How to evaluate accounting software

One of the questions we are most often asked by people looking for help with their accounting software is “How can I evaluate this product?” Qualitative factors such as its ease of use, how intuitive it is, whether or not it can do what you need done (or maybe even more), its technical support responsiveness, and the company’s overall reputation for customer service and product quality all have a significant impact on how well your firm will be able to utilize an accounting program.

Choosing accounting software is no easy feat. There are numerous platforms on the market and for smaller businesses, it can be hard to objectively evaluate their functionality and determine which one will work best for your business. This article will provide you with a framework for evaluating account software so that you can make an informed decision.

How to evaluate accounting software

When evaluating accounting software, it’s important to consider your company’s needs and how they will be met by the software. Consider these questions:

What is your business model?

How many users do you have?

Do you need a mobile app?

Do you need access to your data while you are away from the office?

One of the first steps to evaluating accounting software is to determine the needs of your business. You should start by figuring out what you need to keep track of, and then figure out how much time you want to spend on accounting tasks. If you have a small business, you may only need to track invoices, payments, and inventory. On the other hand, if you have a large international company with multiple locations, you may need more advanced features like payroll management or invoicing tools.

You should also consider which programming language(s) will be most useful for your business. If your company uses multiple languages for internal communication (such as English and Spanish), it would make sense to find an accounting solution that supports multiple languages.

Once you’ve figured out what features are most important for your business, it’s time to evaluate how well each product matches up against those requirements. You’ll want to look at things like:

  • Ease of use – can it be set up quickly? Do all of its features work correctly?
  • Security – how secure is the data kept by this system? How many layers of protection does it have? How easy is it for hackers or other unauthorized users

This blog series focuses on finding the right kind of software to fit your needs, but how do you know when it’s time to upgrade? Here are 7 questions you’ll want to ask:

  1. Can you access the data you need easily? Is it all in one place, or scattered in different systems or files?
  2. Are reports easy to generate? Are there pre-installed report templates you can use?
  3. Is it accessible by the users who need it? Do all employees who need access to the system have it?
  4. Is it flexible? Does your current system have the flexibility and scalability to meet your growing needs? Are you nearing capacity?
  5. Is it reliable? Is your system frequently down?
  6. Is it affordable? Maintenance costs are constantly increasing; is your current system unsupported, on discontinued equipment or do you need to upgrade your server?
  7. Does it complete all necessary tasks? If your solution isn’t keeping abreast of current industry trends and technological advances, you’re missing out on important functionality that could help you grow your business.

Figuring out your needs takes time; you won’t discover what you need overnight, but if you do your homework, you’ll be much better off for the long-term health of your business.

Fourlane specializes in QuickBooks accounting software consulting and implementation. If you need help deciding which accounting software is best for your business, please contact us today for a consultation.

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