My experience says that this is a decision that is reliant on you finding something you are comfortable with. By that I mean that some people don’t like a system that others might love (One man’s meat another man’s poison). I would recommend that you use trials to experiment with.
Most of the packages use the
same work flow so once you set up a client and do an invoice, run a banking
account, allocate the payments and understand the level of reporting from the
system you will have a good idea if this is for you.
I also suggest that even once you make the decision to go with a specific system that you run it parallel with your current system to check for consistency in the information, as well as if something goes wrong you can ‘pause’ the new system to resolve without stalling your operations.
Also expect to change systems as your business grows and business needs change.
There are many options available on the web. Some are industry specific and others more general in their approach to the solution.
For me the following is key:
Can you import bank accounts
Is there an option to manage projects (do cost/profit centres)
The level and types of reporting
The access restrictions and security around this
The support given
Costs for the system
Upgrading or exporting information to other systems
Some links I have (not sure if they are still active), include:
Hope this information helps and good luck.