Time and money – two of the most important elements of running a successful business. Maximising time to complete tasks and ensuring the finances are in place to pay the bills and support future plans are fundamentals that business leaders and finance practitioners have to juggle every day. And it’s one of the reasons why businesses invest in great finance systems – to streamline processes and ensure payments and data accuracy. 

However, things don’t always go to plan. Finance systems can become outdated, or your business could outgrow the software it’s been using quite happily for the last few years. 

But when should you start looking at an upgrade for your finance system? What are the key signs that are telling you it’s time to change the way you’re recording and processing your businesses finances?

Here are some tell-tale signs.

You can only access your finance system from specific locations

As the world’s workforce has become more flexible in how and from where it works, our business systems have had to adapt. 

Allowing access to finance systems from wherever an employee is working, be that the office, a train or indeed at home, are now basic requirements for most organisations. It’s a similar story for mobile usability too, with so many of our daily work interactions from email and project communications to specific tasks now being done on the fly from our smartphones. If your existing finance system doesn’t allow for secure sign-ins from multiple locations and different devices, it could soon start to fall behind what your business needs. 

Your finance system hasn’t been updated since the 1960’s

Ok, a bit of hyperbole employed here, but you’ll catch our drift. The best finance software, or any business software for that matter, is regularly updated by the service provider to include all the user interface, security, accessibility and functionality requirements that businesses need. 

If your finance system still looks and feels like it was created 20 years ago and hasn’t been updated since, it will likely be harming the productivity of your finance teams and lack the modern automation and integration features that ever-changing, dynamic organisations need. 

You’re doing work outside of your finance system

This is a real bugbear of ours. If your business has invested resources into adopting a finance system, you’d expect to be able to complete all your money-related tasks within that platform. 

If you find that your finance teams are having to pull data from the system, and then work with it in separate spreadsheets, then it’s not doing what they need it to do. It’s less productive, more clunky, and potentially a data risk too. 

Only a few stakeholders really understand how to use it

Finance software should be intuitive and user-friendly, to anyone who needs to log-in to view data or pull reports. 

So, a good sign that you might need to upgrade is if it’s well known that there’s an office ‘finance system tsar’ who’s the only person that really understands how the software works or how to find the data you need. 

An overlapping issue is where your finance system doesn’t allow for different access levels. For example, team leaders and project managers may want to be able to create invoices or upload receipts directly, but as an organisation you’ll probably not want anyone with a login to see payroll data or cash flow projections. 

Both of these issues cost time, productivity and are one of those workplace annoyances that can easily be avoided. 

Finding and adopting the right finance system

If any of the above points resonate with you, you’ll now likely be wondering what the next steps are for finding and implementing a better finance system. 

However, we know that changing any business software that’s embedded within your daily operations can be a daunting prospect. It’s one of the reasons why organisations will make do and persevere with systems that are no longer fit for purpose. 

At Phase 3, our financial implementation services team supports businesses just like yours to identify and switch to the right finance software, managing every step of the process from whole-of-market solutions research and technical implementation, to data transfer and testing support. 

So far, we’ve helped over 700 businesses switch from outdated systems to a solution that fits what they need, supporting increased productivity, accuracy and reporting.

Discover more about our services for finance professionals here.