Are you in the process of setting up your own business? Maybe you have already established your business and need some help. Either way, one of the essential items for the business and a key factor in ensuring business success is bookkeeping software. Before proceeding to the specifics of the best booking software available, let’s take a quick look at what bookkeeping software and payroll software really means.
Anyone who is not aware of the absolute vitality of good bookkeeping software needs to understand that being inundated with paper is not a good way to run a business. One way of saving money for start-ups and home-based businesses is to identify good software that matches all the business requirements and can handle the accounting part of the business.
Bookkeeping software or accounting software can be used by any type of business, big or small. There is a wide range of choices available on the market with hundreds of vendors offering products for an amazing number of different applications. Golden rule of thumb is to keep it simple especially when you are a newcomer to the world of bookkeeping software.
The following tips on how to select bookkeeping software should be useful in knowing what to look for in a bookkeeping software package:
• Security! Security! Security! Don’t do anything or buy anything without first checking up on this aspect of the bookkeeping software. A company’s financial data is highly confidential and sensitive. Security becomes more important if the bookkeeping software is to be made accessible via the internet. The software should comprise security features that allow revolving passwords, data encryption and role-based login verification.
• Business needs: Before buying bookkeeping software, the business needs have to be evaluated thoroughly. Without a list of key requirements, it will be difficult to choose the right software.
• Compatibility: The bookkeeping software chosen needs to be enabled for data sharing with other business applications. For example, bookkeeping software needs to integrate with payroll software, or if the company sells a product it manufactures, the bookkeeping software needs to integrate with the inventory management system. The bookkeeping software should be flexibly structured to allow seamless integration with existing technology.
• Demo viewing: Always ask for a demonstration of the bookkeeping software. Pay attention to the specific requirements of the business to ensure that the right software is purchased.
• Trial: It may not always be possible to get the full picture when viewing a demonstration of the bookkeeping software. To really know the ins and outs of the software, the buyer needs to test it. Most bookkeeping software offer trial runs ranging from 60 to 90 days.
Buyers looking for bookkeeping software need to be wary of the following pitfalls:
• Database structure that is open and easily accessible
• Software that lacks flexibility – bookkeeping software that allows for easy modification and upgrading to match changing business requirements is a must.
Avoid bookkeeping software that fails to clearly describe the data fields shown in the programme
• Systems that are not easily scalable – the software should allow the buyer to select the basic capability required with the option to expand as the business grows. In other words, the same functionality, user screens and navigation needs to be available regardless of which bookkeeping software is chosen – basic, middle range or high end.
• Navigation and GUI (Graphical User Interface) in the bookkeeping software should allow easy setup, start-up and use of the software
There is an across-the-board standard for the performance of accounting functions that is common to all bookkeeping software. The reason being the software has to conform to Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP). In this regard, audit trails are very important; simply put they refer to who did what and when it was done to the system. It must be seen as an activity log for the software; a feature that is very much necessary.
With these basic guidelines in hand, it should not be too hard to find the right bookkeeping software for the business. It is absolutely vital for any company to have the right kind of bookkeeping software that will record every financial business transaction accurately and without errors.
Bookkeeping software can be purchased from software companies that have experts to guide buyers in their selection of the right software. The software needs to be user-friendly, easy to set up and uncomplicated to use.