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Accounting Software

May 22, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

Dollars for investments
While most people consider accounting software a must for small businesses, it is also an excellent tool for personal finances.  Accounting software provides a great way for anyone to get and stay organized.  Programs can be used to record and process financial transactions, organize bills, and track spending habits.  For small businesses, accounting software can be used to handle accounts payable, accounts receivable, billing, and much more.

An accounting software program is typically easy to find for personal use.  All programs offer functions for account and bill management, and most also offer loan and investment management.  However, choosing a program for a small business may take a little more research.  You want to make sure that the software will help you manage all factors that you require. 

Here are some features that you may need:

  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable
  • General ledger
  • Order entry
  • Purchase order control
  • Shipping & receiving
  • Payroll
  • Billing
  • Debt collection
  • Expense tracking

Many software companies will work with small businesses to customize software features for their specific needs.  For example, some businesses may be venturing into or working solely through e-commerce.  Some software programs will help to automate all accounting functions a track reel or virtual inventory. 

Before purchasing accounting software, take a few days to compile a list of all the functions you perform and the records that you keep.  Once you feel you have a comprehensive list, search for a program that will handle all of those areas or can be customized to do so.  Typically, even basic software programs like QuickBooks will offer some customizable functions.

Another thing to consider is whether or not multiple people will need to access the program.  Some software programs will allow you to create different rules for each user to control each individual’s access.  This is extremely important if you have someone helping with data entry and do not want him/her to make changes or view sensitive data.

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