Factors to Take Into Consideration When Choosing Accounting Software

Tax Professionals Resource
October 1, 2012 — 1,161 views  
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Almost all small business leaders can benefit from using accounting software to handle day-to-day, quarterly and yearly accounting tasks. Such software is designed to take the guesswork out of making accounting calculations. Professional accounting programs can also help business leaders create key records needed in order to file federal income tax returns and answer Internal Revenue Service (IRS) inquiries. 

Business leaders can also use accounting software to track the overall success of their enterprises. Some software programs help business leaders complete return on investment (ROI) calculations. Many accounting programs can also create comprehensive financial reports and projections. When shopping for accounting software, business leaders should keep the following in mind. 

List The Features You Need

Before you start shopping for accounting software, sit down and make a list of the features that a software program must have in order to be valuable to your business. Do you want to make extensive financial projections? Would you like to handle payroll tasks with your software? Do you need to track sales, returns and inventory? Make sure that the software program you buy provides all of the features on your list. 

Look for Software that is Specific to Your Industry

You should search for software that is designed to handle the specific needs of your industry. For instance, hospitality businesses will need cost and waste calculation features that a small home products business might not need. Choosing software that offers calculations standardized to your industry will help you avoid the need to make conversions or do calculations by hand when dealing with vendors and clients. 

Evaluate Software Reviews

Be sure to read software reviews before purchasing a program. Carefully weigh the information presented in such reviews. You should also ask other business owners you know if they use accounting software. Ask for their feedback on software programs that they have used. If possible, download a trial version of a program to get a feel for its interface before making the big purchase. 

Check for Integration with Banking and Payroll Accounts

Many banks allow customers to download transaction and sales reports. You should check to be sure that the software you want to purchase is compatible with the file format(s) offered by your bank. If you use an outside payroll company, you should also check to be sure that you can easily upload data to the payroll company from your software program.

Tax Professionals Resource