Why do so many FDs fear tech changes?

More than a quarter of finance decision-makers would be unlikely to change their accounting software provider even if they could achieve ROI in less than 12 months.

At least, that’s according to a survey, commissioned by an accounting software provider iplicit, which sought the opinions of 1,000 finance decision-makers working in organisations that employ between 50 and 500 people.

It investigated how finance decision makers plan, manage, and deliver the finance function in their business, specifically looking at the perceived barriers to changing accounting software, their experience of changing accounting systems, current processes and future priorities.

The report, the authors say, has highlighted that the legacy accounting software many businesses are tied into, even when migrated to the cloud, fails to provide the flexibility needed by today’s businesses.

Paul Sparkes headshot

Sparkes: an appetite to be proactive

Even more galling for mid-sized companies is that many smaller businesses that can get away with using an entry-level solution, can enjoy the benefits of true cloud software, albeit without the full set of features they need as they grow.

Paul Sparkes, Commercial Director at iplicit, the company behind the research, said: “Running a modern finance function involves much more than ensuring smooth month-end processes. Finance decision-makers need to carefully weigh up the pros of changing to a true cloud accounting software versus the cons of sticking with an incumbent – which may lead to a realisation that there is actually nothing to fear about changing providers.”

From the ability to upload expenses to drilling down through reports to gain access to specific information, extending the accounting solution outside finance is a fundamental step to improve insight, control and timely decision-making, all while reducing the burden on the core finance team, they say.

But he pointed out that the findings show two-thirds of finance decision-makers would be willing to switch accounting software providers this year if they can achieve that same ROI.

Mr Sparkes added: “Whilst, in part, these results offer reassurance that there is an appetite from UK finance decision-makers to take proactive steps and secure the best accounting software, it also highlights a fear about what changing accounting software providers actually involves.

“This makes me question just how many organisations have been tied into lengthy contracts that will take years to see any return on investment.”

The top three reasons why firms are hesitant are losing historical data (14%), the cost of having to pay for a Right To Use (RTU) licence to access it (12%) and being too expensive (11%).

The full report can be accessed here