Article: What To Think Of When Searching For Your Next Accounting Software

Sept. 14, 2011

There are a lot of accounting software out there and most of them are very good. But, how do you know which one fits your organization the best? How would you actually move forward into the evaluation process to find the best accounting software for you?

In today’s world of possibilities over Internet a lot of different software are available. Not only software that is meant for the local market but software that is available from a foreign market to the international arena. These opportunities have grown a lot due to the many possibilities to market products with different focus. One example is to search for the word “Business Software Directory” on Google. You will find an enormous amounts of hits and some of the software directories are good for both local as well as international marketing.

Just using the search engines to find the best accounting software is really hard. Just the search on Google for “Accounting Software” will give you more than 18 million hits. This is why it is good to look through the business software directories available. Usually most people don’t rely on just one directory but actually goes to a few software directories to be sure they have found a good amount to look through.

So, where should we actually start? We know where we can go to find the software, but shouldn’t we start somewhere else?
It is important to understand what you are actually looking for. A lot of people start looking for an accounting software but have no idea what they are going to use it for.
The complexity of the software and how to use it and for what is so important that you have to start doing a small pre-study before starting to look for the new software.
It is the same as when you want to purchase a car. Perhaps you live in the country-side with a lot of bad roads. Then it might be important for you to have a 4 wheel drive jeep. If this is one of the criteria it would be a waste of time to look for a small car that would be perfect for driving in the city.

Some questions you might want to ask to be able to find the best accounting software for you might be:
Do you want to be able to use the accounting software for forecasting?
Do you want the invoicing to be done from the accounting software?
Should the time reports of the personnel be done in the accounting software or perhaps should the current system be integrated to the new system?
Do you have stock that need to be taken into consideration and if so, should you need to keep inventory in the accounting software?
Most likely you want purchase orders to be in the accounting software and this probably also means you will have to organize your cash book as well.

These questions are just some minor questions to get you started. The complexity of the accounting software is definitely depending on the size of the organization you are working for. The larger the organization the more complex modules you might want to include in the same system. On the other hand, if you are in a large organization you most likely want to use different systems for different purposes and then integrate them to each other.

If you are working for a small company you will most likely want to put as much as possible into the system. A lot of companies, though, fall into the trap of forecasting an extremely high growth meaning you want to have as much as possible in the system. This is, however, in most situations not the best thing to do.
Of course you should think about and predict the near future and purchase the accounting software that fits your organization for that future. But, don’t overdo it. You need to think about the fact that the more complex the system, the more time you will need to spend in it as well.

If you are working in a large organization it is a bit different, because it is very time consuming and expensive just to purchase and implement the new system. It could easily take 1-2 years from the pre-study until the new system is fully implemented. This means you need to predict a lot of the future in the beginning not to have to start a new purchase process once the new system is ready to run.

The reason why purchasing a new software usually takes a lot of time is because it is common not to first think about what you really want. By creating a good requirement specification you will make the evaluation process so much smoother. After you have created your requirement specification, go to a business software directory that has good search and filter possibilities with extensive product information about the products.

This will help you to short list the candidates for your new accounting software. After this, visit the vendors’ home pages and discuss your requirements with them. Let them show you an online demo to give you an impression of why their system is good for you.
Also, think about what kind of attention they are giving you. Is this a partner that you can live with in the future? Are they giving good and quick support? Are they open to your suggestions of enhancements for the product, etc?

It is not always easy to find the best accounting software for you. But, by beginning the process to really think about what you are looking for will help you a lot in your research. Use the tools and resources that are available for you on Internet. These are specifically designed for your purposes and are most often free for you to use.