5 Signs Your Accounting System is Holding You Back

Executive Overview

As the size, complexity, and pace of your business grow, the frustrations can multiply. That accounting system you relied on to manage finances and operations has, over time, gradually become a barrier to growth and efficiency. But in a highly competitive business climate, you can’t afford spiraling overhead costs, functional limitations, and unnecessary risks.

Have you outgrown your accounting system? Take a look at these signs to see if your accounting system is holding you back and learn what to look for in best-in-class, cloud-based financial management solution that can transform your business.

Sign No. 1: You’re on an Old Accounting System Release

With so many pressing responsibilities, it’s no surprise that many finance departments aren’t necessarily laser-focused on the state of their software infrastructure. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find companies that haven’t touched their accounting systems for years. But that benign neglect can mask significant risks.

An outdated—perhaps even unsupported—software platform can translate into reliability and downtime problems and security vulnerabilities. And the costs of maintaining a legacy system quickly increase.

Is Your Accounting System Failing You?

It’s easy to feel trapped. Companies that are saddled with outdated accounting systems find that upgrading their legacy software is too difficult, costly, and time-intensive. There’s “no easy way up” because they often lack the IT resources to upgrade related software, databases, and operating systems that are required for the upgrade. Additionally, they need to rewrite customization’s and integrations. The result: many companies forego the cumbersome upgrade process and “make-do” with the risks and inconveniences of outdated software. And even when they do bite the bullet and upgrade, they find the updated accounting system still lacks key features, requiring them to continue with the workarounds.

The Savvy Evaluator:

Not all cloud financial management solution seamlessly maintains customizations from older releases. Find out how frequently your vendor releases new versions and the how upgrades are managed.

83% of Sage Intacct customers report they reduced the technical burden of maintaining financial applications by moving to Sage Intacct.

Sign No. 2: You’re Held Back by Disconnected Systems and Processes

Finance works best when it works in seamless collaboration with other departments and functions. Unfortunately, legacy accounting systems often aren’t well-integrated with other enterprise tools and systems —including commercial applications and custom-developed software. That often leaves you trapped in manual processes, spreadsheets, cumbersome workarounds, and slower workflows as you manage conflicting formats and rekey the same data in multiple systems.

Is Your Accounting System Failing You?

The cost of integrating your on-premises financial management system with various applications and databases can be prohibitively high, forcing finance into the “million spreadsheet march” for crucial tasks like enterprise consolidations and revenue recognition. And even if you do bite the bullet to fund your enterprise integration, you’re often trapped in a constant maintenance cycle, where every new software upgrade breaks your integration.

The Savvy Evaluator:

Beware of the promises of “suite” vendors that tout a unified solution for all your business software needs, including financials. A single-solution approach exposes you to many pitfalls including one-size-fits-all technology adoption that may not be the right fit for your company. Instead, look for a best-in-class, cloud financial management solution that easily and seamlessly integrates with your choice of systems and tools to meet your business needs today and in the future.

75% Integrations with Sage Intacct are so easy that 75 percent of customers integrate Sage Intacct with two or more operational systems.

Sign No. 3: You Can’t Keep up with Business Expansion

As you add business units and expand into new markets and geographies—or even add entirely new lines of business—the burden on finance can quickly become overwhelming. Soon enough, you’re handling new subsidiaries with more currencies, tax jurisdictions, regulatory frameworks, sales channels, and product costs. And if you’re growing through acquisition, the added complexity isn’t gradual—it’s immediate.

Is Your Accounting System Failing You?

Unfortunately, legacy accounting systems weren’t designed to support the fast growth and expansions that smart businesses are pursuing. They’re typically ill-suited to add entities quickly. If you’re acquiring business units, you may be trying to stitch together a consolidated view across entities that use different accounting systems. That leaves you unable to track costs of different lines of business or services projects. Soon, you’re hiring more people just to keep up with transaction volumes.

The Savvy Evaluator:

Plan for the future. Determine how easy (or complex) it is to add entities in the future—and whether you’ll get the reports and visibility you need across your business.

75% Sage Intacct customers cut their monthly closing cycle by up to 75 percent. Others cut global transaction processing time by up to 80 percent.

Sign No. 4: New Business Requirements and Regulatory Compliance Are Difficult Obstacles

To keep up with customer demands and expectations, many businesses are experimenting with new revenue models and alternative business structures. One of the most important new developments is the subscription business model, which is increasingly popular across many industries from software to services. However, that’s placing new demands on finance, because the billing and revenue-recognition requirements for subscription businesses are more complex.

Is Your Accounting System Failing You?

Unfortunately when your traditional, outdated accounting system was implemented, these new requirements and rules didn’t exist. Attempting to bolt on or retrofit support for these sweeping
changes is either painful, expensive—or impossible—because your accounting system, was never intended to do so. The result: You’re forced to use manual processes (and countless rogue spreadsheets) to support these new ways of doing business. And as any finance pro can tell you—that’s an open door to increased audit risks and billing errors.

The Savvy Evaluator:

Test your cloud accounting vendor’s track record. Ask about the most recent product innovations that matter to you.

88% of those who reported prior difficulties adapting software to new business requirements report that they wish they had switched to Sage Intacct sooner.

Sign No. 5: You Aren’t Able to Fully Track Your Business

Business success depends on the ability to see what’s happening in all areas of your business, especially if your operations or market conditions are changing rapidly. You need a holistic view of everything from bookings to available capacity to inventory levels and, of course, financial metrics. But you can’t make informed, timely decisions if it takes weeks to assemble, present, and analyze that data.

Today, more people in your organization need better reports, and they want those reports faster than ever in real-time dashboards that show key metrics and enable you to drill down for details.

Is Your Accounting System Failing You?

Chances are, your legacy accounting system is still operating in batch-processing mode—slowly and with no real-time visibility—simply to deliver rigid financial reports. Even in the best case, you’re forced to rely on third-party reporting and analysis tools to get even basic answers. You’re unable to create new reports, ask new questions, or customize your old reports to reflect changing business needs. And you can’t support the self-service capabilities that business users want. That’s not the right direction for your business.

The Savvy Evaluator:

Ask to see the drill-downs and rollups you need for your business based on location, line of business, and entities. Look for the flexibility to analyze different cuts of data in real time.

83% of Sage Intacct customers that previously had limited access to critical reports report they wish they had switched to Sage Intacct sooner.


Legacy accounting systems have served many organizations well for many years. However, they were designed and implemented to meet the finance and accounting challenges of yesterday—they lack what most forward-looking businesses need for today and tomorrow. That’s because modern finance requires you to perform financial closes faster, to capitalize on automation to process transactions more efficiently, and to deliver deeper business insights in real-time across the organization.

As you consider your alternatives for modern finance and accounting, cloud financial management solutions emerge as a compelling choice because they’re designed to not only meet today’s business’s needs but also to adapt as your business grows. By moving to a best-in-class cloud financial management solution, you’ll gain time to be more strategic.

Don’t settle for a system designed for the past. Don’t put your company and your finance organization at risk of being left behind. Eighty-two percent of CFOs surveyed wish they had switched to Sage Intacct sooner. Now’s the time to move your company forward with Sage Intacct, the only cloud finance solution endorsed by the AICPA.

Content Provided by Sage Intacct, Inc. All rights reserved.
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