Accounting software is a tool, not a replacement for sound accounting practices.
Its easy to automate an accounting system, but if you automate a bad system, you're asking for trouble. If you approach accounting software with a basic understanding of sound accounting principles, you should find it easy to use. These 10 tips will help you overcome some of the common errors involved in using accounting software.
Understand basic accounting. If you don't have an accounting background, seek some training or hire someone who has such a background. You don't need a degree in accounting to use accounting programs, but a basic understanding of accounting principles is essential. You may not have time to take an introductory course at your local college, but any basic accounting book will give you a feel for what it's all about. You should at least understand accrual accounting versus cash accounting, double-entry accounting (credits and debits), internal control, and the different types of accounts and ledgers.
Select the right package. If you own or work for a small shop, you may get by with a general-use "shrink-wrapped" package from your office supply store. But if you are handling complex transactions, you may need a customized package. You can find accounting software selection books on the Internet to help make your selection. The selection process can be tedious and grueling, but attention to detail at this stage of the game will pay off later.
Features of Accouning Software:
- Use the reference manual.
- Set up your chart of accounts.
- Use numerical primary keys.
- Turn on the correct modules.
- Back it up. Is your information safe.