PICKING ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE
Any business requires an accounting software to record the incomes and expenses.The accounting software helps in maintaining a good cash position in the company. The reports generated by the accounting software help the Management in taking important decisions with regards to the business.
In this blog we will try to analyze how to choose the appropriate accounting software for your business,
1.Online or Offline.
The initial step is to ascertain if you need an online or offline accounting software. Nowadays online accounting software is preferred to an offline software. The advantages being No installation charges as there is nothing to install in an online software. No worries regarding upgrades as it is automatically done. Online software can be accessed from anywhere. It just needs a device connected to the internet.All the branches can be synchronized. Offline software is best suited for a retail store where hundreds of invoices need to be generated across the counter.
The important question to ask is how the data is stored in the case of an online software. If your accounting software provider is hosting the application on their own servers, ask them about the security measures they are taking to safeguard your data. HTTPS protocol ensures that the data transferred from your computer to software company’s servers is encrypted and can not be viewed by hackers.
The next step is to check the features instilled in the software and if it is in line with your business. The following are the basic requirements that is required in an accounting software by all business
- Create invoices and customise the look and feel
- Track expenses according to categories
- Manage inventory, inward-outward stock movements and wastage
- Perform bank reconciliation by importing bank transactions
- Create purchase orders (PO) and record inventory purchases
- Create and manage taxes
- Record Journal Voucher entries
- Manage list of customers & vendors
- View account payables & receivables
- View Balance Sheet, Profit & Loss statement and Trial Balance reports
4.User Interface & Complexity
Most of the business owners do not have any accounting background. Event if you have a dedicated accountant who would be using the application, as an owner you should be able to login and browse the things. Also, it should be easy enough for your employees to learn the software. Investment in training is a cost and should be avoided.
If the software is stuffed with every possible feature you can imagine, it will become difficult to use for your team. So, go for a software which has a simple user interface and is not bloated with unnecessary features.
Lot of businesses make a mistake by buying an application which suits to their needs at the time of purchase. Later, when their business starts to grow, the accounting software fail to cope up with the progress and eventually business owners have to migrate to another software. Migrating data from an existing system to a completely new software can be painful.So, select an accounting software which can scale with your business needs.
Imagine if the company you are buying from shuts down its operations or you discover lot of bugs few months after the purchase. To save yourself from such situations, ensure that the accounting software provides data export facility.
7. Hidden Costs
Some software providers might charge for the support or upgrades. Sometimes, a basic software is provided at a lower cost and then you are forced to buy ‘add-ons’ or pay for ‘maintenance fee’. So, check if there are any hidden costs associated with the software you are planning to buy.
8. Post-sale Support
This is the most important but most ignored thing while selecting an accounting software. No matter how good or 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 will go in vain.
Lack of support is also one of the reasons why some accounting softwares are cheap. Obviously, support cost is not included in the offering. You should avoid such products at any cost.
From the company’s point of view, the points to be looked into are
1.Talk to the employees who would be using the software. Gain all their requirements.
2.Identify your budget
3.Google is your best friend to research.
4.Schedule a demo
5.Take a trial
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You can use Reach instead of using multiple software for different functions or trying to create a customized software.
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