Blog by Aalia Daneshmend, Digita Senior Marketing Executive
Whether you are setting up a practice or switching your software provider, take the time to define what you want to achieve and set realistic objectives for the selection process.
Ask yourself why you’re unhappy with your existing software provider so that you can work out exactly what you’re looking for – perhaps it’s time saving through integration, enhanced functionality, or improved support.
Dodd and Co is a 10 partner practice with over 100 staff based in their offices in Carlisle and Penrith. Faye Armstrong, Partner, says, “We had been using a number of software providers but we were becoming increasingly unhappy with the lack of integration between the various products.”
The opinions of an existing customer can be invaluable during the software decision making process and can provide honest feedback on questions specific to your situation. Another avenue is to read existing online reviews or ask accountancy website forum members for impartial feedback.
Ian Larmont, Partner at Allden & Partners in Surrey, comments, “When I set up the current partnership, I naturally turned to the same software as I was using at the London practice where I worked. I didn’t know anyone using Digita’s products at the time but I began to read some good things about them in the trade press.”
Training is a very important part of the vendor selection process and can ultimately affect how quickly your practice can get up to speed with work and how often you need to call support. Migration of data is another aspect of changing software so you need to be informed about what’s included in your initial outlay.
Martin Wright, Director of Critchleys, a Top 100 Firm based in Oxford, comments, “Thanks to Digita’s efforts and the planning we had made in advance, we had the best part of 200 clients set-up and ready to run within four weeks of going live. Staff feedback from the training supplied by Digita was excellent with a 100% positive response.”
If you’re looking for software that can last your practice a lifetime, then look for a vendor who goes that extra mile. A great example of this is a software supplier that asks customers to give input on product features during the development process.
Keith Senior, Partner at Suffolk practice Jacobs Allen, found the recent Digita Focus Group invaluable: “Undoubtedly, for me the best part of the day was the opportunity to talk with other users about their way of using the software. It is very encouraging that Digita are trying to provide the best user experience possible.”
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