It is necessary to make the selection process simple and make sure that some significant filtering criteria are followed at the time of investing in an accounting system. Discussed below is an easy to follow step by step filtering process or most essential factors to help you make an informed decision.
It goes without saying that if you are a business owner and looking to have the edge over the competitors, you will need robust accounting software to keep a detailed record of all expenses and income transactions. This is the first thing that should come to your mind right when setting up the business. However, people start planning for it only when it comes to paying the taxes or applying for a loan.
Therefore, it is necessary to understand that you must go for the right accounting software for appropriately managing the business. However, many things must be kept in mind while picking a suitable accounting software. It can be not very clear, too, since many providers claim that they can offer the best cloud-based accounting software in India. Therefore, it is necessary to make the selection process simple and make sure that some significant filtering criteria are followed at the time of investing in an accounting system.
Discussed below is an easy to follow step by step filtering process or most essential factors to help you make an informed decision:
Online or Off-line:
In today's time, every business's first concern should be whether it needs a cloud-based (online) system or a desktop-based (off-line) system. Although many might feel that it doesn't matter much, but it's wrong. Almost every business across the globe is going for a cloud-based system. Those who may not be using it would be compelled to go this route soon since everything is fast getting connected to the cloud. However, there are specific business categories like retail, where speed is the priority rather than the cloud. For such set-ups, the off-line point of sales (POS) system works best.
In the case of cloud accounting software, certain advantages are impossible in the off-line mode. The first is, there is no need to install anything. It's just a simple sign-up, and after that, the transactions can be entered into the system. There would be no need to worry about upgrades since all changes would be pushed automatically. It implies that online software is always up-to-date.
Another prominent feature of cloud-based accounting software is it can be accessed from anywhere. All that is needed is an Internet-enabled device. The back-up process is all automated, and there is hardly any maintenance cost. Other benefits include synchronizing data across all the points and easy integration with other applications or programs that are also cloud-based.
The only scenario where an off-line system would be the best fit is the generation of hundreds of invoices daily or if getting an internet connection is an issue. Otherwise, the best bet is to go for an online accounting system. It will ensure that financial data is always at the fingertips.
Security of Data:
In case online accounting software is on your mind, then the aspect of data security must be carefully evaluated if it is an account payable software system. The essential factor related to security is how the data is being stored. Usually, this particular information would be available on the website of the vendor. Else, a query can be forwarded to have a clear idea of the various security measures to safeguard the data.
It must be checked whether the connection is HTTPS or not. Just open the application and check the URL in the address bar. It is usually highlighted in green. Even the security certificate should be checked. The HTTPS protocol indicates that the data transferred to the server is encrypted. It means that hackers will be unable to access information.
You must have a list of all the essential features desired in accounting software. A few essential features are as given below:
- Invoice generation.
- Customized look and feel.
- Inventory Management - Movement of in-ward and out-ward stock and wastage calculation.
- Bank reconciliation / Bank transactions import.
- Creation of purchase orders and recording inventory purchases.
- Expense tracking based on category.
- Tax management functions.
- Journal voucher entry.
- Management of customer and vendor list.
- Viewing receivables and account payables.
- Balance sheet preparation, profit, and loss statement, and trial balance report.
- Add-on features.
- Multi-currency transaction facility.
- Employee management and payroll process.
- Transaction categorization.
- Control access.
Complexity and user interface:
It is a common condition that most business owners are not from an accounting background. Although most organizations have a dedicated accountant for operating accounting systems, it becomes inevitable for owners to log in to take a look around. The software should also be easy to operate so that the training cost is low.
The application must not be stuffed with all possible features; it will become challenging to use it. Hence, the interface of the application has to be a simple one. A clean interface makes it easy to focus on what's important and can reduce the learning curve to a great extent.
It must be remembered that finding the perfect accounting software is not going to be easy. Once time and funds have been invested in a particular system, it will be a complete loss to shift to another one soon. Therefore, one must carefully consider all possible accounting software buyers tips and mandatory business process aspects to avoid complications later on.