It is no longer news that we live in a world that is practically controlled by technology. Business and accounting information are no longer kept in their manual form. Selecting the best accounting software is critical to running a modern profitable business. The tips covered in this article will apply to both a standalone accounting software or a cloud based accounting software. Assessing software against the criterion discussed in this post will save you a lot of resources which will then translate into making your business profitable.
NINE (9) FACTORS THAT MUST BE CONSIDERED BEFORE BUYING ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE
- Functionality: there is absolutely no point spending your resource on a piece of software that does not have the functionality to help the business achieve its organizational goal. The first step in acquiring accounting software is to gather information about the requirement of the business entity. This will then be followed by the rest of the acquisition process.
- Response time: in this real time age where it has become the de facto standard to expect quick response from any piece of software that we lay our hands on.
- Usability: user interface is very important in the software assessment process. Difficult and poorly designed user interface will only cause resentment amongst the users of the accounting software and this will ultimately lead to unproductivity and error or even occupational fraud.
- Reliability: test data should be put through the product before buying it. Though reference can be obtained from those that have previously used the tool but, from experience, this method of gathering evidence regarding the reliability of accounting software usually don’t produce the desired result.
- Scalability: it is very important to ensure that the financial software chosen is highly scalable. The reason for this is to be rest assured that changes can easily be made without going through much hassles. In the world of IT, things constantly change and would really make business and economic sense if we consider the scalability of a technology before investing in it.
- Cost: obviously, the cost of buying one piece of software over the other should be considered before the investment is made. There are free accounting software can be bought and used in your business but, other non-financial factors need to be considered before making the financial decision.
- Compatibility: care need to be taken when deploying a new technology to ensure that the new tech is compatible with the existing legacy system.
- Status of the vendor: it is best practice to get satisfactory evidence that the software vendor will be a going concern. Simple ratio analysis will give us enormous information. This is an important factor to consider in order to be reasonably assured that the company would not go out of business tomorrow leaving us in a very tight corner.
- Security: the baseline accounting software security and audit trail feature should be imbedded in any accounting program that we want to buy. The cost of data leakage and breaches has gone beyond financials. A company can easily go bankrupt if it cannot guarantee to adequately manage the privacy risk that comes with technology and change in business landscape. A secured software also help reduce audit fee (if applicable) as auditors will rely on the system while gathering audit evidence in their bid to reduce their audit risk.
Remember that proper accounting is so important in the success of your business that you cannot afford to get it wrong. If you are in doubt of what software is best for your business or if you lack the technicality to perform this assessment, outsource the task to a professional help.