The #1 Reason You’re Still Using That Old Accounting System

A new year signals new beginnings. A fresh start, a blank page. For some reason, there’s something invigorating about regularly going to the gym. That bucket list you didn’t have a chance to finish can now be revamped and expanded.

You are ready for a new year, new me – and possibly a tropical getaway in the near future. But, what about your real estate accounting software?

The start of the year is a great time to think about how you’re managing your system. You should put the right tools in place for the upcoming year. Though switching accounting software systems isn’t as simple as listing your New Year resolutions, it shouldn’t be as daunting as it seems.

Before you begin navigating the unknown territory of switching systems, you need to take the very first step: make a decision to move.

Status Quo Bias: Your #1 Obstacle

As simple as it might sound, deciding to switch to another vendor is actually the hardest step of your software migration. Rather than reaching out to find a more attractive option in the market, most companies reluctantly choose to stay with their current software vendors, even when they believe the effort is worth it.

This tendency to stick with what you know, even when it’s not desirable, is called status quo bias. One study showed that people prefer the status quo even when it’s “objectively worse.” In that study, the status quo was to receive an electric shock.

Participants were presented with 2 options:

1. Take no action and continue with a prescribed length of time to receive an electric shock

OR

2. Make a “proactive choice to press a button [to stop the shock sooner]”

Amazingly, most people did not choose second alternative; “only about 40% chose to push the button,” while the remaining 60% did nothing, thus choosing a longer shock time. Participants overwhelmingly chose the status quo even when that meant receiving longer electric shocks.

Interestingly, in the same study, people would choose to end the shock if told that pressing a button would stop the shock 10 seconds sooner. Status quo bias had less power because participants knew the precise result. Ten seconds is a specific amount of time. It was only instances where pressing the button caused a less-precise outcome – e.g., the button would decrease the length of the shock, but the participant didn’t know by how much – that the status quo ruled the day.

You’re never going to find a real-word situation where you need to press a button to stop an electric shock, but you do encounter status quo bias daily in areas that a hugely important in your business. Whenever you have to make a decision where the result has unknowns, you will have these initial feelings of doubt and uncertainty. This is normal and everyone goes through it.

Your accounting software is an example of a vital component in managing important day-to-day operations. When it isn’t fulfilling your needs, it’s too easy to let the status quo rule. Instead, make a firm decision to look into other alternatives, and then follow through with that decision.

Carpe Diem

At the beginning of a new year, brokers tend to think that it’s too late to start the search for new financial software. They think they’ve missed their window. After all, January 1st is the cutoff date for taking on new ventures and making new goals, right?

The short answer is no. January is not the only month out of the year. In fact, a January go-live date is not always a good fit for some brokerages. It’s never too late to break out of the status quo and seize the day – or the new year.

We’ll cover timing in an upcoming blog article, but if you’d like to get the inside scoop right now, check out our free white paper, Six Tips to Overcoming the Fear of Change.

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Download Six Tips to Overcoming the Fear of Change right now.

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