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Choosing a Bookkeeping Solution that Works for Your Industry

By: Alesha Henley

Written by Nick White, Bookkeeping and Advisory Team Manager at HKA

Making the correct decision to ensure that an accounting package fits well within your business is as equally as important as ensuring the accounting package fits well within your business’s industry. It is true that some accounting softwares works well within certain industries and not well with others.

By nature, a law firm is going to have specific accounting needs that will differ from a manufacturing business or a logistics business. Part of the decision making process to determine which accounting software fits within the business needs to also encompass the review of bolt-on applications to supplement the accounting software.

An accounting package isn’t just the business’ Quickbooks file. It’s also the payroll software, the billing software, bill pay software, project management software, etc that all integrate with the accounting software performing the end to end back office functions.

Take for example, a manufacturing company has decided to use a popular cloud based account software, but to keep up with the industry’s standards of invoicing and overall profitability, they will need to utilize a comprehensive project management tool. The project management tool must pass the initial test of integrating with the cloud based accounting software. The next steps are of course the functionality and reporting that will fit the business’ needs. Purchase orders, budgeting projects, assigning employees to specific projects and tracking time are all items a competent project management software will handle. Running reports out of the project management software to determine progress on the key projects will have a direct impact on management decisions. The integration of the project management side with the accounting software will then provide the full transparency of the company’s overall performance.

The same can be said for the law firm looking for their end to end accounting back-office solution. The hunt for an appropriate legal style billing program should follow the similar steps of the manufacturing company seeking a project management tool. The legal billing software will need to track the time spent on specific client matters and turn the time spent into an appropriate invoice. The program should also offer additional benefits for the overall management of the firm, such as client documentation, client communication, and updates on relevant legal matters. If the billing software connects to the cloud based accounting software, the revenue will be recognized instantly in the firm’s financial statements.

Make sure to take the time to find the accounting functions that fit well within the business’ industry. It’s one of the key components that will be able to drive data and compare the business’ performance to others performing in the same industry.

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