With a lot of accounting software on the market, it is difficult to decide which software to choose. To select the best accounting software, businesses need to outline specific criteria and compare the product with features and benefits.
The following criteria can help you in figuring out the best way to choose accounting software. Some of the features are critical to the company, based on the circumstances and goals. However, evaluating each feature helps to make the best decision.
Ease of Use
Many people use accounting software and most of them are technically good software. Intuitiveness and easy-of-use is one of the most important features to be looked for in any software. The product functionality should be intuitive for business users and finance staff should be able to quickly explore the features and capabilities. Otherwise, productivity issues may arise when the enterprise implements the software.
Accounts payable software should be easy-to-use, feature browser-based controls and should be accessible from anywhere, on any device. For businesses operating in multiple locations, employees working remotely should be able to easily access and manage financial data and records in the real-time.
Implementation Set Up
The implementation and deployment of accounting software should be easy and simple. Otherwise, implementation costs will go much higher than anticipated, resulting in costly delays. The deployment should be quick so it does not interfere with daily routines such as accounts payable, payroll and financial processes. Check with the vendor how long the implementation takes to ensure that satisfies the requirements from a timing standpoint.
Enterprise accounting platforms should deliver broad-range of capabilities, including core financial processes such as accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll management. Accounting software suites should include other modules such as cash management, currency management, tax management, revenue management, inventory management and others. Also, the accounting software you choose should allow companies to add new and advanced capabilities as it grows or the needs evolves.
Accounting software has to interact with other business systems, so choosing a solution that can closely integrate with other solutions is important. For instance, let’s say by connecting accounting software with CRM solution, companies can access complete information of their customers from within the accounting solutions. This allows for better collaboration between the finance and sales departments, making integration and collaboration the key for businesses.
As the company grows, the accounting software should be able to scale with the business. This means adding users when more people need to access the software, adding departments or functional areas as the business expands should be easily accomplishable. Most organizations are moving their on-premise accounting systems to the cloud as it offers flexibility and scalability. Some companies go with hybrid environment that includes a mix of on-premise, private and public cloud infrastructures.
Privacy and security are the utmost concerns of the accounting department. Accounting software need to ensure data security at all times. The software should feature strong user-level access controls to ensure that only authorized users have access to the accounting data. Additionally, sensitive financial information needs to be encrypted when it is stored and transferred, so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
The level of support that vendor provides is one of the most important aspects you have to consider. Issues will arise with any complex software, so it is very important to understand to what level vendors will address the issues. Make sure the partner you choose is a trusted advisor and can help with deployment, customization and support services when needed.
Is the accounting software tailored to your business needs? Determine how well the software can support your business. Businesses in some industries have specific processes when it comes to accounting. So, when the software doesn’t meet their requirements, the businesses might face unique challenges. In contrast, some accounting software vendors offer solutions tailored to specific industries such as manufacturing and retail industries. Similarly, choosing solutions that best meet your needs based on the industry can be beneficial.
Today’s workforce are mostly millennials and they expect every application to be accessible via mobile. Accounting solutions should support multiple mobile platforms and be accessible from a variety of devices. All the financial report templates and dashboards should be accessed via the mobile device, so users can quickly access the data and make informed decisions.
Accounting software should feature comprehensive reporting capabilities for internal use and other filings. Reports and dashboards can help accounting department to interpret results more easily. Templates can be used to create reports specific to a particular industry in the company. Advanced reporting features can enable companies to customize reports so they gain specific insight into various business operations.
Marrisa Levin is a marketing consultant, freelance writer at SutiAP, who regularly writes articles on Business, Finance, ERP, and Cloud/SaaS trends.