If you are running a business, then the need to have a good manager accounting software is a must. How else would you track all of the expenses and the income streams; all of them have to be recorded, booked and analysed to ensure proper allocation of funds and also to ensure thrifty spending. Ideally, the first piece of software that you need is a web based accounting software for small business. Most business owners only put it on the priority list when they are applying for loans or paying taxes.
With so many choices, how do you go about selecting the right accounting software for your business? We will be penning down a few of the important criterium that you need to focus on when you are investing in an accounting system.
Factors For Selecting The Perfect Accounting Software
- Offline Or Cloud-Based?
Many businesses are adopting cloud based accounting software. But to be honest, the need for a cloud based or an offline mode depends entirely on the business. For example, offline systems are best for retail businesses that require speed.
Some Of The Advantages Of Cloud Computing Includes:
- Just signup and begin. No lengthy installations or procedures.
- Online software are always up-to-date.
- Can be accessed anytime and anywhere on devices that have been granted permission.
- Data across all of the offices are in sync- you will know the sales figures at your outlet in real-time.
- Data is secure and money is saved on maintenance.
If your’s is a volume based business model for which speed is of prime importance, and you will need a few hundred invoices- then an offline mode is better. If the business location has slow internet speeds, then going offline would make much more sense.
- Data Security
Data is power. If you have taken an offline mode, then security will be higher as the data will be stored locally. If you are going for a cloud based accounting platform, then there are some important aspects to consider. Ask the cloud hosting service provider the security measures that are in place to safeguard your data.
Here are a few of the essential features that are necessary in accounting software:
- The invoices must have the option to customise as per your taste
- Track expenses and fund allocation as per clearly defined categories
- Create and manage your taxes
- Manage information on vendors and clients/customers
- View the balance sheet, the profit and loss statement as well as the trail balance reports
- Manage inventory, the movement of stock and the wastage
- Create purchase orders and inventory purchases must be recorded and stored
Here are some add-on bonus features that will make your accounting hassle-free:
- Allow for multi-currency transactions
- One should be able to manage payroll of employees and manage their bonuses and compensations
- Segregate transaction based on campaigns/projects
- The User Interface: How Easy Is It To Use?
Not every business owner is someone who has a finance account and is secretly a chartered accountant. It should be easy enough for anyone to be able to login, browse and understand a majority of the application. Also, it should be easy enough for employees and trainees to be able to learn the application easily- you should have a separate fund for training them just to manage the company’s accounts.
The software must not be stuffed with so many features, so as for it to feel cluttered for the user. Go for a software that has a simple interface. A clean interface ensures that important tasks are done easily and the learning curve is smooth.
- You Should Be Able To Scale It
Businesses scale and grow over time. The accounting software should be able to grow and make space for growth-when the application fails to cope up with the progress, business owners need to migrate to another software which in itself is a frustrating experience.
Better still, select accounting software that offers you the scalability depending on your business’s future needs. Go for a variant that allows for an ‘entry-level’ version, which then has a feature-rich version succeeding it for when you may need it in the future.
- Hidden Costs And Post-Sales Support
Your business is a customer of theirs- make sure that the accounting software that you are selecting has good post-sales support for when you stumble across an issue or a bug that requires immediate interference from their end. Their response time and the quality of response is key to helping your business get through accounting roadblocks.
Finally, check if there are any hidden costs for add-ons that you are to pay when you have already bought the basic software packages. Take a good look through the pricing page of the software provider. If there are additional service charges, then they must be mentioned to you beforehand.