Accounting software: what does it mean in concrete terms?: There are 3 people doing accounting and working on a desk with dashboard on papers, calculators and one of them is on a mac book pro

Accounting software: what does it mean in concrete terms?

When you first hear about accounting software, without really exploring why or how, you assume that it is simply a program that the accountants of an organisation will install and use to do their job. It is pretty much just that, without any attempt to complicate it.

With our society becoming almost entirely digital, where there is a program for almost anything you can imagine, it was inevitable that accountants would end up using their own accounting software due to the difficulty of doing accounting or the complexity of certain situations. According to Wikipedia, accounting software is a type of software that records and processes accounting transactions within functional modules such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, journal, general ledger, payroll and trial balance. On the other hand, for the leading global source of financial content on the web:

Accounting software is an invaluable resource for modern businesses. Software allows detailed tracking of financial transactions and near-instantaneous reporting and analysis. Before accounting software, these tasks had to be performed by hand, using large transaction journals. It also allows for the storing of numerous amounts of data without having to take up physical space.

So far, we have a good understanding of what these softwares are and do, who usually buys them
& for whom: companies for their accountants, if of course the accounting department is in-house.
But if you want to go even further and get a complete idea of the subject, Zoho Books, a company specialized in software for companies since the beginning of the 2000’s, offers 2 interesting and complementary articles describing what a good accounting software is.

First they insist on the notion of business accounting which they believe you need to master, then how important it is based on 5 key activities: automating tasks, simplifying taxes, making data accessible, integrate with other business apps and reduce data loss.

Then they list 7 crucial features that anyone should expect from an accounting software,
without which one is not dealing with a decent software. Then they pushed the description, because they manufacture and market this kind of software, but obviously these software must have: invoice processing, online payments, accounts payable, banking, reporting, inventory and time tracking.

There is a woman dressed in green and using a calculator, a mac book pro and accounting documents

Lastly, as a result of relying on a ranking from an influential and reputable source in the field of testing computer software, I was able to review PC Magazine‘s ranking of the top 10 accounting software products published in October 2021, in order to learn more about it and the editors behind:

  • FreshBooks, best accounting software for Sole Proprietors and Very Small Businesses
  • Intuit QuickBooks Online, best accounting software for SMBs
  • Sage 50cloud, best accounting software for Inventory Tracking
  • Wave, best accounting software for Free Invoicing
  • Xero, best accounting software for Integrated Add-Ons
  • Zoho Books, best accounting software for Mobile Access
  • GoDaddy Bookkeeping, best accounting software for Freelancers
  • Sunrise, best accounting software in the category: Invoicing Tools and Double-Entry Accounting
  • Intuit QuickBooks Self-Employed, best accounting software for Mileage Tracking
  • Kashoo, best accounting software for Microbusinesses

You should have now a better understanding of the tools accountants use every day. There can be no denying that each player in this segment of enterprise software strives to stand out from the rest with a solution that is more or less complete, more or less complex and that responds to as many business cases as possible. This can extend the time necessary to fully master the software, with one accounting software being easier to use after a few months than another.

These accounting software programs give anyone who is truly interested in the subject a chance to look at it one day, practice, familiarize, and train with the tools before finally becoming a real accountant, authorized by law to validate company accounts.