Using the traditional methods of accounting can consume a lot of time, which could be used in getting more things done. No matter how experienced a traditional accountant is, he or she can still make mistakes that software cannot make.
The need for accountancy software
Most people now understand that a ‘computer error’ is either a programming or an input error, and that people make errors, not computers. It’s somewhat amusing that a machine that can count only in ones and zeros cannot make computational errors. Perhaps we should follow their example.
For the same reason, established accountancy software not only saves you time and effort, but also eliminates calculation errors. Redundant data entry is avoided by means of fields and macros, where addresses, for example can be entered at the press of a single button.
Such software has developed in recent years to the extent that virtually no accountancy expertise is required to use it. Hence, if you run a small business, you may be able to avoid the cost of employing a dedicated accountant for anything but auditing and signing off your accounts. There are several things to consider when choosing accountancy software. Let us consider few important points.
Know the problem you want to solve with the software
First, you should list the accountancy features you require. If you only need to record your income and expenditure, and record profit and loss, then the package you require will be fairly basic and therefore of relatively low cost. There’s no point in buying a Ferrari just to do the shopping!
However, if you run a larger organization, where you wish to track the finances and expenses of individual departments or even individuals, then you will need a few more bells and whistles. You may opt for a more expensive industry-specific accountancy package if you are in an industry such as construction, real estate or finance. In short, the accountancy software you choose should meet your needs, and you are better purchasing the best that meets these needs than an average multifunctional package offering options you will never use.
What are the features of the software?
In practical terms, additional features would be included in the heading above. However you also have the choice of the physical form of your hardware to consider. Should the software be suitable for online or desktop use, and should it particularly be designed for portable devices. Can you use it on your laptop and on an iPad or other portable electronic device? Ask this question of yourself first, and if hardware versatility is important then ask the software provider before committing to purchase.
Availability of upgrades and updates
You must make sure that your software will not be obsolete when the next generation of computer comes along. Some software packages are more expensive than the hardware that runs them and it is important that you get free upgrades as hardware develops.
The software should also be able to be modified as your business grows. Rather than purchase new software, you should look for software that offers extensions or upgrades to your initial package to compensate for your developing business.