Accounting software can vary from multi million pound solutions for major public companies to simple managed lists of income and expenses. Simple accounting solutions are most suitable for small business. The most comprehensive financial accounting packages incorporate financial reporting information and managed by teams of qualified accountants supported by accounts clerks, bookkeepers and substantial input from automated data sources. At the other end of the scale a self employed sole trader might use accounting software themselves and produce a set of financial accounts for the year in an afternoon.
Different accounting standards are required from accounting software dependent upon the fitness for purpose and client needs. Double entry bookkeeping automated through a database system and probably arranged in financial modules would normally be the choice of the majority of public companies. Single entry bookkeeping would not be an acceptable accounting solution for a limited company due to audit requirements and statutory obligations. Single entry bookkeeping does however have its place in the market place for the smaller less complex businesses who maintain financial control through a close intimate knowledge of every financial transaction. The main objective of a sole trader is more likely to be the production of the tax accounts and complete the periodic and annual tax return forms.
The most sophisticated level of accounting software in the largest companies mirrors the accounting functions in those organisations with various financial modules for accounts receivable, accounts payable, stock control, general ledger and fixed assets. These accounting modules may also be integrated with non accounting functions such as production and dispatch functions and also divided into separate modules within the accounting function.