Choosing the right accounting package
Finding the best accounting software that will deliver on all your business needs isn't always easy. Here are some things to consider:
- Is the software built for a particular size of business? For example, a micro business' needs will usually be different from those of a large company.
- Is the software a good fit for your specific industry or business sector?
- How much does it cost and are there any add-on expenses for maintaining the software?
- What features does the software offer? Can you customise it if the basic components don't fit your specific needs?
- Will the software help you comply with statutory requirements, such as audit trails, tax returns or annual accounts?
- Is the software accredited as compliant with all the necessary services? For example, the HMRC's Making Tax Digital for VAT or the PAYE recognition scheme.
- What support is available for the setup, staff training and running and maintenance of the system, and at what cost?
- What security measures are in place to back up data and keep business and customer information safe?
- Is your accountant familiar with the software and is the software itself compatible with the accountant's package? If you're working with an accountant to submit your business accounts, you will most likely want to be able to exchange accounts data electronically.
Define your business requirements
Once you determine what package options are available, you should define your business requirements and needs, and match them to the existing packages. To assist you with this, we have developed two resources:
- an accounting requirements checklist - to help you assess your business' basic accounting needs
- a list of key features of accounting packages - to help you understand the different tasks accounting software packages can carry out
If your business needs are complex or industry-specific tasks, see specialised requirements for your accounting package.