Essential Questions CFOs Must Ask When Choosing an Accounting or ERP System

CFOs often in their careers encounter a time that they need to find a new accounting or ERP system because their current system becomes outdated, inefficient, or unable to support their growing needs. Other factors such as mergers, compliance changes, integration issues, and strategic initiatives can also prompt the search for a new system.

Must-have features often include process automation, cloud-based accessibility, and real-time access to actionable data. More than these features, though, a new system should give all types of users the ability to connect, collaborate, and integrate, offering the capability of budgeting, monitoring, and forecasting faster and more accurately. There are so many other nuances and features to this technology these days that delve well beyond a one-size-fits-all model to favor specialized and customized capabilities that align with the unique nuances of a business and industry.

AAFCPAs works with CFOs to integrate business processes with right-sized and right-scoped IT solutions. We dive into operations to optimize legacy systems, analyze alternatives, migrate when necessary, and help end users gain the greatest value from their new capabilities.

When new technology is an option, we help clients outline a clear plan, well-defined goals, and accurate datasets. The following questions help narrow down selections and build a shortlist of vendor finalists.

  1. Does this solution handle the specific accounting needs and requirements of our business and industry?
  2. Is the solution compatible with our IT infrastructure?
  3. Does it integrate with our business systems (such as payroll and CRM)?
  4. Is it scalable to accommodate operational growth and increased transaction volume?
  5. What level of security does it provide to protect our confidential data?
  6. Is it compliant with relevant accounting regulations and standards?
  7. What is the upfront and long-term cost breakdown including expenses, licensing fees, implementation, and ongoing maintenance?
  8. What type of customer support or training does the software vendor offer?
  9. What limitations and potential risks are associated with this software?
  10. What is the vendor’s track record and reputation in my industry?
  11. What is the software implementation process and timeline for a company like ours?
  12. How would this solution handle reporting and analytics? Could it generate the specific financial reports we require?
  13. What additional modules or add-ons are available?
  14. Does it offer mobile access?
  15. How often does the vendor release new updates and versions? What is the typical upgrade process?

How may we help?

AAFCPAs pragmatically answers the questions: What do I need most? How can I make sure I utilize its fullest potential?

We take client operations to the next level with expertise in evaluating solutions and capacities to determine the best path forward for your environment and outlook. We interview key user groups and conduct current process discovery sessions in order to document system(s) requirements to communicate with software vendors in a Request for Information (RFI).

We bring to the table senior technologists, project managers, and business process analysts who have worked at the level of CFO and controller and who intimately understand resource, time, and budget constraints.

To learn more, contact Robyn Leet, Partner, Business Process Assessments & Attestations at 774.512.4010 or, Dawn Pantano, Director, Business Process & IT Consulting at 774.512.4086 or—or your AAFCPAs partner.

About the Authors

Robyn Leet
Robyn brings over 20 years of continuous business process improvement and internal controls experience to AAFCPAs’ diverse clients. From her beginnings as an auditor in public accounting, she learned the fundamentals of business requirements and frameworks. This knowledge was applied to further her impact in her roles as Controller in private, closely-held businesses. These opportunities have bolstered her broad exposure to businesses in multiple stages of growth and with varying levels of needs to validate her insight into the inner workings and requirements of business operations and functions, always looking at the big picture and keeping the client in scope.
Dawn Pantano
Dawn is ideally suited to help AAFCPAs clients develop, implement and maintain IT systems and processes that improve business performance, drive revenue, control costs, and reduce risk.  Dawn specializes in delivering proven technology and business advisory solutions that streamline business processes, and enhance collaboration and information sharing across all functional areas of an organization. She provides strategic guidance on the selection and deployment of key business applications and technologies to meet corporate objectives, and drive productivity. She skillfully and pragmatically answers the question “What do I need most,” so clients may optimize their ROI on technology investments.