If you want to start a business, one important part is to take care of accounting, which, as many know, can give you some headaches. Also, thanks to the development of software solutions, accountants and business owners now have the possibility to move from the old physical registry books into the electronic era, with the help of accounting software.
These solutions are great for both small businesses that want to get rid of all those stacks of papers, and for large businesses where there is no alternative than to implement a software solution to keep track of their records. However, there are lots of accounting programs out there that begs the question: which are the best?
How to tell which Accounting Software is good
Today we’ll be looking at some of these accounting programs and we’ll try to find which of them are the best. There are some key aspects of an accounting software that you have took for granted when choosing which of them is best for you, and we’re going to give our best to explain them, in order for you to get a better understanding.
First of all, a good accounting software has to be able to keep track of most, if not all the money that is coming and going through your firm, as well as other information like orders or inventory. Also, apart from keeping track of all this information, a good accounting program also has a simple user interface that allows the user to quickly find any information he needs and probably, above all else, to keep that information safe.
Accounting software has come a long a way in the last few years, encompassing more and more features that were previously a part of other fields. ERP (enterprise resource planning) is now a feature of some accounting programs, and what this does is to help the user see where business is going well, and where it needs to be improved. This benefits the entire business and ensures that resources are not lost needlessly.
One other feature that some accounting programs have implemented is CRM (customer relations management) and in a nutshell, this allows the company to see which are the best customers for them, as well as keep track of old customers and find new ones. This is a crucial part of the development of any business and if your accounting software provides this feature, then you should definitely use it.
Also, if you are looking for a good accounting software, it would be a benefit if the program you end up choosing offers double-entry bookkeeping, which allows the user to automatically track how money flows through their company, both incoming money and expenses. And if you provide your services online too, then using a POS (point of sale) will allow you to keep track of all payments, be it in physical form or in electronic format.
Types of Accounting Software
There are two types of accounting software available: paid programs and open source programs. Both of them have their pros and cons, but at the end of the day, they get the job done. While open source software is free, it does require customization (tweaks and add-ons) in order to make it better suit the profile of your business, as opposed, paid software comes almost pre-configured and you also have at your disposal technical support and regular updates, but this can cost quite a pretty buck.
Also, some businesses take care of their accounting needs with Microsoft’s Excel solution, which is a great software and with some work will get the job done, but, basically, it’s better to use a specialized accounting program.
List of the best accounting software
We will list both open source accounting software, as well as paid programs, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. However, we recommend that you analyze them carefully before committing to one, as it might prove not suitable to your company in the long run. Make sure that it provides all the features you need now, and as a measure of future-proofing, all the features that you will need later on.
Also, for open source accounting software, make sure that you can optimize it as you think its best, and also, look for add-ons or patches that will help you further down the road.
Best Open Source/Free Accounting Software
- TurboCASH Accounting
- PostBooks ERP, accounting, CRM by xTuple
- VT Cash Book
- Invoice Expert
- xTuple PostBooks Edition
Best Paid Accounting Software
- QuickBooks Pro 2013
- Sage 50 Complete Accounting
- AccountEdge Pro
- Adminsoft Accounts
- Sage DacEasy
- CYMA Accounting Software
- Bookkeeper 2012
- QuickBooks Online
With these programs at your disposal, you will be able to keep the books of your business with ease. Also, by using this type of accounting, you ensure that the data is in one location and easily accessible when needed. Keep in mind to make regular back-ups of all your data. This is of the utmost importance, as computers sometimes fail, and if you don’t have another copy of your accounting history, it might be a loss from which you might not be able to recover.