6 Checklist to Consider: How to Evaluate Accounting Software before Buying?

The accounting system of any business represents the collection, storage, and information process. The organization’s main goal is to use an accounting system that fits all financial purposes. However, it is hard to evaluate the accounting software that the company plans to use. Why? What’s best for your competitors may not always work in your favor. As the organizational work culture progresses, certain changes will occur that affect your plans for the accounting system too. 

So what you need is accounting software that works for you in the long run, no matter the size of your company. 

But for many, it can be a confusing thought. In this article, you will find ways to evaluate your accounting software before picking one that will help your business in its prosperity and growth. 

Evaluation Checklist

Accounting software: What is it?

A program called accounting software is intended to simplify accounting procedures like:

  • Ledger General
  • Reconciliations of Banks
  • Invoices Payable
  • Receivables Accounts
  • Budgeting
  • Reporting

Other forms of bookkeeping software include those for small businesses, budgets, churches, the cloud, and others. The idea is to fund the initiative that most closely reflects the objectives of your business.

Considerations For Purchase

Before you start your search for software, there are a number of questions to ask.

How Big is The Business?

The size of the business is important when choosing a new application. Most vendors offer programs that are tailored to particular business sizes, such as small, medium, and big, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all model. How big is your business today? The majority of programs grow with your business as you hire more people and invest in more resources. In the upcoming five years, do you intend to grow, contract, or remain the same? If you’re a freelancer or a small corner shop, you don’t need an enterprise-level platform. Similarly to this, if your company becomes a worldwide phenomenon thanks to companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon, you won’t need a mid-sized program.

Which is The Best Option For Deployment?

Do you want on-premise, cloud, or a hybrid of the two? On-premise access enables users to utilize the program from a single place on company computer systems. Small businesses with neighborhood stakeholders and partners should choose this option. By using a vendor’s server, cloud deployment enables you to store the program and data. On-the-go access to the solution and corporate data is possible via mobile devices. If you have partners, stakeholders, partners, or other regional or international facilities, this solution is great for you because it allows you to access data instantly over a reliable internet connection. Licensing fees are often used by on-premise solutions, whereas cloud applications charge fair subscription rates.

What is the budget?

Prepare a budget in advance. From a few hundred dollars to $100,000, if not more, are charged for these programs. Establish a budget for yourself and stick to it. You don’t want to invest a lot of money in a solution only to see it fail to pay off (ROI).

Selection of Software

There are several approaches you can use when selecting your accounting software. However, we are here to offer you a tried-and-tested system to speed up the choice of accounting software.

Establish: Know why you require a fresh approach and what you hope it will accomplish.

Establish a clear project charter by working together to define an implementation team with stakeholders, corporate department heads, power users, and others.

Define: Establish a list of the ideal conditions required for the new remedy.

Distribute: Consider how closely vendors match your needs and weed out those who fall short.

Justify: Choose one of the following options: examine the companies on your shortlist and continue your hunt for new software; consider system additions for your present setup; or persist with your initial application.

Prove: To determine which platforms can handle the necessary activities, and evaluate vendors using demos, proofs-of-concept (POC), and use cases.

Rank: Based on their TCO, overall needs, and demo results, rank your top two or three solutions.

Negotiate: Meet with your prospective vendor and go through the terms of their contract. If something in the contract seems ambiguous or you need a second opinion, have a lawyer or law company analyze it. Re-do this step if you don’t like the seller, sitting down with your second or third best choice.

Sign: After agreeing to the vendor contract, you should set up the implementation process.

Key Requirements

Here is a summary of the key specifications and features of accounting software that you need to be aware of:

  • Asset Management

Use this application to manage a variety of resources, such as equipment, vehicles, and investments, on behalf of individuals or other companies. Typically, the asset manager assesses an asset’s suitability and potential to strengthen a client’s portfolio.

  • Banking Administration

Use banking management to keep an eye on all banking operations. It is used by users to streamline accounting duties like accounts payable, accounts receivable, and general ledger, to mention a few, as well as to supervise user data, produce in-depth reports, administer systems, and perform system administrations.

When it comes to banking management tools and solutions, there are several advantages. They reduce operating expenses, offer safeguarded transactions, cut back on travels to the bank, and carry out quick payouts.

