From QuickBooks to NetSuite, there’s plenty of accounting software out there to choose from. Here’s how to pick the best one to serve your company’s needs.
It used to be that keeping “the books” for a business was literally a paper-based process, involving a ledger, lots of columns, and a pencil to record a business’ essential financial data. In the digital age, however, even the smallest business can benefit from a wide variety of small business accounting software products on the market. Accounting software can not only help you reduce human errors in your calculations, but it can help you gain insights into your business that you couldn’t see in paper form — such as generating sales forecasts for the next quarter, determining which items are overstocked, and pinpointing your least profitable service.
Business accounting software can be the source of all this information. But finding the best accounting software program for your business can be a challenge, with an explosion of shrink-wrapped software products and online application offerings. In order to choose a business accounting software program, you need to understand some business accounting basics, take a good look at your business and its accounting needs, and assess the products available today.
“It’s real important to get this right. In a lot of cases, it can make the difference between businesses that are profitable versus not profitable,” says Mike Budiac, president of Find Accounting Software, an independent website affiliated with CPAOnline. The website allows you to complete a two-page survey about your software needs which it will match to qualified vendors. “I think it’s pretty essential for everyone these days. And the product prices are so low in some cases, that the smallest businesses can be helped by using software. As they grow, larger the impetus to do it is even stronger.”
The following pages will detail what types of financial software products exist today, what you need to know about your business before considering accounting software, and ultimately how to decide what business accounting software is best for your business.[…]