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How To Choose the Right Accounting System

By March 6, 20142 Comments

When you buy something great, it’s not great because of what it does, but because of where it takes you.

At Kahuna, we recently made the switch to using Infusionsoft to automate some of our marketing and sales and we’re loving it.

So I recently started diving into a little psychology about why we like Infusionsoft. Why did we choose it? Why are we happy with it?

And then as I kept asking those questions, I compared our choice with the choices other businesses make with accounting (since that’s what we sell).

And that’s when I realized nobody thinks about their accounting system the same way we thought about our marketing system.

With accounting, the focus is usually on the tool, while our focus in getting Infusionsoft was about the result. We didn’t say, “Oh, this Infusionsoft tool looks really nice, maybe we can buy it and completely change the way we do marketing.”

Working Backwards from the Result

No, what happened is we worked backwards. We put a lot of thought into what we wanted, and then we searched for tools that would allow us to get what we wanted.

This is how I would challenge businesses to think about their accounting. Start looking at it as a system, not a tool. What is the point of accounting anyway? Why do you even need a tool or assistance?

In a Perfect World, What Would You Want?

Like I said before, the goal wasn’t to get a tool, the goal was to get a result. So when we were shopping for CRM/SFA tools, we first had to ask ourselves, “In a perfect world, what would we want?”

As we thought through that question, a few things rose to the top of the list.
• We wanted to break all of our contacts into specific categories so we could only send the messages relevant to them
• We wanted to automatically send out messages providing additional value to those who downloaded our resources
• We wanted to automate as much of our current process as we could, so that we could focus our time and energy on relationships, creating and innovating

Essentially, we had a lot we wanted. We didn’t even know at the time if anything would be able to provide all we wanted, but that’s a better place to start.

A Perfect World in Accounting?

Think about accounting this way. Instead of starting with a tool and then working toward a result, think about what your accounting would look like in a perfect world. If you start with the perfect world scenario in your mind, you might be surprised that you can find something that fits with what you want.

For many, the accounting perfect world would look like this:
• To think about it as little as possible
• To have peace of mind knowing financials are accurate and correct
• To be able to see their picture at a glance to know their business is healthy
• To be able to have taxes done quickly and painlessly
• And again – to think about it as little as possible

Similar to our thought process in Infusionsoft, you want as much of your accounting done automatically as possible, so you can focus on the things that provide the most value.

Hint: It’s possible to have A LOT of your accounting done without even thinking about it…

Getting Help and Coaching

The last thing we learned with choosing Infusionsoft is that a tool doesn’t do the work for you. There is a learning curve and it requires a lot of work to get the most value out of the system.

After buying our monthly subscription to Infusionsoft, we were required to pay for four hours of consulting with an Infusionsoft expert. This helped us know everything we needed to within the system to make sure we got value out of it.

This time was invaluable, because there have been a lot of times in my life where I’ve bought a tool that’s probably really great, but I have no idea where to start with it or what to do with it.

Eventually, I get frustrated with the learning curve and I basically give up, wasting the money and the great tool.
Once again, this is what can happen with accounting and why we urge you not to focus on the tool. Even the greatest tool, like Xero, is not going to do your bookkeeping for you.

And if you get signed up with Xero there is going to be a learning curve and an adjustment period. That’s what Kahuna Accounting helps with in setting up and providing guidance and coaching.

It’s the same as when we bought Infusionsoft. You’re not an accountant and you don’t have time to learn how to be one.

We weren’t Infusionsoft gurus and the amount of studying it would have required to actually use the system would have been impossible. It was well worth the extra cost to get started right so we can actually use the system.

Most importantly, though, is that we knew what we wanted. We moved to Infusionsoft with a big picture in mind, not just thinking of a tool because we needed it.
I’d encourage you to think that way with any tool you’re looking at. Rather than focusing on what the tool can do, first ask yourself, “What do I really want? What am I trying to accomplish?”

Imagine what a perfect world would look like, and you might be surprised to find there is a solution out there that fits right in with what you’re looking for.

See How We Can Simplify Your Accounting System


  • Jeri Murphy says:

    Great article. First of all, congrats on becoming a Xero Gold Partner :). I am the first to say Xero changed my life and I have been using Infusionsoft to help run my business since December 2013 and haven’t looked back. Looking forward to hearing more about Kahuna and Xero in the future. Awesome to see another partner taking off in the US.

  • Micky Deming says:

    Thanks for the kind words Jeri…it means a lot!

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