5 Things To Look For In Accounting Software

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) were hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now in the face of sky-high inflation, businesses are again forced to cut costs and reduce resources. However, no matter how strict you get with your business budget, you simply cannot trim your bookkeeping tools. While managing your business’s accounts receivable,  cash flow and tax information can feel overwhelming, accounting software (and bookkeeping services!) can help keep everything in line. User-friendly accounting software lets you eliminate hours of mental math, manual data entry, and inventory tracking. The right accounting software can give you the resources to put your accounting woes behind you. But how can you tell when you’ve found the “one” in a sea of software choices?  Here are five things to look for.

Accounting Software Defined

Accounting software is a program designed to help businesses automate bookkeeping and accounting tasks. Small business accounting requires proper bookkeeping, cash flow management, invoicing, expense tracking, inventory management, and much more. While many of these activities seem like no-brainers to trained bookkeepers or accountants, these processes can be time-consuming and confusing for many small business owners, especially those without financial management experience.

Accounting software can help you manage tasks such as:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Reconciling bank accounts
  • Invoicing, processing payments, and paying bills (such as credit cards and vendors)
  • Time tracking
  • Completing payroll 
  • Tracking sales and sales tax
  • Recording expenditures
  • Managing cash flow
  • Generating financial reports (such as balance sheets and income statements)

Some of the benefits of accounting software include:

  • It helps to keep your books up to date 
  • It can make it easier to stay on top of what customers owe
  • It can reduce errors 
  • It can generate more accurate financial reports and documentation
  • It can lower costs
  • It makes it easier to calculate and file business taxes
How To Choose Accounting Software

There are dozens of accounting software companies to sort through, including QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Sage, Wave, Xero, Gusto, Zoho Books, and more. While navigating such a large sea of options can be challenging, knowing what to look for can make the decision much more accessible.

What Features Do You Need?

One of the most important things to consider when searching for accounting software is each program’s features. Think about your business and your accounting needs to determine what features are “must-haves.” 

While most major software platforms cover most accounting tasks, including bookkeeping, bank reconciliation, expense tracking, and accounts receivable, not all cover other items like payroll, reporting, and time tracking; some platforms also charge more for some features while others don’t. Remember to read the fine print.

How Easy Is It To Learn?

Have you ever purchased a new cell phone and felt lost about how to use it for a few days? All the buttons were different, the swiping was strange, and you couldn’t figure out how to get your email account to connect. Frustrations like these are typical when learning something new; however, learning new accounting software is even more painful than adjusting to a new cell phone. 

You want your accounting software to be user-friendly, so you can quickly get yourself (and your team) up to speed. If a program isn’t intuitive, it will cause many headaches down the road. Luckily, many companies offer demos of their programs so you can see if it’s right for you.

How Much Does It Cost?

Business owners need accounting software to streamline their operations, but not all platforms are created equal, and not all platforms are budget-friendly. When shopping for accounting software, consider the program’s costs, including initial fees, monthly subscription costs, add-on costs for added features, etc. Keep a list of all the software companies you are researching and write down features, usability, and pricing so you can compare and contrast, 


Ultimately, you’ll want to find online accounting software that provides you with the most significant value (has the most valuable features to meet your business needs) for the most reasonable cost.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a massive concern for businesses processing online payments. No company wants to fall victim to a data breach and risk losing their ( and their client’s) private financial data. Checking any software company’s data security measures is essential in vetting.

Companies should make their cybersecurity information easily accessible, so if you don’t see it listed on their website, ask for more information.

Customer Care

Learning a new accounting program can be challenging, so knowing whether there’s easily accessible customer support is essential. You will likely have onboarding questions and don’t want to wait hours to talk to a human on the phone. If you’re going to test out a company’s customer care before purchasing their product, just give them a call. 

When it comes to bookkeeping, it pays to work with professionals. Our team of expert bookkeepers has helped thousands of businesses organize their finances with tools such as Quickbooks or Xero, and we can help you too. 
We are the team you can count on if you need further assistance with your finances. We’re ready to help! Learn more here.