1. Set a budget
Before you even begin to look at accounting software options, you need to set a budget. Available software ranges in price from less than $100 to more than $1000. You’ll need to decide what your business can afford. If you own a small business, for example, you may be fine with a less expensive option, but if you have a large business with a large amount of accounting needs, you’ll want to budget more. Do not simply go with the least expensive option, but do know your limits.
It’s a good idea to share the responsibility for choosing accounting software for your business. This is especially true if you have multiple departments who will be a part of the accounting process. By bringing in people from all departments to help choose your software, you’ll be able to establish the needs and preferences of everyone so that you can choose software that works well all around. A team can also share responsibility for researching different options and getting feedback from multiple employees.
3. Assess your accounting needs
Once you have established a good team and set a budget, it’s time to decide exactly what you need your accounting software to do. Make a list of all the features you need, and take advice and suggestions from your teammates. Consider how many people will need to use the software, whether or not you’ll need document management, how user-friendly you need the software to be, whether you have in-house technical support or you need support from the software company, and whether you can use a general accounting software or you need something that is industry specific. After you have completed your list of needs it’s also good to rank them according to importance. If your budget prohibits obtaining software that meets all your requirements, you need to have an idea of what’s needed most and what can be done without.
4. Research software options
After you know what you’re looking for in your accounting software, do your research. All software is not created equal so you need to read product information and features very carefully. Check out reviews as well to get a firsthand account of how the software has worked for others.
5. Try before you buy
Use your research to narrow down a list of potential accounting software options. Then contact the companies that offer what you are looking for and request a demonstration. You want to be sure the software will work for you before you invest. Most companies are willing for you to try their product. If you’re satisfied, you’re likely to purchase a full version, and if you are not, you are not out anything except your time.
6. Purchase the software
Once you have followed all these steps, you should be ready to purchase your accounting software. If you have done your research, and accounted for all the needs of your business, your purchase should be a success.
Choosing accounting software is an important part of any business. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us.