If you have a business, you need accounting software to record your income and expenses. Ideally, this is the first piece of business management software you should be purchase when you start the business, accounting software. However, most business owners, accountants who use accounting software get one only when they need to pay taxes or apply for loans.
So, how to choose the right accounting software for your business? That can get confusing as there are plenty of products available in the market today. I’m trying to make your job easy by listing down some important filtering criteria that you should consider before you invest in an accounting system.
Important factors of perfect accounting software.
1. Online or Offline
The first question to ask yourself is – Whether I want online software or desktop-based offline software?
How does it matter? Well, most businesses nowadays are adopting cloud-based software as they offer a lot of advantages over traditional offline software. However, any businesses like retail stores require speed and are not always connected to the internet. For them, offline allows POS (Point Of Sale) systems are the best stores bet.
Skip this point if you have opted to go for an offline accounting software you need for your business package. If you are only thinking forward and considering an online accounting application, then data security is the most popular important aspect to check.
Make a list of essential features that you need in accounting software. Here is some feature which must be part of a better accounting package.
4.User Interface & Complexity
Most of the business owners do not have any accounting software and bookkeeping system that builds their accounts in the background. If you have a dedicated accountant who would be using the application, while an owner yourself should be able to log in and browse the things. Also, it should be easy enough for your employees to learn the simple accounting software. Investment in training is a cost and should be can avoid.
If the software is stuffed with every possible feature you can imagine, it will convert difficult to use for your team. So, go for software that has a simple user interface and is not bloated with unnecessary features. A clean interface makes it easy to focus on important tasks and can reduce the learning curve.
A lot of businesses make a mistake by buying an application that suits their needs at the time of purchase. Later, when their business starts to grow, the accounting software has been changed fails to cope up with the progress, and eventually, business owners have to migrate to the software. Migrating data from an existing system to completely new software can be painful.
So, select accounting software that can scale with your business needs. Some software offers only one version of the product, and some have progressive versions depending on the business type or size. Go for the software that offers an entry-level version as well as a feature-rich version which you might not need now but will need in the future.
Imagine if the company you are buying from shuts down its operations or you discover a lot of bugs a few months after the purchase. To save yourself from such situations, ensure that the accounting software provides a data export facility.
You should be able to export ledger or other transactions at least in the form of excel as most other software will accept excel file for import.
Some accounting software providers might charge extra for you to use the support or upgrades. Sometimes, basics software is provided at a lower cost, and when you are exposed to buy ‘add-ons’ or pay for a maintenance fee. So, check if there are any hidden costs associated with the software buy enterprise resources are planning.
The best way to know this is to check the pricing page of the software provider’s the right website. If they are selling additional services, those will have to be mentioned there.
That is the most important but most ignored thing while selecting accounting software. No matter how good and easy the software is, you will need support at some point. And if you have nobody to talk to when you are stuck, your entire investment for a lot of management will go in vain.
Lack of support is also one of the reasons why some accounting software app can support multiple is cheap. Support costs do not include in the offering. You should avoid such products at any cost.