What should I Expect to be Included in my Accounting Software?

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Accounting software is a tool that is easy to evaluate for necessary features. If you are an individual or a business, the list of important capabilities your software must have is likely to slightly change, although accounting is relatively standardized. Generally the only difference between accounting software packages is ease of use and portability.

Individual

 Accounting software for individuals should include two major features. One is some kind of budgeting system. It is best if the budgets can be tied to individual accounts and categories within those accounts to goals can be tracked and thresholds can be managed on an ongoing basis. A budget doesn't help you very much if it isn't part of your everyday finances.

Second is a well-designed system for tracking loans and borrowing. It is best if this feature can do revolving credit math for you so there are no surprises with your credit card balances.

Business

 Recently, the ability to track expenses by project has become much more important to businesses. Freelancing is growing at a rapid pace. Knowing what your expenses are within the boundaries of a particular project is vital to knowing if you are making money from client to client.

Related to the first feature, but no less important, is the ability to budget and track expenses on a per-vendor basis. The ability to hold vendors under a particular threshold is crucial in project planning. Any accounting package that doesn't allow you to do this on an arbitrary basis is limiting your potential for controlling costs.

Whether you are an individual or a business, learning the basics of double-entry accounting will help you a great deal. This is an academic discipline with roots that go back over 700 years. It is a vital skill and one that will save you money.

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