5 Factors to Consider When Buying Accounting Software/Packages

It is good to have some form of accounting software even if you outsource to a bookkeeper. The reasons may vary from the power it gives you over you business’ finances, the possibility that you may have to do something last minute and without your bookkeeper’s help, as well as the fact that it will make your bookkeeping task easier which could help you save on contractor fees. Whatever the reason, there are a number of things to consider before you make a purchase.

What do you really need?

There are many accounting software out there, so need is definitely a factor to look at when narrowing down the field. While you should not limit yourself, try to avoid paying for things you will never use. Additionally, consider your skills to avoid getting something that is too complex for you.

How much can you afford?

Your budget may end up being the deciding factor, but avoid being driven purely by it. Still, avoid spending beyond your means or making a purchase at a point when it is more likely to hurt you financially then help. Knowing how much you can afford also helps to significantly narrow the search.

How is the customer support?

Even the best products can cause problems. Furthermore, you may have questions or concerns so you want to know that someone will be there to handle your queries. In addition to this, your level of expertise will determine if you need added support such as setup assistance, so look at the support you are likely to get both at the time of purchase and throughout the time you are using the package.

Is it user-friendly?

It is possible for seemingly simple products to become headaches because they are not created with the users in mind. One of the best ways to avoid this is to find a copy of the product’s user manual to see how user-friendly both the software and the manual are. If you feel like you have no idea what language it is in, then it may not be a good choice for you.

What can you expect with upgrades?

The direction a product has taken since it was first offered can tell you a lot. Does the company have to upgrade often to fix bugs or are upgrades done simply to enhance the product? Additionally, you want to ensure that an “upgrade” does not mean changing your system, especially if these happen often.

This may sound a little complex, but it is more time consuming than it is difficult. Fortunately, outsourcing to a bookkeeper can reduce the features you need while allowing you to choose something simple and cost effective. As a matter of fact, the bookkeeper you find is likely to already have a system in place that you may be required to use for the hassle-free transfer of information. Lastly, your bookkeeper could make recommendations and saved you hours of comparing specifications that you simply do not understand. This could save you both time and money.


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