Keeping track of accounts receivable, expenditures, business accounts, expense accounts and the many different flows of cash in and out of your business is a complicated endeavor. An accountant – or team of accounting professionals – works diligently to keep accounts in order, supported by powerful software that has been developed to help them keep track of the myriad transactions that happen day to day, month to month and over the course of a year. Let’s take a look at the main features of these programs and a few of the top options on the market today.
Modern accounting programs offer a full suite of features for keeping track of your company’s finances. Beyond basic income and expense tracking, today’s software comes with a full range of added features, like automated processes that can take care of recurring payments, billing statements, past-due notices and other tasks that need to be infinitely repeated on a regular interval, notes Business News Daily. The software can also help your staff put together quotes and provide cost estimates for your sales teams or clients to use in their pitches.
Software today can also make tax season far less daunting by tracking all of your financial records to provide you with the calculations you need for your tax reporting and filing, factoring in required tax rates and providing an exportable file that you can easily send to an external accountant or other team member tasked with taking care of your filings. In addition, most programs can automate your payroll, taking that task and making it a simpler endeavor from week to week.
Another great benefit to today’s software is that it’s adapting to work within the modern world where you’re always on the move and need to have ready access from wherever your work location is. With mobile access, these programs provide simple and convenient use from smartphones and tablets, allowing users to connect to their database from anywhere at any time to make changes, check figures or perform any other management duties needed. Plus, many programs are moving to offer cloud-based access, meaning that your data is saved on servers that are accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection. This provides an incredible level of access that was never possible with previous software and technology.
Small and Medium Businesses
For small to mid-sized businesses, there are a range of traditional and free programs available to help establish and manage the books. PC Mag recently released its rankings for the best accounting services for 2015. Ranking at the top of the company’s list was FreshBooks, an Editors’ Choice recipient for multiple years that has continued to grow and evolve to add a wide range of management features. Offering convenient cloud access, this ever-accessible program offers many features that can work for anyone, from the small businessman to the fledgling company to the middle of the road business with a staff who needs access, but is unfamiliar with the stodgy terminology often used by accountants. Check out PC Mag’s full review online.
The runner up in the small and mid-size category is a long-standing powerhouse: QuickBooks Online Plus. Offering incredibly customizable reporting and comprehensive features to manage transaction forms and client contracts, this mainstay of accounting has a new look in the online edition for 2015, with far more capability for cloud users. With a comfortable user interface with features familiar to long-time desktop version users, this software also received the magazine’s Editors’ Choice award. One handy feature: Starbucks mode allows users to hide sensitive details from the screen while working in public, providing more privacy for you to still get your work done while you grab your java without worrying about who is peeking at your screen. Read the full PC Mag review to find out even more about this year’s version.
In larger companies, more advanced programs are needed to manage the many different users who need to access the system regularly and still balance the accounts from the micro level to the macro view. This is where enterprise-level software comes in, with a few large firms providing software that is used by the biggest companies around the world. These programs offer many different tiers of access that can be tailored for different user permission levels and functions integral for multinational operations, like currency exchanging and multiple language interfaces that can work from the same centralized databases.
Microsoft offers corporate users Dynamics GP, a comprehensive utility that offers secure cloud access that can be scaled up and down depending on a company’s needs. With sales options accessible in the field and real-time data tracking and reporting, users can get the most up-to-date and accurate statistics on sales data and other business analytics, allowing managers to keep an active eye on their business and adjust their strategies or policies as necessary.
Another leading program is Infor Lawson, which offers comprehensive human resources functions and payroll management as part of its suite of features. Serving as much more than just a centralized accounting utility, the program also offers ways to manage supplier relationships and inventory levels to ensure that your inventory is always in stock and regularly restocked as you may need, ensuring that you always are ready to fill any order that comes in.
Rounding out the top programs is Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and World programs. Like Microsoft and Infor’s offerings, JD Edwards’ two software packages each allow users to better manage business processes, accounts receivable and inventory levels at each level of the business. From warehousing to ordering, to time clock management and international transaction reconciliation, JD Edwards is a popular choice for many customers who need a complete solution for their large organization with many locations around the country or around the world to bring their whole workforce, product and accounting management into one robust utility.
At CSS, our highly qualified and vetted candidates have experience with many of these software programs, making new hires all the easier to incorporate into your organization. Our staff heavily researches the industry-leading software programs to make sure candidates really are experienced in what you need them to be. If you need to grow or expand your team or are looking to fill an opening created by retirement, contact us today and let us help you find the right person to join your team.