Choosing the right accounting software to suit your business needs might at first seem like a relatively easy task.
But if you’ve spent any time looking around for accounting software, you’ll know that there are a lot of different choices out there. So, which one is best?
If you need a hand finding the right accounting software to suit your needs, then we’ve compiled a list of things you should keep in mind when shopping around.
What should I look for when choosing an accounting system for my business?
How do I choose the right accounting software for my business?
Depending on the kind of work you’re in and the size of your business, there are a number of different things you’ll need to consider before you settle on the right accounting software to suit your needs.
Here are some questions you should ask before you make your final decision.
1. What do I need my accounting software to do?
There are plenty of choices out there when it comes to accounting software, both paid and free. Depending on the size of your business, you may need something basic, or something capable of handling more complex functions.
For example, if you’re a sole trader pulling in around $65,000 a year, you’re going to have different needs to a medium-sized business that makes more than a $1 million each year.
While you’re shopping around, ask yourself whether your accounting software needs to be able to do any (or all) of the following:
- Quotes and estimates
- Inventory tracking and management
- Purchase orders
- Converting currencies
- Account management
- Contact management
2. What are my accounting skills?
Do you pick up new technology easily? Or does it take you a while to get the hang of things?
Some people have a natural talent for technology and a mind for numbers. Others don’t. But that’s ok—because even if you’re managing the books yourself, there are different accounting software programs that can cater to different levels of experience.
Xero cloud accounting software is generally considered to be very user-friendly, whether you’re using it as an Accountant or as a Small Business Owner juggling multiple responsibilities.
3. What’s my budget?
This might seem like an obvious question to ask when you’re purchasing, well, anything. But when it comes to accounting software, you might be surprised to know that there are a range of different price points available.
If you want something basic and don’t have a massive budget, then Wave Accounting is a great choice. While it might not have all the features of Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks, it has the benefit of being completely free to use.
4. Will my accounting software keep up if my business grows?
One of the many benefits of cloud accounting software is that most providers offer different package rates that cater to different businesses. This means that if your business grows over the next few years and your accounting demands increase, then you can simply upgrade to an accounting plan that better suits your needs.
Some accounting software still uses a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model, which won’t work for every business. But if you’re not predicting any big changes in your business’s future, then you probably won’t need to worry about changing or upgrading your accounting software in the next few years.
However, you should keep in mind that sometimes, a sudden growth (or shrinkage) can be totally unexpected. If this happens, you might find that your one-size-fits-all accounting software no longer suits your needs.
5. Is it customisable?
With the advent of cloud accounting software and subscription services, it’s easier than ever to customise your accounting software.
Add-ons mean that you can personalise your accounting software to include the things you need and nothing you don’t.
Some of the most popular cloud accounting software add-ons are:
- Receipt Bank, which can help with expense tracking;
- AutoEntry, which captures relevant information from bills, receipts and invoices and automates data entry processes;
- Deputy, which is a workforce management system handy for businesses with a large staff;
- PayPal, which is a convenient payment processing option for businesses;
- Square, which, like PayPal, gives you a convenient payment processing option; and
- ezyCollect, which can help simplify debt collection.
There are plenty more add-ons out there. However, not all of them are compatible with all accounting software programs. So while you’re researching which software to settle on, make sure it’s compatible with the add-ons you think you might need.
6. What is the after-sales support like?
This might not be the question that’s at the forefront of your mind, but it’s an important one all the same. Especially if you’re managing your accounts yourself. Because chances are, you’re going to need support at some point, and you’re going to want any issues solved as quickly as possible.
While you’re researching the best accounting software to fit your needs, make sure you also look at reviews of their customer service support to make sure that you’ll be getting the right kind of support if and when you need it.
Where can I learn more about how to use accounting software for myself?
Finding the right kind of accounting software to suit your needs can be tricky. But we hope this article has been useful in helping you make a decision!
We think that Xero ticks a lot of boxes. Whether you’re a Small Business Owner, a Finance Professional, a Freelancer or a Sole Trader, Xero cloud accounting software offers a versatile and intuitive solution.
That’s why OC has partnered with The Career Academy to bring you the Certificate in Xero short course.
This online course will give you an introduction to using Xero cloud accounting software, and it’s a great course for both Small Business Owners and Finance Professionals both.