Monday, 28 January 2008

Grow the Business, Not the Administration

Charity for the homeless Focus Ireland has tripled in size without increasing its finance department thanks to accounting software from Exchequer.

This item in Ireland's Technology News Service, SiliconRepublic, caught my eye because this is the message accounting software vendors have been preaching for years.
The appeal of the Exchequer product was chiefly the flexibility of reporting it allowed. The ability to upload information directly from Excel and InfoJournals on to the Exchequer system was of great value.

“For our payroll needs alone that saves about one week in working time per month,” says [Finance Director Louise] Callaghan.

Even if you have an older system and don't want to go through a whole system conversion, you can probably make a significant improvement to your system by:
  1. Purchasing flexible, general purpose report writing software such as Crystal Reports.
  2. Reorganizing your Chart of Accounts so that the details needed for reporting are kept separate and not added together.
But don't try to do everything at once. Find the area that is most in need of updating and work there. Also, don't try to go back and change history, implement the changes from now forward. After all, Focus Ireland had been using its new system for six year before the article was written. The savings didn't happen over night.