Taking time to compare vendor services usually pays off later. Most experts will say price should be at the bottom of the priority list when buying equipment that could determine the success of a practice. Still, accountants should keep in mind several factors before pulling out the wallet.
- It's no cliché; time really is money. If any field demands punctuality as a job requirement, it's the accounting occupation. For some reason, the government does not like to wait for tax filings! Likewise, clients won't accept excuses as to why their return money might be delayed, or come up a little short due to penalty fees.
For this reason, accountants need a timely turnaround from vendors when it comes to supplies. In addition, they need to know that the supplier can deliver necessary materials on the fly - especially from February 1 through April 15. Accountants should always seek vendors that make the purchasing process as simple as possible and that guarantee fast delivery times.
Some vendor bonuses to search for include online purchasing options as well as digital and mailed reorder forms. These documents usually include the client's purchasing history and a list of compatible products. Clients have the option to resubmit the same order, or add and subtract products. Some vendors even send notices of upcoming filing dates and a menu of materials that will assist with the process.
- Let's get technical. The best finance software is worthless if the user does not have a clue how to apply the program to their business. It's not enough to just purchase the latest technology from a vendor. Accountants should always review a supplier's technical support before making a transaction. While some vendors offer the basics - a help hotline and instructional guide - others really go the distance. Certain vendors provide free personal technical support and training through a local partner. Other vendors not only offer insight on the software purchased by the accountant, but also information on computer applications commonly utilized by advisors' clients.
These resources allow financial gurus to better understand their customer's in-house capabilities and to tailor a service specific to their needs. Finally, superior software vendors even provide marketing materials and plans to help accountants publicize their newly acquired technology.