No longer are spreadsheets enough to keep business financial data in order. You need it available at the touch of a button. Accounting software is the answer. Use it to generate financial reports and track expenses. It can also manage project costs and track incoming and outgoing payments. Access good accounting software and set it up to take over the financials.
Competition is fierce. There are many online accounting software packages in the marketplace. It is a challenge to know which one works best. They all offer different sets of features and plan prices. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing accounting software:
Cost. How much to spend? Basic plans give access to basic functionality. Pay more to access more features.
Functionality. How many people will use the software? What sort of system do you prefer – cloud-based or desktop software? Do staff need access from a handheld device?
Features. What do you need accounting software to do? Accounts receivable and payable? Is there inventory to track? What financial reports does the business generate? Does the software allow third party plugins?
Accounting software costs
Accounting software costs vary. It depends on the features included in the plan. These days most software companies offer cloud-based services for a monthly subscription fee. Usually the higher the fee the more advanced the features, such as:
- Automatic billing
- Advanced reporting capabilities
- Smart phone access
- Offline capability if internet dies
A good accounting package is vital for any size business. Choosing the right one is the challenge.
Accounting software functionalities
What accounting software functionalities you choose, depends on how and where you want to use it. Here are some functionalities to consider.
Cloud based software for mobility
These days accounting software is usually based in the cloud. This allows access at anytime from anywhere by any authorised person. Some software companies offer apps for their accounting software so people can work while on the go. There are even apps so employees can submit expense reports and use time tracking that links with payroll.
How many people need to access the system?
Consider how many people need to use the accounting system simultaneously. You can limit employee use to only what is necessary, but your accountant and business partner will need access. Watch out. Many companies may allow accountant access on the plan but you may need to upgrade to add extra users.
What accounting features does your business need?
Different accounting software has different features. So which ones do you need? The software you choose should save time and be easy to use. Here are some features a business may need.
Accounting software basic features are all many businesses need. Things like generating financial reports, invoicing, expense and income tracking, and Vat. A company that provides services may want a feature that tracks time to invoice billable hours.
Automatic time savers
It is possible to automate some accounting software functions. Things like monthly invoices and payment reminders which saves time. Some programs allow you to use the system for quoting and automatically turns them into an invoice with a few mouse clicks.
Good accounting software makes life simple at tax time. In a few mouse clicks produce the reports needed for the tax office. No more dreading tax time. And, your accountant will love you.
Integrating third-party applications
You probably already have a number of apps for running the business. You may want things like point of sale systems, email marketing, payment processing, e-commerce, Google apps, and more to integrate with accounting software. Check to see which software programs allows the integration of what third party apps.