Invoicing & accounts made easy.

Accounting Software Key Features you must look for

Your choice of an accounting software should be determined by five primary factors:

  • The volume of manual workload it can reduce
  • Usability quotient and ease of navigation
  • Maximum operational flexibility
  • Availability of software support
  • Customisations of key features according to needs

    The basic question is how to find a good fit. Could one solution fulfil all the requirements? To help you in your search, we have enlisted the 12 key features your accounting software must have.

    Automation

    Check if the tool supports enough auto features to reduce at least 90% of your manual workload and in turn, boost accuracy. Mentioned below are some auto features your accounting solution must have.

  • Bank account(s) integration with internal books
  • Direct allocation of receipts/payments (partial or whole) through customer/supplier, product/accounts lookup on bank feeds
  • Automatic bank reconciliation
  • Recurring invoices and payments
  • Setting up rules against specific transactions on bank feeds to be auto populated at later stages
  • Auto generation of report summaries of various aspects of the business such as paid/unpaid customer/supplier invoices, GST returns, sales etc
  • Data look up feature while updating books and auto-generation of associated details
  • Multi-currency Transaction

    Can you use the software to set up applicable currencies against customers and generate invoices accordingly? Check whether your software supports:

    Automatic update of exchange rates

  • Visibility of receipts and payments records in the national as well as the foreign currency
  • For aging accounts receivable, the system should show the balance as per the transaction date and the report date
  • An option to produce currency gains and losses once the invoice is paid
  • Customisation

    Invoices are probably one of the major things requiring customisation, both in the cases of sales quotes and purchase orders. Your online accounting software must have multiple invoice templates with options to customize columns, headers and footers, payment terms and payment advice, logos and the likes. The additions or alterations you do on your invoices should reflect accordingly on the CSV files that are imported. Check whether you can handle all types of invoices commensurate with your business needs using an accounting tool.

    Quick Invoice and Credit Notes

    You might not always be disposed to filling up detailed invoices, especially when there are many to handle. In such a situation, an accounting software with a quick invoice and credit note feature will help you expedite tasks. You would be able to generate standard invoices by filling a few basic details. Check whether your software supports split invoice and credit notes feature to help you allocate partial receipts and payments to customers and suppliers.

    Reporting

    With a cloud-based accounting software you can produce any business report regardless of time and space. What is the status of your cashflow? What are your liabilities and GST return value? How many overdue invoices are there? Buy a software solution whose Reports feature addresses every aspect of your business accounting with just a click. For instance, Surf Accounts’ audit trail reports help accountants safeguard the authenticity of financial data. It helps both businesses and accountants identify manipulations (if any) done on existing financial records. In other words, once you enter a financial data, the system stores it. And if the data is tampered with at a later stage, by running an audit trail report you can see what changes have been made and by whom.

    GST Compliance

    GST compatibility must make the top of the list when it comes to counting your accounting software key features, since taxes are the biggest concern among businesses and accountants? Check whether you can

  • Add GSTIN number to customer and state of supply
  • Produce invoices and payments that are GST compliant
  • Generate GSTR reports to be uploaded in the GST portal
  • Get access to new GST rates as per government announcements
  • Cloud-compatibility

    An on-premises accounting software has many limitations. For example, you cannot open a single transactional screen from multiple systems. Integration with multiple web service is not possible, and since it bars online data flow, you largely depend on manual data entry. It is neither benefitable from a monetary point of view due to hefty infrastructural costs from deployment to scaling up.

    On the other hand, an online accounting software encourages unlimited collaboration and data space. It also means impenetrable security for your data. There’s no infrastructural cost involved as everything from software upgradation to maintenance is taken care of by the remote server. Integration with multiple users as well as web services denote consolidation of operations through automatic data influx.

    Billable Time-tracking

    An accounting software with time tracking lets you set up customer projects which are rated on an hourly basis or as per milestones covered. Surf Accounts India has a feature for billable time-tracking along with a comprehensive list of customisable invoicing templates and thus could be a great accounting software for freelancers.

    CRM and Sales

    Can you evaluate sales trends using your accounting software, or maintain customer log? An accounting software that exists along with sales pipeline and CRM can help you evaluate your books commensurate with customer behaviour. You can track prospects at various stages of conversion, identify profit-making products and get an in-depth knowledge of sales patterns, based on which accountants can create better future budgets.

    Stock Management

    Most accounting solutions come with an option for stock management. But you must check whether it has enough auto features to help reduce manual data entry such as

  • Allocation of unique identification numbers to incoming and outgoing stocks
  • Auto assignment of sequential numbers to stock adjustments
  • Auto-update of stock figures based on purchase orders, purchase invoices and sales orders
  • Import Features

    Can you import GST return reports from your system? In case you are unable to download bank feeds directly to your system, you should be able to download the statements to your system using import. Other types of data import must include customer/supplier details, invoice and credit notes details. Check with your provider and see if your online accounting software can import data according to requirements.

    Support Availability

    In the case of any technical glitch, the availability of an on-location support team will significantly reduce the waiting time. Before buying an accounting software check if you can contact the support team any time during operational hours. Ask existing users about support coverage to get what you are looking for.

    There are many tools in the market, however, any online accounting software in India which provides positive results to the above interrogations is a legitimate choice for your future endeavours.