Simply put, accounting is the lifeline of a business. Accounting deals with summarizing, analysing and reporting the financial data and information about a business.
Accounting software records and processes the accounting transactions of a business within its functional modules. Financial statements consisting of the balance sheet, profit and loss account, and statement of changes in financial position can be easily prepared with accounting software.
Accounting software is all about the various functional modules that it has. Some of them are- General ledger which takes care of the company’s financial dealings; Accounts Payable where the company enters its bills and pays the money it owes; Accounts Receivable where money received is entered.
The different categories or types of accounting software are as follows:
a) Small business/personal accounting software which is mainly meant for home users. They are simple and inexpensive with simple functioning such as management of budgets.
b) Low-end accounting software is for small business markets that are capable of serving a single national market. ‘single entry’ products characterise such software.
c) Mid-market accounting software are for companies with large businesses. These software are capable of serving the needs of many national accountancy standards and facilitate accounting in multiple currencies.
d) High-end accounting software is a complicated and expensive business accounting software that is also known as Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP software.
However, you have to keep certain things in mind before buying accounting software, like the prices of the software, its different features, its after-sales support and alike. Most of the accounting software includes all the essential accounting modules. The more specialised features a software has, the more expensive it becomes. Your software features must be compatible with your business. Also, the after-sales support is necessary like FAQ package, local service centre and others.
There is a lot of top accounting software available in every category. So, it is not easy to select the best ones. Below are the top five accounting software in every category.
A. Small business/personal accounting software:
- peachtree (Best Software)
2. MYOB Plus for Windows (MYOB Software)
3. Peachtree Complete Accounting (Best Software)
4. QuickBooks Online (Intuit)
5. Small Business Manager (Microsoft)
B. Low-End Accounting Software:
- BusinessVision 32 (Best Software)
2. MAS 90 & MAS 200 (Best Software)
3. QuickBooks Pro 2003 (Intuit)
4. ACCPAC Pro Series (ACCPAC International)
5. Vision Point 2000 (Best Software)
C. Middle-Market Accounting Software:
- ACCPAC Advantage Series Corporate Edition (Best Software)
2. Great Plains (Microsoft) MAS 90 & MAS 200 (Best Software)
3. Navision (Microsoft)
4. SouthWare Excellence Series (SouthWare)
5. SYSPRO (SysproUSA)
D. High-end accounting ERP Market:
- Axapta (Microsoft Software)
2.e-Business Suite (Oracle)
3. MAS 500 (Best Software)
4. Solomon (Microsoft)
5. ACCPAC Advantage Series Enterprise Edition (Best Software)
In compiling the above list, a variety of factors such as feedbacks from customers, scalability of the software, and after-sales support are used. Also, the different attributes for different categories have been considered like for ERP software, characteristics such as manufacturing solution, supply chain solution and database solution. The above compilation may not be all-inclusive, and some people might choose to differ with it, but it is almost near to perfect list.