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Accounting Software Support: Does Your Vendor Give You What You Need? By Chris A. Harmen

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

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The implementation and support of business management and accounting software are a growing industry. Every year, more small and medium-sized businesses move to complete financially and business management platforms in order to increase the accuracy and efficiency of their records and streamline their best practices. Along the way, however, they usually discover that the value of the vendor they work with is only as good as the accounting software support that the company provides. In most cases, there is a learning curve for businesses when implementing new systems as well as the need for ongoing assistance to cope with unexpected glitches and potential need for eventual expansion and modification. But how much coverage do you need? It varies from company to company, so look for a provider that offers a variety of options.
Training: How Much? Where? When?
If you're acquiring a new accounting platform for your business, chances are you'll be working with a vendor that also offers training for the employees who will be using it. There are differences between the levels of training offered from one vendor to another, however, so be sure to understand what you're getting. Ask if they will be doing the training online or if a representative will come to your facility. Also, be very clear on how many people can be trained in a session and how detailed that training will be. Finally, ask about refresher classes for employees who may need to update their skills as they move from one position to another. Effective, in-depth education now can save you lots of headaches in the future.
Will They Support Systems You Already Own?
Some business platform companies only support software they've sold and installed for you. While that makes sense from their end, if you purchased a platform a few years ago and now need assistance that your former vendor can no longer provide, you could be in a bind. Some companies will offer accounting software support to businesses as long as the platform is one they are familiar with. If they routinely install the system and have partnered with that particular manufacturer, they should be willing to give you the guidance you need now and in the future.
Can They Offer Customized Accounting Software Support?
If they only offer one level of assistance, they may not be able to fulfill your needs. Look for a program that can be tailored to the needs of individual businesses like yours. For instance, do they have a call center with a 24/7 technical specialist on call in the event you run into a problem? Can they create customized reports within your program or platform that your business can use to improve efficiency or address unique needs? Will they be available in the event of a catastrophic problem that needs to be addressed immediately?
Some businesses are strictly looking for a vendor that can answer questions and troubleshoot the occasional glitch while others want full-service that includes training, on-site customization and more. Be sure to ask questions to determine how much help will be available and in what form so that there won't be any unpleasant surprises after you've signed on with an accounting software support provider.
NewGen Business Solutions provides full NetSuite support for small and medium-sized businesses. They will tailor an accounting software support package to your needs to ensure optimal coverage without redundancies. To learn how NewGen Business Solutions can support your accounting software, visit their website.

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