Choosing Accounting Software for Your Business

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Choosing accounting software will be a major factor in determining the short- and long-term success of any business. Both established businesses and start-ups encounter problems controlling their finances and need to consider an accounting software comparison to find a comprehensive solution that can grow with the company. The right choice for a company is largely dependent on the size of the company, the current applications they have (if integration of systems is a priority), and the types of markets they serve.

Choosing Accounting Software for Self Employed

With more and more people turning to home-based businesses, there is also a growing need for choosing accounting software for the self-employed. An excellent solution for self-employed people without employees is an open source software that tracks income and any inventory the business may have, as well as managing the user’s personal finances. There are also several very inexpensive off-the-shelf applications that do a superb job.

An example of a proven application is Quicken Premier Home and Business by Intuit. The software is an ideal match for the self-employed worker who earns income from investments, real estate, home businesses, and/or internet marketing.

Larger Company Factors when Choosing Accounting Software

For a more traditional brick and mortar operation with employees and a diverse product line, a more scalable and robust solution is required that includes functionality for payroll reporting, check printing, and end-of-year tax reporting. Quickbooks Pro and Sage Peachtree Accounting are two of the leading accounting applications on the market today.

Both offer basic functionality, but Quickbooks Pro has been the standard for choosing accounting software for many years and is the default choice for many businesses. If the company is price sensitive, note that starter versions of both accounting software systems are only about $100, while a full-featured version of Quickbooks Pro is around $300 and for Peachtree Accounting it is about $200.

Options to Look for When Choosing Accounting Software

There are other considerations when choosing accounting software. For companies that have other business applications with which the accounting system must integrate, Quickbooks Pro is the more popular choice since it is plug-and-play compatible with more applications. Most banks today will provide customers with Quickbook formatted files so that customers can read and decipher transaction details immediately.

Quickbooks also has the capability to update the company’s bank account in real-time. Companies should check with their banks to see which accounting software their online services division supports before choosing accounting software.

Medium-sized to large companies with in-house accounting staffs have many great choices available in choosing accounting software. For some companies, a solution developed in-house could be the right choice, if the company has expertise in accounting and information technology. The cost to develop and support an in-house solution must be considered. If a company decides to use a commercial solution, it must be sure it’s choosing accounting software with a proven track record and around-the-clock customer support.

Larger firms should base choosing accounting software on a system that is part of an overall company enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. There are many vendors with ERP solutions packages that not only do an excellent job with accounting, but integrate systems to align all company functions including the warehouse, production, and management to achieve overall company strategic goals.

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