Choosing the right accounting software for your startup does not have to be complicated. Although there are many software vendors on the market right now, by following the below tips you should be able to reduce your list of options to a definitive few. To help you in the process of choosing new accounting software we've put together a list of 4 steps you should take before making your final decision.
Step 1 - Ask Yourself Questions:
Asking yourself the following two questions before beginning your research will help steer you in the right direction. Along with this it will allow you to create a short list of software vendors who match your criteria.
1. How much am I willing to pay?
Depending on your budget, you should decide at the beginning how much you are willing to spend on new accounting software. For example, at this stage if you realize that your budget can't accommodate a paid software solution you might choose to go with a free version such as Wave or GnuCash. Wave is free to use for accounting, invoicing and receipts although payroll is not included in this option. GnuCash allows you to track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses and is freely licensed.
2. What features do I need in accounting software?
You'll need to take a hard look at your business' specific needs to figure out which ones are must-haves and which you can do without. For example do you manage a lot of inventory? Is project management and time tracking something you need help with? Does your invoicing process need re-evaluation? The must-have features you decide on will dictate how you research and decide on your new accounting software.
Step 2 - Ask Around:
Don't be afraid to ask other startup owners what their accounting software preference is. They will have firsthand advice on what vendors offer the best solution and how it's benefited their business. There are many other online forums where you can ask similar questions such as the Reddit Startups page or Quora.com.
Step 3 – Try Before you Commit:
Once you've been able to draw up a list of possible choices you should attempt a free trial of each before making your final decision. This will allow you the opportunity to play around with the software and get a feel for how easy it is to use and whether it fulfills all your requirements. Most accounting software solutions offer a free trial if you sign up onsite, if you happen upon one which doesn't don't be afraid to reach out and ask whether a free trial is an option for you.
Step 4 – Consult Your Accountant:
Before making your final decision on which software to integrate into your business, you should consult your accountant or bookkeeper. They will be experienced in using various types of software and can advise you on whether they feel your choice will suit your business' and their specific needs. They can also steer you away from a solution which might seem like a good fit but is a poor performer.
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