How often do you have this experience when evaluating enterprise software? The vendor gives a demonstration of an amazing solution, walking you through complex tools that do exactly what you need. You say, “This is perfect! Can you give me a price?”
First, they give you pricing for the bare bones model. Then, you find out that what they showed you involves a lot of add-ons to the platform. None of it is standard and every extra thing – from fields that you need, to reports – is going to cost you.
That’s a common frustration to come across when evaluating software vendors. Systems that lack configurability are expensive, time-consuming to implement, and cumbersome to update when you need a small change.
Wouldn’t you rather get everything you need right out of the box? When it comes to lease accounting and management software, you can, if you know what to look for. In this article, we’ve laid out desired configurable enterprise lease accounting software you need.
What you see should be what you get
Software customers shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get a system to work how they need. A good lease accounting system should make your life easier – and be configurable to meet your needs.
When looking at different lease software providers, they all claim to be customizable. However, when you dig deeper, you’ll find out their system contains only surface-level customizations at best.
At Visual Lease, our solution is designed to be flexible and scalable for all customers. Every customer coming to us from any industry can have a system that meets their unique needs without paying extra to get it.
If you want a truly flexible system that works how you need it to, and will serve your business for many years to come, here are the specific features to look for:
1. Look for a truly configurable database
Every organization has different lease information that they need to track. Manufacturing companies with leased warehouses will need to track the number and height of bay doors. Retail franchise groups need to track the brand associated with each retail location. They may also have leased vehicles that need to be associated with a location and a manager. Hospital groups may want to track the originating parent company for each facility.
These are just a few examples, but I’m sure your organization has similar necessities that are not part of the typical lease data tracked by “canned” lease software. When you think through everything you’re currently tracking (or would like to track all in one place), you’re going to need more than just a few uniquely tailored fields specifically to your business.
What you need is a software product that has been designed from the database level to be completely configurable. With that capability, there’s no need to give up what you are looking to track and try to force your business into a one-size-fits-all model.
With Visual Lease, you not only get a flexible system, but you get one that is entirely configurable for no additional cost. Our implementation team helps you through the initial setup, but also teaches you how to tweak the system yourself when the inevitable changes happen in your business, so you can always have the data you need at your fingertips.
2. The importance of ad-hoc reporting
With any lease software, you’ll get what looks like an impressive collection of standard reports. But as you begin to use them, you’ll realize you need to make changes. You’ll want the reports to reflect your own terminology, your organizational structure, and your leasing policies and practices – not to mention the look and feel of your brand.
The last thing you want is to have to go back to the vendor (or a consultant) and spend a lot of money on report customizations. Oftentimes, software companies will provide you custom reports – for a cost. Why would you want to pay for exporting your own data in a way that makes sense to your business?
Instead, look for lease software with an ad-hoc reporting tool that makes it quick and easy to create your own data visualizations and reports.
With Visual Lease, you can query ANY lease information that you’re tracking in the system and group, subgroup, and filter the data any way you choose. Even better, you can do it with a tool you already know: Excel. You can save reports, add to a dashboard, or export and format with templates to create a branded look.
3. Flexible user access & security
For comprehensive lease software that manages the entire lifecycle of your leases (including administration and accounting), you’ll likely need to provide different levels of access and control for people with different responsibilities.Some examples of user roles and access include:
- Multiple levels of administrative access, rather than a single administrator
- A separation of roles and associated access rights within the various parts of the lease system
- The ability to create groups based on roles with pre-assigned permissions
- The ability to control certain rights at an individual level
You’ll also want to control login credentials and create passwords that match your corporate password policy. You might want the extra security of using multi-factor authentication, or you might want to tie into your organization’s existing Single Sign On (SSO) to authenticate users.
4. Adaptable implementation services
When you work with a vendor to implement software, how does the process begin? In most cases, you’ll hear about cloned steps they take with every customer.
When you’re getting a more customizable product, the process will start with a conversation about your goals and how you want to use the system.
For example, the implementation team should ask about the systems you’re using now. Obviously that conversation will include your AP/GL, but should go beyond that to discuss other systems that you need to integrate with, or tools that you’re replacing. What’s working well that you would like to replicate in your new comprehensive lease management system?
The team should work with you to create what we like to call your “blue sky vision” of your ideal solution.
Accounting strings are a great example of an essential customization that your implementation team should set up for you. Every large organization has a unique coding system for invoices that allow the financial team to identify who owns that invoice, who is responsible for paying it, and where it belongs in the budget. That code should follow every lease-related expense and journal entry.
Your implementation team can work with you to concatenate information from various lease data fields (often including custom fields) to create custom accounting strings that match your coding system.
5. An all-inclusive price
Let’s be realistic: even the easiest to use lease software requires implementation services to help you get your data into the system. You’ll need training for administrators. And you’ll need ongoing support when questions come up.
Many (if not most) solution providers nickel and dime you for every service they provide on top of the product itself.
Here at Visual Lease, we feel that “software as a service” means you should get the services you need included with the software. That means implementation services, training, and help desk support are all included in the price you pay for our product.
People are always surprised when they ask about extra charges and we say, no, this is all included as part of the system.
Want to see for yourself? You can be confident that what you see will be what you get, all at a reasonable and predictable price. Schedule a demo now!