Bookkeeping on paper is almost a thing of the past now. Being in the domain of accounting software, bookkeepers have almost consigned from the scope of human error to history.
Accounting software has been on the market for at least fifty years and it is an ever-growing, ever-evolving market. One size fits all does not apply to the software of any kind and particularly not to accounting software. The market is flooded with products, so you must research and explore the products before settling on anyone. You must keep in mind that new products are launched continuously and upgraded, better versions are available almost every day. It would be “penny wise pound foolish” to buy expensive software and then junk it in the next four-five years. Calculate the cost and spread the costing over the next seven to ten years.
The first thing to keep in mind if you are choosing the software you intend to operate yourself is whether you are “financially educated,” that is, do you understand finance well? Do take stock of your experiences in accounting and skills in operating accounting software. This will ensure you are not handed something you are not able to cope with.
The second more important thing is how tech-savvy are you?
The third aspect to take into consideration is, what is your budget for investing in software.
The fourth angle is the turnover of your business. It is obvious that the accounting needs of a firm with a $10,000,000 turnover will be different from those of an enterprise with a $10,000 turnover.
This is a question that is frequently asked. And the answer is- Yeah! certainly, the kind of accounting software you choose does make a difference to the financial health of the firm.
It supplies information proactively. This helps you to make informed choices and decisions. Data is readily available, compliant and up-to-date. You must not buy overpriced or underpriced software as you will be able to find a number of software specific to your needs, available in the market. They are made to suit different kinds of medium and small industries. Study your business carefully and then survey the market to find software that is best suited to your needs.
Accounting software is now available in combination with ERP, (enterprise resource planning) reporting, analytics, and vertical market space. There is specialized software available for different kinds of businesses. The manufacturing industry uses software that is different from the software used by retailers or restaurants. Commercial enterprises and the service industry have their own niche software. Certified public accountants have a software that has been designed for them particularly.
Some software is available free for you to download. This is for general use and it has a vast number of users. Some software can be bought cheaply as it is not customized. Software meant for a particular application may be available in many variants in the market place and since it is not customized, it is not expensive. If you want customized software, you have to pay a higher price.
Some software can be bought on a monthly license. This does not need you to dig deep into your pocket. SaaS or software as a service is an option that is also reasonably priced and does not need a huge initial investment. Hosting services also provide reasonably priced software. Some companies provide services of all kinds beginning from SAP, Oracle, Workday to QuickBooks, Sage 50, Wave, possibly FreshBooks. These companies can also guide you to the software which is best suited to your needs.
Say a new and enthusiastic entrepreneur started with a more than comfortable capital. She had a general idea that “newer is better” and “more expensive is more efficient.” So, the software she started out with was way more than her needs. She had problems with it every working day and spent her weekends worrying about the poor output she got. The worse thing that happened was within six months a new and upgraded version became available in the market and left her feeling cheated.
When buying or licensing software, it is good to keep in mind that it is not for a lifetime. Kinds of software are multiplying and the scope is growing at an unthought speed. So, it is possible that within a short time your software demands to be upgraded with the newer version launched and evolved into something more attractive and useful. Then the best option is to move on for optimal value.
Most firms cannot afford to buy or license more than one or two software packages therefore it is a smart move to see what add-ons you can get while buying software. The add-on features allow you more functions such as accepting online payments. It is possible to integrate eCommerce software with accounting software. It is also possible to add taxation software with accounting software. This is value for money
Cloud-based applications are popular because they enable you to access your data from anywhere and do not tie you down to your office. There is no need to buy a license or a server if you use cloud-based applications. Your staff does not need to upgrade the software as upgrades are carried on at the server end. All data is safe in the data center and will not come to any harm in case of a natural calamity or damage to your office premises or your equipment. The data center may be hundreds of miles away. Another advantage is, you do not necessarily have to use a laptop or desktop to access your data. You can use any smart mobile device if the internet connection is strong.
The variety and variants are too many to study, the range and modules of pricing are mind-boggling. Some software is well-known whereas others equally efficient are not so popular. Making the correct choice after thoroughly studying the market and your own need, is imperative.