Idiot Guide to getting the Right Accounting Software

  1. Ubiquity

It pays to consider an accounting software which is widely used by most businesses. Instead of trying to re-evaluate something from ground zero, nothing beats the collective ingenuity of the market. The longer that the software is in the market and the stronger is its dominance in SME sector, the more likely that the software will outlast your business.

  1. Simple to use

It must be so simple that an idiot can also use it in no time, so there is no downtime for learning and no reason to quit after getting it.

  1. Affordable

Do not get the cheapest out there but get one that is affordable. Many great software are not cheap; but some cheap software are so great.

  1. Scalability

No software is the best forever. The least you can do is to get one that can allows you to adapt and scale with your business over time either for the increase in business activities or complexity. Ability to seamlessly provide for GST, inventory, multi-currency accounting etc goes a long way to ensure not just a low cost of total ownership but also minimum disruption (or likelihood) from data conversion out from the existing software.

  1. Security

You need the ability to set different security accesses for different users for each task be in read or edit access for trade receivables/payables, journals, bank/cash ledgers, financial statements etc. The software must have robust setup to reduce the risk of software crushes and data corruption.

  1. Support

Getting a misfit accounting software is like getting yourself into a bad marriage. When the inevitable happens despite all your best endeavour, the least that you could give yourself is a to ensure a continuity of good support to pull you through the journey.  Software support, be it providing effective and relevant software training, trouble-shooting, keeping the software up-to-date with regulatory or accounting changes, business needs, big data analytics trends etc is often underrated in all software assessment. In business, it is like operating in a war zone fighting competition, stiff margins, perennial customer shifts in demands, disruptive business models and technologies. When you go to war, you need to have both toilet paper and bullets at the right place at the right time. In other words, you must win through superior logistics (or software vendor support).

  1. Beyond software

Either you get a good accounting software or you don’t. But this is not restricted to a binary decision. You could also consider getting your business financials done by an outsourced accountant. Is this a sweeter rose compared to DIY with accounting software? No harm reading “The importance of getting a good accountant for your business, 6 March 2019”. The books that help you the most are those that make you think the most.