Choosing the Right Cost Accounting Software

Jan 07, 2015

I was recently talking to a controller who is in the process of selecting a new software program for his manufacturing business. I often feel sympathetic to those that are going through this process. It has led me wonder why I perceive this to be such a negative experience? You should be selecting a software that makes your life easier, it should be something that streamlines operations, and provides usable data with ease. The features should be more advanced than anything you have previously implemented. This should be relatively true, otherwise, why engage in such a process.

Cost Accounting SoftwareThe challenges involved in establishing a new software often come from learning the software itself and making the transition. Converting from a software that does not meet your needs to one that is more efficient should be painless, however there is much more that is involved than meets the eye.

In the end, the challenges prove to be worth it. So how do you know if you are choosing the right software? Some questions I  think are essential when reviewing new or old software include:

• What type of training is offered upfront and ongoing? • What type of support is offered? • Will the software work well with other software programs I have? • Is the price reasonable considering what the software offers? • Will it improve operational reporting? • Are external purchases required, i.e. IPads, barcode readers, etc.? • Ability to determine cost drivers and rates independently? • Ability to query data for decision-making? • Reporting capabilities? • Budgeting capabilities? • Reconciliation capabilities?

This list is not all inclusive,  but these are some of the essential pieces of information to consider. What necessary information do you use to qualify a given software? Bottom line, do your homework and don’t afraid to ask questions.

Categories: Cost Accounting