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A Buyer's Guide to Solutions

Accounting Software Buyer’s Guide
 
Whether you’re in a small business or a corporation, accounting and financial systems are essential backbones of your operation. Income statement, balance sheets, and tax declarations all rooted from one important department – the Accounting. The intensifying campaign of public and private authorities against financial frauds is a loud call for all businesses to strengthen their accounting measures.
 
In compliance to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), the purpose of accounting software is to consolidate accounting processes into a single information system. It is a financial management solution that caters a variety of financial programs for any industry and size of organization. Whether you will be getting it for free or on a premium-based subscription, you need to be cautious when getting your accounting software. So here’s the Buyer’s Guide from ITQlick.com that will give you more insights about accounting solutions.
 
Types
There are two important factors to consider when deciding on which accounting solution is to acquire. First is the type of market where you operate and second is the type of application that you need. It is highly recommend that you start with identifying the market base on the size of your business and then proceed with pointing out what applications are really needed by your business.
 
By Market Level
 
Personal Accounting
It is simple and basic, good enough to manage your accounts payable, receivable and budget. It’s for a start-up home-based business.
 
Low-end Market
Types of software on this market have general accounting functions – general ledger, bookkeeping, etc. However, since they are low-end systems, they may not be GAAP compliant and their security features are very adequate.
 
Mid-market
If you’re looking for industry-standard accounting system, it’s on the mid-market category. Other than general accounting functions, this type of software can be purchased bundled with other management information systems.
 
High-end Market or Tier 1
Highly customizable, complex and expensive are what describes accounting software under this market. Usually part of a more sophisticated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, high-end accounting solutions also require high level of implementation.
 
Vertical Market
If you’re a niche market (banking, construction, real estate, etc.) player, then an industry-specific accounting software is for you. Software under this market are generally custom-built.
 
Hybrid Solutions
Both features of the mid-market and high-level market solutions are on this accounting solution. It has the features of the technology like SaaS and of ERP systems that have advance customization and extreme scalability.
 
By Application Type
 
In software development, different business transactions will have their equivalent software modules. Accounting solutions follow this practice by segmenting an accounting system into different modules or sub-systems base on their application. Here are the available accounting solutions in the market today.
 
  • Core Accounting
  • Project Accounting
  • Fund Accounting
  • Inventory Management
  • Billing and Invoicing
  • Budgeting and Forecasting
  • Fixed Asset Accounting
  • Fixed Asset Management
 
Whether you’re looking for a basic system, an enterprise solution, or industry-specific, best-of-breed solution, concrete knowledge and understanding of the market and of the different software applications available are keys to your smooth, well-executed software purchase.
 
Features
When it comes to features, your accountants and CFO can greatly help in figuring out if a solution has all the functions and characteristics needed by your business. Invite them into your kick-off meetings and find out if these features are available in your prospect solution.
 
Accounting and Business Features
It doesn’t necessary to be an all-in-one package. But the basic accounting tools plus the non-core accounting modules that are important in your everyday business operation such as purchase requisition, timesheet, and payroll must also be available in the system, if not all.
 
Time-Saving Features
When talked about convenience, an accounting system must not be difficult to use. Features like automated billing, customer’s online access to their accounts, and wide options in reporting must be available. Automation and time-saving always coincides.
 
Remote Access and Mobility
Check if the accounting software has mobile versions and ensure that these versions are compatible with the type of phones your employees are using – iPad, Android phones, Windows-based. Remote support offered by the Virtual Network Computing (VNC) technology is a feature that you should also consider.
 
Add-ons Business Services
Credit and debit card processing, e-commerce website integration, and payroll processing are just some of the additional features present on much modern accounting software.
 
Solutions per Market, per Vendor
Excellent sources of information for accounting solutions are websites, like ITQlick.com, that publish reliable reviews, rankings, and benchmarking. Expensive software doesn’t mean that it’s the right software for your business. Inexpensive and even free solutions cannot guarantee you a fool-proof accounting system but they could be the right solution. Review this benchmark prepared by ITQlick.com experts for more information.
 
Vendor Accounting and Business Time-saving Remote Access and Mobility Add-on Services
 FreshBooks 10 9.38 10 7.5
 QuickBooks 8.75 10 9.38 8.75
 SageOne 10 8.75 6.25 8.75
 Zoho 10 8.75 8.75 6.25
 Xero 10 6.25 8.75 8.75
 AccountEdge 8.75 9.38 5 7.5
 Less Accounting 8.75 8.75 6.25 5
 WorkingPoint 8.75 7.5 8.75 3.75
 FreeAgent 8.75 7.5 6.25 5
 Yendo 7.5 7.5 6.25 5
 
Above vendors are offering cloud-based solutions and are between the low-end to mid-market level. On the other hand, top players (and their product) in the mid-market are Sage ERP 300, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, SAP BusinessOne, Epicor 9, and Macola ES. High-level market (or Tier 1) leaders are Infor, JD Edwards, Lawson, Oracle, People Soft, and SAP.
 
Pricing Considerations
From the list of vendors in our benchmark sheet, both Zoho and FreeAgent have $24 per month per unlimited number of users’ subscription price. The average subscription price for these ten vendors is $17. With this average, a company with 25 users will spend around $5,000 a year. Still not accounted are the costs of implementation, customization, training, and support services. A client will roughly spend 50-200% of the price of software in implementation and consulting services. These are the variables to consider in the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Accounting solutions sold as part of a more complex ERP system will have a TCO from about $100K up to a whooping $50M.
 
Market Trends
The cloud technology is a hot trend in accounting software. Among of the reasons on why businesses choose to operate in the cloud today is because of lower upfront costs and faster time of implementation. Most accounting software today has comprehensive functionality. It is not just one or two modules but multiple modules on a single package.
 
Business intelligence tools with accounting software are on their way to development. This is about integrating system over system to maximize the efficiency of single but more powerful software.
Finding the right software for your business
Proper software selections are the precursor to successful deployment and business growth. Finding the right solutions doesnít have to be complicated, and it doesnít have to take days or weeks of your time.

After researching over 5,000 systems, we can identify the best solution for companies of all shapes and sizes. ITQlick.com is 100% free for software buyers.