eHow do I know which Accounting Software to choose?
tttChoosing software is a skill many people try to avoid because they think computers are too complicated and they don't want to make a mistake. The truth is making software choices is relatively simple, provided some basic principles are followed.
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Your data is your own. It is absolutely crucial you are able to get your data out of the software you are using so you can move it to another computer, back it up or send it to your accountant. If your accounting software has a proprietary locked data format, it's probably not the right choice.
If you are unfamiliar with this problem, consider there are probably more than a billion WordPerfect documents in the archives of law firms all over the country that are either unreadable by any modern computer system, or so garbled by software attempting to convert them from WordPerfect to a contemporary format that they are virtually useless. How much do you think those law firms charged to write those documents? What if they were your documents?
Gone are the days when 99% of all computers run the same operating system. In addition to platforms like OS X and Android, there are cloud-based systems, iOS and Linux. If your accounting software or the data it produces cannot run on systems other than the most popular, you are limiting your choices and your flexibility. Over time, this will only become more expensive.
If you can check your accounts with full functionality on your desktop, doesn't it stand to reason you should be able to do exactly the same thing on your tablet or phone?
Ease of Use
You should not need to pass the CPA exam to use your accounting software. The principles of double-entry accounting have been around for 700 years. Double-entry accounting is not complicated. The software you utilize for it should not be complicated either.
When your business is doing sixty major transactions a day, you will be thankful you didn't choose software that requires you to perform 15 minutes of incantations and rituals to enter each one.
These principles will make your software choices much easier and save your business money and time.