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What Are The Software Needs Of Accounting Firms?

Inside New Blog_ What Are The Software Needs Of Accounting Firms_

Businesses of all sizes depend on accounting firms to help them manage their financial needs. To provide clients with a comprehensive menu of services, many depend on software solutions to increase efficiency, optimize productivity, and help them grow their business.

But how do accounting firms decide what kind of software they need?

 

Most firms perform a wide range of services for their clients, including:

  • Day-To-Day Bookkeeping
  • Profit and Loss Statements
  • Payroll
  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Inventory Management
  • Asset Costing
  • Tax Prep and Filing
  • Account Management
  • Time Tracking
  • CRM
  • Paperless Filing Systems

No matter what services they offer, they need access to the precision and reliability that only accounting software can offer. The software solution they choose depends largely on their customer’s needs, the industry verticals they serve, and the specialties they focus on.

Popular Accounting Software Compared

Most accounting firms use solutions like ZarMoney, Xero, Sage, or QuickBooks. They all have their merits, but certain features might hold more value, depending on the firm’s primary focus.

Let’s compare some of the top options and see what’s under the hood:

  1. ZarMoney

According to many users, ZarMoney “does it all” for a much better price than its competitors. Small businesses and accounting firms pay $7 per user, per month for a full-featured iteration of the platform. Pricing for the enterprise version, suitable for 30 or more users, starts at $350 per month. Includes premium features, like an inventory management module, which would typically be an add-on.

 

ZarMoney Pros

  • A complete solution for accounting firms
  • Suitable for any size business
  • International business support
  • Global inventory visibility
  • Third-party integrations
  • Custom APIs
  • Cloud-based
  • US-based customer support
  • Extensive online training and documentation
  • Flexible pricing for any sized business
  • Advanced reporting and analysis with Insight™
  • Fund management
  • Scalable to your needs

ZarMoney Cons

  • Currently limited in third-party integrations
  • No mobile app
  1. QuickBooks

QuickBooks is tailored to the needs of small to medium-sized businesses, and ideally for finance departments with less than 50 users. Plans start at $5 per month, per user, and features cover most basic accounting needs, including expense tracking and support for multiple locations. Payment processor integrations include PayPal, Square, and Shopify.

QuickBooks Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • User-friendly interface
  • Supports non-profits
  • Desktop/installed or web app versions
  • Mobile app
  • Cloud-based
  • 24/7 live support

QuickBooks Cons

  • Does not support fund accounting
  • No support for government agencies
  • Lacks tax management functions
  • In-person training only
  • Limited third-party integrations
  1. Xero

Xero supports SMBs with up to 1,000 users. Pricing starts at $9 per month, but capacity is limited at that level. Their “Established” plan is $60 per month and allows unlimited access to all features.

Xero Pros

  • Extensive third-party marketplace
  • Complete range of accounting functions
  • Support for all types of business, including government and non-profit
  • Full tax management
  • Mobile app
  • Cloud-based
  • In-person, online, and fully documented training modules
  • 24/7 live support

Xero Cons

  • Limited reporting options
  • Many integrations are paid platforms
  • No segmentation of client lists and contacts
  • Limited flexibility with some functions, like assigning billable expenses
  • Payroll modules are third-party
  • Lacks some tax reporting capabilities
  1. Sage

Sage is a popular choice for SMBs and larger accounting firms. At $25 per month for the cloud-based option, it provides a comprehensive suite of functions designed for today’s business. Compared to other solutions, Sage is a bit more complicated to set up.

 

Sage Pros

  • Cloud-based
  • Compliance support
  • Large community of professional users
  • Extensive third-party marketplace
  • Good reporting features
  • Modern user interface

 

Sage Cons

  • Difficult to set up initially
  • Training can be a big learning curve
  • Many features are overly complex
  • Lackluster support (documentation only)
  • Geared towards larger businesses
  • Does not appear to support multiple users (unclear)

Software Attributes Accountants Need

Today’s accounting firms must have the flexibility, agility, and scalability to answer the needs of global businesses. As regulatory frameworks, reporting, and data-driven decision making become more crucial to their clients’ success, these firms must be able to provide those insights while managing changing business needs.

Some of the essential components of top accounting management software include:

Tax support. To prepare and e-file income tax returns. 

  • Payroll. Run payroll, prepare reports, file payroll taxes, issue W2s, 1099, and so on.
  • Bookkeeping. To manage day-to-day financial functions.
  • Time tracking and billing. An integrated tool to track and bill for time spent working on client activities.
  • CRM. To manage client information, correspondence, and account history.

The solution must be easy to use, offer a robust set of features, and provide useful third-party integrations with popular productivity, CRM, and other applications. Ideally, it will be customizable to your needs, allowing you to configure and filter detailed reports that inform business decisions.

Lastly, the accounting solution you choose should be cost-effective, and not just from a baseline price standpoint. The true value of accounting software is the time it saves, its ability to automate processes, and reduce errors while optimizing team productivity.

In conclusion, after comparing some of the more popular players in the business accounting space, ZarMoney is the answer to every firm’s software needs. Sign up for a free trial today or reach out to us directly to learn more.

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