Accounting Software

Find the best software for accounting

Every business deals with dollars and cents, which makes accounting software a must. Software for accounting offers comprehensive features that let you manage every aspect of your company's financial health. Typically, you'll have two options when it comes to implementing a software-based accounting system: you can either install programs directly on the computers in your network, or you can use online accounting software. The first approach ensures software accessibility across all levels of your company, while the latter offers you the peace of mind of knowing your data is backed up online in the event of a network crash or system failure.

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Features of Financial Accounting Software

Typically, accounting software packages are divided into individual modules, each of which is dedicated to helping accounting department personnel track specific aspects of company finances. Small accounting software packages usually combine all these modules into a single system, though the features offered are generally not as comprehensive.

Common capabilities and/or modules typically include:

  • Reporting. Use these tools to generate reports, from general ledger and fixed assets to financial statements and graphic-based summaries.
  • Accounts receivable and payable. Generate invoices, track credit card payments, create custom purchase orders and more with these tools. You can also get dedicated accounts receivable software if you need a standalone program.
  • Payroll management. You can use the payroll management modules to set wage or salary levels for your employees, set up direct deposits, automatically deduct taxes and retirement savings, print standard tax forms and more.
  • Inventory tracking. These tools help you specify inventory locations (if you have more than one to manage), average costs, create drop shipments and track physical inventory.
  • Banking and reconciliation. You can void checks, prepare deposits and reconcile all your bank accounts with these features.
  • Job costing. These modules help you generate estimates and price quotes and track the statuses of jobs in progress.

There are also many advanced tools available, depending on your needs. Examples include remote access capabilities, tax tracking, customer service support, credit card processing and asset management software.

Popular Accounting System Software Products

Microsoft accounting software is used by many businesses, particularly because of its superior compatibility with the company's operating systems. However, there are many alternatives available, and some of the best-reviewed current products include Peachtree Complete, MYOB Business Essentials, Bottom Line Accounting, DacEasy, Simply Accounting, Bookkeeper, Cougar Mountain, QuickBooks Pro, NetSuite (for small businesses) and CYMA IV Accounting for Windows.