How to Develop Accounting Software and Make a Go of It

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15 Apr 2019
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12 min
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Sergey L.
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The right approach to monetary issues means a lot. And when companies control their income and expenditures wisely, they will always be aware of the current financial situation. But today we cannot rely on our brain only, and digital technologies like accounting software can greatly help with financial management. Still, not all existing software works for different types of business. That’s why many companies are looking for more advanced solutions like building accounting software specifically for their needs.

In our guide, you will find a detailed review of custom software, types of accounting software systems, their features and much more. Let’s get started.

Challenges the Accounting Software Solves

Why do companies need accounting software? For a start, it’s simply impossible to do business without accounting. Web-based accounting software helps with tracking all incomes and expenditures. And data received by the accounting department makes it possible to determine how well the business is running. Accounting department collects information, strikes balances and analyzes financial data of an enterprise.

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Accountants always use special applications, and there is a wide range of solutions accounting software developers work on. They can be applied to both small businesses and large enterprises. But what specific problems can accounting software solve? Here they are

Save time

As a fact, finance and accounting software helps not only with saving money but also time. Even if companies have an accounting department with high-skilled specialists, it’s impossible to keep in mind all the nuances of financial activity. The software can automate many financial processes and make them flowing continuously without accountants watching over them.

Process data faster

It’s very important to process data in a fast and high-quality way. Business owners don't have time to wait when accountants will process all papers. They need to get information about the financial situation timely. And that is what financial accounting software does — it allows users to get quick access to important information.

Prevent human errors

Unfortunately, sometimes even best specialists make mistakes. But we can’t say the same about software. It always does calculations and processes operations accurately. So after accounting system development, organizations should no longer worry about calculations accuracy.

Double efficiency

Accounting software stores a large amount of data, it memorizes all changes easily and allows accountants to operate with all necessary information.

That is the list of main advantages of creating your own accounting software. Of course, there is no universal solution that can be adapted for all types of business. But custom applications can help your company to simplify financial operations and speed them up.

why use accounting software

Accounting software as a solution

Now let's take a short look at the main accounting software types.

Types of Accounting Software

There are different types of accounting software, and we can divide them as follows:

Spreadsheets

This is the simplest type of accounting software. Microsoft Excel and Google Spreadsheets are its best examples. In fact, these are tables using which accountants can input all necessary data (figures, text, numbers, etc). Spreadsheets make it possible to calculate data, create lists, and put everything in order. It’s a very good solution for managing simple tasks, but it won’t be an asset for middle and large-sized business.

Commercial software

Small and middle-sized companies can benefit from commercial applications. The software offers its users a set of the most widespread features to perform accounting tasks. Accountants prepare tax reports using this software, send them, check for new changes in law, or manage auditing process. Sage Business Cloud Accounting (formerly Peachtree) is one of the most famous commercial software examples.

Software for Enterprises

By developing accounting software, large enterprises can organize their workflow more effectively. These companies deal with a huge amount of information, so they need software that is capable of processing it. Also, customized accounting software for enterprises serves as an ERP solution offering planning features, workflow optimization, integration with other required financial systems, and so on.

Also, accounting software can be sorted by the development type:

Ready-Made Services

If you intend to create your own accounting software, this type is definitely not for you. Ready-made solutions have a common set of features and they rarely can be customized according to specific needs. In addition, they have lots of limitations. There can be a range of features you don't need, and third-party systems are rather difficult to deal with. This implies difficulties in personnel training which slows down the business processes and leads to financial loses.

Custom Software

If you don't want to puzzle out how third-party services work, then it’s better to design custom accounting software from scratch. Custom accounting software is developed according to business needs and helps staff to be more productive. These systems are easy to use, they are usually well-designed and fast-running.

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types of accounting system software

Existing types of accounting software

As you see, Cleveroad provides you with strong reasons why you need a custom accounting software and how it can help your future users simplify and speed up their work. Cleveroad developers can create a high-quality accounting software for you according to your requirements.

How to Make Accounting Software

When you chose the type of accounting software you plan to build, it’s important to think over all the necessary steps. Usually, developers divide accounting software development process into the following stages:

Research

The development process starts with the team finding out everything about the future software. First, developers and their clients should discuss each point concerning accounting software design and functionality. Then developers conduct research finding out all strong and weak sides of the solution.

Estimation and Design

When the estimation of the project is completed and the budget is drawn up, it’s time to work on wireframes and prototypes. By the way, the cost of accounting software development services mostly depends on the number of features the client needs.

When creating first sketches of software, it helps both you and developer understand how the software will look. At this stage, you can provide feedback regarding the design, recommend what to add and what to remove. When the skeleton of the software and its potential design are approved, you’re moving to the most important part – the development itself.

Software Development

Accounting software development process is rather complex, and it takes hundreds of hours to create a high-quality product. Developers start with creating a functioning version of accounting software. If necessary, accounting software can be developed using test-driven development approach. It means that developers and QA engineers write test cases for software before its actual development. It helps with avoiding possible bugs in the future.

