What is the Opportunity Cost of Your Software Choices?

Posted by Jocelynne Haslett on 8/4/17 12:14 PM
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Would you like to spend less time using your back office software and more time focusing on money-making activities? Is your profitability dependent on your ability to use a certain type of software?

Have you ever calculated the opportunity cost of your current software investment?

level.jpgAn opportunity cost analysis can help you decide how to best capitalize your operations. Everyone has the same number of hours in the day and we all make choices about how we spend them. When you make a decision, you are saying I value this, more than another choice. The opportunity cost is what you chose to give up. An opportunity cost analysis can therefore help you decide how to make decisions that are consistent with your values.

Opportunity Cost =
what you are sacrificing / what you are gaining

Let’s use a spreadsheet program, like Excel, as an example and apply the formula….



Low cost software licence

Data accuracy

Familiar & common

Precious time

Extensive online support

Data security


Historical data & insight







While a spreadsheet program may be a familiarcommonly used and relatively inexpensive upfront investment, an opportunity cost analysis may reveal that it is actually costing your business BIG time.  Consider the following...

  • Data Accuracy. A Harvard Economics Study found that 88% of spreadsheets contain some type of error. Simply misplacing a decimal point can result in significant accounting errors.  Excel’s primary functionality is NOT accounting. Spreadsheets are a medium to contain your data but don't allow for in-depth data analysis. Trying to identify and fix these errors can be a resource hog.
  • Time. The inability for Excel to integrate with other systems can result in time-consuming double entry and result in errors. Processing financial statements in Excel can take up valuable time. With online software, you can collect your data and generate a financial analysis report, a sales report, or a commisssion statement, in just a few clicks - a far more efficient process. While it’s fairly simple to create spreadsheets in Excel, making it a functioning accounting program requires skills that most users don't have, and recruiting talent that has that skillset can be expensive.
  • Security. With all of your business information stored on staff computers, you could be highly vulnerable to security breaches. In the event of a hard disk crash, computer virus, or deliberate tampering, your data is at risk. If you’re using a spreadsheet program and storing your data locally, any of these events could potentially have a devastating impact on your business.
  • Historical Data & Insight. Spreadsheets don’t allow you to maintain a reliable audit trail. They aren’t designed to store historical data, so often, in an attempt to keep the size of files manageable, they are updated and companies lose important historical information. This makes critical trend analysis a challenge. Further, data and formulas can be changed or accidentally deleted, without any trace of the original entry. 
  • Contingency. If you have one person dedicated to managing these files, as is the case with many SMBs, and this person leaves your organization, the intel and knowledge goes with him/her. This leaves you at a disadvantage when hiring a replacement and trying to mitigate business disruption.  As your business grows, the need for a more robust, comprehensive and integrated solution grows with it. Invest in a solution now that can scale with your business to mitigate the need to transition later.
  • Share-ability. Do you have filenames like this in your business: Year1-11Financials_AB_gh_final_9.31.17_final2_FINAL_jh.xls  When collaborating with colleagues, numerous revisions often result in a mess like this. The inability to make live updates to spreadsheets requires the documents to be passed around with each person making a change or addition. It is certainly not an efficient or effecitve process to say the least.

In summary,  it is clear that the sacrifices are greater than the gains in this example. Spreadsheet programs may not in fact be a time or money-saver as often believed, but rather, they may be costing your business lost opportunities. 

Who runs your office - you or your software?

Some software solutions actually DEFINE your business by the user’s abilities or your need to hire a guru. There can be significant business costs or compromises when selecting the wrong software for your business.

For example, consider a CRM system that demands a lot of work to manage and decreases the time salespeople can spend with customers. The opportunity cost of using the CRM comes from sales missed because the salespeople can't spend as much time with their customers. The same thing is true with your choice of back office management solution. Time is money. How do you or your admin team want to spend time?

We’d like to introduce you to an alternative that allows you to focus more time on money-making activities... iBROKER! iBroker is a powerful back office management application for North American real estate brokerages. Some of the key benefits include:

iBroker Key Features

  • Manage listing inventory
  • Process transactions faster
  • Flexible commission plans
  • Automate agent billing
  • Record payments and deposits
  • Generate the reports you need
  • Integrates with QuickBooks Online, SkySlope, and others

The iBroker Advantage

  • Simple navigation
  • Easy to use
  • Modern user experience
  • Speed
  • No installation required
  • Minimal training required
  • Mobile design – for any device

With iBroker, your time is spent growing your business, not managing your software.  Learn more: Request a Live Demo or Contact Us.


Topics: Office Management, Real Estate Software