Features to look in an Accounting Software
To record and process accounting transactions within functional modules such as accounts payable/ receivable, payroll and trial balance we employ an Accounting Software. It functions as an Accounting Information System.
At first glance all accounting software look similar but beyond these core attributes lie dozens of other features covering a vast array of functions and services. Some of these features can be considered indispensable. Many others however, are marginally useful or nothing more than marketing gimmicks.
Reporting and Analysis- Besides helping users gain insight into crucial financial activities, reporting and analysis functions help companies confirm to government and industry regulations.
Graphics- Accounting is a numbers-focused activity. Yet graphics, in the form of charts and other illustrative formats, is a powerful tool that can be used to present trends and other concepts in a way that numbers alone can’t convey.
Automation- For many business concerns support for simple accounting transactions and basic financial management tasks just isn’t enough. Many companies require the full amount of employee expenses, payrolls and time sheets, company and departmental budgets, purchase requisitions and other complex financial activities.
Automatic Updates- Using out-of-date accounting software is like eating food that has passed its date of expiry. Tax laws, regulations and financial practices change over time, so it is vital to use software that receives fast, user-transparent and automatic updates.
Customisation- Chances are that no accounting software will exactly match your business needs. That is why the software should allow easy customization of statements, forms, reports, screens, help systems and other program facets.
Internet Connectivity- With the world on the web accounting software should enable transmission and reception of digital documents and handle electronic fund transfers.
Interoperability- Data entered can be productively used by various business applications in HR, sales, shipping other key business sectors. Conversely, you may want your accounting program to draw information from other sources.
Scalability- When business expands the software should keep pace through up gradation to accommodate a large number of users and a growing amount of financial data and transactions.
Expandability- The business can grow both in size and scope. The accounting software should either offer add-on modules that allow customers to slap extra capabilities to its product or migrate to a full ERP environment.
Security- The entire business depends on the accounting software for its existence. If data is lost or tampered with, you stand to lose time, money, business secrets (such as sales or profit data) and, if damage is severe enough, the company itself. We should be aware of the software’s built-in security features as well as how its product’s ability to mesh with on-site safeguards (such as anti-malware technology and network firewalls).
However, human frailties of miscalculations and forgetfulness can have disastrous consequences. So the question of implementation of software is of utmost importance. Basic training in the use of software may be necessary and only when thorough with all the aspects of the accounting software, should it be installed and configured in our system.
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