How to Choose the Right Accounting Software for Your Business
Attracting new customers and selling more products or services is a crucial foundation to running a successful business. Besides, there are finances… Budgeting, planning, and managing your expenses play a massive role in your business’s ability to survive and thrive.
This is where accounting software comes in. The right finance solution will help you manage your finances more effectively, eliminate headaches when tax time comes, and give you valuable insights into your business. As a bonus, when using accounting software, you’ll save a lot of time, which, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, is invaluable.
If you’ve considered accounting software before, you would’ve noticed that there are tons of options, so the question becomes: how do you choose the accounting software that perfectly fits your business needs?
Vital Questions to Consider When Choosing Accounting Software
1. What Features Do You Need?
The first and one of the most important questions you’ll answer is what features you’ll need. This will largely be dictated by your business’s unique needs and requirements:
- Do you need only basic accounting?
- Do you need to create quotes and invoices?
- Or do you need an all-in-one solution with advanced features and extensive reporting?
No matter your requirements, it’s vital to consider them properly, as doing so will prevent you from ending up with accounting software that lacks crucial features (or overpaying for features you don’t need).
Once you’ve answered this question, create a list with your feature must-haves and nice-to-haves.
2. How Much Accounting Experience Do You Have?
Next, you’ll need to consider how much accounting experience you have. While accounting software simplifies your business’s accounting, you’ll need some accounting skills when using some of these packages.
Without these skills, you’ll likely need a solution that places your accounting on autopilot.
When accounting isn’t your strong suit, and you want your financials to be in safe hands, try Outmin. All you have to do is upload your documents. From there, our AI and actual accounting experts will sort it and provide advice whenever you need it.
3. What Is Your Budget for Accounting Software?
You now know what features you require and what types of software will align with your skill level. Now, you’ll need to decide what you can afford.
This step in selecting your accounting services is quite tricky. On one hand, you don’t want to limit yourself with a budget, i.e., select the cheapest option that could lack the core functionalities you need to succeed. On the other hand, you certainly don’t want to be overpaying for software or accounting services that don’t meet your needs. You, as a business owner, need to make sure you get value for your money!
Therefore, consider what you’re getting for the price you’re paying and how this aligns with your needs. So, it’s a question of value. You’ll find the perfect tool for your business by considering the software’s value proposition.
For example, you may only need a simple tool now, but what happens once you scale? As you onboard more employees, you’ll need more powerful capabilities. Can the tool you’re considering now help, or will you need to migrate?
4. How Easy Is the Software to Use?
Another important consideration is how easy the accounting software is to use. Let’s face it, your accounting software might have the most advanced features, but if they’re too complicated to use, you won’t get the most value from the software.
Also, complicated software and features tend to slow down your team.
Ideally, to prevent this, you’ll consider software where the features are straightforward and intuitive. This will ensure that you and your team stay efficient and productive. You should also consider the support the software vendor offers.
When you run into challenges (and it happens to the best of us), there should be someone in your corner willing to help you navigate the waters of accounting to your satisfaction. Hence, make sure you pick the software that offers great customer service and validate it by requesting client case studies or testimonials.
5. What Other Tools Do You Use? The Right Accounting Software Should Integrate with Them.
After considering the questions we’ve discussed above, you’ve probably narrowed down your list of possible accounting software solutions. However, there are other aspects you’ll also need to consider.
The first is what other software you use and would like to integrate with your accounting software. This could be anything from payroll software to CRM platforms.
Make sure your shortlisted accounting software platforms offer the integrations you need. If the tool is perfect for you in every other way, you can use a custom integration to bridge the gap, but the process could be costly.
6. Is Your Online Accounting Software Secure?
Nowadays, cyberattacks are becoming more prevalent, and data breaches pose an ever-increasing risk. Now, if you use an on-site solution that’s not connected to the internet, this won’t be a problem. But seeing as online accounting software offers the best performance, be mindful of the risks.
Consider if your online accounting software implements critical security measures to secure your data. This is especially relevant in industries where more robust security is required. For example, if you deal with financial, legal, or medical data, you’ll need to be more careful.
7. Are There Any Laws You Need to Comply with?
Speaking of industries that require more robust security, you might also have specific accounting and other legal requirements depending on your industry.
For instance, you’ll typically need to comply with specific tax regulations and reporting requirements.
If this is the case, you’ll need to ensure that your accounting software helps you comply with these requirements. One of the simplest ways to do this is to determine what software most other companies in your specific location use and verify their ability to help you comply with the relevant regulations.