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6 Tips for Selecting Accounting Software


Quality accounting software effectively manages your company’s finances, provides reports, and is reliable with excellent support.  For a growing business, manual data management may lead to wasted time and errors.

Outdated software may not function well, or may not operate on newer hardware or operating systems, or customer support might be lacking. Automating processes and investing in the right accounting software involves selecting the functions you need at an affordable price, with excellent service.

Functionality

Common functions include AP/AR, Payroll, General Ledger, Bank Reconciliation or other accounting or industry-specific modules such inventory management.  Once you have decided on the functions you need, it becomes easier to vet your accounting software.  If your business is growing, it may be wise not to limit yourself with entry level software.

  • Will your provider customize solutions to meet your unique specifications rather than a one-size-fits-all approach?
  • Will the software integrate with other business applications such as E-Commerce and CRM or connect to your bank so you can pay vendors electronically?

Scalable

A modular design can scale to meet your specific requirements because you can select only the functions you need.  Software that is not adaptable may be cumbersome or too costly for a small to medium sized company’s needs.

Professional level software can also provide advanced reporting for a better strategic view of your company. It can also offer a SQL based system that provides greater control over reporting – reports that take weeks can run in days.

  • What are the software’s reporting capabilities?
  • Are solutions offered for your particular business sector, such as retail, distribution or manufacturing?

Security and Access

Accounting software with professional-level audit trails and user-level access permissions can help reduce fraud, and payroll software with emailed check stub encryption can help prevent compromised data while reducing costs.

  • Will the system accommodate access for remote employees or staff at multiple locations?
  • Make sure to back-up your important data weekly, even daily, preferably on an external server

Ease of use

Your system should be easy to use – not stalling or slow, or with too many screens to click through.  If the software is scalable to adjust to your unique needs, then your system will probably not be too cumbersome. Smooth data migration, effective training, and high caliber customer service factor(s) into the overall ease of use.

  • Do reviews about your potential vendor say that training and support are helpful and effective?
  • What resources are provided for setup and implementation – live training, webinars, support manuals and videos?

Cost

Affordable does not mean “cheapest.”  Is the software comprehensive and reliable with great customer service?  Over time, high quality desktop software with a one-time licensing fee (and nominal charges for upgrades) may be more cost effective than monthly charges for a cloud solution.

  • What is the total cost, including installation and setup, training and upgrades?
  • Does your potential vendor provide a free trial?

Consulting and Support

A software provider with years of experience with companies that have the similar needs or challenges as yours can walk you through the process with fewer unexpected adjustments or changes. A vendor who provides consulting can partner with you from module selection to implementation.

  • Are the online reviews excellent for your potential vendor’s customer service?
  • Is customer service easy to reach, responsive, and able to handle issues in a timely manner?

This post was written by guest blogger Alix H. at TimeClick Software’s partner Passport Software. Learn more about Passport Software’s professional level business accounting software.  Passport Software’s payroll module has an optional interface with TimeClick.

Alix H.

Author:

Author Bio: Alix works for Passport Software, Inc. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Trinity University and an Integrated Marketing Communications Certificate from DePaul University. One of her favorite hobbies is binge watching stupid-fun comedies on Netflix - movies like Anchorman: The legend of Ron Burgundy and Rodney Dangerfield’s Back To School...hail to the Triple Lindy! Alix also plays a mean jazz flute.

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