It can be overwhelming to choose the accounting software you need for your business, which is why we’ve come up with a comparison tool to help you do it. Without having a good accounting system in place, you face messing up your cash flow or upsetting your employees by not paying them on time.
Although you can run your simple accounts with your own Excel spreadsheet, when things start to grow or get a little complicated, it’s best to rely on accounting software to ensure no mistakes are made. Let’s take a closer look at the factors to consider when choosing accounting software below.
Ease of use
First, you need to consider how easy the software is to use. Will you be doing the accounts yourself, or will your bookkeeper be taking over? If the latter, chances are the system can be a bit more complicated as the bookkeeper should know what they’re doing.
But if you’ll be doing it yourself, you’ll want to make sure it’s easy to set up and manage on a day to day basis (we can also help with the set up).
Age of your business
If your business has been running for decades, with some of your accounts offline, you will need to decide how far back you plan on making everything into electronic records. If you plan to go back years, then it’d be handy to hire some help to enter in all of the data once you’ve chosen your accounting software (we can help with this too!). Make sure whoever you choose to help knows how to operate the software you plan on purchasing.
You may need to take into account the turnover of your business before you choose your software. For example, some accounting software can handle larger accounts and more data than others.
Size of business
You will also need to consider the size of your business. Will multiple people be logging into the accounting system at the same time to enter data? How many of your employees will need access at any one time? The answers to these questions will need to be considered carefully when choosing accounting software to ensure the option you purchase can handle all your requirements.
Look at the accounting software you’re considering and determine whether the system calculates payroll data for you, or whether you have to manually enter it yourself. Some of these features can be huge time-savers, so consider purchasing software that gives you these options.
For example, it would be handy to have a payroll system that works out annual leave, sick leave and PAYG automatically. STP reporting is also a must if you’re paying employees!
How important is it for you to have your data stored in the cloud? Will you need to have internet access in order to run your accounting software, or would you rather it ran offline? The benefit of running it online is that multiple people can access it from anywhere (such as from home), while the benefit of offline access is that you can log in even when your internet systems are down.
How many staff members will be required to access the accounting software you purchase? And will it be easy to train them on how to use the software? Many accounting systems come with their own training systems but it’s important to factor in how long this training might take and how easy the systems will be to grasp.
Inventory and purchase orders
Inquire about whether your accounting software shows information about your inventory, allowing you to track orders and jobs while managing other tasks.
Currency and multi-currency
Will your new accounting software be able to handle transactions in foreign currencies and through multiple bank accounts? This is something else you will need to consider if you trade with businesses based overseas.
It’s clear there is a lot to consider when choosing the right accounting software for your business, but we hope this article helps you to decide. Feel free to complete our complementary analysis tool to find out which accounting software is best for you.