Criteria for choosing the best accounting software for your business

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Blog / Accounting
It used to be that bookkeeping for a business was literally a paper-based process, which involved a ledger, lots of columns, and a pencil to record the basic financial data of a business. In the digital age, even the smallest businesses can benefit from the wide range of small business accounting software products on the market. Not only can accounting software help you reduce human error in your calculations, but it can help you gain insights about your business that you can't see in paper form, such as calculating sales forecasts for the next quarter, and identifying items that have excess inventory , and identify your least profitable services.
The following pages will detail the types of financial software that currently exist, what you need to know about your business before considering accounting software, and ultimately how to decide which business accounting software is best for your business.
Types of accounting software
The range of accounting software products for small and medium-sized businesses has been steadily growing. Right now, there are a few general categories to choose from: small business payroll and accounting suites, more full-service business management software, cloud accounting software, and free software. Below we'll look at each category and some of the popular products available for small to medium-sized businesses:
Employee Accounts Program
Small business salaries and accounting. There are many best-selling accounting software, widely available for purchase in-store or on the web, that meet most small business needs by providing the accounting tools and reporting you need to use your financial data. These products include Intuit's best-selling QuickBooks series, which is available in a variety of tiered versions and has add-ons, such as a cash flow calculator. Another popular product is Sage Software's easy-to-learn drag-and-drop Simply Accounting, which offers a multi-user license for up to 20 users. Sage also offers Peachtree Complete Accounting Software, which comes in tiered offerings that serve from 1 to 40 users and has units targeted at construction, distribution, and manufacturing businesses. Other popular options include Cougar Mountain Software and MYOB Accounting.
CRM software
Business management software. These are higher-priced and more-capable accounting software, which may also include other financial functions that you need to track in your business, such as point of sale, inventory control, customer relationship management (CRM), billing, purchasing, and even enterprise resource management (ERP). Some popular programs in this category include Everest's business management software, which consolidates all business processes into one program, and NetSuite - the latter boasting "everything you need in one powerful solution."
Cloud accounting software
A new generation of online financial management applications has emerged in the past few years, and this has been accompanied by the growing confidence that companies are evolving in the web as a secure work environment. Now that business people are already comfortable with the "Software in the cloud" model and the many benefits it offers, they are in increasing numbers starting to look beyond email or office productivity to more sophisticated and sensitive applications like financial data. Intuit, a heavyweight in the small business accounting space, has launched an online alternative called Quickbooks Online. Peachtree also debuted a premium version online. Some vendors offer online-only accounting packages, including Clarity Accounting, Less Accounting, NetBooks, and NetSuite, which has a more comprehensive online business management package.
Free accounting software
Small companies may be suspicious of free software with regard to dealing with the financial data of the business, for fear of piracy or leakage of the financial data that is entered into the program. But a free version of a trusted program like QuickBooks lets you create invoices, print checks, handle payroll, and manage up to 20 customer accounts. There are plenty of free bookkeeping tools on the market, but QuickBooks is the best choice for growing businesses, because it's easy to step up to the paid version, which allows users to track more than 10,000 clients.
How to choose the best accounting software for your business:-
Understanding Your Accounting Needs The first step you need to take in choosing the right accounting software for your business is to do a good needs analysis, which will address both administrative and financial needs. If you experience unexpected growth that forces a software upgrade, planning at this point will help avoid changing software too soon.
What you need to know about your business
The most important thing you need before deciding on accounting software is to have a background in financial matters.
There are many ways an entrepreneur or small business owner can become adept at understanding what data they need their business to keep (in order to make better business decisions) and what they need to report (such as calculating taxes). You can read books, or you can take lessons, and you can do research on the Internet.
Another consideration is the nature of the activity you engage in. There are some activities of a specialized nature. If your activity is a manufacturing business, you may need to understand inventory and handle parts and labor, and if you are a retailer, you may also need to understand your own inventory

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Category: Accounting

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