Like a Glove: Choosing Accounting Software That Fits Your Business

Selecting the right software for tax or project accounting for your business can be confusing. The size of your business and number of accounts payable and receivable will be factors. How many employees, whether your payroll is large or small, should also be a consideration. When looking at the overall scope, choosing the right accounting package can be a daunting task. Following are some keys to helping you decide what’s right for you.

The most important consideration is to know what your business requires. Decide what features are necessary in the software you choose. This will be important for your business as it currently exists and also for the future as your business grows. Modern accounting packages have many bells and whistles such as online synchronization with your business checking account, report generation, spreadsheet functionality and the basic accounts payable and receivable are just a few options available.

Be honest about your skill level and look closely at whether or not the software is easy to use. Many entrepreneurs think to themselves, “Hey, I started this business and built it to this point, so I’ll get the best, most complicated product I can find because if I don’t understand it right away, I can figure it out.” That’s an enticing trap to fall into. Yes, you have been successful at what you’re doing, but that’s the important thing to remember. It’s what you know. Accounting procedures and tax laws are incredibly complicated and while most software simplifies the processes involved, it’s important that you understand what the software can and cannot do.

Find out whether the software you’re choosing is compatible with your accountant’s software. If you’ve spent the year inputting the relevant financial data, done the spreadsheets and pushed the information through the accounts only to find at the end of the year that your accountant can’t read any of it you’ll be pulling your hair out trying to figure out what to do.

Once you’ve decided on a few different packages, investigate the companies that make them. Ask questions like: How long have they been in business? What type of technical support do they offer? Are they a U.S. based company or are they overseas? If any of the answers to these questions raise a red flag, investigate further and think about whether or not you want to invest in the software they offer.

Selecting the right software to keep track of your ledgers doesn’t have to be overly complicated. You know your business better than anyone else. However, it’s nice to have a bit of guidance. Taking the time to ensure that the software package you choose is right for you is the first step to maintaining a successful and growing business.