The ‘best of breed’ approach to tech – and why it matters

22nd Oct 2021
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Accountancy Manager
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When deciding on software for your practice, there are two routes you can take. You can try to use the minimum number of systems, rolling as many functions as you can into one suite. Or you can aim to use the best software for each function – known as the ‘best of breed’ or stack approach.

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When you’re building your team, you hire the best, most qualified people in their specialism. Accountants. Bookkeepers. Tax specialists. Marketing. You don’t just choose the ones that are asking for the least money, live the closest or are jacks-of-all-trades. The same idea applies to your software. 

Why put your practice in the hands of a ‘bolt-on’?

Your practice management software is the beating heart of your practice. It helps you control your workflow and deadlines, your onboarding process, your document storage, sharing and signing – the list goes on.

More and more, other software – like accounting systems and tax filing systems – are adding practice management as a bolt-on. This means practice management isn’t their top priority or area of specialism. 

These companies are making it easy to use the bolt-on without making the bolt-on great. And you’ve worked too hard on your business to have any part of it run by an ‘after-thought’. 

Suites are out. Stacks are in.

In the early days of technology, all-in-one suites were all the rage. Software companies would race to cover as many functions as possible. But that approach is fast-becoming outdated across all industries – not just in accountancy. The main reason? Technology is moving too fast for one system to be the best at everything. 

Now, forward-thinking businesses are shifting to a best-of-breed approach. Fierce competition drives these brands to maintain their ‘best’ label, while increasing collaboration means integrations between systems are easier and deeper than ever before. 

Take our recent integration with GoProposal for example. AM is ‘best of breed’ for practice management and onboarding and GoProposal, best of breed for proposals and pricing. You can pull or push client information from one system to another and control the services in either system too. (Xero, Sage, QuickBooks and FreeAgent are all best of breed, so we integrate with all of them. No favourites here...) 

Now, the benefits of a good technology stack (that’s different systems working seamlessly together) far outweigh the drawbacks.

A stack of best-of-breed software... 

Evolves faster 

When a software company focuses on tax filing or practice management, their developers are solely focused on evolving that function. They also face fierce competition from other best-in-breed software. This means development is faster and innovations more frequent.

Gives you greater flexibility 

The all-in-one suite approach means that your business is tied to a ‘one size fits all’ solution, offering less customisation. Best of breed also gives you the freedom to use... well, the best software for your business.

Gives you more control 

If you opt for all solutions from one supplier, there’s a risk that the supplier could increase the fees and you’ll be too invested to move. Keeping all your eggs in one basket also carries risks if there are any disruptions to the service. 

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