Selection Tools

Software applications designed to
help you evaluate accounting software

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

Quick, what is the best-kept secret in the entire accounting software industry? The answer is  accounting software selection tools. There are more than a half dozen tools designed to help you select the right accounting software package. These tools contain up-to-date profile information on some of the top products. Over the years, I used these tools extensively to help me appear to be smarter than I really am - (believe me, I need all the help I can get). Armed with these tools, I can find answers to even the toughest product questions in a matter of seconds. 

Over the past 15 years I’ve lectured to tens of thousands of businesses about selecting accounting software, and by my informal count, less than 2% of these audiences even know that these selection tools exist. That tells me that the people who create these selection tools are pretty bad at marketing. Still, in most cases their products and services are very good. A complete listing of all of these tools (including pricing, addresses, and phone numbers) is shown below.

The Accounting Library Managing Automation Software Guides
The Accounting Library Reports FastSelect from Expert Buying Systems
The CRM Software Selection Guide Software Compare, Practitioners Publishing Co

The Requirements Analyst, CTS, Inc.

Accounting Software Advisor


The Accounting Library - Most Recommended
Charles Chewning, Richmond Virginia
To order call 800-272-4085

By far the least expensive and most comprehensive program on the market is The Accounting Library. This product can be purchased for $395, $995, or $1,295 by calling 800-272-4085 or by clicking here. The Accounting Library lists over 4,000 accounting software features. Simply place a checkmark by each feature that your company needs, and the Accounting Library will rank the top 150 products according to the product that best meet your needs to the product that least meets your needs. You can also print a "Missing Needs Report" that will summarize the features you need that are missing from each product. Based on your review of the features, you can easily eliminate obvious poor solutions from further consideration. I highly recommend this product to potential customers as well as resellers and consultants.

Learn more about the Accounting Library:

The Accounting Library Reports - HIGHLY  Recommended
Accounting Software Reports

The full product reports produced by the Accounting Library are available from the Accounting Software Advisor web site for prices ranging from $30 to $80 each. Working with the author of the Accounting Library, Accounting Software Advisor allows you to purchase specific product reports profiling more than 4,000 features. Click here to see a sample report. If at any time during the future that you decide that you would like to purchase the full Accounting Library product, then all of your previous payments are automatically applied to your purchase price. The benefit of this web site is that it allows you to gain instant access to the information in the report at any time of the day or night, and it allows you to try out the information for much lower costs. If you ultimately decide to purchase the full Accounting Library product, you have lost nothing. In addition we provide Executive level reports which provides a side-by-side analysis of 350 features for 62 different products. These are the ASA Power Reports and are available for Entry Level Products, Mid Range Products, High End, and Tier 1 Products. Click here for a sample Executive Level Report. This is yet another service that we have developed to help you gain access to the relevant information you need. We hope that you will take advantage of this service. To learn more, visit this link: www.accountingsoftwareadvisor.com.

The Customer Relationship Management Software Selection Guide for The Mid Market
By Lee Adler, Published by Sheldon Needle
Order this product from our Web Store

This guide provides a methodology for choosing an appropriate Customer Relationship Management product, discusses the issues involved with CRM implementations, details the features in CRM products and rates nine products against  231 features for $129.  The guide provides a detailed list of essential aspects of CRM products and has selection guidelines to help you find the right product.   There are two tables included with the guide, the Ratings Table which lists 231 features of the top 9 CRM products on the market (see a Sample Ratings Table), and a Technical Information Table which is provided by the vendor to further explain the features on the Ratings Table.  A section entitled, "Best at the Table" which draws a conclusion as to what products have been determined to be the best.  Case studies provide working examples of the products in action.

Learn more about the Customer Relationship Management Software Selection Guide:

The Requirements Analyst, CTS, Inc.
l3l Rollins Ave S-l Rockville, MD 20852 800-433-80l5 
Website: ctsguides.com   

Produced by Sheldon Needle of Rockville, Maryland, another very good selection tool is The Requirements Analyst, software to assess user needs against leading mid-range packages, comes with a narrative critique of how each vendor works (The Guide to Accounting Software for Microcomputers). I have personally known the author of this product for more than 10 years and I recommend this product to any accounting software customers as well as consultants and resellers. CTS also evaluates manufacturing, construction small business, and medical practice software.  The initial subscription is $295 and annual updates are $l45. 

Managing Automation Software Guides
5 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001, Ph: 1-800-647-1908, Fax: 1-212-629-1159  

The MEA Comparison Guide covers over 70 application areas, including ERP, business planning, supply chain, plant floor automation software (MES, SCADA, HMI, Quality, etc.) and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS). The 1999 product sold for $510, but the product was made available for free over the web and can be viewed at this URL: http://www.managingautomation.com/sitemap.htm 

FastSelect from Expert Buying Systems
P.O. Box 370819, Las Vegas, NV 89137, (800) 832-6434  

This tool covers 4 or 5 ERP based systems. A representative from the company asked us not to disclose their pricing.

Software Compare, Practitioners Publishing Company
Fort Worth, Texas, (800) 323-8724

PPC no longer sells this product.  

Accounting Software Advisor
Norcross, Georgia, (770) 734-0950

This web site contains the most comprehensive and update reviews of the top accounting software products available today. Best of all, its free. More than two dozen of the top accounting software consultants in the country have banded together to help provide the relevant and accurate information you are looking for. Included in this web site are expert opinions with a persons name and face associate with each opinion so you will know where the information is coming from. The site also discloses conflicts of interest to you so that you will be aware of these conflicts. If you are looking for a good place to get started, there is no better resource in the world.

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Selection Tools That Help You Evaluate Accounting Systems