If you’ve ever searched for just the right business accounting software, you’ve probably noticed that the price varies greatly by product. Many people wonder why there is such a variation in pricing among software products. Accounting software can range from ‘free’ to $100,000+ in price! Well, much like the price for your paid for the vehicle you drive, business accounting software prices vary for a wide variety of reasons. Here are some of the major components impacting the price tag.
Business accounting software ranges greatly in its functionality. The free and least expensive programs offer the most basic of features, like the ability to add customers, vendors, accounts and basic business information. Small businesses and those just starting up should be able to enter their basic accounts payable and accounts receivable information into the system and also pull out basic standard financial reports. The smallest of systems will usually place limits on the number of companies, customers, users, memory, and other data. More complex functions such as multiple warehouse management, customizable reports, serial number tracking and much more are available in mid-market systems, a great option for those who are outgrowing basic systems. Larger companies will typically opt for programs where the source code is available, meaning the actual software itself (not just its features) are customizable.
There are two types of customization when it comes to business accounting software. One type is more basic and allows you to customize components within the software. As systems become more robust, more customizability is offered within the system. The other is, as mentioned above, ‘open source code’ which allows you (actually, a programmer) to customize the actual program to meet your needs. The more customization available, the more expensive the software becomes. This is because more resources are needed to plan for and implement custom programming for your software system. The ongoing support of customized software takes more time and resources, thus the more complex your system, the more your support will cost.
How do you feel as a customer of the software you use? When you contact the company for help, do you feel important? Or do you feel lost in a sea of other customers, trying to get your voice to be heard? Your business accounting software is only as good as its support team. Maybe you need help in setting up your system, trying to find the most efficient way to do something, or solving a problem that seems to be taking you a long time on your own. Your software support team should be able to help you with any of these issues and more. If you have to spend time waiting and hoping for somebody to call you back, only to realize they are not experienced enough to help you, that is wasted time and lost dollars. Opt for support that is experienced and available within a reasonable amount of time. Yes the price tag may be more, but in the end you will save money and keep things running a lot more smoothly.
As with any important purchase you make, many factors should be considered when purchasing business accounting software. Every detail and feature within a business accounting software system costs money to develop, distribute, support and maintain. Instead of focusing on price, be sure that the software you choose can handle your business needs and help run your business for years to come.