Accounting software for small to mid-size companies and organizations is commonly a system of data entry to a database. The accounting software automates the double entry accounting principles and produces both accounts receivable, accounts payable and general ledger databases.

This type of software would require background knowledge of accounting principles. So if a controller or bookkeeper is not on the payroll, it would be more applicable to use more user-friendly accounting software.

Accounting software requiring little bookkeeping or accounting knowledge are available, usually based upon spreadsheets. This is the most transparent method of viewing the accounting.

Small limited companies must obtain accounting software based upon double entry accounting principles as in addition to producing a profit and loss account and a trial balance to demonstrate accuracy and integrity of the financial records plus a balance sheet is required for reporting purposes. Accounting standards require the limited company to have a system of financial control and accounting software is an essential tool in achieving this.

There are a growing number of companies which are developing and providing free accounting software for marketing campaigns. Don't discard such an option and pay attention to everything, as you may find a pleasant surprise among those products. After all, what do you have to lose if it's free?

If you ever consider downloading free accounting software, a recommendation would be to simply test the trail version. It is the best way to see whether it suits you or not. This is because you don't have to commit yourself to anything, and if you decide to try another one, you can simply search for it until you find the right demo for you.

There are other possibilities and those businesses with a minimum of accounting knowledge can consider spreadsheet based accounting software. Accounting software compiled from spreadsheets is less flexible and often does not have the range of options a database system has due to the lack of database queries available. These disadvantages of flexibility being compensated by the fact that all entries are visible, transparent and changes can be made more easily.

Financially, at the sole trader and self employed end of the business spectrum then the requirements from accounting software may be completely different. Gone are the days of control accounts, trial balances and many aspects of financial control. The most important aspect of self employed accounting software is often to produce a set of accounts for tax purposes.

Self employed small businesses that do not require a balance sheet can use accounting software based upon single entry bookkeeping rather than double entry and with the reduced requirement for financial control then less financial queries to the system are required. In these respects the simpler an accounting solution the better. In this market an accounting solution written on spreadsheets that can produce the net taxable profit would meet the requirements.

Whatever you should finally decide upon, remember to patiently look for the right option for you. Take into consideration the nature of your business, your plans with it, its domain of activity and all the other variables. If you do all that, you will be able to find the accounting software that best suits your needs.

Author's Bio: 

Joe Coffee is a consultant for the online marketing firm, Web Shepherd. Visit for tips about leading methods of accounting and small business accounting options.