Small business financial software is an essential tool for running any small business. It's what you need to keep all your records up-to-date so you stay out of trouble with all the various government "partners" you have. But even more, the right software is a tool to better manage any business. How do you pick the right product for you though?
What do you really need?
You can get software that'll do just about anything. Beware that somebody may sell you a whole lot more than you need. Why is that a bad thing? More powerful software is harder to learn and harder to use. You need a tool that will do what you need done, but you don't need too much power. Spend some time looking at what your real needs are. Nobody can answer that question better than you can.
Is there a standard solution?
Several leading companies sell software packages by the thousands. They're proven in the real world and you're not forced to help develop them. Think Microsoft, Quicken and Peachtree. Not only do you get proven solutions, there are all kinds of experts around on these best-selling accounting software packages. Help is readily available at local accounting firms. Get a software package that nobody has heard of and you may be in trouble.
Can you upgrade?
Start with a simple system and you may want more powerful software at some point. Some program offerings have no upgrade version so you're stuck with moving to a completely different package. Other packages have a more complex version that operates much like yours. That's a huge advantage, being able to upgrade without completely starting over with learning and training.
Remember when choosing small business accounting software that you plan to grow your business. Get software with an upgrade. A standard software package may be just the solution you need. But make sure that what you choose has the features you need. Then the tool you get can help you stay out of trouble while you grow your business.