UK Business Software Vs Globally Sourced – What Are the Risks of Buying Non UK Business Software?

There are many owners of small businesses that buy software from abroad each year. The growth of the internet has meant that software packages are becoming widely viewed by a global audience. There are some great advantages to why you would consider buying some business software from abroad. But unfortunately there are also some very high risks to buying software from abroad. We are not here to say buying software from abroad is bad – far from it. We just feel that people should go into the buying decision knowing all of the risks involved. This article aims to explore the considerations and information required to provide you with the information to make the right decision for your business.

Main considerations when UK business software vs. globally sourced technology

1) Regulatory

First and foremost the product you buy must comply with the laws of the land. When you consider buying accounting or CRM software it is imperative that the chosen supplier understands the UK market. This is clearly pertinent within the accounting software industry. It is crucial that any accounting software that is purchased keeps up to date with UK laws in order to keep the administration of annual returns to a minimum. If you choose to buy a package sourced outside the UK the software may be designed to satisfy the returns and administration of a foreign jurisdiction. Business software made in the UK will mostly be tailor made to ensure that all returns and related administration is related to the standards set by the UK government. Having software that is aligned to UK law prevents you from having to spend unnecessary time amending annual returns allowing more time to be spent on driving value for your business.

2) Financial

There are financial advantages and disadvantages to be considered when buying software from non UK sources. It is possible to get very good value exchange rate opportunities when buying non UK software if buying software for an upfront fee. However, it is important to consider when buying software on a monthly tariff that exchange rates fluctuate and what starts off as a very cost effective solution can become very expensive if the exchange rates take a turn for the worse. Buying a software solution from the UK removes the risk of the risk of having fluctuations in international exchange rates.

3) Cultural

Cultural differences that are generated from time zones and geographical differences have an impact on your ability to get the best out of your chosen software. Whatever software you buy will require some support at some stage. Whether you have a technical problem or simply want some advice on how to get the best out of your software it’s very important that you are able to easily contact your supplier. This is where UK business software can offer more flexibility than business software sourced outside the UK. Trying to phone the US can be both inconvenient and costly whilst non English speaking countries can offer their own obvious challenges. In order get the best out of your software it is critical to have the opportunity to contact your supplier and receive quality support.

If it was me, i would always feel safer buying UK based software for my business. It means a lot to me to be able to contact my supplier whenever I need them and be able to speak about UK specific content that they understand. I also feel that it would be a huge risk keeping up with UK laws – changes happen every year and I want to be safe in the knowledge that my returns will be up to date and inclusive of any changes to UK legislation.

That said, I do realise that there are great value deal to be had from purchasing globally sourced software and choice is certainly wider. Ultimately it is you call to weigh up the pros and cons and do whatever is right for your business.