Accounting Software: How to Choose the Best Option
Running a business is by no means an easy task. There are many things that you need to take care of and you don’t have the luxury of dropping the ball. You need to cater to your clients’ needs, to take care of your employees, to pay taxes and obey the law. It always seems like a lot, and on top of all that, there is something that carries even more importance – money.
Although your business can be influenced by a lot of different factors, the issue of finances is always at the top. No matter how much money you have it never seems to be enough and you usually have no idea where it went, both in your professional and your personal life. If you are running a start-up and you don’t have a lot of experience, the issue of cash flow can be one of your biggest obstacles.
This is why keeping track of your finances is of the utmost importance. In order to have all of your books in check, getting accounting software is a must. If you aren’t sure where to begin and what the important things to know are, we will help you with some useful advice.
Technical Aspect First
If you are transferring from traditional bookkeeping to software that will have all of that info in one place, there are a lot of features that you need to have in mind. But let’s start with the most obvious ones and with some software specifications that you need to have in mind.
In order to choose the best accounting software, you need to know your needs. Do you need software that can function offline and upload the data later? Do you require different languages or perhaps different roles inside your software? Does it have to be accessible from different platforms?
Consider for a bit who is going to be using it, and what needs they might have. This will give you a good foundation for choosing something that really helps your company. Another issue to consider is data security since you will most certainly be putting sensitive data in the software. It is better to invest more but to make sure that all of your sensitive information is secure.
Now the focus is on the user
When choosing your accounting software, you need to have in mind not only the technical aspect and availability but also the visual identity and interface. If it is something that your entire team will be using 40h a week, it needs to fit your needs and it needs to be simple to use. Chances are not everyone who will be using the software will be that skilled and knowledgeable on the subject. That shouldn’t stop them from using it, so keep that in mind when you are choosing the best option.
Always think long term and protect yourself.
Another issue that might present itself is scalability. Your business needs are at a certain level now, but they can very quickly grow and evolve. If you choose software that can’t support that growth, you might have to switch very quickly and that can be a pricy adventure. If you know the planned growth and expansion your business might go through, keep those predictions in mind when choosing the best accounting software.
In addition to all of this, another issue might be that after a while you aren’t happy with the software you chose. What happens then? Do you have to lose all your data? Thankfully no, if you choose one that has the option to export data. This means that, if you aren’t happy with the choice you made, you can still preserve the cash flow and move on to a better option.
Go deeper and look for useful features
Once you have decided on the bigger issues and options, it’s time to go deeper and be more specific. Depending on your business and your overall needs, you should look for software that has the features that you need and to make sure that you aren’t paying for something you have no use for. If you are using your software to work in accounting as a freelancer, you should look for a broader range of services, and even pay more to be able to properly work for all of your clients. If you are purchasing software for your business, your needs are smaller but more specific.
In order to choose the best option, ask your accountants to tell you which features they need and what would make their life easier. Give them a few options to test and decide together on the final choice. Their input will be invaluable, have that in mind.