Accountants have deep insights into their company’s processes, so they should be as equally involved in the selection of new software for their organizations.

What drives companies to upgrade to today’s more powerful, feature-rich packages? And what new functionalities are these firms seeking?

Software Connect reviewed over 3,000 companies looking for accounting software. The aim of the ensuing report is to bridge the knowledge gap between accounting and IT.

Software Connect saw that more firms are finding that legacy accounting systems can’t keep up with their needs. Firms are looking for robust software with more features and better security.

Among the factors that are driving the interest in advanced features? Industry consolidation, the rise of telecommuting and government compliance.

As of 2017, 89% of U.S. workplaces allow employees to work from home on an ad hoc basis, according to a survey from nonprofit HR association WorldatWork. The need for remote access is a key factor driving firms to buy new software, since legacy accounting software often isn’t designed with telecommuting in mind—and reporting requirements don’t stop because an employee is physically out of the office.

Companies have many reasons to purchase new accounting software. These include increasing functionality (43%), replacing dated systems (29%) and improving usability (17%).

Key findings of the 2018 buyer trends report include:

New buyers are a big chunk of the market. Of the companies surveyed, 37% are buying accounting software for the first time.

Buyers want functions beyond core accounting. Over 20% need software that handles payroll, inventory, and invoicing.

Large companies are cloud-averse. They’re 41% less likely than small companies to prefer cloud-hosted software.

Large companies want business intelligence. Businesses with 50+ employees are more than 70% more likely to need software that handles budgeting/business intelligence (BI) and fixed assets.

More than one-third of upgraders are QuickBooks users. Around 35% of upgraders are coming from QuickBooks, while 11% come from Sage 50.