The accounting software your business uses is an important choice. It records your transactions, estimates your income taxes, handles your purchasing and inventory, lets you know your bank account balance, and gives you the ability to pay your employees. In addition, accounting software allows you to send invoices and manage receivables, lets you see and analyze sales trends, and gives you the ability to generate balance sheets and income statements.
There are plenty of options out there when it comes to accounting software for your business, but here are a few questions to ask yourself:
● Will we be using this in 5 years? – If you’re currently looking for an accounting solution, you might have kept your financial information on a series of spreadsheets in the past. Now think about how often the spreadsheets went from a business solution, to a problem. It is easy to outgrow an accounting software, especially when your business is in its infant stages. Make sure the software you choose can grow with you and the cost of scaling services is manageable.
● Will it interface with other software your business uses? – Does your company already use a point of sale system, tax preparation software, or a CRM? The accounting software you choose should be able to interface with them, or better yet, the current software may have an accounting upgrade available.
● Will the software offer customized options for my industry? – Many software options, like Quickbooks for instance, are a one-size-fits-all solution. This isn’t a bad thing at all, but if your business is in a specialized market such as a restaurant or law firm, financial management software that is customized to the unique demands of your industry may be a better option.
● How many users will you need? – Most accounting software solutions allow for a few logged in users at a time and charge to open up additional user profiles. The default may work for now, but as your business expands, you should be sure you can afford the cost of adding users. Do you have the ability to give your customers and clients access to things like 1099’s and invoices?
● How easy is it to use? – You shouldn’t need to be one of the world’s greatest financial minds to be able to pull an accounts receivables report from your accounting software. Pay attention to the user interface and how it feels. Are you able to use the software on your mobile device?
● How secure is the software? – What security measures do you need to already have in place to keep your data (and your customer’s data) secure? How is information backed up? Is there an option to use the software with cloud-based computing?
● Does it leave an adequate audit trail? – Knowing the source of a transaction and being able to trace revenue is important in case your business is ever audited. On the other hand, the lack of an audit can look suspicious.
● What kind of customer service and user support do the software publishers provide? – Inevitably, there will be a feature that doesn’t work properly, or there is something you will need to unlock – meaning you either need to become an expert yourself, or call one and have them provide support.
● What is the total cost? – When you buy the base software package, are you buying everything your business needs, or will you need to pay for additional features? Some base programs may be free, but if you find you’re having to add too many mission-critical features, there may be a solution available that is, overall, cheaper and more complete. Also, is it a subscription-based package?
There are a lot of questions that need to be answered to find the accounting software solution that best fits your business. Customized accounting software will pay off greatly with tighter control of your finances and the ability to do more with your financial information. Sync Payments may help you answer these questions and assess your accounting software needs to get the best solution for your money. Call us today for a free consultation!