The right accounting software can automate processes, show clear audit trails and be an asset to your local government. When it comes to finding the best SaaS accounting software, you have to first evaluate your needs as an organization.
QuickBooks is a SaaS accounting software that many people are familiar with. But just because it’s the best-known name on the market doesn’t mean it’s what’s best for your government accounting software needs.
We’ll analyze the importance of accountability and transparency in your accounting software, which QuickBooks does not provide. Then we’ll explain the difference that these features will make in simplifying your daily workflows while providing you the data you need to achieve your goals.
Important Government Accounting Software Features
As a governmental agency, you need an accounting solution that can receive payments from constituents, invoice vendors and operate your payroll functions. But you also need the following features as part of your government accounting software.
As a governmental entity, you have to be able to work with fund allocation. Many municipalities are still using legacy software because allocation management is so complicated. Some organizations continue to use existing legacy software because the presets for fund allocation are already in place. This is despite its challenges and lack of integration with other tools. However, modern SaaS financial planning software designed for governments makes it possible to upgrade and integrate your systems.
Access Controls for Various Users
Most likely, individuals outside of your finance team need access to your accounting software. Other team members need to be able to see whether or not constituents have paid their bills so they can follow up accordingly. And yet, you probably don’t want to give them full access like your finance team has. Access controls based on the role are crucial for governments when evaluating any type of software.
Where QuickBooks Falls Short for Governments
Governments face a unique challenge with allocating funds. Much like nonprofits, government agencies must keep funds separate while operating schools, utilities, and so much more. To do this, governments need more advanced financial software systems than what QuickBooks provides.
Many nonprofits and governments wonder, is QuickBooks the best fund accounting software? The answer is no because it doesn’t have the features necessary to keep these funds separate in the accounting process.
Another area that QuickBooks falls short for government agencies is the audit trail. Governments are required to show compliance in a variety of areas. As such, each change and movement in the financial management software must have an audit trail.
Governments have complicated legal requirements and restrictions. So they need more information and fund allocation management than QuickBooks or other one-size-fits-all financial management software systems provide.
Out-of-the-box, QuickBooks is not a compliant government software. While some have found creative ways to adjust and manipulate the software to make it work, it requires extra work regularly to keep it compliant.
Data integration with Other Systems
In today’s integrated world, a standalone system is not all that valuable. You need your accounting system to integrate with HR so you can see hours worked before making payroll. You need your permitting software to collect and document payments, work order management. etc. The more integrated your accounting system is with the rest of your technology, the more valuable of a tool it will be for your team.
Financial software must make reporting simple. Your software should provide simple options for creating and sharing reports. This way you don’t have to manipulate Excel files and waste valuable staff time. Reports should also be repeatable so you can get the information you need at regular intervals without recreating it each time.
Best SaaS Accounting Software
Instead of constantly adjusting the software to meet your government’s needs, you should seek out the best SaaS accounting software designed for municipalities.
BMSI offers a fully integrated software suite to handle accounting, HR, permitting, work order management, tax and utility billing, and constituent relationship management. You’ll have full control over who can see what within the system so you can set up user-based roles.
And with a full audit trail, you can see who changed what and when. Allocate funds with ease, whether these are incoming or outgoing funds. Enjoy seamless integration with your HR functions to power automated and accurate payroll, all while creating a trail of the necessary data and information to validate the expense.
See why BMSI is the best SaaS accounting software for governments by scheduling a demo now. In addition to showing you how the software works, we’ll explain the simple data transfer process to help you sunset legacy systems and modernize your business practices.