Whether you are a small start-up or a large established company, there are things to consider when choosing an accounting software. Who will be using it? How much functionality will you require? Here are some guidelines to help you start your search for the best-suited software.
Who will be using it?
Most software has limitations on how many users can access the software, either at any given time or altogether. It is important to know what your needs are and what your needs may grow to in the future. It could be costly to upgrade later on or find out you need different software entirely. For example, QuickBooks offers various levels with increasing number of users allowed (“number of people who can access QuickBooks Online” near the end of the list).
It is important to consider what roles within your company will need access to the software. If your sales manager or payroll clerk receive value from access, you should choose a software that has security access variability. You may not want certain individuals seeing confidential employee information or sensitive financial statements.
How much functionality will you require?
If you are a self-employed individual, you may only require simple functionality such as invoicing and bill payments. A mid-size company may require additional functionality to include budgeting and payroll. A large company may require layers of functionality when other software must integrate into the accounting software and serves as a sub-ledger.
Knowing which different software programs “talk” to each other and the ease with which they communicate is essential. Integration can entail complex processes and it’s important to understand how to locate and fix discrepancies. An example would be a payroll system – such as Paychex – that only sends over summary amounts to the accounting software to ensure confidentiality.
What else is unique about your company?
Each company and entrepreneur will have unique needs as it relates to their financial needs. Do not assume that because a company is similar to yours that you should jump right in to using the same accounting software. Not only should you identify your company’s need and wants in the software, but you should consider the cost-benefit of each one. Will that software that costs twice as much cut down on manual input? There is more that goes into a full cost-benefit analysis than the cost of the software itself.
Choosing an accounting software can be a daunting task, but having an experienced accountant assist with the process can help ensure a better fit. Contact me HERE if you’d like to get started on an accounting software evaluation, or comment below with your question.