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Tax & AccountingFebruary 24, 2020

When is Good Enough not Good Enough

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If you’ve torn or damaged your ACL, who would you prefer to consult for advice about how to treat the injury? While your GP is excellent for annual checkups, allergy medicine, and the occasional cold, are they as knowledgeable and properly equipped as an orthopedic doctor to get you back to full mobility?

If you, like most people, would prefer the specialist to the generalist, then I ask you, why are you using an all-in-one technology solution, rather than building out a best-in-breed technology stack?

The debate between all-in-one suites versus a best-in-breed solution is nothing new. CFOs, CIOs, controllers, anyone making this decision questions which will make them more successful as a company, and at what cost.

Is the increased efficiency and effectiveness obtained from having best-in-breed solutions worth the additional cost of purchasing multiple solutions from multiple vendors?

Yes, it is.

Deciding on a best-in-breed solution means purchasing the results of an entire organization’s focus on a singular product. With all-in-one solutions, the vendor spends most of its time, dollars, and effort focusing on one core solution (e.g., Tax software or Practice Management). The other solutions are considered peripheral or add-ons, something the vendor will get to when they have time. Unfortunately, those peripheral solutions tend to fall into maintenance mode, with the provider spending just enough time to make sure that they work “good enough” to get by.

Meanwhile, the best-in-breed solution has additional features and functionality, creating efficiencies, and reducing workload compression. Because of their focus on a single solution, best-in-breed providers have developed a better understanding of their customer’s pain points and the flexibility to partner with their customers to solve these pain points efficiently. 

I can hear you now. “I know that the best-in-breed solution has better functionality, and is a better purchase. I just don’t want to deal with the integration challenges.” I don’t blame you, no-one does. That’s why it’s imperative to vet your solution in advance and ask the provider about their integration and API policy.

Best-in-breed providers know it is in everyone’s best interest to provide integration options. If the provider you’re considering doesn’t have APIs or direct connections that work with your current technology stack, ask them to build one. Integration issues should never prevent you from utilizing a best-in-breed solution.

When purchasing a new technology solution, look at what works best for you and the organization. What are your key pain points, and what technology solutions solve them? Don’t settle for “good enough” when once you perform a detailed needs analysis, you realize it isn’t.

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