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When To Choose Off the Shelf Software vs a Custom Quickbooks App

Business usually varies hugely from one company to another. So, naturally, the continual improvement of techniques and processes to effectively operate the business is generally a must. That’s where off the shelf software such as these QuickBooks apps come in.

Business owners and managers always need to be able to step out of their regular day-to-day operations to evaluate how inefficiencies can be improved, whether the business is being effective or not and how it can take on the future.

Let’s take a closer look at which integrations are right for you.

Why You Need It

Because competition in the industry comes so swift and strong, it has sort of pushed us into a process perfection age. This means that you must understand the procedures and constantly evaluate them for improvements.

In a lot of ways, you need to emulate big brands like McDonald’s where there’s a predetermined sequence for every small step. Although, that doesn’t mean you abandon personality and creativity.

That boundaries limit creativity is a common misunderstanding, however, the contrary is true. Instead, you need to concentrate on imposing boundaries by keeping processes tight. A great way you can track results effectively is by using specialized software.

This can be a tough task and picking the right software that’ll help you adapt and grow can be critical. So, the question that often comes is “should you adopt an off-the-shelf software solution to get as close as you can or should you build a whole new custom application that fits your needs exactly?”

This for some can be a very easy decision. Almost every business uses accounting software, so there are numerous flavors to pick from, one of the best out there being QuickBooks.

Difference Between Custom And Off The Shelf Software

Commercial off-the-shelf software and tools are packaged software systems designed to service huge audiences with requirements that are fundamentally the same. For instance, Adobe Photoshop is a complete solution suitable for almost all user experiences mass users might have.

Requirements

Custom developments are the developments of software systems for one particular group or user within a business, company or organization.

Such software systems are used to meet additional or special functionality requirements that off-the-shelf software systems might not be able to meet themselves.

Unlike off-the-shelf software, custom software is specifically designed for particular enterprises that can be developed in-house or by a 3rd party and don’t have reselling rights.

Cost Comparison

When it comes to money, you can easily buy offset software apps for an affordable price.

Off-the-shelf tools have low entry points when it comes to price because costs are being distributed among several users.

Whereby customized software apps often require considerably more resources to craft and design which translates into requiring large amounts of capital and investment for the software’s development.

When a business finalizes and decides to go with custom software systems, then it’ll have to pay for all the costs that the development process will need.

Usability

Off-the-shelf software systems have the leverage that they get used by numerous users whereby custom systems are created for one company or one user.

The risks involved with custom software will differ according to the specific user it has been designed for. The business which is investing in it must understand deeply what its needs are and how it intends the end product to help meet its needs.

The finding out of new needs during the development process isn’t uncommon as well, and aside from demanding additional costs it also requires extra effort and time.

The risk of constant changes can end up resulting in, what’s known in the project management world as, scope creep. This can lead to end products that are insufficient or different from your original needs.

Off-The-Shelf Software

Off-the-shelf software comes with their own share of benefits and disadvantages. These include:

Pros:

  • Lower up-front cost
  • Contains a lot of features, usually more than one really needs
  • Support is normally included or can be something you add with the maintenance contract
  • You may get free upgrades or they might come at reduced prices
  • If it’s SaaS (software-as-a-service), there’s no software or hardware you’ll need to install

Cons:

  • Slow to change or adapt to industry requirements
  • Feature requests you provide might be ignored if it does not satisfy the needs of the larger client base
  • May need you to overhaul your entire procedure to fit the software
  • Higher customization fees

Custom Software

In order to identify if custom software is the ideal solution for you, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons.

Pros:

  • You can begin using it with the minimum requirements and make additions later
  • Can be designed to meet your exact processes and needs
  • You can make quick changes

Cons:

  • Very high initial costs
  • All feature requests and changes will be billable
  • May have to pay some additional costs when it comes to acquiring new software developers.

Ultimately, you will need to make a decision on whether you can use off-the-shelf software systems to fit square pegs into round holes without having to suffer so much pain or if building around custom systems and processes is something worth the investment.

Finalizing Your Needs

Selecting a business to come up with software apps for companies isn’t as easy as most people think. Large scale conglomerates and big companies usually search for local businesses to bid for jobs and then choose the one that gives them the best price.

So if you’re still at the phase of picking whether to buy or build the application, don’t be afraid.

Even with all the non-commoditized needs circulating all over the place, someone has fulfilled their requirements and built an out-of-the-box off the shelf software that you might find suits you just fine and you can be able to use.

The decision basically comes down to how good that particular software fits you or can you come up with a unique, custom app that’ll impact your bigger bottom-line better.

If you still looking for the right accounting software for your business contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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About Fourlane Inc.

Based in Austin, TX with regional offices and consultants located throughout the country, Fourlane is an award winning professional services firm that provides a wide range of business services & solutions. Fourlane was founded in 2009 by Marjorie and Rob Adams and has seen strong growth since its inception. Fourlane is the #1 Intuit Premier Reseller Partner and has been awarded Intuit’s prestigious Premier Reseller / Partner of the Year every year since 2010. Fourlane offers several services for small to medium businesses including advisory services, CFO services, bookkeeping, and financial systems consulting. Fourlane also offers expert QuickBooks oriented services including consulting, programming, integration, data conversion, training, support, and more. Over the years, Fourlane has helped over 10,000 customers with their QuickBooks software.

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