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Pegasus Blog

7 steps to choosing the right accounting software

DATE

July 9, 2014

When it comes to choosing accounting software there are plenty of options available. However, not all accounting software packages are right for every business. It’s important to consider the needs of your business and factors such as budget, goals, scalability and users.

We might sell award-winning accounting software, but we’re not going to tell you that Opera 3 is the best accounting software for your business. In this blog we’re simply going to cover 7 things you should consider when choosing accounting software.

1. Business goals

Analysing your business and determining what you need from your new accounting software is the first and most important step when choosing a new system.

Do you want a fully integrated accounting software solution that can be used across your entire business, or are you looking for a standalone accounts package?

Integrated accounting software is the approach to take if you’re looking to grow your business. It can give you more control, improve efficiency and save time.

2. Requirements

What do you need from your software and what are nice to haves? Entry level software does the basics such as key financial reports, VAT, customer invoices and records.

If you need features such as stock management, CRM, costing, credit management and powerful, real time reporting tools then you’ll need to be looking at a more advanced accounting system.

3. Know your budget

Have a clear budget in mind and be realistic about what you can afford. If budget is an issue, why not look at modular based software that you can add to as your business grows? Don’t try to buy all the applications straight away, buy the ones you need first and add to your solution gradually.

You should also consider your cash flow and how you wish to pay. Would paying monthly improve your cash flow instead or would you prefer to buy upfront? Is finance available?

4. Scale

You don’t want to be held back by your accounting software in a year’s time. Therefore, it’s essential to look at software that has the capability to grow with your business. For example, does it give you the flexibility to add additional users and companies easily and quickly? If you’re a retailer, it also means investing in software that can store a large number of transactions or lets you track stock in multiple warehouses.

5. Users of the software

When selecting accounting software you should involve the people who will be using the software on a daily basis - these might be your payroll managers, credit controllers or accounts managers. Have they used an accounting software package before and did they like it? If so, it might be worth adopting the same software so they can get up and running quickly. Alternatively, invite them to any product demos you see so they can get a feel for the software early on.

6. Software reseller

Most accounting software is sold through accredited resellers. You’ll be working closely with the reseller to implement the software so it’s important that they are a good fit for your business. Ask yourself:

  • Are they local to you?

  • Do they have experience dealing with businesses in your industry? Do they understand the challenges you face?

  • Is there a support package? There might be an additional cost for this – is the price and offering competitive?

7. Software provider

Finally, take a closer look at the software provider. They think their software is great, but don’t just take their word for it. Look at customer testimonials to see how they are supporting customers in the same industry as you. What challenges do they face and what benefits are they seeing from the software? 

Has the company won any awards? This is a good sign that the software you’re looking at is industry leading. 

Also consider the reputation of the software provider. Have they been around for a long time and do you feel confident they’ll be around for many years to come. You’ll need to bear this in mind for future software upgrades, development and support.