Choosing the best accounting software

When meeting with clients I am often asked "what is the best accounting software for my business?"
The answer is often a helpful "it depends", as in truth it really does depend on a large number of factors, such as the industry in which you trade, the size of your business, and the level of cost that you would be willing to be incur, to name but a few. The accounting software market is now so competitive, gone are the days where almost everyone is using desktop Sage or QuickBooks packages.
 
With a move to online accounting software, desktop versions are often viewed as a thing of the past, with many businesses favouring the idea of obtaining up to date financial information, anywhere, anytime.
So the real questions when considering what software to choose are what is important to my business, and what financial information do I need to be able to obtain regularly.
For example, a start-up business may initially consider using very basic spreadsheets to analyse transactions from the bank account, and record when sales invoices are raised and paid. To them, their main priority is to keep costs to a minimum during the early stages of their business. Here simplicity is key, the business owners do not want to spend time with complicated accounting entries, but instead running the business and ensuring it grows.
However, as the business grows and regular financial reports are required, a more sophisticated software would become a priority. At this point, an online software such as Xero, FreeAgent or Kashflow could provide all of the requirements needed for a growing business, with a reasonable cost to do so. The advantage here is that the software is still simple to use, but provides a number of useful reports for the business. This can range from monthly profit and loss figures, estimation of Corporation tax liabilities and aged debtor reports. Using these reports can ensure the business owner is aware of the financial results, and react accordingly. 
 
Finally, when a business reaches a certain size, bespoke software is often the next step. Industries often have specific software that the large Companies will use to provide them with the necessary financial information on a regular basis. Although this software can be expensive to maintain, it will provide very specific and specialist information that would be a requirement of a large business.
 
If you would like to discuss which accounting software is best for your business, please contact your local Perrys office.
 
Article written by Jamie Russell