Four Red Flags When Choosing Accounting Software

red flag
By Adam Walters | 12/14/2023 | 4 min read

When you’re dating and looking for the right partner, there are red flags and green flags. Red flags are warning signs that maybe the person you’re dating isn’t as good as they appear, while green flags are secret signs that the person you’re with is a good catch. For example, a partner who is rude, demanding, or just plain impolite to a server at a restaurant - that’s a red flag.

When you’re looking for the best accounting software for your small business, there are similar red flags you need to keep an eye out for. To help you learn how to choose the right accounting software for your business, here are four of the biggest red flags you need to look for and a bit of what they may mean.

No customization

In a relationship, you want to be with a person who is flexible and willing to compromise on solutions that make both you and them happy. You don’t want to be stuck with someone who forces you to change your life and live by their rules just to stay with them. That same need for flexibility and customization is essential when finding the best accounting software to help manage your practice.

The software your firm uses is the pillar your entire firm relies on for all functions. It must be sturdy and support your firm, but it must also be flexible enough to meet your needs.

A red flag in accounting software is a program that offers limited or no customization options. Ideally, software should be flexible enough to meet your firm’s unique needs. However, if you have inflexible software, rather than the software changing to meet your needs, your firm will be forced to change your established processes to make it work correctly.

Limited security

It is a red flag if the person you’re with takes money from your wallet without asking or habitually leaves the front door open and unlocked. These red flags will ruin your relationship because you no longer feel safe or secure when they are around. Similarly, your practice management software needs to help protect your firm.

Accounting practice management software should provide more than a system to do basic functions; it should also provide protection and security to your firm and your clients. CPA and accounting firms are 30% more likely to be targets of cyber threats and hacking attempts, and it is the job of the accounting software to protect both the firm and your clients.

Because digital security constantly evolves with new threats coming on the market every week, the red flag you need to look for is any practice management software that provides limited updates or patches. If your software never or rarely updates, it leaves your firm at risk of being unprotected against new attacks and security breaches.


When you’re dating, you’re looking for a partner - someone who will work with you in everything you’re trying to accomplish. Your lives become intertwined, and it is a red flag when your partner wants to keep your lives separate.

Accounting practice management software has the same needs. Ideally, it should integrate with all of your processes. It should be able to assist you with everything from billing to time tracking and become an integrated part of your firm, working in harmony with your existing practices and solutions.


A red flag when dating is when your partner refuses to help when you’re struggling. When you’re with a great partner, problems are no longer classified as “your” problems or “my” problems, but instead, they become “our” problems. You rely on each other for help, and you know that even if you get stranded late at night on the side of the road with a flat tire, you can call them for help, and they’ll be there for you.

The same is true in looking at your accounting solution. Nothing works perfectly all the time, so when things aren’t working right and you need help, your firm should know that you have a support team you can rely on.

Support can come in the form of troubleshooting guides, FAQs, or even online training, but there should also be person-to-person assistance where you can reach out and talk to a real, live person to get the help you need when you need it.

IRIS Practice Management Has Your Green Flags

Now that you know how to choose accounting software, take a look at IRIS’s practice management solutions. They were built from the ground up to be the ideal partner for your firm. We work with CPA and accounting firms to make sure we are not just meeting, but exceeding your expectations at every turn.

Contact us today to learn more about how IRIS Practice Management Solutions can serve as the foundation of your firm, helping you save time and money.

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