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Top 9 tips in choosing an accounting software

Before you consider which accounting software to buy, before you call for a product demo, or talk to the consultant, it is best if you gather all the facts to help you make the right decision. 

You should spend more time evaluating and understanding every aspect of your business process before you evaluate the features of the new accounting software.    It may be time to draw up a business process flowchart to see things in perspective.

Nowadays, accounting software performs more than just book-keeping functions. As a decision maker, you should consider the impact of implementing the software in the purchasing, receiving and sales department, besides the accounting department.

If you are a small setup, then you should also consider whether the system can be operated by the existing staff under your employ. Be honest when evaluating the resources availabe.

Don't rush to implement all the modules that the software is capable of doing if you don't have the resources.  It will be better to implement on a staggered basis.  Analyse what is important to you first - is it invoicing, is it stock control, or is it the cashflow. You may also want to consider outsourcing the accounting functions until you have mastered the sales and operational functions.

Also, it may be a good idea to prepare a list of questions to ask the software consultants

 

Top 9 Tips on choosing an accounting software. 

  1. Identify the routine tasks that can be automated. These tasks are tedious and time consuming to perform.  Eg.preparing customer statements
  2. Identify the error-prone tasks or activities that produces inaccuracies that can affect your business operations. For example, errors in invoice computation
  3. Identify the information that can boost productivity and profitability if become easily available.  For example, analysis of gross profit by salesperson .
  4. Separate the must-have information from the 'good to have' information.   Identify the accounting and non-accounting information that flows through the different departments in your company, and let the consultant know in advance your needs and wants. 
  5. Make a list of requirements that is unique or special about your company or its operations. For example, if you are running a plantation business, you might want to know the cost per acre.  Entry-level business software will not be able to produce such non-accounting information.
  6. Identify the number of users that will be using the system simultaneously
  7. If you have branches, do you require remote access?
  8. What is the maximum budget to invest in the whole project.  If you are on a tight budget, it is better to postpone the purchase rather than compromise on getting the right software for your business.   
  9. Assess the level of accounting and computer experience of the users.

When you meet your consultants, you can ask the software consultant specific questions relating to your business, and evaluate the response given by the software consultant.
 

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