Wherever you look, business accounting is becoming more complex. That’s clear enough from the numbers: the global sector is expected to reach over $700bn by 2025, even as 85% of UK accountants believe they need to increase technological adoption to stay competitive.

Yet amid these transformations, many businesses still rely on low-end accounting software, or even cumbersome spreadsheets. That, in turn, can spark a range of inefficiencies – each leading to lower productivity and higher costs. In a new eBook, AccountsIQ explores five of the signs your accounting software  needs an update.

Discover the cloud accounting transformation

Has your business expanded to encompass several subsidiaries or branches? If you’re still trying to consolidate these complex accounts using Excel systems – which are infamously time-consuming to organise and prone to mistakes – it may be time to switch to better software.

That’s especially true when you take into account the range of variables many accountants now face. From foreign currency to minority interests, as well as the need to view sales, purchases and group performance, relying on outdated technology forces stakeholders onto platforms with  single points of failure – all without the ability to even detect mistakes.

Something similar might be said around other accounting staples too. Though traditional platforms like Excel are certainly useful for extracting data for analysis and external reports, if you find yourself leaning on spreadsheets for month-end, it may be time to make a change.

That’s clear enough from a productivity perspective: relying on spreadsheets to manage crucial month-end tasks, notably accruals or deferred revenue, risks leading to low productivity, delays and effort duplication.

It goes without saying that this can have unhappy side-effects for workers themselves, who become frustrated at relying on outdated systems.

It’s the same story around reporting decisions. Put it like this: if you find yourself exporting the usual data extracts into Excel each month, before awkwardly splicing the data into formats that actually make insights possible, your accounting software is potentially out-of-date.

That’s doubly true if your business is expanding. The more complex your accounting function becomes, after all, the slower and more error-prone data analysis will be. Your business is equally vulnerable if you’re reliant on a couple of key workers – those few team members comfortable manipulating the data.

Once you factor in a sense of lethargy – you know there’s a problem, but lack the time to invest in a better reporting approach – and your accounting team undoubtedly needs a technological boost.

Beyond core accounting tasks, meanwhile, challenges around integration may also hint at outmoded accounting software.

Certainly, there’s a lot of sector enthusiasm, unsurprisingly so when combining business systems can automate processes and ensure data is shared dynamically.

In practice, however, alarm bells should ring if your entry-level system can’t integrate data holistically. A good example here involves bank statements. While many cloud-based systems offer such integration as standard, simple off-the-shelf solutions struggle to deal with other core systems, notably EPOS or CRM.

Especially for growing businesses, such technologies are indispensable – and if your accounting software is creaking under the pressure, you should probably consider alternatives.

Of course, digital transformations take many forms, and there are plenty of other signs that your accounting software needs a shakeup. If, for instance, your finance team finds itself inundated with emails, or is otherwise expected to deal with basic tasks around POs or invoice approvals on an ad hoc basis, it makes sense to invest in mobile technologies that ease the pressure.

Able to solve requests on-the-go – on whatever device works best – switching to cloud-based offerings will soon leave accountants happier and more productive.

There are, in short, a range of reasons to move away from traditional accounting software. Fortunately, there are solutions out there too, with cloud-based approaches dovetailing accessibility and efficiency.

Click here to read more when you should start looking at more sophisticated accounting software and what steps businesses ought to take to ensure the correct decisions are made when sourcing new systems.– and how AccountsIQ can help.

To Download the full eBook by AccountsIQ, please click here