Cleveroad developers always keep up with trends. Thus, our specialists use continuous integration practice to build applications. It guarantees a proper approach to software development. But all the steps and technologies are discussed beforehand. You just to share your idea with us, adding as many details as possible.

Do you know that the software development cost in Europe is very good? Watch our video as a proof:

The Cost of Software Development in Europe

Maintenance

If you want your platform to run for years, you should consider its maintenance. Since your product is accounting software, it needs to be updated from time to time due to new changes in the accounting market. The software should always be under control of experienced devs if something is to be changed.

custom accounting software development

How to build accounting software: main development stages

Basic Features of Accounting Software

If you’re wondering how to develop an accounting software specifically for your needs, create a list of MVP features first. We hope that our list of basic features can help with this process.

VAT calculations

Accounting software should undoubtedly calculate all VAT payments after each tax period. It saves accountants’ time and helps to avoid mistakes.

VAT calculations

Calculations of VAT

Payroll processing

All companies have employees whose salaries should be monitored and managed. Accountants can input the required salary amount per day or per month for each employee. The software will help with calculating the total pay for the indicated time period including bonuses and taxes.

Payrolls processing

Processing of payrolls for each payment period

Reports

All accountants must create monthly, quarterly and annual reports (the number depends on business area) and send them to tax service. Accounting software for medium-sized or large businesses allows specialists to automate this process making it much faster. This feature is aimed at improving the financial activity of enterprises since it allows to draw up accounting reports and process them faster. Then, accountants can easily send reports to tax service.

Accounting software reporting feature

Creating reports in just a few clicks

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Processing of invoices

Accounting software makes it possible to deal with invoices. It lets users easily handle all invoices and put them in order. You may also add the Print button to print invoices. Using software, specialists can simply send invoices through the app itself. In addition, advanced accounting software stores all customers names, addresses and other details.

Invoices processing

Handling invoices in an accounting platform

Electronic payments

We live in a time of high technologies and digital payment. Thus, your system should allow electronic payments (via credit card or PayPal) Customers will pay directly from their bank accounts.

How electronic payments interface may look like

Pay with e-wallets right from the software

Credit monitoring

This feature helps enterprises control the credit limits of their customers. It comes handy for P2P lending apps owners. Credit monitoring option makes it possible to control customer debts and send reminders automatically.

How credit monitoring feature may look like

Credit monitoring feature interface

Multiple access levels

Security is twice as important when dealing with money. Usually, devs create few access levels like ‘admin’, ‘manager’ and ‘accountant’. Still, we suggest developing a more flexible system with more than 2-3 access levels. It greatly works for large companies with hundreds of employees and allows to delegate different rights according to their position.

How multiple access levels feature may look like

Employees have different access rights

Integration with other systems

Middle and large-sized companies rely on multiple programs like CRM or e-commerce platforms to run their business. Even if you’re wondering how to develop a simple accounting software mind that it should not be isolated from other software. Accounting systems are usually compatible with online banking services and electronic filing systems. It also simplifies the accountants’ workflow.

Accounting software integration with other systems

Add the payment methods you need

Expenses tracking

Business can be successful only when all expenses are controlled. So accounting software should make it possible to put all receipts in order, calculate expenses on the basis of regular payments and so on.

accounting billing software

Control all your expenses

Linking of bank accounts

When users can link bank accounts of the enterprises, they can deal with funds on all accounts quickly and efficiently, transferring money without delays.

Add bank accounts to the accounting software

A few bank accounts use at once

Graphics

The last but not the least feature is the conversion of figures in graphics. When accountants have a lot of figures in their reports, it’s very useful to transform figures into pie charts or any other type of graphs. This way, an accountant can see a structured report in one graph.

Creating graphics in accounting software

Create graphics and easily monitor the expenses

What About Security?

We’ve already mentioned that security is extremely important for accounting software. And here’s why: this type of software is tightly connected with financial information, and its loss or damage can lead to serious consequences. Network firewall protection and protection from malware are must-haves. So make sure to arrange security issues with accounting software development company in the first place.

Financial data that is transferred using your software should be encrypted — it will increase customers’ trust in your product. Authorization via password should be available by default. To increase protection from unwanted hackings, consider applying Two-Factor Authentication when making accounting software.

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That is the full list of what you should take into account if you plan to create your custom accounting software. Now let’s get down to estimating the development cost.

Accounting Software Development Cost

As we already know how to build an accounting software, its types, features, and security issues, it’s high time to find out how much this highly-effective system will cost.

Our experienced business analysts have prepared a detailed estimation of the features we’ve covered.

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Click here to download the full estimation of developing an accounting software system.

If you don’t see the features you’re looking for in the list, get in touch with us and we will provide a free estimation of your project.

In conclusion, we can say that the process of developing accounting software is not easy nor fast. But with a clever approach, the final product will be highly competitive and advantageous on the market.

Need any help with building your custom software? Drop us a line! Our managers will answer all your questions and provide you with an accurate estimation of the project.

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