Monday, 22 August 2016

An Evaluation of Top Accounting Software – QuickBooks, Peachtree/Sage50, Intacct

In today’s cut throat business environment, the focus has shifted from traditional and laid back methods of yester years to ones where the emphasis is on optimizing operational efficiencies. This is mostly achieved through concentrating on core competencies in-house and spinning off back office functioning to lower priced options. One of this is accounts and bookkeeping functions. Doing so is especially helpful for small business accounting, start-ups and mid sized companies that have to look constantly for ways and means to reduce expenditure to increase profitability.

While outsourcing of accounting tasks is now the much preferred choice of businesses, the process has been facilitated by the introduction of cutting edge software that has made accounting processes very simple. On top of the pile are QuickBooks, Sage 50 (erstwhile Peachtree) and Intacct.

A brief evaluation of their main features will be in order –

QuickBooks – It all started with it being a way out to simplify personal financial management and later progressed to becoming a tool offering maximized accounting solutions. The main benefit of QuickBooks is its ability to assist every facet of the accounting system. QuickBooks accounting services provides paths to constantly monitor income and expenditure and helps in quick and speedy finalization of bank reconciliation every month. Tedious and repetitive tasks like payroll management and tax computation and finalization is made easy with QuickBooks.

QuickBooks bookkeeping services are amenable to almost the whole gamut of industries and business. Those that stand to gain heavily include wholesale and retail services, any small and midsized business and wherever top class accounting solutions are needed to increase performance levels.

Sage 50 - Formerly known as Peachtree Accounting, Sage 50 in its new avatar is accounting software that complements small to large businesses and individual entrepreneurs who want to streamline their bookkeeping functions. The main advantage of Sage 50 is that it is very versatile and flexible software and offers its users a wide range of options. These include choices to businesses to fully integrate it in their total existing systems or opt for standalone functions such as payroll management or inventory management or invoice management. It can even be structured for exclusive client servicing.

What then are the key metrics of Sage 50? For one, it aids in devising comprehensive accounting solutions. Accounts payable, bank and credit card reconciliation, inventory tracking and monitoring, purchase planning and checking of income and expenditure are some of the key heads of accounts. It also helps in forecasting cash flow and working capital requirements.

Intacct – Unlike the other two, Intacct is a cloud based solution offering the whole range of accounting functions. It can be customized to match specific requirements of different business sectors such as retail and wholesale, hospitality and tourism and healthcare. However, these are just illustrative examples only.

Intacct provides a high degree of customization. It is possible to have reports generated with specific fields of choice, have client wise tailor made financial solutions for vendor monitoring and inventory management and go for total employee tracking including payroll processing, tax computation and finalization of tax returns

While this software can be used across all sectors, unlike Sage 50 and QuickBooks accounting software this is rather more complex software as it is cloud based. Hence it is not considered to be suitable for small businesses and startup where the level of professional expertise amongst employees is not expected to be as high as those in midsized and large corporations. 

A brief summary of the features of QuickBooks, Sage50 and Intacct will bring things to a clearer perspective –

QuickBooks – Pros - Offers great support to Outsource QuickBooks accounting, precise financial management, user friendly navigation, seamless integration with third party applications. Cons – Limited inventory management options.

Sage50Pros – Accurate financial management, robust web based accounting, reliable inventory management features, easily monitored work-flow, multiple accounting options. Cons – restricted inventory management.

IntacctPros – Complements a wide range of business sectors, integrates with specific client needs, tailor made dashboards. Cons – Top of the line features that may be too complex for small businesses and startups.

Finally, whichever accounting solution that you might go with, be assured that it will optimize your business efficiencies.                    

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