Contact Us: 617.694.4600
info@npaccountants.org

Services

  • Improve Senior Management Oversight, Control, and Planning
  • Improve Board Governance Process
  • Improve Financial Statement Reporting
  • Improve Budget Process
  • Streamline Accounting Processes
  • Improve Accounting Policies, Procedures, and Controls
  • Improve Efficient Monthly Closing Procedures
  • Prepare Policies and Procedures Manuals
  • Assist In Audit Preparation
  • Remediate Audit Deficiencies
  • Accounting System Conversion
  • Simplify Grant Accounting Procedures
  • Endowment Accounting Procedures

Proper Care and Feeding of Your Software

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By John Cohen

As Process Improvement Consultants, we are often involved in software evaluation and software conversions.  One of the most prevalent mistakes we see is the notion that once a software package is successfully installed, no further serious attention is required.  “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” seems to be the motto.

No, no, and no.  Virtually every software package should be professionally reviewed annually, or at least every two years.  Like performing oil changes on your car, calling in your software consultant for a one or two day review is an inexpensive practice which can yield many benefits, both current and long term.

Here are five broad questions which management should ask:

1.  Has the organization kept current on software updates, patches, etc.?

  •  A “no” answer represents a high risk situation which can be corrected very inexpensively.

2.  Is the company using the current software modules in the manner the software was originally designed for?  Has the software lost some functionality over the years by employee turnover?

  • A loss of functionality generally devolves into time wasting unnecessary manual procedures often simply taken for granted as legacy from past years.

3   Can the organization benefit financially by upgrading the software to a newer version, adding modules, or changing the hardware configuration? 

  • More sophisticated versions of classical programs and hardware configuration innovations such as cloud computing can be a financial boon to the bottom line.

4   Are the reporting and budgeting capabilities of the software under-utilized because the organization is accustomed to using Excel spreadsheets?

  • Excel is no substitute for accounting software.  It can absorb immense amounts of time and is alarmingly prone to human error.

5   Has unnecessary data been purged from the system?

  • Organizations which have large numbers of transactions are especially subject to clogging their software (and slowing speed) with old, out of date data such as backordered purchase orders, discontinued vendors, etc.

NPA Consultants are specialists in Policies, Procedures, Internal Controls and Financial Reporting.  We help accounting departments run “better, faster, cheaper,” and Boards of Directors/senior managements insure that they are performing their fiduciary duties at the highest possible level.  We are happy to answer any questions.  Contact us at info@NPAccountants.org or 617 694 4600.

 

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