Accounting Software Overview

By: Sandra Rodrigues

Accounting Overview
Want to stop using an accountant and do-it-yourself? Looking to replace or upgrade your accounting software. Read on for a high level overview of Accounting Software.
Whatever our business - church, construction, fund, inventory, manufacturing, nursery, payroll, project, restaurant, etc - an accounting software system will help you to lower your costs, improve your accounts' accuracy and give you a much better idea of how your company is performing. Also, an accounting software system may just help you with the e-filing (electronic/online filing).

Accounting Software Functionality
Generally, you need to manage your sales**, customers**, inventory and other information along with associated documents. You will definitely want to generate reports.
Ideally - to manage your sales**, customers**, inventory and other information - the 'out-of-the-box' (minimum or no configuration required) accounting software will manage:

  • your money coming in (Accounts Receivable)

  • your money going out (Accounts Payable)

  • your main documents (Billing, Purchase Orders, Sales Orders)

  • your inventory (Stock)

Additionally (probably extra cost) you may need your chosen system to manage:

  • money owed to you

  • your staff's expenses and salaries (Payroll)

  • project times (so that you can charge for actual work against projects your staff are working on)

  • approval processes (so you can submit, then track who approved what and when)

Advanced Requirements:

  • integration to other systems (normally enterprise systems)

  • major imports (when initially bringing data into the system)

  • minor imports (for regular use by staff for getting small quantities of data into the system)

  • backing up of the accounting system (meta data, as well as configuration of the system)

  • reporting/graphs (for high-level views such as Balances, Profit & Loss, Portfolio overviews etc)

  • Multiple currencies

  • Import ability

  • Localisation (allowing you to use the software in your own language)

  • Cheque/Check printing

The Right Solution For You
You should really, consider:

  • How are you managing your accounts at the moment?

  • How many transactions do you have a month? (manual might be best if you only have a dozen transactions a month for example)

  • What type of company is yours? (meaning what type of legal entity is it?)

  • How many people wil be using the system?

  • Do you know what your business needs? If you know what your business needs, then you will be able to better match up functionality of the accountancy package(s) you are considering.

  • What database will the accounting package be using?

Some Popular Accounting Software Examples:

  • Personal: GnuCash (GPL), Quicken

  • Small Enterprise: Microsoft Office Accounting, TurboCASH (GPL)

  • Medium enterprise: NetSuite (on-demand), Tiny ERP (GPL)

  • Large Enterprise: Oracle Corporation, SAP

The cost of your chosen accounting software will vary greatly. Your supplier should have no problems showing you (not just telling you) how and why they are a good partner for your company. Don't be afraid to ask questions - not to trip them up, but to get ansers to issues important to you. Be frank and open with the supplier - you'd expect the same back after all! Negotiate hard - before you sign is the best time for getting a good price and/or goodies (training, consultancy, health checks, etc) thrown in.

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"Accounting Software Overview" from RCS Limited an Company.


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