An accounting software is an essential tool for business. Any size of business needs accounting software since this will help in monitoring the advancement of finances in businesses as well as ensuring that the financial responsibilities (taxes, payment to suppliers, bills, etc.) are paid in time.

But not every accounting software is the ideal software for businesses. A business owner may end up spending hundreds of dollars on an application that may not be useful for their current business arrangement.

The following are the tips that should help you select the right accounting application for your business:

1. Know the processes you need - before searching online in your local computer shop for an accounting application, know what you need. Some of the software application may offer too many functions that you don’t need. You may end up paying for something that you will not at all.

2. A look at free applications - if you only need basic debit/credit and itemization tool for your small businesses, consider searching online for free accounting software. From free applications, you will be able to have fully functional accounting software without any payment required.

3. Consider online applications - if you have a strong and consistent internet connection, a good option is to look for a browser-based, online application. These online applications will never require any installation in your end and you can access your account almost anywhere as long as there’s a strong internet connection. Just make sure that you’re using a trusted online application so that your data will never be stolen.

4. Reviews matter – Avoid purchasing applications without any prior reviews. There are online stores for applications that allow user feedback on the applications they have purchased. Read through their feedbacks to know which part of the application is difficult to work with.

5. Latest update - this data is a little bit challenging to find but this small data is still important. A recently updated application means the functions of the application are fully compatible with the latest browsers, operating systems and additional tools that you might be using in accounting.

6. Check for trial versions first - a good way to know if the application will cater to your accounting needs is to test the application for at least a few days. Many accounting applications today offer a 30-day trial so you should be able to take it for a spin before purchasing the full version.

7. Company reputation - safety and security of data added in the application should be your top priority. For that reason, work only with companies who have a proven track record in developing various applications. Avoid start-ups for now since they might be used by identity thieves.

8. Learning process - never purchase an application that you can’t easily work with. A difficult to understand accounting application actually defeats the purpose since it doesn’t boost productivity. The accounting application has become a burden for users instead of simplifying their accounting.

9. Go for tax calculators - if you’re having a hard time working with an actual accountant in your tax preparations, look for an accounting software that will help you prepare your taxes. This feature might have some additional cost but the time and headache you prevented is priceless.

10. Refund or money-back policy - never purchase an application without knowing how to gain refunds. There are times that an application looks great in demo but could not provide sufficient function in actual use. When this happens, your knowledge of the refund or return policy can help you save money and prevent further frustration in using the wrong software.