Technology is designed to make life simpler, and oh how it can. But don’t you ever just want to throw your slowly functioning computer through the window?
If technology doesn’t meet its user’s needs, it often does more harm than good. This is especially true of business software. Full functionality is essential when a company’s valuable resources are at stake. When one of these resources is money (as is the case with accounting software) quality assurance is even more important.
Without the proper accounting software you risk inventory mishaps, deceiving figures and potentially major losses.
What makes for quality software? It depends on the needs of your business. Start-up accounting agencies will require different features than Fortune 500 companies.
The following questions can aid you in determining what functions you need your accounting software to fulfill.
• How do I wish to view my data? Although accountants deal in numbers, certain software includes graphics that can be helpful in analyzing and presenting information.
• Would I like the software to be web based? Most all major business transactions occur online. If your business is dealing in the world of the web, you’ll want to make sure your accounting software can send and receive digital documents.
• Do I need automatic updates? The rules governing financial practices today are not the same as those in place ten years ago. Make sure your software updates to reflect current tax regulations and industry practices.
• Do I desire the software to allow for customization? Software is built for a wide audience, so most programs provide basic templates of common forms and statements. But, as stated above, different businesses have different needs. You may wish to customize the given templates to reflect your personal services and records.
• What security features do I need? All software has different levels of security. You want to not only ensure the software itself is secure, but that its security features are compatible with those already in place within your company.
Much recent software is available for use on mobile devices. If your staff is using software on their smart phones you’ll want to make sure the application allows you to overwrite any accidental changes they may make.
• Do I expect my business to grow in the future? Rather than switch software providers when your business reaches a certain size, wouldn’t it be easier to just update your current program? Many accounting software providers offer add-on modules for those seeking to expand the capabilities of their program. This is especially important for start-up accounting agencies to consider.
Having answered these questions, you have a checklist for evaluating your current accounting software. If it boasts the features you desire, you’re good to go. If not, it may be time to start shopping.
For a list of further features to consider, check out this article from Compare Business Products.
No time to handle your accounting yourself? Consider outsourced accounting as an option and contact our start-up accounting and CFO services experts for assistance.