Technological innovations of the modern age allow us to streamline many processes, make them easy and simple, and reduce the chances of mistakes and errors. Those repetitive and redundant tasks that would usually take up a lot of time and human resources now can be finished and done within minutes. 

From data management software that helps you manage and store your data properly to analytic tools that allow you to make informed decisions by looking at the available data and the statistics, we can agree that it has never been easier to put your company on a steady path of growth and innovation than now. An interesting aspect of taking care of your business is making sure your finances are all in order. Why? Having an overview of the company’s spending, revenue, and overall resources gives you a good idea of how scalable the business is for future growth. 

Fortunately for you, business software is amazing at these tasks, providing you with comprehensible data to work with. But how do you choose the right one? There is so much variety out there nowadays that making a decision seems almost impossible. In the text below, we’ll discuss that and more. Read on! 

Assess Your Business Needs

The first step in selecting financial reporting software is to thoroughly assess your business needs. Consider the size of your company, your financial needs, and the overall complexity of your data. All this will give you a good idea of what specific needs you require and what to look for. For example, if you’re handling and operating a small-scale business, you’ll probably need basic bookkeeping needs and some invoice features, but it’s completely different if you’re handling a multi-corporation, an enterprise, or a bigger business with a serious number of employees. Your financial needs are therefore bigger, your operations more complex, and overall, you’ll need software that has all the tools and features to help you navigate this. So you’ll be looking for software with more advanced functionalities, such as multi-currency support, robust financial analytics, and integration with other enterprise systems. 

Evaluate User-Friendliness

When it comes to picking up the right software, look for one important feature above all, user-friendliness. In other words, the important thing is that the software is easy enough to navigate for an average person without having to pay someone to do it instead of you. The software should have an intuitive interface and be easy to navigate, minimizing the learning curve for your team. Also look at whether the software provides some training resources you can use to teach you how to operate the software, or maybe some simple tutorials. A user-friendly interface makes it possible for your employees to use the software with ease and without much trouble.

Seek Recommendations and Reviews

The best way to find the right software is to look around and ask around. Many online articles, reviews, user feedback, and more exist on the Internet about the best available software for financial planning and analysis. It’s amazing what one can achieve with new FP&A software (financial planning and analysis) as opposed to before. You can look for recommendations from someone who is already using reliable software or maybe follow your intuition and the available feedback online and choose the one you believe suits your needs the best. 

Consider Security Features

Now, it’s safe to say that, when dealing with finances, the probability of someone having access to vulnerable data is high. You never know who can access your financial plans, revenue, income, and all the sensitive information you might have on your system. Cyberattacks are nothing out of the ordinary. They’ve become a completely normal occurrence. When choosing the right financial software, it’s important to keep in mind the security features it might have. For example, strong encryption, regular security updates, and compliance with industry standards such as GDPR or SOC 2 are the gold standard and basics that the software should have. Also, keep in mind that features such as storage back-ups are a nice thing in case of a hack or a complete shutdown of the system. 

Analyze Cost and Scalability

In terms of cost, how much you’re willing to pay depends solely on your needs. Also, you can consider different packages and features. Maybe it’s a one-time purchase, subscription-based, or has a pay-per-user structure. Simply put, when it comes to the cost of the software, you’ll have to weigh out all the benefits against any possible downsides, if there are any. You can always choose a deal that suits your needs the most, which brings us to scalability. As your business grows, so will your financial needs, reporting, and operation. If you have to pay for the software, look for some that offer the option to grow with you or that can cover all the basics for years to come. Measure your predictions of how far your business will come along in the years to follow against the features and capabilities of the software you’re using or plan to use. 

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Check Integration Capabilities

Integration capabilities mean your software is more than able to integrate and seamlessly cooperate with other platforms and software you’re using. This includes ERP systems, CRM software, payroll systems, and banking platforms. This simply means you don’t have to make any manual inputs; instead, the software takes care of it on your behalf. Every new entry into any of the above-mentioned databases changes the current data available in your financial software; in other words, everything automatically updates with any change. If the software you chose has proper integration capabilities, you’ll reduce the chance of any mistakes happening, which is a common occurrence if the data is manually entered.

It takes some time and a bit of effort, but you’ll get there eventually. Simply consider all the needs of your business, current and future, and you’ll narrow down the choices immediately. Then we’re left with security and user-friendliness (how easy it is to use by someone who has never used it before, a.k.a. your employees), and last, but not least, consider the costs and what plan you need the most (an annual or monthly subscription) and measure them against the downsides and benefits. And just like that, you’ll have the perfect software to help you navigate your finances with ease.