It may seem counterintuitive for finance and accounting teams to incur debt when they are responsible for carefully balancing a company’s budgets. But a slow and silent debt known as technical debt can eventually cost finance and accounting teams time, money, and resources. As companies expand, and digital acceleration leads to more investments in cloud-based software, it can be easy to overlook how these changes could disrupt the workflow of finance and accounting teams. Finance and accounting teams, after all, are historically adept at creating new spreadsheets or manual workarounds to adapt to new systems and technology.
When it comes to modernization, it’s important that finance and accounting teams aren’t overlooked and left to address immediate pain points with quick, easy-to-implement solutions in place of comprehensive, full-featured solutions. While seeking on-the-spot solutions may seem like an agile approach, this may lead to increased complexity and manual workload in the long run, compromising short-term convenience and savings. In addition, the cost to address these solutions later may be greater.
For example, many companies are accustomed to relying on QuickBooks to manage their finance and accounting operations. However, as companies grow, finance and accounting teams may need additional solutions for CRM, project management, and data management, or even multiple QuickBooks accounts. Technical debt accrues when companies rely on products with limited capabilities while delaying investments in end-to-end technology solutions.
Eventually, teams become burdened with multiple systems that may not integrate with each other. Keeping financial data separate increases manual management of data, creates additional needs for outside workflow or collaboration processes, leads to incomplete reporting, and can become difficult to manage when different versions of a software are used across a company. QuickBooks, for instance, runs on a proprietary database, so converting QuickBooks data to adapt to new systems can be a costly procedure.
To avoid technical debt, EMIT Technologies sought out a migration from QuickBooks to a cloud-based ERP system with a scalable, integrated functionality across finance, sales, operations, marketing, CRM, and project and resource planning. On his company’s investment in Microsoft Dynamics 365, Travis Perkins, Director of IT, said, “We were relying on QuickBooks for basic accounting, but we needed to address long-term goals of our growing business and knew we would need a more robust solution that handled inventory management and manufacturing as well.”
This investment meant that EMIT Technologies was able to manage their entire business from finance to supply chain on one customized and integrated ERP solution. Because Dynamics 365 is built on the open Microsoft SQL database platform, it is also much easier to integrate with other systems. Seamless integration with cross-functional teams means reductions in manual data entry, costly data conversions, and the need for outside platforms. Companies with fully integrated finance and accounting teams are better able to manage financial data in real-time, take advantage of how the data interplays directly with other company operations, and explore automation to further streamline operations.
If companies want technology to facilitate company growth, then investing in integrated cloud-based ERP systems will prevent technical debt from stacking up across finance and accounting teams that have outgrown siloed platforms like QuickBooks. This also creates opportunities to automate financial operations and further avoid high overhead costs that can quickly add to a company’s bottom line. Without finding a way to better integrate finance and accounting operations, companies may be stuck paying for two solutions.