“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
A phrase which we have all heard, and was made popular following a quote given to the magazine of the United States’s Chambers of Commerce in 1977 by Bert Lance, a member of US President Jimmy Carter’s 1977 administration.
Lance was referring to the tendency of governments to “fix things that aren’t broken”, and not fix things that are broken. Many people believe that their accounts system isn’t broken. It has been sitting in the corner, on a trusty piece of server hardware, covered in dust, cobwebs and coffee stains. “Never given an ounce of trouble, once we got Y2K and the Euro change-over out of the way”. Invoices and statements print the way they always have. VAT returns get completed every two months, and the accountant shows up once a year to do the annual returns.
This accounts system, reliable as it is, could be the biggest source of risk to your business. Chances are that it is running on ten to twelve year old hardware with a copy of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 lurking in the background. Microsoft will stop supporting Windows Server 2003 during this summer. That means an end to free patches, anti-virus software that is no longer fully supported, and long forgotten backup routines that probably aren’t even being tested for successful restores.
Yes, the invoices and the statements keep on coming, but only for the moment. If this system breaks “ain’t nobody gonna fix it”. Why? Nobody will be able to. With old hardware and unsupported software, the system will die, and along with it your records of “accounts receivable” and everything else.
Here at Newtec, our recommendation is to follow our lead. We recently replaced our own accounts system with a subscription based service from the world’s leading online provider of financial systems, NetSuite. No dusting down of old hardware, no expensive server upgrades, just a simple transition, and yes, the invoices and statements are still coming. If you would like to know more about what we did, and how we did it, please feel free to contact our consultants in Dublin and Shannon on 01 531 3777 or 061 708 820.