Traditional general ledger software is a step up from Excel, though it still requires a lot of manual work that delays the close process and ties up your accounting team's time.
For example, most traditional general ledger software requires accountants to manually consolidate financial data across multiple entities and locations. This process (e.g., exporting data, calculating, and re-uploading the consolidated data) slows down the month close process, meaning:
Fortunately, modern general ledger software can automate many tedious tasks that most traditional software does not.
To help you select the best general ledger platform for your needs, here are a few key things to consider as you evaluate various solutions.
We will also introduce you to SoftLedger, our cloud-based, real-time general ledger software, as well as several other popular general ledger accounting platforms including:
Here are a few key features to look for when selecting general ledger software and an overview of why they are important.
Most general ledger software keeps the financial data of each entity in silos. This means that whenever an adjustment is made to one account, the accountant has to manually update all other impacted accounts. In addition, your organization won't have access to consolidated information until the accounting team consolidates all financial data at the end of the month. Manually consolidating financial data can take weeks or even months, depending on the complexity of your company's accounting process, meaning executives do not have access to accurate data to make clear investment decisions.
Fortunately, modern general ledger software can offer access to near real-time financial data.
Specifically, when an entry is made to one account, that data automatically cascades across all impacted entities within the organization. With access to real-time data throughout the month, executives can make more informed decisions and reduce the risk of overspending.
Traditionally, consolidating data for multi-entities significantly slowed down the month close as you needed to:
This is extremely time-consuming and exposes your data to manual error.
So a key feature to consider when purchasing a general ledger accounting software is automatic consolidation. This way, when an expense hits a subsidiary, the general ledger automatically adjusts impacted accounts and reflects the changes in the consolidated view. This way, executives always have access to a consolidated financial statement to make the best decisions for your organization.
If you're accounting for cryptocurrency with traditional general ledger software, you'll quickly find that doing cost basis and other calculations is time consuming, tedious, and easily leads to errors. Often, companies export the data to a third-party tool, perform calculations manually outside of the system, and then re-import the data to get a full picture. While this can work, it's inefficient and further delays the close process.
So as you search for general ledger accounting software, try to find one that offers native crypto features that automatically calculates cost basis, creates the journal entry for you, and supports any kind of coin.
Traditional general ledger software does not make it easy to build custom integrations. If the software allows it, the integrations typically require someone with proprietary knowledge of the software's programming language to perform the integration. So look for a general ledger accounting system with a REST API to make it easy to create integrations. This will reduce the time needed to create a custom solution from weeks to hours.
With these key features in mind, here are a few popular general ledger solutions, in addition to our own general ledger system, SoftLedger.
Acumatica's design suites small and mid-sized businesses that need a cloud ERP that is easily accessible on any device. In fact, they specialize in companies that rely heavily on mobile for day-to-day operations.
Acumatica maintains the charts of accounts and controls financial periods, ledgers, allocations, assets and liabilities, and more. Their GL management system integrates with other modules within their cloud solution, giving you access to all financial data in one platform.
Here are some key features Acumatica offers:
Flexi's general ledger software serves organizations in the financial services market, including Fortune 10 banks and insurance brokers. It offers capabilities these companies need to handle multi-currency and multi-entity accounting processes and can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud.
It also enables you to integrate with other solutions and claims to offer VIP-level support for each customer.
Key features include:
Accounting Seed is a full accrual accounting platform powered by Salesforce suited for small to mid-sized businesses across any industry. It's designed for lean teams that need a simple solution that's easy to learn and use. So while it doesn't require any advanced technical support to set up and run, it also isn't one of the most customizable platforms available.
The user interface is modern and easy-to-read with clear dashboards and graphs.
Some key features include:
BS&A Software is designed for state and local governments. It is compliant with all state regulations and can be adjusted to fit the intricate needs of local government entities.
Their reporting capabilities tend to be their strong point as all GASB 34 reports are built into the system.
BS&A offers on-premise and cloud solutions to fit your needs, and they offer top-rated customer support.
Some benefits include:
While different solutions are ideal for different companies and situations, we've found that the ideal customers for SoftLedger need a solution that:
We wanted a general ledger solution that would provide real-time data and automatically consolidate all financial data, regardless of the company's accounting complexity. This way, it would be possible to close the books in a matter of days (even hours) rather than weeks.
We also wanted to be able to build virtually any integration onto the general ledger software and make it flexible and easy to customize.
So that's exactly how we designed SoftLedger.
While other general ledger software claims to offer real-time data, multi-entity consolidation, and other benefits, we'll discuss how SoftLedger is built fundamentally differently from other solutions.
The instant an entry is made, Softledger automatically adjusts all impacted accounts to reflect the new entry. This ensures the company has access to accurate financial data at any point throughout the month, enabling executives to make more informed decisions.
Some traditional general ledger software offers consolidation features, though users typically have to purchase it as an add-on. However, even if it offers a multi-entity consolidation feature, most of them don't consolidate the data until the very end of the month (and you probably still have to prepare the data by performing intercompany eliminations, consolidating currencies, etc.). So you still won't have accurate, consolidated data throughout the month.
However, SoftLedger not only automatically updates all accounts in real-time, but it also automatically performs all preliminary calculations necessary to produce a consolidated view (such as intercompany eliminations, multiple currencies, etc.).
SoftLedger is the first solution that offers native cryptocurrency capabilities meaning it automatically integrates all of your crypto data with the rest of your accounting. This means you don't have to buy an additional crypto tool to integrate with your general ledger, slimming your tech stack and creating a more seamless accounting experience.
SoftLedger also automatically calculates the cost basis as each crypto asset receives a tag, date, and time-stamp. This feature alone saves accountants days and significantly reduces the risk of data entry errors.
SoftLedger uses a REST API, which means 95% of the platform is completely programmable via API.
So while building integrations and other customizations used to take weeks and expensive development resources, SoftLedger users can complete these processes in a fraction of the time. In addition, all of the documentation that developers need to build integrations are available directly on the website.
If your organization needs a general ledger software that is highly flexible, provides real-time data, and automates the consolidation process, schedule a demo of SoftLedger today.