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
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
Most software packages will look good during the demonstration and evaluation
period. Most software packages that are widely available today are excellent
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
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
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
Table of Contents
Preface and About the Author
Chapter 1 - Initial Evaluation and Screening
The Accounting System Marketplace
Determining the Requirements that Must be
Your Internal Needs Assessment
Evaluate Your Initial Data Requirements
Research on the Internet
Application to Very Small Businesses
Chapter 2 - Working with Resellers
Chapter 3 - Setting Up Your Test
Testing Multiple Systems Simultaneously
The Expense of Infrastructure Upgrades
User Testing Environment
Rally the Troops!
Chapter 4 - The Testing Process
Converting Your Initial Requirements into
Other Important Software Capabilities
General Processing Capabilities
Developing Your Test Plan
Addressing Shortcomings Discovered During
Importance of Keeping the Testing on
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
Critical Software Capabilities Identified
Other Important Software Capabilities
General Processing Capabilities
Software Packages Identified for Testing
The Testing Process
Final Rankings of Software Packages
Rationale for Choosing Software Package
Issues Remaining and Workarounds
Projected Conversion Timeline
Identified Infrastructure Changes
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
Giving Your Presentation
Chapter 6 - Closing the Deal
Your Management Presentation as a
Preparing Your Project Budget With Your
Assignment of Responsibilities
Discounts on Services
Software Support Contracts
Draft Your Contract
Chapter 7 - A Brief Orientation to the
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
firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
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.
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