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Last updated: January 22, 2021
Accounting Software Reviews, Features, Pricing & Compare
We can safely say that the general ledger is the most essential repository for all your financial accounts. It contains your company's sub-ledgers such as accounts receivable and accounts payable, the equity accounts & records of all your fixed assets.
A general ledger is the heart of your financial reporting and functions as the core in largely all accounting software. Even though the importance of the general ledger cannot be overstated it remains challenging finding a suitable accounting package that meets your requirements.
The ever-changing landscape of accounting software makes it difficult to find the right fit. You’re also inundated with so many options that getting to the fundamentals can become tricky. It takes time to sift through the various offerings and check if you’re meeting the regulations set for companies.
In this buyer's guide, we'll summarize the key features and functions general ledger software offers. It’ll aid you to make an informed decision when purchasing software to keep your general ledger organized and balanced.
Key Features of General Ledger Software
General ledger software can assist with many daily undertakings in the accounting function. These are the most familiar ones to take note of:
- Bank reconciliation: It makes it easy to identify discrepancies by matching balances from the different bank accounts to the general ledger. Some software solutions save you time by automatically importing and exporting changes into the general ledger.
- Tax preparation: It will ultimately depend on the state you're operating in when it comes to tax laws. Most accounting software has been designed to stay abreast of tax laws and ensures total compliance by keeping your records up to date & tax submissions on time.
- Reporting: Reports are usually generated with data extracted from the general ledger. It also assists you to compile data for your KPI dashboard. For this reason, your general ledger must have up-to-date information that reflects your factual financial position.
- Customizations: Your accounting software solution must integrate seamlessly with other software you already have running in your company. Because accounting software is used so widely in various industries the need for customization is high. Most software solutions allow you to customize it according to your unique requirements to ensure it offers the functionality you need.
- Mobile apps: It’s sometimes not possible to be in the office or have access to your computer. That shouldn’t prevent you from performing important tasks for your company. Most software solutions allow you the functionality to do important tasks such as reconciling accounts, sending invoices and logging expenses on your SmartPhone or tablet. Flexibility and convenience are at the center of software solutions.
The Different Installations of General Ledger Software
There are two ways of installing your software solution once you’ve decided on one. Let’s look at two of the most popular ways software solutions are installed.
On-premise or Hosted
With this method, all the software is installed on your computers at your office or place of business and all your data is only available locally. This means you can't access your data remotely. The reason why users opt for this method is that the data is protected and kept close by.
Web-based or Cloud
This option allows you to access the software via a web browser anytime and anywhere you need it. Most businesses are moving towards a cloud-based solution as it’s more flexible and convenient to use. The drawback to this method is that your data could be at risk of being hacked or your privacy bridged.
The Costs of Accounting Practice Management Software
How much will it cost? That’s perhaps the most widespread question. Software solutions are usually obtainable in two ways. You can either opt for a perpetual license which allows you to pay a lump sum upfront to use the software forever. You’ll only be responsible to pay fees when you update features or if you need support.
The other method is to pay a monthly subscription fee to use the software. The cost is determined by the number of users, the different features you want to include and some other factors. The cost increases as you add more modules and customize the software for your specific business.
You’ll get the exact pricing for general ledger software solutions if you request a quote. If you add more users an additional fee will be charged per user. Software vendors can also build a comprehensive package where the cost is all-inclusive monthly.
Perpetual licenses are based on the different features you include and how the package will be customized according to your specific requirements. There can also be start-up costs included in monthly subscription fees depending on the package you select.
Top Trends to Consider
It’s always interesting to note what the trends are of any particular system or product. It helps you gain valuable insight into the different preferences and value propositions attached to it. Based on a survey conducted on accounting software these are the most important qualities for many users:
- Users require a software solution that includes accounts payable and accounts receivable
- Financial reporting and billing & invoicing rank as some of the most important features to be included in the software solution
- Automation of redundant tasks is vital to save time
- Including a general ledger in any accounting software solution is the number one request
The software scene is here to stay. The benefits of implementing any software solution far outweigh any perks of manual processes of capturing data.
General ledger software especially is an important solution that could benefit your business. It takes care of your tax responsibilities by providing factual data from your general ledger. It also automates repetitive functions and frees up valuable time from your key staff members. It allows them to focus on more important functions that can grow your business.
Leave us a comment below and tell us what accounting software solution you’re using in your business & why you’re considering upgrading.