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Why you should sleep around…I mean shop around….for accounting software

 

Over the past 18 years I have lost count of the number of different accounting software systems I have used.

From disks out of a box bought at Officeworks, to software for internationally owned companies, to listed company’s and now the evolution for small to medium business to cloud accounting software.  I have pretty much dipped my toe (or should I say hands) into the water everywhere.

One of the biggest questions I get from business owners and entrepreneurs is “So what software should I use?”  I am going to put it out there…..I DON”T KNOW.  You see, in my opinion, that question is not a simple black and white answer, and I certainly can’t answer that question without a bit more (actually a lot more) information.

“No software is made for ALL businesses.  I don’t care what anyone says. What Fred uses for his business doesn’t mean it is the right fit for Mary, and what Mary uses might not be the right fit for Jane’s business – you get the drift.”

Accounting software has different features, different functions, different skill levels required, different subscription levels, different access requirements, different user levels, and so much more.

I can’t stress enough that you need to find the software solution that suits YOU and YOUR business.  What system do you understand, what system will you use, what system will your employees use to manage their timesheets, what system does your bookkeeper know and understand, what system does your tax accountant use, what system has the features you need, what system allows for business growth, what system has the reporting functionality you will need, what system tracks inventory – as you can see, the questions are endless.

“This is why I tend to sleep around.  I am not married to any accounting software, and I choose the right software for my clients based on all those questions above and more.”

Choosing the wrong software has huge implications.  Financially you will end up paying for a system you simply won’t use, your financial reporting will not be accurate meaning you can’t see clearly the state of your business, it could impact on payroll calculations and GST lodgements, not to mention the stress and headaches caused by using a system that is simply not meant to be.

So what do I suggest….I suggest you sleep around too.  I suggest you make a list of what your “must haves” are (and price should not be the first on the list).  Work out what you need the system to do, then come and speak with a qualified accountant or bookkeeper (aka – myself) and discuss your list.  I know, based on your list what I would recommend if it were me.  Then take the software recommended on a date.  Take it for a test drive.

My rule is if you are unable to create a sale or enter a purchase within 5 clicks, then it is not the right software for you.

“I don’t care if it is free, or expensive, or if 5 million people use it, if YOU won’t use the accounting software then having it in YOUR life is pointless.”

If that date didn’t work out, that is ok, there are plenty more fish in the sea, so go and date another one.  Take another test drive.  You will know when you find your perfect accounting software match.  And when you find it, that one is a keeper.