It is important to do your due diligence before purchasing your new small business accounting software. Even the most popular accounting programs may not be the right fit for your situation, thus it's imperative to do your research. Here are a few essentials to consider that can help in ensuring that you make the right choice to fit your business needs.

1) Talk to your accountant or a professional that you trust. Often times your accountant is aware of financial management software that is essential for your business and one which can provide the information you need managing your specific accounting needs as well as financial management of your business.

2) Your size of business in terms of your annual sales is something to consider. If your business sales are $100,000 a year, then your accounting software needs will be much different from that of a business which has net sales of $1 million annually. Considering the size of your business ensures that you don't invest in a system that's complicated and at the end of day doesn't generate the simple information that you need for your organization.

3) Level of support - when purchasing software keep in mind that you're going to need ongoing support after implementation. This is especially true if you're running a one man shop and/or if you don't have an IT person on your payroll. So be sure that any software you choose has ongoing support, also be aware of any additional costs for technical support such as hosting fees, etc.

4) Choose software that provides upgrades and patches for bugs that are discovered after you purchase the software. Be sure to inquire of any additional charges for upgrades.

5) Is the software you want to purchase compatible to other software being used in your business? Is it customizable for your business and allows for potential business growth?

6) Ease of use and reliability - It's important for your accounting software to be reliable and easy to use. You want to be able to generate reports quickly and also want software that doesn't require a degree in information technology just to be able to use it on a daily basis.

The keys to finding the right software are to be clear on what the needs are for your company. No one knows better than you, what's the right fit for your organization. Always, research before you purchase, check out what others in your industry are using! Keeping these tips in mind will ensure that you don't