No matter the size of your business, accounting software must be an integral part in managing your finances. Of course, the range of software packages available these days is vast, and you have to strike a balance between something that can handle your needs while being as easy to use as possible. But, regardless of which accounting software you choose, keep in mind that all packages should allow you to get the information you need without a hassle. What good is a system that only allows you to pull out information on reports and other documents, with only the data they deem valuable? Consider these tips for obtaining the information you need, the way you want to see it.
Customizable Reports: While many accounting systems do include a variety of standard reports, they are typically very general to satisfy the needs of the masses. What happens if you want to include an additional field? Or how about if you would rather have two columns of information switched around? It’s best to be able to view what you and your management team wants to see on financial statements. Look for a system that allows you to take one of their standard reports and add, remove, or move fields of information as you like to see it. Then, save your revised report so you can run it exactly the same from month to month, giving all those who view the reports a consistent view of the crucial financial information. Financial information is simply too important to leave the data you pull out up to the discretion of the general reports in your system.
Drill Down to Original Source Entries: When using the reporting within your accounting system, using drill down to original source entries can be an extremely useful tool. When you are in a report, you may have a question about what makes up a number or how that figure was calculated. Drilling down to the original source eliminates the step of having to go into a full edit function or run another report. This helps keep your information accurate while also letting you make edits more quickly and efficiently.
Departmental Reporting: Do you often throw or stuff your personal cash into your wallet or purse helter skelter? No, you likely fold up your dollar bills and perhaps even organize them by dollar amount. If you had to search for and unravel scrunched up dollar bills each time you wanted to buy something, it would take a long time and frankly that would be embarrassing. This is similar to organizing your transactions in your accounting software. Setting up and tracking information by department helps you understand financial information about each of your departments, so you have a more solid idea about each department’s success and where improvement may be needed. Instead of viewing all of your financial information together, it can be broken up and more easily understood.
When you are able to pull the information out of your software with ease, you can spend less time analyzing and more time improving and carrying onward. Use the analysis tools within your software to help you get the information you need, in the way you need to see it.