  • Managing the Budget

Using this tool, you may create, maintain, adjust, and stick to budgets. As you track your revenue over time, create a sufficient budget that is in line with your company’s objectives.

This module gives precise real-time data, easy budgeting procedures, thorough reporting, and lower costs.

  • Management of Estimates and Invoices

In a single, convenient area, create and manage invoices and estimates. Some capabilities even let you send estimates to clients, which, upon approval, turn into payable invoices. You may add your company’s colors, logos, and other customizations to quotations and bills, and you can check invoice stats to see when clients pay them.

  • Expense Management

An application or piece of software used to handle, pay for, and audit employee-accrued expenses are called expense management. You can also submit, confirm, or reject applications for reimbursement. Use this module to learn how the company and its employees spend money in accordance with the established policies. If violations occur, you can look into them and take the appropriate action. You also receive faster operations, better analytics, credit card connectivity, and receipt monitoring.

  • Bookkeeping and financial statement services

Control a variety of accounting reports and statements, including:

  • Accounting for Cash Flows 
  • Balance Sheets
  • Loss and Profit Statements
  • Equity 
  • Income 
  • Stakeholders Equity 
  • Change in equity and more

Simple bookkeeping techniques can also be used, such as trial balancing, accounts payable and receivable, general ledger balancing, journal entries, bank reconciliations, chart of accounts, and accounts payable and receivable. Even printing reports and performing other duties automatically is possible with these tools.

  • Inventory Control

You might assume that the manufacturing, supply chain, distribution, and warehousing industries would benefit more from inventory management. It is useful for accounting, though. You can get a real-time snapshot of your available goods using inventory. In order to prevent stockouts, you can also specify minimum quantities for items and get alerts when you reach them. Because of the program’s integration with your accounting software, you can see how much you spent on various items.

  • Payroll Administration

Some businesses have chosen to use payroll software instead of outsourcing payroll because they believe the risks involved are too large. You might as well keep payroll in-house where you can maintain total visibility and control as your firm is liable for the necessary taxes and social security information. By recording PTO and sick, regular, and overtime pay, payroll modules also simplify the management of personnel records.

  • Billing and Revenue

It ought to be obvious why you should automate your billing procedures. Your billing system may complete tasks that take your team hours or even days in a matter of minutes. Additionally, fewer human errors are given when there is less human involvement. Additionally, you could require a system that accepts many payment options. Other noteworthy advantages include mobility, fixed assets, and financial ties.

Maintaining corporate income is also essential so that you are aware of how much money your company makes each month, quarter, and year. Additionally, you receive in-depth statistics on client demand, trends, sales peaks, etc., which aids in the creation of sound business decisions.

Checklist About How to Evaluate Accounting Software for Businesses 

My CPA Dashboard is one of the professional accounting software that works for all businesses despite their size. 

As the service provider, we do understand that choosing accounting software is a critical moment for businesses. The fate of entrepreneurs and new start-ups relies heavily on the technology used for growth and sustainability

Choosing accounting software is a BIG decision. 

The good news: there are factors you need to look out for. By learning these factors you will understand how to evaluate accounting software in a better way.

  1. Identify Your Requirement

    When evaluating accounting software for your business, it’s important to identify your specific requirements. Here are some steps to help you do so:

    • Analyze your current accounting processes: Take a closer look at how you currently manage your financials to identify areas where software could help streamline your workflow.
    • Identify your key priorities: Determine the most important features and functionalities you need in an accounting software solution.
    • Consider your future growth: Think about your business plans for the future and ensure the software you choose can accommodate your evolving needs.
    • Assess your budget: Determine how much you can realistically afford to spend on accounting software while still meeting your business needs.
  1. Generating Reports 

One of the most crucial aspects of any accounting software evaluation is related to reports. The basic factors to evaluate are about; 

    • How much data is entered manually vs how much data is extracted by the software
    • Availability of type of report formats vs availability of customized formats 
    • Does accounting software generate a graphical report with text and what types of graphs can be generated?
    • Does it allow the report analysis
    • Is it easy to change the report with updates and changes? Etc. 

What My CPA Dashboard Offers 

Report generation is one of the accumulated features offered to clients. Accountants and bookkeepers are free to generate a fully custom report with the right information. 

The reports can be generated bi-weekly, bi-monthly, or quarterly, according to the work schedule and client’s demand. The reports are arranged in chronological order (date-wise) so that it is easy to find them in the folders. 

