Understanding Accounting Software before You Actually Make a Purchase
The first thing you need to do when you try to choose accounting software for businesses is, to get down and do a needs analysis. You’ll need to talk to the financial people in your company, the managerial people there are. Yes, it’s a hassle; but you really have to start off right because your accounting software could be with you forever.
If you expect to see your business grow substantially over the next 4 to 5 years, you need to take your plans for the future into account. It can be expensive and disruptive to your business to have to change anything midstream.
So what exactly do you need to know about your business to buy the right software for it?
Whoever makes the decision for what accounting software to buy has to be somewhat familiar with how accounting systems work. Sometimes, business owners will just go out and buy shares the accounting software and then hire an accountant. The first thing that will happen when you do it this way is, the accountant is going to really resent it.
If you really want to learn how finance and accounting works in a small business and what kind of data you need to keep track of it make better business decisions, you really have to read up. You’ll need to take classes or something. The thing is, the success of any business almost entirely depends on how the money is managed.
You can’t just bring in an accountant and hope he’ll take care of everything. Take other people’s work for granted and you’ll find yourself in a hole. As a business owner, you’ll need to know a good bit about every aspect of it. If you cannot stomach that kind of involvement, it would be best to just give up the idea that you can be in business, altogether. That’s how important it is.
Th kind of business you operate in could have a lot to do with the kind of accounting software you buy. If you’re in manufacturing for instance, you’ll need software that has specialized modules that can handle inventory and parts and labor. If you’re a seller of retail goods, you’ll need a point-of-sale program and so on. If you are a provider of services – a doctor for instance – you’ll need software that will help build insurance companies.
Whatever you do, your software has to really be able to do everything that it takes to satisfy the IRS. Talk to your accountant. Most often, accountants recommend QuickBooks.