Finances can be complicated for most businesses. In the old days, business owners used ledgers to keep records. In modern times, there is unlimited accounting software available to help manage inventory, record transactions, and even forecast sales.
Choosing the right accounting software also gives you access to important information quickly and reduces the risk of human error. Another benefit of having the right accounting software is it allows you to generate accurate business reports that help you determine business performance.
It is therefore critical that businesses choose the right accounting software to support their needs.
How to Choose the Best Accounting Software That Serves Your Business Needs
For most businesses, tracking the money that comes in and goes out is critical. Choosing the right accounting software helps you track your finances and supports important business decisions.
Some important factors to consider as you choose the right accounting software for your business are:
If you run a small business, choose inexpensive accounting software that offers basic applications to save money. Major enterprises might have to invest in more expensive accounting software with extra features to suit their business needs.
Small businesses that have only a few people accessing the system may opt for simpler desktop-only accounting software. On the other hand, cloud-based accounting software systems work better for bigger companies that have multiple users accessing the programs.
As you choose the right accounting software for your business, consider the features you need based on your business structure. Some businesses need accounting software that will:
- Generate reports
- Help with invoicing
- Track time
- Track inventory
- Help with payroll
- Feature accounts receivable and payable tools, and more
- Learning Curve
Consider the time and effort it will take to learn how to use accounting software. Unless you are an accounting professional, most small business owners do not have the time for a steep learning curve. In this case, software that offers videos and other helpful tools is best.
In case of any problems, it should be easy to reach customer support. Consider the average wait times as you do not want to spend valuable time trying to reach customer support.
Accounting software that comes with extra features improves functionality. Consider add-on features such as remote access, online payment, and ease of integration with ecommerce and tax software.
Should You Choose Desktop or Cloud-Based Accounting Software
While both cloud-based and desktop accounting software play the same basic roles, they each have distinctive features.
As earlier discussed, desktop accounting software is ideal for you if you have a smaller business. It is also a one-time purchase that you do not have to renew which helps you save money. It also does not need an internet connection.
However, desktop accounting software is limited as it can only access the data on the computer on which it is installed.
On the other hand, cloud-based accounting software is ideal for bigger business models that have multiple users accessing the accounting system. It also requires paid subscriptions which must be regularly renewed.
This type of system gives you access from multiple locations. Regular updates also offer new features that provide advanced functionality. Cloud-based accounting software also features top security that protects your financial data.
When choosing between desktop and cloud-based accounting software, consider user access. Some cloud-based systems offer mobile access which is ideal for businesses with multiple locations. Choosing desktop software limits, you as you can only access your financial data if you have physical access to the computer.
Which Features Should You Look for in Accounting Software?
Any accounting software you choose should have the features and tools you need for your business. These features help you assess your overall business performance while making routine tasks more efficient.
Some ideal features include:
Basic Accounting Tools and Features
All businesses need basic accounting tools such as invoicing systems, income tracking, customer management, and financial report generation. Businesses that sell more than one product also need inventory tracking, vendor management, and purchase order management among other functions.
If you are a service provider, consider features such as time tracking and invoicing billable hours.
Keeping accurate and updated financial records makes your life easier during the tax season. When choosing accounting software, consider features such as automatic tax calculation, tax reporting, and multiple tax rates.
For corporations and other major institutions, an automatic paper trail ensures your business is compliant and updated on new industry regulations. Of course, the accounting software you choose should also make it easy to email the necessary data and files to your accountant.
Accounting microservices include features such as payroll, payment processing, and others. This makes it easier to pay your employees and even accept online payments.
Most accounting software does not come with microservice features, so you might have to pay extra. However, these features offer convenience and cut the cost of hiring external help to complete accounting tasks such as payroll.
Most microservices can be customized to suit your business needs. This means, for instance, if your business does not have employees, you can opt out of payroll and choose another feature that accommodates customers.
Making the Decision to Choose the Right Accounting Software for Your Business
There are many accounting software providers including:
- Wave Accounting
- Sage 50cloud
- FreshBooks, and more
These companies all provide the best accounting software which means the choice ultimately depends on your business needs.
Consider talking to your accountant to find out which accounting software they use. They might prefer software that is compatible with their system to accounting processes easier.
Whichever accounting software you choose, it is still possible to change it if it does not suit your needs. Some accounting software providers also offer updates that allow conversion.
While it might be difficult to choose the right accounting software for your needs, having the software makes it easy to keep track of important business practices such as billing, invoicing, bank reconciliation, accounts payable and receivable, and tax compliance.
Are you ready to take charge of your finances and streamline your accounting process? It's time to buy the best accounting software for your business. Start your search right away! Do not wait any longer. The right software can streamline your accounting processes, save you time, and help you make wiser financial decisions.
Before choosing the right accounting software for your business, consider signing up for a free trial to check how compatible it is with your business needs.