Business Processes

  1. Internal Business Process 

It is important to learn how much the internal business process is dependent on the accounting system. For accounting software evaluation you need to learn its limitations as well. 

Compare the two – the internal business process and the accounting software required. 

    • Has your business grown with time? What will be the potential growth using the accounting software? 
    • Is your existing internal business process working at its full efficiency? How much of a gap can be eliminated with the help of software? 
    • Does your business have excessive paperwork? How much of it can be reduced by the accounting software? 
    • Does each department use a different process? Would the software be used for standard department use as well?

What My CPA Dashboard Offers 

Stability in the business processes is another crucial feature of My CPA Dashboard. The accounting software is not only limited to generating financial reports but also is useful in tracking and work task automation that helps improve each department’s work quality. 

When learning about how to evaluate accounting software you will gather an easy user experience, even for non-technical users. It will help the accounts to collaborate with a team of other departments as well. 

  1. Functional Features 

The features of every accounting software will vary. Some offer highly incredible customer support while some have easy-to-use interfaces. Now every feature installed in the software performs a specific function. 

The more featured modules are offered in the software, the more tasks can be performed. Each module needs to be evaluated individually. 

So how to evaluate accounting software based on these modules? Keep the following list in mind. 

    • Does the accounting software provide the functional features you need? 
    • Is the software updated? 
    • Do you require any custom-built features for your work? 
    • Will you need extensive training for employees to use all functions with expertise?

What My CPA Dashboard Offers 

The best part of using this accounting software is that My CPA Dashboard is popular for its easy dashboard use. 

What does this mean? 

Accountants, bookkeepers, and CPAs do not need to have the technical expertise to use My CPA Dashboard. 

Due to easy to understand and easy to functioning modules, the user does NOT require any extensive training. A short demo available on the website will let you learn about the major features and how to use them. 

Integrated Systems

  1. Integrated System 

It is necessary for accounting software evaluation to be based on the integration as well. Each software is best known for its functionality. Each software also has its limitations due to which data is entered manually multiple times. 

It affects work efficiency. The more manual information is added the more time taking tasks will become. 

When all business processes are streamlined, it demands software integration. Some of the valuable aspects of system integration include; 

    • Does an accountant need to use different software to compile a final report using accounting software? 
    • Does the software offer an “export” option or does data need to be entered manually?
    • Is your data available on the desktop or cloud storage? 
    • What is the main priority; save time or integrate the software with other applications? 

What My CPA Dashboard Offers 

The complexities of work automation and data enrollment are real. They do exist. With the help of My CPA Dashboard, you can streamline the business process. It helps the user to avoid using various software to pile up financial information.

Work task automation, billing, plans, payrolls and tax preps, etc all are integrated within each feature. The accountant does not have to rely on other software to use My CPA Dashboard. 

Cloud-based storage offers to eliminates the need to save financial data on a desktop. Because of this feature, the high risk of a breach in information and documents is eliminated. 

Software Pricing

  1. Cost of Software 

The last but not least factor for accounting software evaluation is based on the cost. The total cost of ownership (TCO) is most recommended as the analytical tool to evaluate software and learn whether it needs replacement or not. 

Usually, the TCOs are time-consuming, and also lack solid information which makes them hard to qualify. 

So you must consider the following factors to evaluate the cost of using accounting software. 

    • What is the software license? 
    • How much do the installation, configuration, training, and documentation cost?
    • Does the software offer future updated features?
    • What is the best pricing plan for accounting software?

What My CPA Dashboard Offers 

When you want budget-oriented accounting software, My CPA Dashboard fulfills all necessary criteria. The pricing plans are created keeping the client’s budget and demand in mind. The offered pricing plans are competitive and therefore allow you to handle a varying number of accounts for various clients using the same dashboard interface. 

Accountants, even if they freelance, can benefit from using the basic package. All users are welcome to try the 30-day free trial to ensure they make the right choice. 

Conclusion 

Evaluating accounting software is a must. You can always switch from one choice to another real quick but before doing that, it’s best to learn in detail about the accounting software’s features. 

My CPA Dashboard brings the current market needs and demands under a one-stop solution for accountants. Users can evaluate My CPA Dashboard with first-hand experience. Today’s financial management is going digital, so this is another chance for you to upgrade your accounting system.

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