Simply put, accounting is the lifeline of a business. Accounting deals with summarizing, analyzing and reporting the financial data and information about a business. An accounting software records and processes the accounting transactions of a business within its functional modules. Financial statements consisting of the balance sheet, profit and loss account, and statement of changes in financial position can be easily prepared with an accounting software.
An accounting software is all about the various functional modules that it has. Some of them are- General ledger which takes care of the company's financial dealings; Accounts Payable where the company enters its bills and pays the money it owes; Accounts Receivable where money received is entered.
The different categories or types of accounting software are as follows:
a) Small business/personal accounting software which are mainly meant for home users. They are simple and inexpensive with simple functioning such as management of budgets.
b) Low end accounting software are for small business markets that are capable of serving a single national market. Such software are characterized by 'single entry' products.
c) Mid market accounting software are for companies with large businesses. These software are capable of serving the needs of multiple national accountancy standards and facilitate accounting in multiple currencies.
d) High end accounting software are complex and expensive business accounting software that are also known as Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP software.
However, you have to keep certain things in mind before buying an accounting software, like the prices of the software, its different features, its after-sales support and alike. Most of the accounting software include all the important accounting modules. The more specialized features a software has, the more expensive it becomes. Your software features must be compatible with your business. Also, the after-sales support is important like FAQ package, local service center and others.
There are a lot of top accounting software available in every category. So, it is not easy to select the best ones. Below are top five accounting software in every category.
A. Small business/personal accounting software:
1. ePeachtree (Best Software)
2. MYOB Plus for Windows (MYOB Software)
3. Peachtree Complete Accounting (Best Software)
4. QuickBooks Online (Intuit)
5. Small Business Manager (Microsoft)
B. Low-End Accounting Software:
1. BusinessVision 32 (Best Software)
2. MAS 90 & MAS 200 (Best Software)
3. QuickBooks Pro 2003 (Intuit)
4. ACCPAC Pro Series (ACCPAC International)
5. Vision Point 2000 (Best Software)
C. Middle-Market Accounting Software:
1. ACCPAC Advantage Series Corporate Edition (Best Software)
2. Great Plains (Microsoft) MAS 90 & MAS 200 (Best Software)
3. Navision (Microsoft)
4. SouthWare Excellence Series (SouthWare)
5. SYSPRO (SysproUSA)
D. High-end accounting ERP Market:
1. Axapta (Microsoft Software)
2. e-Business Suite (Oracle)
3. MAS 500 (Best Software).
4. Solomon (Microsoft)
5. ACCPAC Advantage Series Enterprise Edition (Best Software)
In compiling the above list, a variety of factors such as feedbacks from customers, scalability of the software, and after-sales support are used. Also, the different attributes for different categories have been considered like for ERP software, attributes such as manufacturing solution, supply chain solution and database solution. The above compilation may not be all inclusive and some people might choose to differ with it but it is almost near to perfect list.