Accounting software describes a type of application software that records and processes accounting transactions within functional modules such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, journal, general ledger, payroll, and trial balance. It functions as an accounting information system. It may be developed in-house by the organization using it, may be purchased from a third party, or may be a combination of a third-party application software package with local modifications. Accounting software may be web based, accessed anywhere at any time with any device which is Internet enabled, or may be desktop based. It varies greatly in its complexity and cost. The market has been undergoing considerable consolidation since the mid-1990s, with many suppliers ceasing to trade or being bought by larger groups.
In many cases, implementation (i.e. the installation and configuration of the system at the client) can be a bigger consideration than the actual software chosen when it comes down to the total cost of ownership for the business. Most mid-market and larger applications are sold exclusively through resellers, developers, and consultants. Those organizations generally pass on a license fee to the software vendor and then charge the client for installation, customization, and support services. Clients can normally count on paying roughly 50-200% of the price of the software in implementation and consulting fees. Other organizations sell to, consult with, and support clients directly, eliminating the reseller. Accounting software provides many benefits such as speed up the information retrieval process, bring efficiency in Bank reconciliation process, automatically prepare Value Added TAX (VAT) / Goods and Services TAX (GST), and, perhaps most importantly, provide the opportunity to see the real-time state of the company’s financial position.