If you are considering purchasing accounting software probably the most common question would be which package is the best. Though as an accountant in CPA who has used accounting software for many years I would like to suggest some questions that you should consider first.
The first question you should be asking yourself is how many people will be using the software at one time and in how many locations will they be. If you have several people that need to access the financial records from several different locations you should strongly consider getting an online subscription to accounting software. The new terminology for this type of solution is called cloud computing.
If there is only one person who will be doing the data entry with the accounting software then it might be a good idea to consider accounting software that is installed on a single computer. There are some very mature solutions that have many features, some that cannot be found with online cloud solutions.
The next question you should ask yourself is what you are expecting the software to do for you. It might be a good idea to take out a sheet of paper and make a list of the tasks that the accounting package is going to help you do. I would strongly recommend that you use the software to organize tasks that have to do with your bank accounts. This would mean that the software should be able to pay bills and print checks, invoice customers and collect receipts, and then be able to tell you what you’re available balance is. You’d be surprised how many business owners have to call the bank or check online to find out what cash they have available in their checking accounts. Sometimes they may not even be aware of checks that were written that will actually limit the availability of funds that they can use. It is also most essential that after checks are written and funds were received that the account can be reconciled with your bank statement.
To find out then what the best accounting software is you may find that your answer will not be the same as someone else’s. If you need collaboration with several people then your best accounting software is not the same as someone else’s who has a single person entering all their accounting information.
Though I would like to answer the question that we set out with in a straightforward manner. In my experience I have found that the best accounting software for many small businesses is the solutions provided by QuickBooks. There are many reasons that I can make such a suggestion. The first reason is that QuickBooks is probably the most popular accounting package on the market. What this means is that you probably use that before or are employing people that have. This makes learning the software that much easier to do than other programs that may be unfamiliar. I have watched their company thrive since their first product called Quicken and they have helped many people and business owners with their products.