What Leads to Failed Software Implementations for Accountants

We’ve been BLOWN-AWAY by the responses to “What Leads to Financial-Based Software Implementation Failures”.  During Q4 2019, we sent out a short survey to individuals in financial-roles with software implementation experience & received over 90 responses. Here is the jyst…

Failed Implementations

59% of individuals say they’ve been a part of a failed implementation during their careers. This sounds reasonable.


Failed Implementation Percentages

Of those that have failed, the average number of software implementation failures hovered around 20%. Again, nothing too out of the ordinary & actually a tad lower than what we’ve seen in other market surveys (some results show upwards of 40% implementation failures).


Largest Contributing Factors to Implementation Failures

This is where things get interesting… Let’s break this down a bit…

Over 70% of individuals said that the software they were implementing NOT being able to suit their requirements was a reason the implementation failed.  Lesson learned. Requirements are KING. >>Read More

Poor user adoption & lack of training easily go hand-in-hand & ~40% of individuals claimed these had a factor in their failed implementations.  Key takeaways here are…

1.) Ensure your company “buy-in” remains during all phases of the project

2.) Don’t assume that once you have a working solution in place that people will use it. The “Build It and They Will Come” mentality doesn’t work here (like it doesn’t work in many cases elsewhere).


How Well-Vetted Are Your Requirements Before You Purchase a New Software?

A MAJORITY (78%) of organizations claim that they know the software that they’re implementing fits MOST, if not ALL of their business requirements.  This response doesn’t really jive with the prior question where the largest contributing factors to implementation failures revolve around a solution not fitting their requirements. HOWEVER, 1 big thing can certainly be taken away…

**Knowing that ~75% of your business processes are supported before inking the dotted line simply isn’t enough. It is important to go DEEPER into your requirements w/ the solution being considered before signing–>implementing & eventually reaching the point of no return.


Number of Softwares Vetted

PHEW! 3-8 softwares is a lot to vet but we’re partially relieved to see these numbers so high. There are so many solutions out there in EVERY category. A lot of different functionalities/flavors & a lot of marketing material to digest. Choose wisely.


Length of Time Spent Evaluating Softwares Before Making a Purchase

DOUBLE-PHEW! 53% of organizations are spending AT LEAST 7 MONTHS to vet solutions. That is a TON of TIME & RESOURCES. These responses are probably the most eye-opening thus far.


Feeling After Implementation That There Might Be a Better Solution?

The question was, “After you implemented your last software, did you ever get the feeling that there could be a better solution for your business (due to cost, requirements, functionality, etc.)”.

This is a tough one to swallow as an organization.  You’ve invested incredible amounts of resources (both time & money) to search for a solution (as we’ve learned typically 7 months or greater) & then implement that solution only to realize that it might not have been the best choice. YIKES!


What Leads To Belief That There Could Be a Better Solution Post-Implementation?

A similar story here to failed implementations (but you’ve made it to implementation… Yay?). The solution not being able to handle your requirements is a large component as well as the software being overly complicated and/or performing slower than expected. None of these are what you want to see after spending so much time and money on your fancy new software.

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Finding Software. What are the Challenges?

So let’s take a quick step back here to listen to why organizations believe finding the correct software is so difficult…

62% say because it’s because they don’t know all of their requirements.  Gathering requirements is a difficult task.  Ensuring all of those requirements fit the solution(s) that you’re vetting is even more difficult.

This is understandable. We’ve already learned that 7+ months is the average & PLUS you’re typically making a decision that requires multiple inputs from multiple levels within your organization.  The time commitment here is incredible.

40% say it’s difficult due to “Information Overload”… Yes… We couldn’t agree more.  Google is always a great resource but the biggest players with the biggest budgets typically show first. Sifting through the noise to find credible & valuable information is difficult but is key (some useful resources listed below).

These go hand in hand with “Information Overload”. Again, there’s so much information out there & everyone has an opinion.


What Useful Practices/Resources are Used When Searching for Softwares?

“Requirements” are a recurring theme.  Ensure you’re spending time on them, completing them thoroughly & then working with the software vendor(s) that you’re considering to ensure you have a fit.  The other practices/resources listed are certainly worthwhile and should be considered as well.


What Should We Make of All of This?

  1. Requirements. Requirements. Requirements. Focus on them. Get a thorough listing & reference them throughout your search & implementation. These are the biggest contributors to a successful/failed project.
  2. Software implementations aren’t quick or easy (3-8 solutions | 7+ months).
  3. Software implementations can be risky (20% failures | ~60% uneasiness in solution post-implementation) & the very visible within an organization (time | resources | people involved). Spend the time & utilize the best resources to ensure you’re starting your project with the best solution that fits your business requirements.

*Are these results in-line with your personal experiences or expectations? Let us know in the comments below!*


Solugence Advisors 🧙

We’d love to get your input on upcoming market research surveys as part of our Solugence Advisor Program.  We’ll notify you of super-short surveys no more than 3x/year & in return, we’re handing out great prizes (see latest here) & compiling great results like these.

Enroll to help us understand how we can better help YOU!


Resources for Financial-Software Searches


Developing Requirements & Identifying Best Fits With Solutions


Software Reviews / Catalogs

Blogs/Misc Resources


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