What do you think keeps most business owners up at night?

For some, it is trying to provide better service to their customers. For others, it is making sure they hire the right talent to meet the needs of their customers. Then there are those owners who obsess night and day about their finances, wondering if this is the year they can finally breathe a little easier when it comes to their books.

In order to have the best shot at making a go of your business, what kind of financial software you use is an important factor, one that can be overlooked at times.

Whether you just purchased new financial software to run your business, or perhaps have been thinking about upgrading the program you presently have in place, there are several factors you should keep in mind to make sure you are using what is best for the size of your business.

If you are thinking about shopping around for financial software, keep some of these factors in mind:

1. Analyze current programming - First and foremost, take a look at the current financial software package you and your team use. Is it up to the challenge of continuing to be productive, timely, and cost-effective for you? If the program is not, what kind of software package can you afford at this time? Are you willing to spend the time and money to train your financial folks on new software? Finally, what are the ramifications (if any) should you decide to stay with your current financial software program? Make sure you address and answer these questions before looking to new software;

2. Get plenty of quotes - As with any major purchases you make for your business, be sure to shop around and get a number of quotes. Buying new financial software is not like buying a few rolls of paper for the printer, mostly due to the fact that the software should be a long-term investment on your part. At minimum, look to get 3 to 5 quotes from proven financial software vendors. You want to look at series of factors, including the company’s track record and financial stability, its customer service record (look to the Better Business Bureau to see if it has any sizable of number of complaints lodged against it), and its rates and contract terms;

3. Time to train - One of the biggest factors in whether or not you opt for new financial software is the amount of time it will take to train your financial people (may just be one or two people, may be an entire staff) on learning the new program. You need to remember that time is money, so training your folks on new software means you are spending money to do so, especially if it involves a number of employees. Some companies prefer to stay with their financial software program as long as possible in order to avoid training and changing a system that is familiar to all. Look to vendors who offer free demo trials, allowing you and your team to try it out for a period of time, deciding what you like and don’t like;

4. Moving forward - Finally, do you see projected growth with your company? This is an important factor when it comes to determining if purchasing new financial software makes sense for your business. If you see yourself growing, by all means consider getting an upgrade in financial software if it is a wise financial decision for you and your team. In the event you figure on being stagnant or even scaling back over the next year or two, think twice about such a decision. Spending a sizable amount of money on new financial software may be money that could be better invested elsewhere.