Accounting software programs are business applications that facilitate better financial decision-making. These programs come with a suite of features that document and process account transactions electronically, allowing for more accurate financial record-keeping. Companies use this software to collect, summarize and investigate fiscal data, and to keep important financial records in one place for easy access. Some of the most popular accounting software programs include QuickBooks Desktop, Wave and Xero.
Access to Detailed Data
Unlike paper record-keeping, accounting software provides business users with more flexibility in using their data. Companies can access analytics and information about their financial performance — useful data for taxation, audits, cost analysis and cash flow. This information can also be used for risk management, forecasting and sales optimization purposes.
Many large companies utilize custom-made accounting software tailored to their particular needs; small businesses benefit from off-the-shelf software with basic features. However, both types of software offer personalized dashboards with financial information that benefits the end user. Companies can access data about invoices, tax, order fulfillment and salaries in one place, making accounting software an important financial resource.
The benefits of accounting software range from cost-saving to automation to security. Most programs store sensitive data in the cloud, too, ensuring financial information is kept safe in the event of a natural disaster or security breach. More businesses are keeping important financial information in the cloud, and 78 percent of small enterprises will have adopted cloud technology by 2020.
With paper record-keeping, financial calculations are carried out manually. Accounting software automates this entire process, reducing the possibility of errors and ensuring greater accuracy. Real-time dashboards provide businesses with an overview of their financial affairs without the need for manual intervention. As many of the tasks associated with accounting are automated, such as invoicing and payroll, this software could even cut labor costs.
What Users Say
“We are streamlining almost every process,” says a user of Intacct, a type of accounting tool. “From our front end AR system to our AP process, we’ve reduced our time frames from days to a matter of hours. We’ve also cut out much of our paper usage. One of the most streamlined processes has been our AP invoice entry process. With the ability to duplicate invoices from older ones, we don’t need to re-enter information over and over.”
“Our business problem was quite simple. We needed a way to invoice customers and track payments,” says a user who reviewed accounting software Tradeshift. “This software has certainly made it very easy for us to keep on top of our sales by providing a comprehensive tool for issuing and tracking invoices and quotes.”
Another user, who works as an administrator at a small company, says, “We are able to review information more timely with some of the features in Intacct, either due to time savings or the ease of the program. We have been able to eliminate a vacant position with the switch to Intacct and our audits seem to run a lot smoother.”
Accounting software automates many of the tasks associated with record-keeping, providing a lifeline for businesses of all sizes. Although this software ranges in scope, most programs integrate with the cloud to ensure data security, reduce human error, offer detailed financial data and provide users with a personalized dashboard.