What to Look for in an Accounting Management Software

If you’re looking for accounting management software, you’ve probably wondered exactly what it is you need.

As an accountant, you’re likely used to getting things done efficiently and don’t like to make mistakes. Does that sound like you? If so, selecting the proper accounting software is something you want to delve into only once and commit for life. When you find the right software, it’s like a match made in heaven.

We’ve outlined a few things to consider when looking for your perfect software match. Before continuing, take a second to evaluate what you need from your new accounting management software and ensure that the program you invest in checks all the boxes.

The last thing you want to do is rush the process and start from scratch six months from now. Trust us; your accounting software should make your life easier in every way that matters to you. So when you find your match, it will just feel right.

Keep Everyone Happy By Staying Within Budget

Every accountant worth their salt knows the importance of sticking to a budget. The right accounting management software will fit into yours, not the other way around. Don’t overextend by paying for a bunch of bells and whistles you don’t actually need. That will increase the amount of time required to learn the software along with your budget. Instead, find software that is within budget and specifically suited to fit your needs.

Different software varies in pricing depending on several factors, such as add-ons, the size of your firm, number of employees and clients, reporting, and whether you want a program that focuses on time and billing or, alternatively, will fully optimize a firm across multiple offices.

You may prefer software that you pay for once and install on your desktop, but those options are increasingly few and far between as the world shifts toward a more cloud-based standard. Most accountants want to be able to access their accounts remotely as well as in the office. Cloud-based options, such as TPS Cloud Axis, require a monthly fee to support the ongoing maintenance and evolution of the software, including the addition of new tools and features.

A monthly plan doesn’t need to drive your budget up, however. A software like TPS Cloud Axis offers multiple plan levels so you can have more control over your subscription, whether you’re a one-person show or running a multi-office firm.

We believe it’s worth investing in an accounting management software that serves all your needs. It will help reduce costs elsewhere (i.e. hiring extra personnel, spending time and money on reviewing productivity, etc.).

Optimize Billable Hours With Dual Time Tracking

There’s more than one way to skin a – er, track time. But not all accounting management software options offer flexibility with time tracking. Look for software that offers dual time tracking– both in real-time, using a conveniently located time tracker, and after the work is completed, using manual time entry.

No manager wants to spend their time worrying if their team is tracking time accurately or efficiently. Nor do they want to encounter any unpleasant end-of-month surprises in terms of how many billable hours have been tracked. Having both options will help you and your staff track time easily and accurately, improving the accuracy of invoices and performance reports.

Having this feature is especially important if you or your team are working remotely. Unpredictable environments increase the chance of distraction and human error. When you or your staff are juggling a lot– whether that’s the crying kid at home or the persistent rattle of their train car, you want to make time tracking as easy and obvious as possible.

Make Life Easier with Flexible Account Options

Accounting management software may seem pretty cut and dry, but any tool you use should be flexible and adapt to your needs which will shift and change over time.

When selecting new software, look for one that offers flexibility in its features and pricing. All those extra bells and whistles that you don’t need don’t just drive up the price of the software– they can actually make the software more difficult to use for you and your team.

Bonus points if there are real people manning the support phones. Reaching a human on the other end of your trouble-shooting calls is a great sign. These folks should listen to your specific questions and needs and provide more flexibility than a bot would.

You also want your software to grow with you, so find an accounting management software that’s scalable and will give you room to grow without having to relearn a new platform completely. TPS Software allows you to upgrade or reduce your plan size even after you’ve started a plan– and we’re there to help support you through any account changes.

Cloud-based management software also provides control over teams near and far, giving you the flexibility to work from home, the office, or anywhere in the world due to a pandemic without panicking (and without losing tons of money due to unnecessary overhead costs).

Efficient Billing Will Save You From Headaches

Getting paid is how companies stay alive, grow, thrive. Anything that will help you get paid faster or in a more efficient manner is 100% worth it in our book. Your future accounting management software should help make the time between invoicing and receiving or remitting payment minimal by validating time spent on projects, creating automated invoices, and tracking all team members that spent time on said project.

