1. Reporting and analysis: Information is power in today's challenging business environment. That's why any accounting program you evaluate must have robust reporting and analysis capabilities. Besides helping users gain insight into crucial financial activities, reporting and analysis functions help companies conform to government and industry regulations. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Basel II Accord and other stringent regulatory guidelines are putting mounting pressure on businesses and finance managers to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of published financial information.
2. Graphics: Accounting is a numbers-focused activity. Yet graphics, in the form of charts and other illustrative formats, is a powerful tool that can be used to present trends and other concepts in a way that numbers alone can't convey.
3. Automation: For many businesses, support for simple accounting transactions and basic financial management tasks just isn't enough. Many companies require the full automation of employee expenses, payrolls and time sheets; company and departmental budgets; purchase requisitions and other complex financial activities.
4. Automatic updates: Using out-of-date accounting software is like eating food that has passed its expiration date — a risky proposition that could result in severe nausea. Tax laws, regulations and financial practices change over time, so it's vital to use software that receives fast, user-transparent, automatic updates.
5. Customization: Chances are that no accounting software will exactly match your business's needs. That's why you'll want to look for a product that allows the easy customization of statements, forms, reports, screens, help systems and other program facets.
6. Internet connectivity: With the whole world moving to the Internet, it's only logical that accounting software should follow the crowd. That's why you'll want to make sure that any accounting software you consider has the ability to send and receive digital documents and handle electronic fund transfers.
7. Interoperability: The data entered into your accounting software can be productively used by various business applications in HR, sales, shipping and other key business sectors. Conversely, you may want your accounting program to draw information in from other software products. That's why you'll want to check on an accounting program's ability to interoperate with other software before deciding on whether to purchase it.
8. Scalability: With hard work, and perhaps some luck, your business will be larger and more prosperous in the years ahead. Will your accounting software be able to keep pace? Look for a product that accommodates, or can be easily upgraded to accommodate, a progressively larger number of users and a growing amount of financial data and transactions. Ask vendors about their programs' limits in these areas.
9. Expandability: Your business may grow in scope as well as size. The accounting program vendor should either offer add-on modules that allow customers to slap extra capabilities to its product, or a migration path to a full ERP environment.
10. Security: Your business depends on its accounting software for its very existence. If data is lost or tampered with you stand to lose time, money, business secrets (such as sales or profit data) and, if the damage is severe enough, your company. Any vendor should be able to tell you about its software's built-in security features as well as how its product can mesh with your own on-site safeguards (such as anti-malware technology and network firewalls).
Works with touch screens/systems and non-touch screen based systems
Time Based Discount Rules (Buy X Get Y for Z%, Mix and Match, etc.)
Recurring billing with card on file (great for club management and service businesses)
Wish List/Gift Registry
VAT for countries that support a Value Added Tax
Support fractional cents. Great for businesses price large quantity discounts or sell items at fractional cents like gas
Promotion Code Tracking
Open Orders/Deposit Tracking
Gift Cards built right into the program (no additional fees)
Multi Level Sales Jurisdiction Tax Tracking -Sales tax jurisdictions based on base rate and 2-tiered tax rates (GST/PST) and 2-tiered tax rates with department and class exceptions. Line item clerk sales tracking
Open multiple sales screens
Line item consolidation
Consolidated item listing
Serial number tracking
Credit card processing options. Use one of our integrated processors to get the lowest rates. Or use your own.
Split payment media. Handle all those Visa gift cards being used for payment.
Sales Manager. Allows you to view, reprint receipts, change, copy and void sales. View saved sales, open orders (deposits), layaways, gift certificates and daily sales totals.
House Accounts and Invoicing
Birthday and Interest Tracking
Activity Manager to track customer contact histories and ToDos
Price Level Discounting Rules
Time Based Discounting Rules. Tuesday is "Locals Day" promotions.
Customer Manager. Provides customer sales and item history for all locations through the Customer Manager. Customer centric operations to make you more efficient and better able to serve and sell to your customers.
Barcode-based Pricing Labels
Purchase Orders auto-generated by Minimums and Maximums or Sales
Department Stock Number to allow you to setup and sell faster
Scales and Variable Weight Barcodes
250 character descriptions and 50 character stock numbers for more flexibility
5 price fields - Allows you to set up customers for price level discounting.
Separate Vendor and Manufacturer Part Number Fields
Seasonal Minimum and Maximum Field Tracking
Physical Inventory Collection System for Inventory and Sales, Purchase Order and Transfer Order generation
Serial Number Tracking
Packages for Case Lot Tracking and Splitting