A Guide to Finding the Right Accounting Software for Your Small Business

Accounting software has simplified the accounting process for business and personal finances. Today, many software options are available, helping users avoid the one-size-fits-all dilemma. With a little bit of research you can find the accounting software that’s best for your small business.
Why Do You Need Accounting Software?
The right accounting software can streamline your business’s accounting process, make it understandable even if you’re not an accountant and save time and costs for your business. You can use accounting software for many business functions including:
Invoicing
Expenditures
Income tracking
Report generation
While all accounting software products include basic features, they generally offer features and functionality that are ideal for different kinds of businesses.
What to Look For
When considering a product make sure it has aspects, functions and features important to your business.
Is it affordable?  Getting what you need doesn’t necessarily mean paying more than you should. Most, but not all products have a monthly fee as opposed to a one-time cost. Some accounting software is free if you need minimal features, but you can also find free products that have comprehensive features. Many offer a free trial period or other discounts.
Is it easy to use? Ease of use translate into time-savings and less stress. It also means that even those who have limited accounting or technical skills can navigate the software.
Does it allow the right number of users, customers and transactions? Accounting software can have limits like how many people can use it without licensing it for more. There might also be limitations in other areas such as how many invoices or transactions you can generate in a particular time period. Make sure that whatever the limitations are they won’t get in the way of your business requirements.
Does it have the basic features you need? Look for basic and advanced features that fit your small business needs. Most offer the basics such as:
Creation of customized invoices
Payment processing
Management of the general ledger
Income and outflow tracking
Bank reconciliation
Does it have the advanced features you’re looking for?
Other more advanced features can help you with payroll, inventory management, purchase orders, keeping track of billable hours, estimating, tax preparation, credit card processing and more.
Is customer service included?
A good product will have online and over-the-phone customer service. You might need help once in awhile, even with easy-to-use accounting software.
Before you buy, see what others are saying about the accounting software you are considering. A couple of good websites to start with are PC Magazine and Capterra.

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