Let’s face it, you can find accounting software fairly easily these days, whether you purchase it from a local accounting software professional, research and purchase on the Web, or simply walk into a chain store and purchase it off the shelf. And while accounting software may be easy to find and purchase, what really matters most in your decision are two things. 1. Are you able to enter your data into the program easily and in a way that is meaningful? 2. Are you able to pull out the information you have entered in such a way that it allows you to make good management decisions for your business? Here is why.
- Are you able to enter your data into the program easily and in a way that is meaningful? A business typically has transactions to be entered on a daily basis. The system you use should allow you to enter these transactions easily and intuitively. Be sure that you are able to easily find the correct account code for entering the transaction, so the data will be accumulated into the correct ‘income or expense bucket’. If your business accounting software system is not intuitive or is just plain difficult, you will find mistakes being made, and this will make the analysis of the data extremely difficult, if not impossible. If mistakes are made, be sure there is a way to easily fix them with an audit trail to track those changes. Without an easy to use entry system, the entry of your data will be a difficult and frustrating effort.
- Are you able to pull out the information you have entered in such a way that allows you to make good decisions about your business? The number one reason for having an accounting software program is for viewing information that allows you to make important management decisions. Do we need to cut the marketing budget in order to stay profitable? Why did we spend three times more than budgeted in sales last month, and how will this affect us? These are just a few of the questions that can be asked if the data is analyzed. Without the ability to review the data and ask such questions, you are left to make decisions that are not based on good, accurate financial data. By using your accounting software and data in the correct way, you are ensured of making better, more informed decisions, thereby improving your business’s profitability in the short term and for years to come.