The financial health of a business is arguably the biggest determining factor for longevity.
This is why accounting plays such a crucial business role.
However, no matter how skilled the accountants you have onboard may be, the more manual processes involved in accounting, the higher the risks of human error.
Accounting software greatly eliminates these risks, but only if you choose one with the best qualities.
If you are just starting your business or ready to implement an accounting software to your current business, we have put together a list of features you need to look out for when choosing your accounting software.
1. Centralised Dashboard
A centralized dashboard is essential. This makes it easy to determine the company’s financial health at a glance as well as other key metrics you need to keep an eye on.
As well as having a centralized view of your data, look for a customizable dashboard too. What you may need to access as a business manager might not be the same information the accounts receivable team needs to see.
Identifying company information at a glance also makes it easier to make split-second decisions.
For example, if the business receives an offer for a rare opportunity, decision-makers can quickly review expected and actual cash-in-hand to make a decision.
2. User-Friendly Design
Have you ever visited a website that you instantly knew had not received an update since the 1990s?
These websites are much more difficult to navigate and generally take all the fun out of internet browsing.
If you meant to do business with the company, the outdated website might turn you off completely. Accounting software is often exactly like this.
When buying software, choose something your accountants will appreciate using.
Talk to the accountants about what makes software user-friendly.
Specific company practices or personal preferences for completing certain tasks could make even simple button placements become a big selling factor.
3. Fast Accounting Software
Consider this scenario: The business owner reaches out to you from vacation. He found a business for sale that would allow the company to expand into a market he had been eyeing for a while.
Because it is close to his vacation home, he would love to manage the branch full-time. So, how much does the company have on hand, and how soon could you wire $2,000,000?
The speed in this scenario manifests in two ways. The first involves how quickly the accounting software loads, calculates, and provides this information at a glance.
The second involves how quickly and easily it allows you to send money quickly to the owner without paying high fees to do it.
4. Built-In Credit Check Features
When you extend credit to customers, you get new business, but you also take on new risks.
What guarantee do you have that these customers will pay? What options do you have available to you if they don’t?
Completing credit checks makes it easier for you to determine who to extend credit to, how much to provide, and under what terms.
Being able to do this within the accounting software ecosystem saves you the trouble of needing to switch between apps.
It also ensures you have all the information you need in one location as part of a comprehensive and easy customer setup process.
5. Upfront Payment Details Requirement
Why wait until invoices are due to track down customers for payments?
Get their payment details upfront. Then, when their invoices are due, the software bills them automatically for the balance.
Not all retail wholesalers will want to do this, so consider offering an incentive for providing these details. Try one or more of the following:
- Faster delivery of goods and services
- Higher credit limits
- 1% discount on the total balance due
6. Payment Processing
It goes without saying that the easier it is to pay, the more likely it is that people will pay in full and on time.
Your choice of a payment processor has the greatest influence on this. However, choosing separate software for payments alone can become way too much of a hassle, especially when compatibility changes and integration becomes an issue.
The best accounting software includes payment processing features. It also makes it easy for you to facilitate unique payment arrangements, such as customers paying for an outstanding balance in installments.
7. Data Security
The Australian Cyber Security Centre’s Annual Cyber Threat Report for 2020 to 2021 found a continued increase in cyber security threats and the cost of incidents.
It shares that reports of cybercrime rose by 13% over the previous year. In spite of these, SMEs usually do not take extra precautions because they see themselves as outside the line of fire.
That’s exactly what makes them excellent targets for enterprising hackers.
When you take information to complete credit checks and process payments, you have a commitment to protect the information of your customers.
A data breach could cost you dearly in customer trust. Consequently, it’s important to use accounting software that prioritizes data security and is compatible with in-house cybersecurity efforts.
8. Simplified Accounting Processes
Software should make it easy for you to automate processes. Reconciling accounts presents a perfect example.
Completing this process manually can easily take an entire day each week, depending on the size and number of transactions.
It only takes one misplaced comma or formula error in the spreadsheet to throw everything off. Good accounting software allows reconciliation with a single click.
When you reduce how much time workers spend on menial tasks, you open up a world of opportunities.
You can now grow productivity and expand operations without the need to add to your accounting team. This can save your business tens of thousands of dollars or more, depending on its size.
Whether you have a large team of accounting professionals or just one dedicated person, PencilPay can revolutionize the way they serve your business.
When professionals can automate menial and tedious tasks with our software, they can focus their attention on problem-solving and strategizing.
PencilPay integrates with your accounting software and makes it easy to manage credit offers and payments.
This ensures a strong cash flow for your business. Not fully convinced? Each of our pricing options includes a risk-free 30-day trial.
Choose your plan and try it for free. We’re confident you’ll love it enough to keep using our services.