1. Is it an accounting system designed for retailers? – There are numerous general accounting systems, however you should use an accounting systems which is ‘built for purpose’, if you are running a retail business, you should use a retail specific accounting system.
2. Can it integrate within your existing POS/BOS systems? – Very often retail businesses have a high volume of transactions which can be expensive and time consuming to enter manually. For many businesses, this is a non value adding process and can be liable to mistakes, therefore you should automate and integrate as many processes as possible.
3. Does it have a list of long established clients who recommend the system? – You should look for similar sized and larger companies and ask for a reference.
4. Is the system based in the cloud? – If you are a multiple site retailer, you will spend much of your time offsite, therefore having access to performance data, anytime and anywhere is critical.
5. Is the reporting flexible to your needs? – Many accounting systems do not allow for customisation and therefore time is often spent working within Excel to get the information into the reporting format you need.
6. Does it allow for quick data analysis and data mining needs? – The biggest asset for many businesses is the data locked within their accounting system. Being able to easily analyse data to recognise trends and share the data with colleagues is essential for business improvement.
7. Can you import electronic invoices from your main suppliers? – Our experience with many retail businesses is that they often have one or two major suppliers where a majority of the goods are brought, therefore importing electronic invoices reduces the time spent doing the data entry and bookkeeping.
8. Is it available on a monthly subscription reducing initial capital expenditure? – Many retailers require low upfront costs to reduce expenditure due to strict cash management. The main benefit for cloud based systems is that they are purchased through a monthly subscription which includes hosting and updates keeping costs low and affordable.
9. Is it easy to use? – Is the system built so it is quick and easy to use without sacrificing the functionality? Ensure you get a demonstration and ask about the training and support post purchase.
10. Are software updates and helpdesk support included in the price? – Many traditional accounting systems will charge for annual updates and have a separate pricing package for support.