What Features Should You Look for in an Accounting Software?

Rahul Maingi

By Rahul Maingi, Mar 25, 2019

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User-friendly Accounting Software

Modern accounting software and cloud-based services have made the finance-related tasks smoother and more accurate. Different businesses have different accounting service necessities. There are several options like QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Sage, Xero and many others which you can opt for. But understanding your requirements and choosing the right software accordingly is essential to get the maximum utility from your subscription.

This post outlines the must-have features in accounting software that are essential to all businesses. Being aware of the features to look for will help you choose the right one easily.

Criteria for Selection

Before you check the different subscription, packages offered by a variety of bookkeeping software and bookkeeping services, the following are some criteria that you must consider while selecting the software for your business:

  • Consultation

It is important to consult with your accounting department before choosing the software to ensure they know about its functionality or else they will have to be trained. You will have to determine whether you have enough feasible time to spare for training. Consulting with them is essential to find out what they need for the work to be done and the product must be accordingly chosen.

  • Budget

Determine the maximum budget limit that you can afford. This will narrow down your choices drastically and make it easier to find the best package for your company.

  • Trial version

Most popular software like QuickBooks, Sage, Peachtree, Wave, etc. have demo or trial versions that you can try out before you make a purchase. Professional bookkeepers working for you can use these demo versions and give you feedback about which would be the right option to choose.

  • Negotiate

Ask questions about the various services and features of the software to the developers to learn more and determine which is the best choice for you. There are many videos related to the applications which you can check to learn about the different features. You can also request a demo from the developers for a better understanding of how it works.

Functions to Look For

To decide on the best accounting software for your company, it is essential to decide which functions and features you need. The following are some features that are essential for any business-related accounting.

  1. Basic functions

Every company needs certain basic features for proper accounting solutions and at reasonable pricing. They are:

·         Invoice generation and processing

·         Real-time tracking of expenses in every department

·         Inventory management

·         Option to view Accounts Payable

·         Option to view Accounts Receivable

·         Bank reconciliation and syncing with the bank transactions

·         Tax management

·         Customer and vendor lists

·         Option to view balance sheet, and profit and loss statements

 

 

 

  1. Multi-user access

When you have multiple people working with accounts of the company, a software that allows multiple-user access is a great choice. This means one can invite others to the system. The admin can determine the amount of access to various data and tasks the users will have based on their designation and authority.

  1. Mobile access

Accounting software that can also be accessed through a mobile app anywhere is extremely useful. Such an application allows one to keep track of the finance remotely even when they are on a vacation or working from home.

  1. Security

To determine the best product for your business, there are certain things that you must clarify with the software providers. Inquire about the data storage methods they use. Also, check whether the services are using HTTPS connection from the address bar. The HTTPS protocol is usually highlighted in green, and it can make sure the data transferred from your computer to the software company’s server is encrypted and cannot be hacked.

  1. User-friendly

If you are going to operate the accounting software independently, it should have a user-friendly interface. Even if you have professional accountants at your service, software that is easy to access and understand is important so that you can stay in the loop regarding all the financial transactions taking place within the company. Choose a product with a simple interface and only the essential features for the business so that you get the maximum utility while enjoying its smooth operation.

The following comparison between various popular software will give you a good idea about which is the right choice for your company.

  QuickBooks FreshBooks Xero Zoho Wave
Live support Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Mobile- access Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Inventory tracking Yes No Yes Yes No
Customer/vendor listing No Yes No Yes No
Tax management Yes No No No No
Payroll Yes Yes Yes No Yes

 

  1. Customer support

After you have subscribed or purchased the software, prompt and professional customer care will be necessary to handle any issues that arise while working on it. The choice of the software should be done after judging the customer service quality so that you can quickly manage any problems that arise. An easy way to get an idea about the customer service is sending them a mail or calling them regarding any relevant matter and see how promptly and satisfactorily they respond to it.

 

Keeping the features in mind, one must choose the accounting software accordingly. You can also seek help from professional bookkeepers to make the most of the product that you are opting for.

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