Are you considering accounting software for your business? This is an important decision, and one that you don’t want to make lightly.
You want to choose a software package that allows your team to track cash flow accurately. You and your executive team must be constantly aware of the company’s financial situation. The following five questions will help you narrow down your options when deciding on an accounting software package.
1. Is the accounting software scalable?
You hope your business will grow. As it does, what’s required from you as the owner will become more sophisticated too, as will the need to know more about business management.
Yet good accounting software will grow with you, with additional packages by the same software vendor sometimes coming into play as your business develops new requirements, such as bank feeds or payments processing.
2. Can my team get the information they need?
In a modern, forward-thinking business, financial data is shared with those who need it—and it’s shared instantly. For example, a sales team might have access to a dashboard showing insights into the company financials that will help with its progress.
This kind of culture is one that promotes success and growth—and at its heart is the right accounting software. The ability to create bespoke dashboards or reports is a necessity, as is the ability to easily share them with key stakeholders.
The very best finance software takes a democratic approach when it comes to financial data. Not all data should be shared, of course, but allowing the right people to know the right information can truly revolutionize a business.
Ask the software vendor the following before purchasing: Is my accounting software designed only for finance professionals or is it for the whole business? How easy does it make it to share key data with stakeholders within the business?
3. Will the accounting software evolve with developing technology?
Roger Knecht is the president of Utah-based training organization Universal Accounting Center and is an authority on how accounting software can benefit businesses of all sizes.
On the topic of upcoming technologies and their impact on businesses, he says: “Accounting software is helping the business owner be more present in their business.
“With the use of artificial intelligence (AI), we are just in the first phase of this evolution to give business owners the accounting information they need in a way they can use and understand it to make better informed decisions.”
Ask the vendor if they have a progressive approach to existing technologies, such as mobile and cloud.
4. Can this software help me remain compliant?
Adam Prince is vice president of product management, compliance, and migration at Sage. Talking specifically about accounting software, he says: “Remaining compliant has never been more important. Tax, employment law, data protection and more must be high on the list for anybody running a business of any size and are all pushed by the pace of digitization. But the right software helps you get it right without stress or having to sweat the details.”
5. What is included out of the box?
The dashboard in accounting software aims to provide the key information you need at a glance. Rather than having to run a report each time you want to see data in context, you can simply take a glance at a dashboard and see live, up-to-the-minute information. Seeing data in this way means you can become responsive and truly track trends and developments, or simply stop any problems before they have a chance to arise.
However, it’s not just key accounting information that benefits from being shown on a dashboard. The ability to configure custom dashboards (or custom reporting) can provide unique perspectives and reveal relationships between data that wasn’t possible to see before. Dashboards can allow different departments in a business to work together more efficiently, too, because they’re able to see a broader picture.