All You Need to Know to Decide on the Features You Need in Simple Home Accounting Software

Most things are personal choice.  You go down to the car show room to choose a car, and you want something that is roomy, the right colour, speed, good in traffic, good for a small family, and dare I say space for a handbag?  It’s easy, but choosing software or any sort is never easy.  All you get to go on it a box. 

When it comes to buying simple home accounting software it’s not the most thrilling prospect in the world.  If you are reading this then I can already define you as the kind of person who searches online for products, and looks for good features by using the net.  You are probably someone who looks for adverts online to click to see what kind if that is the kind of product that will give you the right value for money.  But if you don’t know yourself then you could be onto a fruitless search.

I am someone who has spent a total of years helping people to understand themselves, and I have discovered that with the key knowledge of who they are, it makes making choices a whole lot easier. I am no lifestyle coach, but I am very aware that most people aren’t so good at making choices. Don’t be embarrassed if this is you. Did you know that we are now in a generation where we have more choice than any previous generation has ever had, and fewer skills to be able to make those choices.

I gave it a name: option paralysis.

You can see it best in kids (don’t worry, I will get back to the ‘choosing software point!’). Take your kids with money in their pockets to Toys R Us and present them with anything within the range. They haven’t got a clue. So you help them (that or you have to spend the day at the store getting more an more screwed up!)

You get them to choose possibilities. You then help them to narrow things down realistically to things they can actually do! You then help them narrow the choices depending on how they will best play with the toy, after all you don’t want them buying some rubbish that will be discarded after 5 minutes. In other words you look for the best fit.

Now, software.

It seems a bit harder, but truth be told all software packages do just about the same thing. They help you to work out your accounts. But it depends on your personality profile as to which you will get on with best.

If you are like me, then you are someone who is creative, but somewhat disorganized. Being presented with columns and columns of useful features is a complete loss. You just want to know the bottom line: how much have I got in my account that I can either spend or save! And present it to me in the clearest possible way so that I can get to grips with it. We are the perceivers: we want to know the shape of things.

We are the kind of people who go with a gut instinct, but could really do with everything laid out in front of us. We tend to have messy desks, messy homes, and don’t want to spend too much time learning something unless there is a clear benefit to it. And no one can tell us that benefit. If you are that kind of person and you are looking for software then don’t go looking for some hulking package, instead find something that is clear, has big numbers, and nice simple summaries. You should be able to turn off all the fiddly features.

That said, if you really get into it (always a possibility with this personality type) then you can always drop those features back in. The hardest thing for perceivers and money is that they need to get started. Money required orderliness, and although we want to get into it, it’s really hard because that isn’t part of our personality. So you have to choose the easiest root and of course, the simplest of all accounting software possibilities.

If you are like my wife then you will want to know why something is the way it is. You will want to know how that calculation came about. You will be the kind of person who wants to see percentages and perhaps see large spreadsheets with numbers all over the place. Do you like to see graphs of those numbers and get hung up on the smallest things going up and down?

You can tell this personality type a mile off: clean houses, everything in it’s place and a place for everything. They know already how much is in the bank account and the software is there to help enhance that knowledge. Reading this hub will probably confirm their suspicions about the software they need rather than actually tell them the kind of software.

For them, Quicken could be the right choice. They might even prefer industrial strength software like Sage because it will produce lots of complex information and reports right off the bat.

Which ever, make sure you read some simple home accounting software reviews before making a decision; make sure that you can choose which options you want to keep turned on, and which to turn off. Start slow, even if you do have an orderly mind, and get used to the main features first. Then as you start to get used to carving out the time in the day to actually use the software you can start to turn on some of the finer point details.

Secondly, look for software that is fun to use, and displays it in an understandable way.

If you want reports, make sure that they are easy to create, possibly push button wizards.

And if you are still struggling, decide like you would with your kid. Take away the ones which you definitely DON’T want the features of, and go from there.

I've heard about...

What about online accounting software?  Is that any good?  To be honest it really is!  Firstly, it's often absolutely free.  Where as for many free type softwares you run the risk of instaling some sort of spy or malware on your computer, it's fairly unlikely if you use a reputable cloud computing system.  Secondly it's available to you wherever you are.  Let's say you are out shopping someplace and you can't remember how much is left in your account.  Find an internet cafe someplace, get logged on, and check out where you are up to.  Oh, but don't forget to log off!

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