Accounting software is clearly an important part of your business. If you have ever searched for an accounting software product and a company to work with, you have probably noticed that there are so many accounting software companies available. Do you choose a basic, mass-marketed product like Intuit’s QuickBooks? Maybe you will opt for a large-scale customizable product like Sage MAS 200? Or maybe your business is a perfect fit for mid-market accounting software such as Red Wing Software’s CenterPoint Accounting. The process of narrowing down your search to a few vendors can be grueling if you don’t have the right tools. Answer these questions to help you decide which type of vendor and product is right for your business.
Who am I comfortable working with?
There are so many accounting software companies. Some are very large, with their support call centers in several countries, and you likely won’t speak with the same person twice. Others are smaller, with fewer technicians, where you get to know their technicians and they get to know you. Both systems have their own set of benefits. A larger company may be available longer hours or even 24/7, while the smaller companies may have a more limited support schedule. Consider which type of service you want for your business.
How customizable is the product for your business?
In the accounting software world, there are really two kinds of ‘customizable’. The first is open source code, where the actual code of the software can be altered in nearly any way. Changing source code can get expensive, and you might have problems finding support if your programmer is unavailable. On the other hand, having open source code can provide precision features to be created to fit your business processes exactly the way you want. The other type of customization involves the changing of features within the software to fit your own needs. Many businesses can fit their processes very well by simply editing features within the accounting software to meet their needs. A system like this does cost far less than an open source system as it is likely less expensive to support and keep up. Ask your potential vendor if they provide open source code, or customizable features, as this can make a big difference in cost and processes.
Do the training options fit my needs?
Some people prefer to learn about their new accounting software at their own pace, others would rather attend a live training session, and still others simply use the online help within the system. Each software company offers their own set of training options, so it’s important you find a company who offers training in a manner that fits your company best.
Consider these questions early on in your search for accounting software companies, and you will have a much easier time weeding out the companies that are not a good fit for your company, and focusing on the ones that work best for you.