Accounting Software Packages Should Make Your Business Life Easier

Selecting and buying accounting software packages could be compared to car shopping, or buying a house. You’re looking for the right number of features, with the ability to get any bugs fixed, and you need to understand exactly how you’ll use the accounting software packages before you set out to shop.

Fortunately, like any other big purchase, there are tools to help you when buying accounting software packages. Doing your homework beforehand can not only pay off in a purchase that will help grow your business, but ultimately, you’ll gain a more in-depth understanding of how your business functions.

Where Do You Start?

The first step when purchasing accounting software packages is to get your experts together. Bring managers from each of your business divisions to the table as part of a technology advisory committee. What you’ll need from each manager is an analysis of how tasks are carried out, assembled into a flowchart.

Now that you have a flowchart in place for helping select your accounting software packages, start making a list of must-haves based on this information. Ask yourself, “What exactly do we need the software to do?”

Meanwhile, you can start exploring price deviations between competing accounting software packages. Keep your list of required functions handy, and compare individual prices for these modules separately because many accounting software packages offer elements of their product in a menu-style selection.

If you’re tempted to consider using accounting software packages in conjunction with some manual accounting, don’t be. Your accounting software packages should be able to handle all your needs and goals without resorting to multiple systems. What you’re after in accounting software packages is a solution to your business challenges; a solution for completing payroll, handling bank transactions, sending out invoices and managing accounts receivable, for starters.

Finalizing Your Decision-Making Process

Write up your findings into a document and invite the representatives of your top choices to come for a visit. Ask them to demonstrate your key attributes of the accounting software packages you’re looking for. Most accounting software packages today have many built-in features, aside from the basic ones, that can pinpoint the little things within your operations that will make a big difference in efficiency. Ask for a demonstration of some of these solutions.

Keep in mind the basics if you start to get overly “wowed” by a demonstration, or frustrated with the timeframe of the process. Accounting software packages are critical to helping you operate efficiently and your choice should stay with you for the long-haul. Don’t choose a package with too many high-tech functions you may not ever use, but make sure it’s adaptable to the unique needs of your business.

Last, but certainly not least, is customer service. Your selected provider should be able to come whenever you need service or instruction, and should be ahead of the game when it comes to upgrades and fixing problems.

Like a car or house purchase, when you drive your choice of accounting software packages off the lot – or get ready to move in – confidence should be the final result of your efforts to consider your needs and compare products. It takes time to find the right product, but as a business leader, you must be able to trust your business accounting software to handle your operations efficiently and without hassle, so that you can focus on other initiatives.