Getting Started with Accounting SoftwareTomChilders
Whether you are looking to leave the world of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets or step up to a more robust accounting system, finding and picking out the right accounting software package is not easy. It is a demanding decision and one you want to get right.
Lucky for all of us, the web is loaded with great review sites and helpful hints. In fact, we used a lot of them as we were starting this business and were amazed at how simple yet thorough they are. In this post, we will share a few that are focused on small business or the landscaper.
- 10 Top Ten Reviews – very thorough and walks you through all the major modules and features of an accounting system package, for example, General Accounting, Reporting & Analytics, Scalability, etc, and has a side by side comparison. The review provides the pros, cons and verdict along with full review, specs, images, side by side, and learning center.
- Here is more of a starter’s guide on accounting software and begins with a section on how to choose small business accounting software that helps with the fundamental questions many small business owners face, “should you use accounting software.” If you are wrestling with the question is “it time for accounting software?” this is a great site. It also offers a link to supporting material and provides a thorough review of its best seven.
These sites will provide you with a lot of information about the product, features and more. However, you would do yourself well to talk with other landscape professionals about what they use and what they recommend. In your discussions, be sure and ask about implementation time period, trials, tribulations, and the learning curve involved.
If you are pressed for time and/or can’t think of another landscape professional to ask, try one of the landscaper groups on one of the social sites such as Linkedin. There was a robust conversation recently on Linkedin with the Professional Lawn and Landscapers group on payment processing. It was fact filled and real world!
This is a critical decision and one you need to think through carefully. Remember, as you grow your system will need to be scalable in order to grow with you. Features you don’t need today may be needed down the road, for example, inventory, bank integration, tax reporting. To put the extra time in now doing your homework and paying a little extra for this scalability and thoroughness could well be worth not having to go through another conversion down the road.
If you are at a point where you are looking for something more than just accounting software, a good place to start is Capterra’s Landscape Software page. Here you will find more robust solutions for running your entire organization. While it provides a lot of choices, you can filter the choices based on number of users, deployment, and features. The feature filter includes Billing & Invoicing, Customer Database, Dispatch Management, Groundskeeping, Inventory Control, Mobile Access, Payroll, Plant Database, QuickBooks Integration, Quotes, Routing Scheduling, Work Order Management and more. You can also see reviews, count and review itself, as well as links to each companies site. It is not 100% inclusive of all industry solutions so be sure and network and ask around if you are at this stage.