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Software for Accountants: What to Consider When Choosing the Right Solutions?

June 14, 2023

Improve the speed and quality of your audit work by investing in proven solutions.

Deciding to invest in accounting software is a big step and a big commitment, but hey, let's make it an exciting one. Take your time to explore all the options out there. Some will be great; most will be so-so.

Getting this decision right can deliver huge benefits. While getting it wrong... well, let's not dwell on that. There's more to the decision than simply checking off a list of features. Here's what you need to consider when choosing the right software for accountants. 

What to consider when choosing the right software for accountants?

Let's take a look at some of the most important considerations you need to make when choosing the right software for accountants.

Understand Your Needs

Start by identifying your specific needs. This should include considerations like the size and complexity of your operations, and an evaluation of your current processes and workflows.

Seek feedback from teammates and team members about areas for improvement. What are the biggest obstacles to improving productivity, quality, or client service? Do the current processes allow for efficient communication and collaboration?

Systematically identifying weaknesses or bottlenecks in your current processes will help you to assess potential solutions and quickly understand if they meet your requirements. 

And as you narrow down a shortlist of options, you can start to focus on some of the more practical considerations like implementation.

Scalability and Flexibility

Considering your future needs is vital.

The right accounting software should be able to support your growth plans, accommodate increased client engagements, and provide scalability to meet your needs as they evolve. Factors such as the number of users and the ability to handle larger datasets are key considerations.

The flexibility to adapt to your specific methodologies, frameworks, and industry or regulatory requirements is also essential.

For example for accountants in the auditing space, support for custom checklists and templates will help to make future audits even more efficient.

Integration with Existing Systems

Obviously, any new solution should work well with your current accounting software or tools. For accountants who rely heavily on Excel (and which accountant doesn’t?), the integration will be much smoother if any new solution works seamlessly with Microsoft’s spreadsheet software — as long as it also meets your other requirements.

Making sure that your systems work together will save time and resources, both in terms of the technical integration and the amount of training and support needed to get staff up to speed.

Security and Data Privacy

Protecting client data or sensitive internal documents is a critical consideration when selecting a technology partner. For accountants, data privacy means ensuring that your client and employee data is safe and private. 

Be sure to check the security and/or data privacy page of the software company way before considering implementing their solution.

User-Friendliness and Training Requirements

Solutions that are easy to use, intuitive, and come with great training resources are far more likely to deliver the benefits they promise. Involving key stakeholders and gathering feedback from end users will shed light on how easily a solution can be adopted by the target users.

Comprehensive onboarding resources, documentation, and responsive customer support can add real value. Great training resources ensure accountants can make the best use of the software’s full potential. While timely and reliable support is crucial for addressing technical issues and resolving any software-related challenges.

Check online reviews or customer success stories for real-world feedback about the quality of training and support, as well as the user-friendliness of the solution.

Future-proofing and Software Updates

Regulations and industry best practices are constantly changing, so it’s important that accounting software stays current by issuing regular updates and feature enhancements. 

You can usually check out a vendor’s commitment to improving its software by visiting its public changelog or simply by checking which version number the software is. How often does it release new versions? Are the updates mostly bug fixes or are there also major new features?

This should help to assess the software's ability to adapt to future industry changes and whether the company listens to customer feedback.

Requesting Demos and Trials

Take advantage of trials or demo versions to test the software’s functionality in a real-world scenario and compare its performance against the promises it makes. Gather feedback from users and engage with the vendor on any potential issues.

Committing to software without some kind of trial or demo is risky, so consider carefully if it’s a gamble worth taking — or speak to the vendor about whether a test period can be arranged.

Reputation and review scores

A vendor’s reputation is a useful signifier that can give you a clearer picture of the pros and cons of a software company.

Prioritize checking reputation and review scores before adopting new software. A software provider's reputation reflects reliability and trustworthiness, while reviews provide insights into usability and functionality. 

This evaluation ensures a suitable choice that aligns with professional standards and boosts efficiency.

Calculate Return on Investment

The right solution will more than pay for itself in the long run. To calculate the return on investment, assess the initial purchase cost, licensing fees, maintenance and support costs, training expenses, and any additional costs associated with data migration, integration, or customization.

DataSnipper’s Intelligent Automation Solution is Loved by Accountants

DataSnipper is an intelligent audit add-on for Excel that accelerates the speed and quality of your audit. It focuses on automating and easily documenting tests of details, tests of controls, walkthroughs, and financial statement procedures.

Want to get a detailed walkthrough on everything DataSnipper has to offer?
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