6th February 2018
Today’s accounting software helps businesses to streamline processes, improve customer service and free up time to concentrate on more strategic tasks. But with a lot of options about, how do you choose the best financial software for your business?
It’s important to us that our clients make the best choices – and the software that’s right for one business might not be right for another, so here are our top tips, based on conversations we’ve had with the businesses we work with.
Businesses choose accounting software for different reasons. Do you need to manage your invoicing better? Does it need to manage payroll functions? What kind of reporting functions do you need? Should it be able to integrate with any other systems you have? The first step is to think about all your accounting functions and understand what would make your life easier.
Some start-up or very small businesses can manage with a free or very low-cost version of some of the software packages on the market, but bigger businesses may need something with greater functionality that can be used by more people. Take a look at the average costs for the software that fits the brief you’ve created, and set an initial budget from that. You may find you can source the right software for less than your budget – or you might need to go slightly over in order to gain functionality, but make sure it’s a sustainable price that you can afford on a monthly basis.
Software can be very clever, but if the user-facing end of the package is difficult to use or understand, you probably won’t make the most of the technology you’ve bought. Once you know who is going to be using it, and how they will be using it, you can test the usability functions of the various packages you’re interested in. For example, can you access the software remotely from an app or store data in the cloud? How many users can you add? Can you run the software on multi-site businesses? How easy is it to upload and amend data, or download and share reports?
In many cases, software providers will give you a free trial or a demo so that you can see exactly how the package will integrate with your business, and how easy it is to use. This is a really good way to compare the packages you’re interested in so that you can make an informed choice.
To find out more about the various software packages available, and to get advice on choosing the best one for you and managing your IT in the longer term, contact Wise & Co today.