Points to Keep in Mind When You Compare Accounting Software

Purchasing accounting software represents a major commitment and investment. The first thing to be considered in purchasing accounting software is to determine your budget – how much money are you able to spend on an accounting software package. This will limit your choices, since in general the accounting software with the most capabilities will carry a higher price tag.

Since this is such a very important business decision, you should be sure of the facts and compare accounting software before you make your purchase. You certainly don’t want to buy accounting software and then discover, a few months later, that the software is unable to handle your business as it grows. Nor do you want to be fooled into purchasing cheap software and then discovering that you need to make upgrades to get it to the level of effectiveness your business requires. And of course you wouldn’t want to buy software which comes with little or no support backup.

In researching some of the options available we went to a website which has accounting software comparison of various popular accounting software packages for small businesses, and we learned the following. The most inexpensive software sold for $90, and the most expensive cost $1500. However the three most popular systems were by no means the most expensive, selling for $250 to $300. Most software packages offer the most important accounting capabilities; however it was interesting to see that the most expensive software package did not contain some of the capabilities offered in less expensive software. You might be surprised, however, to learn that there is some excellent, inexpensive accounting software out there designed expressly for small businesses. For example, Access accounting software is both inexpensive yet has a rather complete set of modules including financials, manufacturing and job costing, customer relationship management, POS, ERP, Stock, Business Intelligence, CIS, and payroll capabilities.

Another question to ask is whether the software is user friendly. In order to curtail the downtime involved in training your staff to operate the software, it has to be simple to use in the first place. Check for simplicity regarding initial installation; setting up; and navigation. The next consideration is asking whether the software has all the accounting and reporting modules which your business will need now and in the future as it grows. The basic modules include accounts payable and accounts receivable; and also modules which enable you to easily create and print out reports such as receivables reports, forecast reports, cash flow reports, etc. But it is often wise to invest in a more expensive software package which has expandable features which make for easy adjustment as your business grows, such as adding new product lines or more employees to the payroll.