Is Write-Up Software For You?
In recent weeks there has been a lot of interest in the area of accounting software, particularly write-up systems. Readers and course graduates are asking about the value of a write-up system and which one is for them.
When starting a bookkeeping service, you can start inexpensively by buying a package such as QuickBooks or Peachtree off the shelf. In time, however, you may want to consider the use of a write-up accounting software package.
First of all, the major advantage write-up systems contain is they are designed more for after-the-fact applications than are in-house systems.
For example, let’s imagine your client prepares a payroll check including withholding taxes. You receive the pay-stub and must enter the check. Most in-house systems require you to enter the payroll as though you were creating the check from scratch. That’s fine if the calculations line up with those on the pay-stub. However, if the software calculates a different number, you’ve got a problem. In a write-up system you can easily override the processed number – in-house systems are less forgiving.
Another advantage of many write-up systems is the ability to import and export data. This permits you to export data directly into reports or government databases if necessary.
One more advantage is the availability of technical support. In most cases when you call the technical support lines of write-up systems you are speaking with an accountant or someone knowledgeable in accounting practices – not usually the case with the more popular in-house systems.
The primary downside of write-up systems is their availability (must be purchased from the vendor) and their higher prices ($500 to $3000 base price).
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