How do I know if I picked the right accounting software?

I frequently get calls from accountants (or IT guys) that are tasked with finding a new accounting system for their company. I am always very sympathetic with these poor souls, because the assignment many times is an off the cuff request: “By the way, will you please look around and get me a list of all of the accounting systems that we should consider and perhaps a recommendation for the best one?” This is not a simple request.

The average accounting system runs a company’s operations and financials for 10 years. Selecting the right accounting software is a complex, business-critical assignment that requires careful thought and planning.

So what do you do?

A few searches on the Internet will yield all kinds of methodologies for software selection, and you should definitely take the time to develop a clear plan for your selection process. The classic software selection process goes like this: establish a technology advisory committee (TAC), prepare a needs analysis and a flowchart of how each task is performed, prepare a requirements definition, issue a formal request for proposal, evaluate alternatives, and select the best alternative.

The problem comes where you need to decide which software packages best meet your requirements. How do you know which software vendors to evaluate? Search for “Accounting Software” and you will get 363 million hits. Where do you start?

One company that I have found extremely helpful is The Accounting Library. For over 20 years, The Accounting Library has provided detailed, unbiased information about all of the major accounting systems in the market.

I like referring prospects to The Accounting Library because I know that once they go through the process of evaluating their requirements against all of the major packages, they will feel much better about their decision. By the time you have gone through all of the options, you can be confident that you have picked the right accounting software for their business.