Accounting Practice Management Software Buyers Guide
Last updated: June 01, 2023
Are you managing an accounting business or are you an independent accountant struggling to keep track of all your invoices and bookkeeping tasks? Help is here if you opt to use accounting practice management software to streamline your processes.
So much time is taken up to perform mundane tasks such as capturing of data, filing and sharing financial documents. If you're prepared to drop the paper trajectory this software can free up to three hours of your time every week; time which can be better spent growing your business and doing activities that add more value to your business.
It works even better if you’re a sole trader and have to independently manage the back office as well as do the actual accounting for your business. It’s designed with the independent accountant in mind to alleviate some of the pressure from your workload.
In this article, we'll summarize the key features and functions accounting practice management software offers. You’ll soon come to realize that using this software can only improve the way you do business.
The Main Features of Accounting Practice Management Software
Before deciding on a particular accounting practice management software make sure it has the following features included:
- It should be able to successfully do client management on your behalf
- Billing and processing must be done from anywhere on any device
- Your general ledger should be fully integrated with your accounting practice management software solution
- It should supply you with a user-friendly timesheet to trace how profitable each task in your practice is
- The software solution must be able to integrate your debtors and creditors ledgers as well as your cash book
- It should assist you to compile all the key financial statements in your business
The Pros and Cons of Accounting Practice Management Software
As with all things in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to any particular activity. Let’s unpack some of the most important ones to take note of.
Investing in reputable accounting practice management software carries these benefits:
- Straightforward data entry
- Minimal delays in processes as it fast tracks processes
- Reports are automated and you get detailed analytics
- Mundane tasks are automated to free up your time
- It minimizes the number of errors
These disadvantages are worth considering before you make your final decision on which accounting practice management software to use:
- The price difference between a paper-based accounting system and accounting software is relatively small but investing in the software will still cost you more
- You may require some assistance to initially set up and implement the software system successfully
- You may need to pay for continuous maintenance and support on your package
Successful Implementation Guidelines
Follow these easy steps to implement your accounting practice management software successfully:
- First and foremost you need to select the most suitable accounting practice management software for your business
- You can request a demo first to see how it works in practice
- During the demo consultation, you can ascertain what features your business will need
- Some software providers have a trial version that allows you to test it out before you purchase it
- Most software providers can facilitate the application process online; make sure you read through the terms and conditions carefully before signing the contract
- Throughout the process, you'll receive technical support from the provider
The Costs of Accounting Practice Management Software
When calculating costs it always depends on what features you'll include in your plan. The basic plans are priced affordably but if you want the full suite that'll cost you a bit more. There's also free software available that can perform some impressive functions.
Pricing can start from as little as $9 per month if you pick a vendor like Xero Practice Manager. It's a full suite that includes features such as WIP tracking and a basic CRM is built in. More comprehensive solutions from Aero Workflow start from $39 monthly or even up to $99 per user monthly when using Canopy. That includes features such as workflow templates that are customized for your business and a client portal for seamless document sharing.
It all comes down to how many users you need support for and how many features you want to build into it. No matter your needs there's a software solution for your budget.
Criteria For Accounting Practice Management Software
Before any software can be deemed as accounting practice management software, it needs to meet the following criteria:
- It must take care of the range of services rendered by professional accountants
- It must be able to successfully manage customer relationships and prospects
- It should monitor and support all accounting related tasks and activities
- It must provide a client portal for interaction with accountants
- The software should trace what the status is of every project and summarize the billable hours
- It should generate invoices to clients and track payments after it’s issued
The accounting activity is a crucial part of any business. This is where financial statements are compiled to keep track of your finances. There’s very little room for error here. This is the treasure chest of your business and should be safeguarded dutifully.
Why take the risk of human error entering into this vital part of your business when you can automate the most essential tasks? You’ll minimize your risks and free up resources that can be used elsewhere.
Investing in accounting practice management software improves your customer relationships and manages the back & front of your office with ease. You’ll never have to look for an invoice or track a delivery again. Select an accounting practice management software today and join the millions of businesses all over the world that’s enjoying its numerous benefits.