How do I know if my software is real accounting or “lite” accounting?

accountingHere’s what you need to look for, or ask for:

Simply asking if something is double entry is usually enough. A real double entry application will tell you that’s how they crunch your numbers.

If the software doesn’t give you a Balance Sheet, or only has a work-around solution to get you close to a Balance Sheet, then it’s not real double entry. A Balance Sheet is a critical report that any accountant will need to save you money. And as you get more experienced, you’ll be able to learn from it, too.

A proper accounting application allows you to create Journal Entries or Journal Transactions. This is the old-school way of entering info into an accounting application, and it illustrates what double entry means. In each Journal Transaction there are two offsetting entries. It allows you to track where money came from and where it went, and a whole lot more. If your software doesn’t allow you to use Journal Entries/Transactions, it’s not real accounting.
If the software you’re considering covers