you find out it’s no longer supported, it can be a tough pill to swallow. However, the cost of doing nothing may be higher than you think.

Should CFOs Hold On to the Obsolete System?

It’s tempting for CFOs to stick with the system you know for several reasons:

  • Change is uncomfortable because it means learning a new system,
  • Implementing a new system requires an investment of time and money, both of which are precious;
  • It’s hard to know where to start; and
  • You can still make do with workarounds even if the manufacturer is no longer supporting or updating the system.

Although any accounting system can be compliant if set up correctly, the key lies in having the know-how to set it up, keep it updated, and get the reports you need out of it.

Fully supported ERPs receive regular guidance based on changing regulations and reporting requirements. Once a system is no longer supported, not only do software updates stop coming, so too does the information on how to stay on top of compliance requirements, so who in your company will be responsible for the task of staying up to date?

Continuing to use a non-supported system means that in addition to no longer receiving software upgrades to improve functionality, you’ll also encounter challenges like:

  • Costly and labor-intensive workarounds related to the need to create spreadsheets from multiple reports to compile the necessary information;
  • Software is not accessible from mobile devices; and
  • If your system crashes or you have problems posting transactions, you no longer have technical support.

So while it’s possible to hang onto your outdated system, it may not be wise to do so. In fact, the cost of doing nothing may be too much to bear.

Professional Consultants Prevent Big Headaches

Upgrading to a new, supported system doesn’t have to be the stressful experience many CFOs envision. In fact, the biggest causes of implementation stress are:

  • Not understanding the investment of time and resources required to move to a new system.
  • Trying to cut implementation costs by planning to do too much of the work yourself.

A well, thought-out and executed implementation plan involves sign-off from all levels of your organization. The reality is that if you do not have buy-in from your employees to commit to working more hours to do both their normal job and the implementation work, you will pay for it later.

We find that most leaders who do not understand the required commitment think their implementation went over budget when the original budget was unrealistic to begin with.

In addition to helping you design and set-up a compliant, automated system, WiJiT can help with developing an organizational change management and professional training plan to ensure that all team members commit to learning the new system and ways of doing things.

Most importantly, when you commit to training, upgrading to a new system, and getting your team to follow new protocols doesn’t have to be the stressful experience you envision. Moreover, by partnering with WiJiT to upgrade your software, you gain decades of consulting expertise and ongoing support from our team.

Are Workarounds That Harmful?

Using 1-2 workarounds as part of your process may not be the end of the world, especially when they are infrequent. However, when you use too many workarounds regularly, then simply put, yes, workarounds can be costly. They frequently lead to:

  • Offline data manipulation resulting in undetected errors, and possibly noncompliance;
  • Considerable losses in time and productivity; and
  • Business decisions based on incorrect numbers

So how many workarounds are too many? That depends on your business needs, size, and the complexity of the workaround. We can help you evaluate whether or not your workarounds are working for you, or if they are a sign your system is nonfunctional.

The Covid19 Challenge

The Covid19 pandemic and resulting new loan programs and regulations introduce additional complexities to your accounting system in terms of tracking payroll, time and expense, and Covid19-related employee absences due to:

  • Their own Covid-related illnesses;
  • Serving as caregivers to family members sick with Covid; or
  • Staying at home because of Covid-related school closures

At a time when new rules and regulations are changing daily, you want a system in place that can automatically track the information you need for reporting.

Robust Systems Make or Break the Contracting Process

As CFO, the buck stops with you, so sticking with what you know may seem like an attractive option, especially in times of uncertainty. It’s because of that very uncertainty that you can’t afford to potentially lose a lucrative new contract because your system doesn’t have the functionality or automation to maintain information needed to meet regulatory requirements.

As a result, there’s no better time than now to invest in a robust system that will grow with your company, while providing the accuracy and compliance you require. Your company will be in an excellent position to grow while coming out of the pandemic ahead of competitors who find out the hard way the cost of doing nothing is too high.

How We Can Help

We frequently work with clients on upgrading to an ERP system that suits their needs. So whether you’re ready to upgrade from Deltek’s obsolete GCS Premier software or even Quickbooks, we have the expertise you need to make upgrading straightforward and effective.

If you choose to work with your existing ERP, we can certainly help you maintain your system. And, if you’re not sure if you should upgrade, we can run through the pros and cons unique to your company and help you make the best decision.

Simply contact us. It would be our pleasure to set up a time to talk and see how we can help.