Maureen Windridge

Choosing The Right Accounting Software

It's About The Needs Of Your Business ...

Posted on: 05/12/2013   By: Maureen Windridge

The world of accounting software is often confusing and I am regularly asked which package I recommend to my clients. Rather than thinking about my needs as a bookkeeper, I always answer that it should be the one most suitable for them ...

choosing the right accounting software is about the precise needs of the business

choosing the right accounting software is about the precise needs of the business

There are so many packages on the market. Most will have a sales ledger, purchase ledger and cash book facility. Some very basic ones are not able to cope with VAT. There are many questions that need to be asked before a decision is made.

Firstly though, don't ever let anyone tell you that a system is completely fool proof. Fools are very ingenious! Your business systems software is a power tool. In untrained hands it can do serious damage to the raw material of the business - Your Data.

If I were being asked to advise on the choice of a suitable system some of the questions I would ask are:

  1. How many people will want to have access to the accounts system?
    1. If more than one are there any confidentiality issues to be considered
    2. Will multiple users require access at the same time?
    3. Are all the users located in one place or is anyone on the move?
  2. If a basic system is enough now how easy will it be to upgrade when the business requires more?
  3. Does the business carry stock?

    1. Is a dynamic link required between sales ledger and purchase ledger and stock control?
    2. Is purchase order processing required?
    3. If it is a manufacturing business. Is Bill of Materials required?
  4. What facilities are available for dealing with industry specific requirements i.e. CIS?
  5. Does the software incorporate tools to enable credit control?
  6. How do you take payment?

    1. Is it easy to link your software to your merchant account, PayPal account or a direct debit system?
    2. Do you have suppliers or customers overseas? Do you need software that can easily cope with foreign currency conversions?
  7. What kind of analysis do you require?

    1. Job Costing?
    2. Will you want to see income and expenditure by project?
    3. Do you want to see comparisons?
      1. Budget > Actual?
      2. Current year > Previous year?
    4. Break downs of sales by product or region or salesperson?

It is always incredibly important to consider the precise needs of your business when looking to purchase a new accounting package. Each business is incredibly individual and it would be very expensive to change systems so it's imperative to get it right from the start.

If you're considering changing or upgrading your accounting package, you may feel it's a good idea to give me a call on +44 (0) 1908 692378 or click here to ping over an email and let me give you the benefit of my years of bookkeeping and accounting experience.

Until next time ...


More about Maureen Windridge ...

I consider myself to be incredibly lucky because I am a bookkeeper. At the age of thirteen I did a three year course in three months and passed with distinction.

Many years have gone by since then and I am still fascinated by the process of double entry bookkeeping. A process developed over 500 years ago by a venetian monk called Luca Pacioli.

Many people would like a machine that they could put all their paper work into at one end and it would come out the other end all sorted totalled and balanced. I'm glad it hasn't been invented because it would take all the fun out of my work!


+44 (0) 1908 692378


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