Workflow tracking and reports generated by your software can help justify the team’s work and provide useful information when a curious client has billing questions.

Effective billing can also help you keep track of how much, how quickly, and how regularly your clients are keeping up with payments. As an accountant, your job is to help clients improve their financial health, but you can’t forgo your own in the process. Keeping an eye on internal and external payments will help keep everyone happy.

Some software can send invoices and past-due notifications, saving your team time on invoicing and accounts receivable. Others can convert quotes or estimates into invoices automatically, create custom invoices, bill one client or all clients at once, and much more in just a few clicks.

You might consider having collection letters with a more demanding tone for overdue accounts. In TPS Software, you can set these up to automatically after a certain number of days overdue. Little things like this can make a major difference in cashflow while not taking up any of your limited time or headspace.

Detailed Reporting Is An Accountant’s BFF

Have you ever made a spreadsheet or generated graphs for a client report? We’re guessing yes, and it probably wasn’t much fun either. Gathering and presenting reports can prove invaluable when you want to identify issues and opportunities for increased growth or profitability. Pulling this type of deck together can be a real time suck.

Every accounting management software should generate financial reports, but they are not all created equal (and some carry a hefty additional fee). When choosing new software, look for hidden fees, what type of reporting is included with your subscription, and make sure those reports can help provide valuable insight into your client’s and your own business.

If you need specific types of reports for individual clients who like things done a certain way, make sure those are in there too.

Good software provides detailed reports that will help you analyze your financial health, spot issues within your company, and effectively interpret financial data. Great software will take all of this information and decipher it, helping you recognize what can be improved.

Work Smarter, Not Harder, With Optimized Workflow.

From onboarding new clients to automating monthly invoices, any business owner’s end goal is to achieve an optimal workflow that will allow you to work smarter, not harder. Improving workflow is essential for accounting firms and can help simplify their day to day immensely by automating plannable tasks.

For example, why spend a full day onboarding a new accountant onto your team when your accounting management software can help do that for you? When choosing the right software for your firm, make sure you find one that enables you to streamline this type of task so that you can spend valuable time on more pressing/lucrative tasks.

In our current ‘work from home’ world, platforms like TPS Cloud Axis can help you easily take your team and data online with built-in video tutorials and on-call support specialists.

Once the whole team is up and running on TPS, features like specific client workflow data, alerts, and reports will keep the guesswork out of your accounting business. From interns to co-founders, automating how you do things as a firm and clear work flow will help keep your company process, expectations, and policies crystal clear.

Organized Clients = Happy Clients = More Clients

Providing excellent service to clients is what keeps a company running and hopefully growing. Your accounting management software needs to work for you but also help keep your clients happy.

One of the best ways to best serve clients is by keeping their information incredibly organized so that you can find their data quickly and respond to messages in a timely and effective manner.

Solid accounting software should help keep communication channels between you and your clients open, straightforward, and (hopefully) minimal. Mass emailing capabilities can quickly disseminate critical information like changes in paperwork, laws, tax breaks, etc. No need to individually email (or snail mail) all clients when a good BCC’d email will do the trick!

Keeping a detailed client log, including team notes, past invoices, and emails is crucial and will make any accountant’s job a lot easier. This historical information can help when onboarding new employees so that they can better understand clients, help track progress and easily identify trends.

Over the past 20 years, TPS Software has assisted clients with migrating data from hundreds of platforms and can help you gather and import all of this information, making changing platforms as easy as asking for help.

You Should Love Your Accounting Management Software

Moving from software to software can be a time, money, and energy drain. When looking for a new accounting management software, make sure you like the program itself, its maneuverability, and the people who work there. At the end of the day, customer service and assistance will make all the difference when you have questions or develop new needs.

Not all vendors offer free customer support, so make sure that’s something you can live with or look into user review to see what current software users have to share about their experiences.

And finally, always test drive the program before committing. Many cloud software vendors offer easy outs and month to month payments, so you can always change software, but if you take the time to get to know your options and find the right fit, you can save a lot of time and energy by sticking with one accounting management software that will grow with you, support you, and help you provide the best service possible.

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