3 questions to ask to choose the right accounting software
If you are not yet using accounting software to run your business, this is probably the next step for you. Accounting software is an indispensable tool, but it is important to choose the right one for your type of business in order to extract all possible benefits from it.
The right software will save you time, reduce the risk of errors, speed up your invoicing process (and get paid faster at the same time!) and more.
The SME management software market can be complex to navigate. The offer is vast, especially nowadays, and the various solutions on sale do not always respond to business issues in the same way.
To help you, we present below 3 fundamental questions that you should ask yourself before you even search “accounting software” on Google and actually start shopping.
To get your search for the perfect software for your business off to a strong start, first ask yourself…
What problem am I trying to solve?
Every business needs basic accounting functionality, such as accounting (the general ledger) and managing accounts receivable and accounts payable. These basic functionalities are found in the majority of software on the market, but it is still wise to check with your accountant that the software you choose will allow you to do the necessary things with ease.
Here, convenience is key. For example, we still too often encounter entrepreneurs who waste a lot of time maintaining (or, worse, paying someone a lot of time to maintain) an Excel file that becomes more and more complex as their business grows. That’s a topic for another day, but if you’re in this category, it’s important to be aware of therisks that come with managing your company’s accounting on Excel!
Then, beyond accounting, you will surely need functionalities for various daily operations, depending on your sector of activity. Inventory management, budget tracking, project management, and reporting and analysis are examples of features to consider when looking for accounting software.
If your company is in an industry that imposes specific standards and requirements, we recommend that you check that the software you choose can adapt to these specificities and thus allow you to always comply with these standards (we believe, for example, wages in the construction market, which are strictly regulated by standards that change regularly).
Will the software be able to grow with my business?
It’s normal to want to choose software that meets your current needs and budget at the time of purchase, but don’t forget to consider the growth of your business.
The software may be right for you now, but will it be able to adapt to the changes ahead and be able to grow with your business and keep up with your ambitions?
A good way to assess the long-term potential of software is to find out about the types of companies that use the software in question. If the software is used across a wide variety of industries and by companies of widely varying sizes, that’s a good sign. He will probably be able to accompany you from the beginning and stay with you as you grow.
If you have questions about the ability of software to grow with you, don’t hesitate to ask your accountant before making a purchase. The latter will probably be very happy to offer you neutral and objective advice that will help you choose, especially since it is he who will have to live in part with your choice afterwards!
Accounting software for SMEs essentially comes in three types: desktop software, 100% online software and hybrid software. Each type has its advantages and to determine which one is best for you, consider how you approach your day-to-day operations.
Desktop software, although sometimes seen as less flexible, is often still the ideal solution for companies that primarily operate inside their office and have little or no the road. As there are few new desktop accounting software coming out in the market today, the ones that are there tend to have been there for a long time. They have proven themselves and their longevity is often a guarantee of robustness and reliability.
If you don’t have the hardware to support desktop software or just want more flexibility, there is 100% online software that will allow you to have access to all your features and data no matter where you are. you find. The advantages of this software are clear, particularly in a context where mobility is becoming more and more important.
Very important to think about if you are considering a 100% online software subscription: make sure that the provider has been in business for a long time (demonstrated reliability) and that the software will meet your long-term needs. The market is full of web-based solutions that are simple and cost next to nothing, but they are often aimed at very small businesses, even self-employed people, and often provide very few options for growing businesses.
The third type of software that you will find on the market is so-called “hybrid” software. Halfway between desktop software and web solution. the hybrid software is ideal for companies that want to manage all their accounting and administrative operations in the office (for data security reasons, for example), but while allowing representatives, sellers or delivery people to travel on the road with access to all important information.