If you are looking to buy accounting software, it typically sells itself as much more than simple spreadsheet or ledger. The products tend to pride themselves on being comprehensive accounting information systems — depending on the price point, of course.
So, is your company accounting software living up to the hype? If not, there are a couple of relatively simple steps you can take to improve matters.
Many businesses grow frustrated with their accounting software packages because they haven’t invested enough time to learn their full functionality. It’s vital for your personnel to be truly up to speed. Doing so, makes it much easier for them to standardize reports to meet your company’s needs without modification. In addition to reducing input errors, it also provides helpful financial information at any point during the year.
Along the same lines, your company should be able to perform standard journal entries and payroll allocations automatically within your accounting software. Many systems can recall transactions and automate, for example, payroll allocations to various programs or vacation accrual reports. If you’re struggling to extract and use these types of financial information, you might be underusing your accounting software (or it might be time for an upgrade).
Ideally, a champion on your staff may be able to step up and share his or her knowledge with others to get them up to speed. Otherwise, you could explore the cost of engaging an external consultant, such as an accounting firm. The consultant will review your software’s functionality and retrain staff on its basic features, as well as the many shortcuts and advanced features available.
Accounting systems that aren’t monitored can become inefficient over time. Encourage employees to be on the lookout for labor-intensive steps that could be better automated, along with processes that don’t add value and might be eliminated. Also, note any unusual activity and look for improper reporting of any transactions. Remember the old technological adage, “garbage in, garbage out.”
Leadership plays an important role, too. Ownership and management are ultimately responsible for your company’s overall financial oversight. Periodically review critical documents such as monthly bank statements, financial statements and accounting entries. Look for vague items, errors or anomalies and then determine whether misuse of your accounting system may be to blame.
Many businesses don’t even realize they have a problem with their accounting software until they take the time to evaluate and improve it. And only then does the system finally deliver on the hype, sometimes. Our accounting company can help you review your accounting software for your small business and ensure it’s delivering the information you need to make good business decisions.