Depending on the needs of your business, there are several considerations when choosing an accounting system software. It is important to consider these criteria in order to get the best fit, not only for your budget, but also for the key accounting system features your company needs.
In a Forbes article on accounting trends, it is projected that by 2020, labor-intensive tasks like tax preparation, payroll, and audits will be fully automated. The shift to accounting software reduces the risk of human error, which can be costly for most businesses. Automation also helps maintain updated accounting records and makes data entry for payables and receivables simpler. In essence, it takes care of the tedious, manual work that accountants do, where one small mistake can result to time, and money wasted.
6 Must-Have Features of a Reliable Accounting Software
Billing and Invoicing. The accounting software you should choose should be packed with the features and functionalities to make running a business easier. It should have an integrated billing and invoicing module. This way you won’t have to spend more money on separate software or application nor having to migrate data from one platform to another. An integrated billing and invoicing feature is helpful for small businesses, especially if they want to keep their payments up-to-date. In research by Tungsten Network, around 47% of businesses surveyed admitted they’re having problems with late payments. The cause? There were too many paper invoices received and they lacked automated exceptions and approval in place.
Payment Processing. A reliable accounting software should have a payment processing system in place. This would enable your business to accept and process transactions through the software itself. Your accounting software works as a payment gateway that allows your business to accept credit and debit cards.
Imagine the convenience you get when you have the payment processing feature in your accounting software. You won’t need to use multiple platforms just to process a transaction, and you have all the necessary information collected, ready for other processes like billing and invoicing in place.
Pricing. When choosing an accounting system for small business, choose one that offers the best value for your business. Nothing beats a free software option when you get to enjoy high-value features at no cost. After all, paid accounting software doesn’t really ensure the best value. Advertised “premium” features may not be useful for your business, so in the end, you’re not really getting the optimum value of the product. There are plenty of free accounting software options available that will meet your company’s specific needs.
For example, semilimes provides free top-notch accounting features for the individual account. You can use it for a small business without spending a dime. If you have multiple users on your team, you can consider an appropriate package to meet their needs.
Connectivity. Your next accounting software purchase should be ready for the future. This is why you need to get one that can be integrated with other productivity apps and some of the most common business software today. This eliminates the need to change your entire software infrastructure to accommodate a single program.
Mobility. It’s common to see mobile-ready accounting systems, especially with more businesses moving to ‘the cloud’. If possible, check if the software you’re getting has accompanying mobile apps on Android or iOS.
Around-the-clock support. The level of support that you get from various software vendors can differ, so do research and see which ones offer extensive 24/7 support. You really won’t know if they have excellent support unless you encounter some issue, but the moment you find something confusing or notice an irregularity that you can’t work out on your own, don’t hesitate to call their support hotline and see if the give you your money’s worth.
Do you plan on getting an online accounting system soon? Do you have a list of candidates in mind? Don’t forget to run them through semilimes criteria above and see if they’re the one you need.
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