I just read an interesting report published by published by accounting software research firm, Software Advice titled: Small Business Accounting Software Buyer View 2014. It was compiled and written by Noel Radley, Managing Editor, Software Advice and can be found at the following link: Accounting Software Buyer View 2014
The report was compiled from data acquired from surveying several hundred buyers primarily representing small companies, with the majority of them under 500 employees and under $50 MM in annual revenue.
Buyers were questioned on their search for the right accounting software for their companies, the reasons for their search and what features and functionality they were most interested in.
It was not surprising to learn that many of the survey participants were looking to upgrade from more basic (and older) accounting software applications to packages with more advanced features, allowing greater efficiency and increased automation and accuracy.
Another interesting observation was that the surveyed buyers expressed less interest in web-based accounting software applications than what is experienced these days with general software purchases. This is an indication that the priority here is functionality first and delivery method second.
What I have personally experienced in consulting to smaller companies (the majority of my work is with larger organizations) is that company managements are seriously looking to leverage technology and advancements in information processing, as well as automated budgeting, accounting and finance functions, quicker period close cycles and enhanced reporting.
These companies are also realizing that software tools that were only available to very large organizations in the past are becoming more accessible to smaller enterprises and with lower cost of ownership and less maintenance and employee training.
I believe the results of this survey fairly represent goals and desires of smaller company managements, as represented by buyers of technology products and in this particular case, accounting software.