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Accounting, budgeting, and financial technology for businesses

The 5 Essentials of Reliable Accounting Software

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In this high tech day-and-age accounting software is an essential component of an efficient and successful business. Not only does it help to keep track of expenses, revenues, invoices, and other financial data, but it also provides a great tool to cut costs and time.

Hands of accountant with calculator and pen. Accounting backgrou

A reliable accounting software system will assist in financial decision-making and budget analysis, and is a fundamental tool your business needs today.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to grow your business, finding the right accounting software can be hard. At a time when long-term strategy is needed to support the changing business environment and real-time is vital for business workflow, you’ll want something that is fast, accurate, convenient and trustworthy.

So what should you look out for?

Let’s check out the top essentials.

1. Business Growth

One of the most important questions to ask when researching for the best accounting software is will it grow with your company? Most business owners are after a standard package in the beginning, but one that allows the freedom to upgrade and develop as your needs increase over time.

This decision will stand long after you’ve paid for the software and installed it, and should support the direction your business is heading in. As you spend more time increasing your customer base, you don’t want to be worrying about whether your new accounting software can keep up with the change or not.

A great accounting software system will integrate all your accounting, reporting, resourcing, purchasing and scheduled tasks into the one reliable package.

2. Technical Support

Technical support you can count on is very important – and not just for the installation process. Most accounting software systems will offer 30 days of free support but it’s worthwhile to look into further support packages, too.

One of the biggest timewasters and frustrations is having difficulty executing tasks so you want support that you can get a hold of during business hours. If your business is one where you’re working at different hours, look for a system that provides 24-hour support. Consider whether local support is best suited for your business or, if the software is international, can they be easily contacted for support.

3. User Restrictions and Security

The software you choose will hold a lot of valuable information that if put into the wrong hands, can be detrimental to your company. Thus, a system with adequate security and user restrictions is essential.

Consider how many people will need access to the accounting system in your company and if certain restrictions will need to apply to these staff members. This is ideal if you’re the business owner and you require more control over the system or are concerned about information being lost or misused.

The security on the accounting software should be kept up-to-date and understood. As the online world is filled with hackers and viruses and because most accounting software is online, it’s crucial the information in the system is secure – if not, it can be a very costly mistake for your business.

4. Not Just About Numbers

Most business owners aren’t just looking for software that looks after their accounting needs, but one that can help to manage all aspects of the business. Consider what is important to you and your company’s needs and how your chosen accounting software can bundle it all together.

For example, a paperless environment may be a necessity for you so finding accounting software that can manage your documents or has a built-in workflow process will give your business an organized structure.

5. Software Compatibility

There is no point in forking out money for accounting software that isn’t compatible with your current system. Make sure you check all the requirements before you make the purchase, because if it’s not compatible, the software will not run properly.

Whilst changing to new software can be beneficial and cost advantageous to your company, it’s ideal to check if it also means new hardware too. When you check the compatibility requirements you will also need to assess what hardware is required and if you need to buy something additional. Devise a backup strategy and find a way to best use your current resources before spending more money on new hardware too.

What else?

Have you noticed other key considerations for buying accounting software? Please include them below in the comments.

Looking for Accounting software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Accounting software solutions.

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About the Author

Michael Pendred

Michael Pendred is Managing Director of Horizon Business Systems, a leading provider of Accounting Software Solutions in Perth, WA. Find Michael on Google+.

Comments

Great post Micheal! I would like to include the importance of user-friendliness in accounting software. This is undoubtedly one among the essentials.

Nice post. Xero accounting, online accounting, cloud accounting are very user friendly and they keep data accordingly. Visit accountconsult.com.au

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