For any business, keeping accurate accounting records is vital for success. Depending on the size of your business, you have several options regarding your accounting. You can hire an accountant to do the work for you, have an employee be the bookkeeper, or choose to use business accounting software like QuickBooks. For most of today's businesses, using accounting software is the popular choice. While very popular for many years, there are nevertheless many pros and cons regarding business accounting software.
Since we prefer to have our good news first, we will examine the pros of business accounting software.
- Perhaps the biggest advantage of using this software is having access to a large support network if problems or questions arise. This can save you from having to contact the manufacturer of the software to have problems resolved. Instead, you can simply go online and ask questions in the software's forums or often simply ask a friend or co-worker who is familiar with the system.
- Another advantage of this software is its low cost. Since business accounting packages have been on the market for several years, their costs have greatly decreased. Most software packages can now be purchased for less than $200, or have online versions that can be used for about $10 per month.
- Finally, the software has proven itself to be reliable. Most users report few problems in the software's ability to perform the tasks needed, so purchasing it is usually seen as a positive investment for your business.
However, business accounting software isn’t perfect. Let's look at a few of the cons associated with its use.
- One of the biggest complaints is the lack of security built in to the software. Many users of the online version of QuickBooks have reported instances where important financial information was obtained by internet hackers. While few cases have been confirmed, it is nevertheless a concern for those using the software.
- Another complaint is its limitations. Some versions limit particular tasks, such as how many items can be listed under inventory, and limit the ability to perform various higher-level accounting functions. In fact, this leads to another con.
- Many businesses complain they outgrow the software too fast, often because they feel the package is too basic. When businesses are forced to upgrade to newer, more advanced versions of the software they often find it too costly. For example, many users who have had to upgrade to the more advanced version of QuickBooks have found it sells for almost $400, which can be difficult for small businesses to afford on a regular basis.
So while business accounting software has its ups and downs, overall it is still a very popular choice among small businesses. Despite limitations and possible hacking, it has proven to be a cost-effective way for many businesses to handle their accounting tasks in an efficient fashion.