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When it's time to leave the comfort of QuickBooks

Dennis Howlett raises some interesting points in his latest CloudPro blog. He says:
“The prime reason that Sage and QuickBooks users are so difficult to dislodge is that users become familiar with things they use, even when they know they are clunky. In order to overcome the stickiness, the SaaS provider has to go many steps beyond what the on-premise provider offers.” He later says: “The only way that users will readily switch is if they see that something new will obviously add value to what they are doing, reduce pain and be a joy to use. All three ingredients are needed; two out of three is not enough.”

This is something we’re only too aware of. Overcoming migration inertia among prospects is tough. The question is at what point in a company’s growth does a system start to hamper them because it can’t do what is required? Through working with customers that have moved away from systems like QuickBooks, we have developed our own list of obvious migration points, where a perfectly good system is no longer adequate.

Generally, companies need to consider a new way of doing things when they reach the next phase of maturity where transaction volumes have grown and the organization has become more complex with multi-site operations, trading abroad, additional subsidiaries perhaps. Accounting complexity is often a catalyst for change as the growing organization has an obligation to implement financial controls and report in accordance with international standards.

Certainly all our customers that have moved from QuickBooks were looking for increased automation and workflow to manage increasing workloads. Pandora has spoken publicly about its rapid growth and how FinancialForce.com supported it when it went Public in June last year. We’re well aware that preparing the ground for going public is a key milestone for a business and one that is necessitating system evaluation. This is an intensive process where companies can see for the first time that they’re really hitting the limits of their entry-level software and that it is becoming costly and time-consuming to manage.

There is a new way of doing things and by showing organizations that we can help them perform tasks that they couldn’t before easily and scaleably, the tipping point is coming. QuickBooks is a great entry-level system but there comes a time when it just won’t cut it anymore. Customers that have moved from entry level bookkeeping to FinancialForce Accounting are finding that the cloud makes the jump to a full blown accounting system easier and they’re deriving huge value from the enterprise level tools available such as workflow, social, unified reporting that might be difficult to consume otherwise. I have covered the issues in brief here but there’s a lot more I could include. We’re working on a more in-depth paper that covers this topic for growing businesses which we’ll publish soon.

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