In the last post I was talking about when custom software might be the next step in the progression of using software to track and report on data about one’s business. To continue…
That next level is a software application which uses a database to store the data behind the scenes. That software will display forms to enter data, have buttons to run automated processes, have reports to pull data together from various places, all enabling you to enter, edit, and view reports on your data pretty easily…especially compared to the Excel scenario.
The software solution can come in two basic forms:
- Off the shelf (OTS) software
- Custom software
Off the shelf software can solve the issues of many businesses. QuickBooks is a great example of this. It has a place to work with much of the data discussed above.
But if your business is a little bit different than what QuickBooks allows you to handle you either suffer through those differences by doing some things in Excel again along with QuickBooks (which is going back to a cumbersome scenario), or you have a custom software application written.
I’d venture to guess that a fair many companies find that QuickBooks or some other off the shelf application doesn’t work exactly the way they want. They’ll often consider custom software. Custom software is often more expensive than off the shelf software, but it can also save users lot’s of time, prevent many mistakes, provide more useful reports on data than otherwise possible, and thereby enable the business owners to save and make a lot more money than otherwise possible.
So if you find yourself with too many Excel files, you might want to give serious consideration to an off the shelf solution, or creating a custom software solution…which is, of course, what we do day-in and day-out.