Guide to Choosing the Best Accounting Software

No matter what the size of your company is, your business deserves to have good accounting software. The health of your business after all highly depends on your finance. If you manage it right, you’ll always be on the right track. Unlike much bigger businesses that may already have their respective accounting software developed by information technology experts, smaller businesses need to have accounting software that is not just reliable but also user-friendly. If your business needs one, here are some tips on choosing the right accounting software for your business:

Know What You Want:

Based on industry and size, businesses vary in what they require from accounting software. While a small business may require only basic features such as sales tracking, management of invoices and taxes, and inventory management, a bigger business with multiple offices and several staff would likely need additional features.

The industry that a business caters to may also require specific capabilities. It is not uncommon for businesses within a specific sector to choose from a set of programs that cater to their niche and in doing so also enable a more uniform environment with smooth transactions across the board.

So, before choosing a software program, analyse your operations to tease out the essential features you require in your accounting software.

Consult Professionals in the Accounting Department:

Accounting professionals will be well versed with the various programs available and should be able to provide useful advice on the benefits and limitations of the choices you may be considering. They may also be able to suggest options that they are comfortable using and have greater experience in. Seek their recommendations to make an informed choice.

Review Budget and Costs:

Ensure you have detailed analyses of the costs of the various programs while keeping in mind that the actual price may be more than the listed prices. This is often due to the cost of additional features such as updating payrolls, merchant services and tech and consumer support. Also, decide on a budget that you are willing to allocate. For those that are on a limited budget and do not require too much, several free or low cost programs that provide most of the basic features may suffice.

Test different Programs:

Most programs offer free trial periods. These can be extremely useful in gauging the suitability of different programs for your business. Make full use of these to test their capabilities and to obtain feedback from accounting staff.

Consider Flexibility:

The needs of your business may change as time progresses and so consider looking at programs that can provide you with flexibility to upgrade or add on additional features should the need arise. While this may cost extra, it might prove beneficial in the long run.

While it can be hard to choose at first, the right accounting software can greatly benefit your business. So, before purchasing a software package, thoroughly research the various options available with a clear idea of what your business most requires.

Factors of Becoming a Programmer

Programming can be a lucrative and exciting career. Jobs in programming can take you overseas and involve you in fascinating projects in hundreds of different industries and areas. IT recruitment specialists know that programming can be a tricky career to get into, and that for many programming hopefuls there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell but, for a competitive industry, there are a few different factors of getting into programming as below:

Design

Why, you ask? When you first sit down to write a program, you probably don’t know exactly what it should do (or how to do it). If you’re disciplined about it, you’ll take some time to plan things out on paper and figure out more or less what you’d like your program to do. That’s great, but it won’t substitute for having actually used the program and noticed that, yes, it would be fantastic to add this one little feature here.

The secret is that adding little features can be very hard! This seems surprising to someone who’s never programmed before: all you need to do is have it print this one piece of data, or take this one type of input, or, etc etc. The problem is that inside the program, the architecture might not be designed to support that kind of information. For instance, let’s say that you wanted to move a button from one place to another on a simple graphical user interface. If the program has been well-designed, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but if it hasn’t, well, consider this possibility: the position of the button is governed by its location in pixels. All button locations are hard-coded into the program to allow it to decide which button a particular mouse click was over. Now, if you move one button, you may have to go back and change where every single button is located both in the routine to draw the buttons and in the routine to accept the input. This can be quite a hassle!

Clearly, you want some way of having a notion of button positions that isn’t quite so hard to change. But if you started out your program and didn’t consider that it would be nice to be able to move the buttons around, bam, you have to go back and change possibly 20 or more lines of code (say, two for each button) just to move one of ten buttons. And if you make a mistake with one button, you’re likely to see unexpected results that whose cause is hard to discover.

This kind of program design is brittle: it can work at first, but when you need to change something, it’s not flexible. Each button depends on every other button and relies on the programmer to make the changes. A much better approach would be one in which the position of buttons when they’re drawn and when they’re clicked on are linked–changing one wouldn’t mean you have to change the other.

The more willing you are to put in the up-front thinking before designing your program, the easier you will find the actual writing of code. This is not to say that when you’re first learning you shouldn’t just write some simple programs without worrying too much about these issues. But you should be prepared to pay attention to these things and what problems your first programs did have.

Patience

The second trait that you need is patience. At some point in your programming career, you will certainly make small mistakes that cost you hours of debugging only to realize that you were misspelling a variable name so the compiler thought it was another variable. These things happen even to good programmers–and the better you get as you practice, the more you find that your bugs are interesting–but still hard to find. If you’re not willing to patiently work through possible hypotheses and test each one in turn, you’re probably going to find programming to be frustrating as much as it is exhilarating.

If you’re looking to eventually have a programming job full-time, you’ll want to acquire excess patience because you’ll almost certainly be expected to spend a great deal of time working on documenting your code for other programmers and possibly even hunting bugs in someone else’s code.

The benefit of all of this is that you gain an eye for small details that can have ripple effects and you become much better at the process of asking yourself what could go wrong and how can you test it. Finally, you have a lot of tools at your disposal to help mitigate the problems; you can use the compiler to find syntax errors and debuggers to find runtime errors. Life is not bleak: not all of your time will be spent finding bugs!

Precision

Third, you need to be able to think in a logical, precise, rigorous way–you have to be willing and able to specify all of the details in a process and understand exactly what goes into it. This can lead to some amazing realizations–for instance, you will understand almost anything better once you’ve written a program to actually do it. One story goes that a group of programmers discovered a flaw in a state law passed by the legislature when trying to program the logic of the law–it turned out two paragraphs made contradictory statements! Nobody noticed until they tried to make it easy enough that a computer could understand it. But it does mean that you need to have the ability to eventually understand the entirety of a process at the level of detail required for a computer to be able to mechanically reproduce it.

Problems Detecting and Solving

At the same time, you must be capable of framing problems the right way and be or become a good problem solver. While your program may need to accomplish a certain task, don’t get caught up in the first way you tried to solve the problem. For instance, if you need to store 20 phone numbers, it might make more sense to use an array than 20 separate variables. Even though you could eventually write the program that way, it would be much better to write it with the array. It would be a shorter program and an easier program to maintain. Often, restating the problem is a good way of reframing it. This is a skill you’ll learn over time; you don’t need to have mastered it before you start programming.

If you are persistent, willing to pay attention to issues of design and focus on both problem solving and precise solutions to problems, you will go far as a programmer. If not, then you may find a programming career to be frustrating and tedious.