Modern commercial software packages, especially ubiquitous accounting solutions, are essential in order to remain competitive. The greatest challenge, however, is getting different software systems to communicate with each other. Modern software packages are designed around the requirements of departments. Accounting systems are designed for accountants, construction estimating packages for quantity surveyors, and customer relationship solutions for sales and marketing managers.

This trend has exacerbated business communication difficulties between different departments. For example, one of the most common challenges is comparing the budgeted price of a job from the estimating system to the actual price captured on the accounting package. Accounting systems are designed around strict audit control requirements, while estimating systems need to be a lot more flexible and hence are often designed in Microsoft Excel. The solution is to design another application that integrates the information from the two different systems.

Once this integration is achieved, information from all the applications can be shared using custom designed reports. Having control over a business’s critical data is crucial in modern competitive environments. An easy communication between different departments helps management achieve a clear vision of all activities and costs.

In conclusion, businesses that have well integrated data will be more productive and competitive.

Article by Duncan Stainer