How to Use Accounting Software

by Contributor

Accounting software comes in a variety of flavors, from the extremely simple, such as Intuit Quicken and Microsoft Money, to extremely sophisticated, such as those from Goldmine or Peachtree. Both varieties of accounting software do a lot more than just balance your checkbook.

Select the software that fits your business. There are many packages out there that are dedicated to specific industries and contain applications you may not find in more generic programs.

Explore all the options. Most users of accounting software only take advantage of a fraction of the capabilities of the options available to them. These can include job costing, invoicing, payroll, tax tools and other capabilities.

Check out the package's customization options. Using these can save a ton of time and can be used to adapt the software's capabilities to your needs.

Budget adequately for training and support services. The more you and your employees know about using the software, the more productive they'll become.

Take advantage of any "extras" that may be included with the software, such as document scanning, imaging and matching, which allows it to recognize document, such as an invoice, and match it to an identical document stored on your computer.

Consider replacing or updating old, outdated accounting software. In addition to new features, there's the likelihood that customer support for the old software has expired.

Carefully evaluate your needs. If all you need is basic accounting functions with a few extras, you may be able to save a few bucks. But don't be too stingy. Allow for expansion.