Selecting new accounting/ERP software for your business is a giant step for most companies. There are many guides out there to walk you through the numerous smaller steps of that larger process. There are even Excel based software evaluation tools to help compare the options you’re investigating using a rating scale to make the process more quantitative.
These software selection guides and tools are certainly helpful when it comes to comparing the tangible differences among the alternatives you’re exploring, i.e. the features and functions. But what about the intangibles? How can you measure the experience, customer service and implementation skills of the companies you’re meeting with?
Those are good questions and, truthfully, there is no definitive way to do that. There is no rating bureau for the professional services companies that sell and implement accounting and ERP software.
One logical avenue is to ask for references. Most companies hesitate to provide references too early in the sales cycle because this could mean “pestering” their valued clients with an unnecessarily high volume of requests for references. Still, toward the end of the selection process, you certainly have the right to expect and receive references. Of course, no company is ever going to give you a reference unless they know for a fact that the customer is going to provide a glowing review. This doesn’t mean that the reference is of no value. It just means that you should keep this caveat in mind.