Today’s accounting software packages are designed to simplify and automate complex, manual financial management processes and improve the accessibility, accuracy, and timeliness of mission-critical financial data.
By streamlining and accelerating vital activities such as budget creation, allocation, and management; cash flow analysis; accounts payable and receivable; management of capital equipment and other assets; and financial reporting, accounting software can dramatically increase the productivity of finance staff members, while improving financial performance management and strategic company planning.
Most of the accounting software applications on the market provide the following features and capabilities, to improve all facets of financial planning, management, control, and analysis. The most basic features include:
General Ledger Management
This module enhances visibility into virtually all standard financial transactions such as accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, and sales orders. Additionally, accounting software packages allow finance professionals to quickly and easily conduct consolidations by dynamically combining multiple ledgers (such as those from different departments or business units) into a single, complete financial statement.
Controlling and Budget Management
With an accounting software solution, financial teams can achieve and maintain tighter control over departmental and corporate budgets, and conduct more rapid and accurate internal and time accounting, cost accounting, product costing/cost of goods sold assessment, and more.
Many businesses struggle to correctly anticipate their cash flow requirements. Accounting software applications, and their cash management capabilities, can help a business more accurately assess both their current and future cash needs. Additionally, it can automate reconciliations, as well as the processing, execution, and tracking of all transactions that directly impact available cash levels.
Effective financial management is about more than just analyzing past trends, it’s about using that insight to enhance future planning. With an accounting software system, a business can more accurately predict and estimate potential profits and pending losses, revenue and cash flows, and other important financial events. They can then use this information to define and implement more successful corporate strategies.
Fixed Asset Management
Tracking a fixed capital asset portfolio can be a complex process, particularly for those businesses that own an extensive amount of real estate or capital equipment. But, with an accounting software solution, the evaluation, acquisition, operation, maintenance, and valuation of all types fixed assets is dramatically simplified.
Because financial regulations have become much more stringent in the last several years, most accounting software applications provide complete transaction audit trails, as well as rules-based controls and advanced reporting capabilities that help facilitate compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, BASEL II, and other laws and guidelines.
Advanced Financial Planning
In the past, most companies have created their financial and business plans by analyzing historical data, to uncover patterns and trends that may provide some indication of future events. However, that approach provides only a portion of the insight needed. That’s why some accounting software packages have incorporated advanced planning tools that simulate potential business scenarios, such as mergers and acquisitions. This can help a business better predict how major decisions will impact their financial standing.