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Selecting the right financial software package

The growth of financial services as a major part of modern Western economies would not have been possible without the introduction of the business computer.

Loan calculations, mortgages, interest payments and other financial transactions can take a very long time to calculate on paper or with a calculator. Thanks to the use of computers in business, these sorts of complex financial calculations can now be performed by computers in a few fractions of a second.

When buying a financial software package, there are basically two ways of getting the software you need. The first solution is to buy an off the shelf software package. This is usually the most cost effective option. However, you may need to change your business processes in order to fit it in with the way the software does things. This can be an annoyance, especially in medium-large enterprises. Some off the shelf software can be customised, so huge business change may not be required.

An alternative is to get a financial software package that is custom written for your business. Custom financial software can either be written in house if you have IT experts, or it can be outsourced to a third party. When outsourcing development to a third party it's important to choose a reputable company. Make sure that they have already got clients in a similar business niche to yours.

An increasing number of financial services can now be delivered over the Internet ("Software as a Service - SaaS"). This is often convenient in that you don't need to install software packages on desktop PCs. It also allows staff to work remotely from their homes, client sites or even from mobile internet enabled devices. The downside to remotely delievered internet applications is that you need a reliable internet connection, especially for mission critical applications when any downtime could result in lost orders or inability to service the needs of your customers.

Related content: software, mortgages, calculator

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