A one-off fee can last a long time. That's such a good idea. Upgrading ensures you can receive support when you need it. Our clients get support from us, but on occasion, we still need support from the developers to be able to help them.
Upgrades offer new features and fixes - but seldom enough to warrant an upgrade. Comparing desktop with cloud solutions, we can see that useful new features are continually being developed for both. For desktop solutions, these are generally introduced each year.
I suggest that the optimal time to upgrade is usually after three years. The makes the cost cheaper than monthly-fee systems and keeps you reasonably up to date. Of course, suppliers don't really appreciate you saving them receiving your money.
But the big factor often overlooked is the PBKAC updates needed to get the benefit of new features. For those who don't know, Problems Between Keyboard And Chair is you.
Most of us are caught up in our business and details changes to our accounting system can fail to show on our horizon. So how do we keep up to date?
This is one area where desktop software may have an advantage over cloud software. The update provides a chance to check through the details of the updates and see what is there. This is often overlooked - but a few minutes spent at the time can lead to new practices of real value.
Keeping on top of cloud systems can be trickier. As with package users, it's easy to ignore changes - they're usually more frequent, although mostly small. Part of the challenge is knowing what may be useful - especially later.
So whether you use a desktop or a cloud package, make sure that you check out what features have been added since you chose it.