Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What are the different Types of Accounting Software?

There are many types of accounting software applications on the market today. Some applications are intended to perform accounting functions for large corporate organizations. Others are meant for personal use. Still other applications fall somewhere in between, performing functions suited to small businesses, as well as those suited to the average person. Available software ranges from the very simple to the very complex, with much variation in price as well.

Accounting software can be useful in such functions as recording and processing accounts receivable and accounts payable transactions. Some software applications can be used in payroll processing, the documentation of tax transactions, and the creation of related reports. Accounting software can also be used in billing clients and customers and debt collection. Some accounting programs even provide for timesheet record keeping, useful for professionals who need to keep track of the hours they work.

Accounting software that is designed for home use is often referred to as personal accounting software. This type of software is used mostly in managing household budgets and expenses. Some personal accounting software makes it possible to download bank account information directly from the Internet for use with the software.

Low-end accounting software is generally used by smaller businesses and can typically be found for sale by a variety of retailers. Usually, software in this class is not highly specific and can be used for a wide range of businesses. This type of accounting program is usually adequate for such uses as generating invoices, reconciling accounts, and handling payroll.

The next step up in the realm of accounting software consists of applications capable of performing a variety of functions important to business accounting. Referred to as mid-market software, accounting applications in this class perform general business accounting functions and frequently include integrated management information systems. Many software applications at this level are capable of providing for accounting in several different currencies. Mid-market accounting software is usually purchased from a dealer.

Higher-end accounting software is more expensive than other types and is usually much more complex. Generally designed for use by large businesses with millions of dollars in transactions, high-end accounting programs usually have very sophisticated features and options. Software in this class also allows for a high level of customization. Typically, higher-end software is sold through a dealer.

Some companies choose to develop their own accounting software, gearing it completely towards their unique needs. Other companies choose to purchase ready-made software packages. Many organizations employ a combination of the two, purchasing software and applying local modifications to make it more efficient.

Types of accounting software

There are many different types of accounting software packages and applications currently available today. To select the best accounting product you will first need to decide your individual and corporate needs. Small business accounting software functions much differently in many respects that accounting software manufactured as an enterprise resources planning solution for example.

If you are a large enterprise or firm you will want to investigate a comprehensive enterprise solution that offers multi-user capability. Some examples of popular software programs in this field include Oracle People Soft Enterprise One and mySAP All-in-One. If you are looking for a basic accounting software package you may opt for SAP Business One or Microsoft Great Plains software.

Small Business Software and Personal Accounting Software

Small businesses can usually get away with a more basic program like QuickBooks Enterprise or Professional or MS Small Business Financials. If you are looking for an accounting software application for personal use, a basic accounting software program like quicken or QuickBooks or even Peachtree should easily accommodate your every need. Most of these software programs come equipped with accounts payables, account receivables, payroll and general ledger features. Most will also generate basic reports, invoices and keep track of other expenses, assets and small financial items you may want to keep track of from day to day.

The primary difference between these smaller software applications and larger enterprise solutions is the smaller applications won't necessarily integrate to serve multiple operations like manufacturing, marketing and engineering. Most ordinary people or small businesses however will not need this capability in a software accounting package.

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