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The Accounting Software Selection Process

-- Tips from a Reseller Turned Advocate

by: Cary Christian, CPA, MCP, SCSE, SCFS, SCAD

 

 

Few business processes are as confusing and potentially costly as the selection and implementation of business accounting software.  Careers rise and fall based on the success or failure of systems implementation efforts.  Companies have even been destroyed by failed software conversion efforts!  A systems conversion is not only a very large expense in and of itself, it affects nearly

  • every single business process performed by

  • every single employee in your organization

  • every single day!

Purchasing a software package is not something that can be done without a tremendous amount of research and testing on your part.  The work you perform to make your software selection determines how successful your implementation will be.  It is critical!  You must be thorough and your testing must be designed to capture the essence of your everyday business activities.

Most software packages will look good during the demonstration and evaluation period.  Most software packages that are widely available today are excellent products loaded with features that might benefit your business.  But most of them will NOT be a good fit for your business.  Your task is to determine the one that best meets your needs at the most reasonable cost possible.

How do you protect yourself?  This report will give you a blueprint for testing in your own environment in a manner that will help you manage the process of software implementation rather than having the process manage you.

Here are just a few of the questions and issues addressed in this report:

  • With a thousand or more viable software products on the market, how do you begin to narrow down the field and select two to five packages for testing?

  • What tools are available to help you in the selection process?

  • At what point during the selection process do you begin to "feel out" your Value Added Reseller (VAR) on the subject of discounts on software and services?

  • Why is it not advisable to hire a VAR to help you with the selection process?

  • What special requests should you make of the VAR with respect to the product demonstration?  Which ones are deal killers?

  • What type of test environment do you need to perform a proper evaluation and who is going to pay for the extra cost?

  • How do you test multiple software packages in a shared testing infrastructure?

  • How do you develop test data for the evaluation process?

  • Who should be on your evaluation team?

  • How do you handle difficult employees who may employ passive-aggressive techniques to undermine your selection?

  • How do you avoid building old workarounds into your new software processes?

  • and much more.  Take a look at the Table of Contents:

Table of Contents

Preface and About the Author

Chapter 1 - Initial Evaluation and Screening

  • The Accounting System Marketplace

  • Determining the Requirements that Must be Met

  • Your Internal Needs Assessment

  • Evaluate Your Initial Data Requirements

  • Research on the Internet

  • Application to Very Small Businesses

Chapter 2 - Working with Resellers

  • Locating Resellers

  • Product Demonstrations

  • Handling Initial and Subsequent Meetings

  • Your Preliminary Budget

Chapter 3 - Setting Up Your Test Environment

  • Infrastructure Considerations

  • Testing Multiple Systems Simultaneously

  • The Expense of Infrastructure Upgrades

  • User Testing Environment

  • Test Data

  • Rally the Troops!

Chapter 4 - The Testing Process

  • Converting Your Initial Requirements into Test Requirements

  • Critical Capabilities

  • Other Important Software Capabilities

  • General Processing Capabilities

  • Developing Your Test Plan

  • Addressing Shortcomings Discovered During Testing

  • Importance of Keeping the Testing on Schedule

  • Narrowing Down the Contestants

  • "Grill the Finalists"

  • Document Your Conclusions

Chapter 5 - Presentations to Management

  • What if YOU are the Final Decision Maker

  • Preparing Your Presentation

  • Executive Summary

  • Critical Software Capabilities Identified

  • Other Important Software Capabilities Identified

  • General Processing Capabilities Identified

  • Software Packages Identified for Testing

  • The Testing Process

  • Final Rankings of Software Packages

  • Rationale for Choosing Software Package "X"

  • Issues Remaining and Workarounds Identified

  • Projected Conversion Timeline

  • Identified Infrastructure Changes Required

  • Projected Conversion Budget

  • Exhibit 1 - Detailed Test Plan

  • Exhibit 2 - Detailed Results of Testing

  • Exhibit 3 - Other Information

  • Exhibit 4 - RFP Responses

  • Provide Your Presentation Document Beforehand

  • Anticipating Questions

  • Giving Your Presentation

Chapter 6 - Closing the Deal

  • Your Management Presentation as a Negotiation Planner

  • Preparing Your Project Budget With Your Reseller

  • Assignment of Responsibilities

  • Software Discounts

  • Discounts on Services

  • Software Support Contracts

  • Draft Your Contract

Chapter 7 - A Brief Orientation to the Conversion Process

  • What You Should Expect

  • System Installation and Configuration

  • Data Conversion

  • Training

  • Going Live

  • Final Comments


Exhibits

Exhibit 1 - Summary of Software Selection Process

Exhibit 2 - Sample Selection Criteria Categories by Module

Exhibit 3 - Frequently Asked Questions

Exhibit 4 - Major Software Vendors - Research Center

Exhibit 5 - Top Rated Software Packages by Target Market


 

In addition to providing you with a complete blueprint for your selection effort, this report is full of insider tips and alerts gleaned from more than 23 years of software selection and implementation work performed by the author.  You will learn how to deal with VARs from someone who has been a VAR for more than two decades!

You will be spending tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars in cash and staff time in the  implementation of your new system.  You owe it to yourself to go into this process as well prepared as possible.  We want to help you with that.  We are offering you this report for the low price of $29.97.  But we want to make sure you have the help you need to succeed in your evaluation and selection efforts, so we have added some extras:

SPECIAL BONUS 1:

You will receive one hour of free email consultation from the author, valued at $200, to help you get off on the right foot!  Submit your questions and receive answers within 24 hours.

(Once you have purchased your copy of the report, simply send an email to swconsult@peakconsultinginc.com to request scheduling of your free consultation).

 

How can we afford to offer this bonus?  Simple.  It's just good business.  We know you will be impressed with Mr. Christian's solutions.  You will be surprised how many of your issues can be resolved in just an hour.  You will enjoy working with a seasoned veteran who genuinely cares about you and your business and has a strong desire to help.  You might find yourself wanting to hire him (and through him, us!), so giving you an extra $200 of value is money well spent!

SPECIAL BONUS 2:

After this report was completed, we decided to compile two extra exhibits for inclusion in the book that can serve as your software research center!  You will find full contact information for the developers of the major accounting products on the market along with important additional information about the products they offer. 

These exhibits will save you countless hours of searching for and gathering information from resources scattered across the Net.  We wanted to provide you with extra value in terms of saving more of your valuable time, and we think you will appreciate the effort.

And we'll top it off with our . . .

NO RISK GUARANTEE!

We are so confident that this report will save you many thousands of dollars, we will cheerfully refund your money at any time if you do not feel this report has provided you with real value.

Do not go through this dangerous process alone!  We're here to help.  Get your copy today using one of the options that follow.

Option 1:

Pay $29.97 using VISA, MC, AMEX, Discover or online check through iBill.

  iBill is an independent billing agent for Peak Consulting, Inc.

Option 2:

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Regardless of the method of payment you choose, your payment is processed on ultra-secure servers.  You will then be returned to our site to download your product.

As always, we appreciate this opportunity to be of service to you.  If you have any questions regarding this product, email your question to sales@peakconsultinginc.com


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