Computerized accounting systems in the Philippines have been around since at least the 1970s. However, they did not become a part of most businesses’ operations until the 90s and 2000s, when computers and software became more accessible to most startups and SMEs.
However, today the adoption of accounting systems in the Philippines has been rather uneven, with many businesses still using vastly outdated systems or ad hoc setups using Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheets. While these are technically computerized accounting systems and are certainly better manual accounting (which many local businesses still use) they can be labor intensive and can become extremely inefficient when a business starts growing to a certain size.
If you’re creating a startup or considering an upgrade to an existing platform, here are some issues you might face when implementing a new accounting system in the Philippines.
1.) User-friendliness and user training
Modern accounting systems can vastly reduce the time spent on repeated data entry compared to either manual or Excel-based systems. This means less copy-pasting and fewer chances of serious human errors.
However, this is only true if users can work with the system effectively. In many cases, both vendors and company management can be lax in providing sufficient training to the users or implementing a system that encourages repeated usage. Both the user experience and user training have to be considered in any system upgrade as these factors can easily determine whether or not your system implementation is successful.
2.) Data security
Issues exist for data existing on current systems pre as well for data that has been successfully migrated to the new system.
Critical data losses are not uncommon during the transition phase of an accounting system upgrade, and it can become even more likely and more difficult if the business does the upgrade when they have already accumulated a lot of data on the old system.
In the best cases, there are ways to automate the data migration, but quite often, a significant amount of manual data entry is required, especially when transitioning from manual systems or Excel-based ad hoc setups. This makes it important that the data migration phase is closely managed to avoid critical data losses.
Even when all goes well during the data migration, your security issues do not always end. Some compromises may have to be made in terms of ease of access to the new database versus security concerns, and these issues can vary depending on the type of business you have.
3.) System selection and modifications
If you’re looking for an accounting system in the Philippines that closely matches your business’s needs, you’re going to find an extremely wide variety of choices, from boutique custom-made systems to free off-the-shelf solutions. They also vary in scope from apps and suites that are strictly for accounting and payroll to comprehensive enterprise resource management systems that manage all parts of your business.
Unfortunately, the selection of systems tends to boil down to which is the first one offered or which one is the cheapest. Philippine businesses rarely invest that much time when testing different solutions and may get stuck with a less optimal choice for several years.
This can have several negative impacts on the business, including disrupting the business’s efficiency rather than improving it and creating ill-will among employees. Thus any accounting system being considered must be tested thoroughly before it is adopted for the entire company. Any modifications should also be seriously considered and tested to ensure they provide value and make sense in the context of real-world use.
There may be other situation-specific issues in implementing an accounting system in the Philippines, but these are three main problems faced by most local startups and SMEs during their upgrades.
If you are interested in an affordable modular accounting system solution that allows you to choose which parts you can use for your organization, be sure to get in touch with ANSI. ANSI is a leading provider of accounting system solutions in the Philippines, offering SAP Business One and other industry-leading solutions to the local market.