It’s a no-brainer that keeping track of your incoming and outgoing finances is a critical part of not only keeping your business running, but also of ensuring your business grows and prospers. Therefore you need accounting software that reflects an effective and efficient business - meaning, you’re going to have to upgrade from that spreadsheet. Accounting doesn’t have to be an arduous task. There are numerous straightforward accounting solutions available that can cater for the various sizes and stages of your business.
Being cloud based means that your accounting software is available 24/7, anywhere that there is an internet connection (as well as through applications for smartphones). Your online system can also be linked to bank feeds for up-to-date and accurate syncing with your accounts, which makes for super easy reconciling. The data itself is backed-up off-site, so safer than storing on your own computer system.
Of course, not all accounting solutions are created equal, so it’s about finding the right systems, tools and integrations that are going to work for you; here are some things to consider when picking the right accounting platform.
First of all, consider your accessibility preferences. Desktop software sits on your computer whereas cloud software can be accessed from anywhere, of course if you don’t have an internet connection then you also won’t have access to your software. Cloud software generally has an on-going monthly fee whereas desktop software will have a set purchase price. Don’t forget though, that you will need to purchase updates for desktop software regularly. Sending backups to your accountant can be a pain, but with cloud based accounting you can simply grant your bookkeeper and/or accountant access so they can log in and do their thing.
Cloud accounting software such as Xero, Quickbooks and MYOB have various packages to suit sole traders or freelancers through to large businesses, therefore your accounting system can grow as your business does.
Bottom line, functionality for your business is key, so this is a biggie. The beauty of cloud computing is that you can tailor-make a streamlined system to suit the functions and processes of your company through the integration of other software. Be sure to check that you are going to be able to integrate your accounting software with other third-party systems, or other software you may come to require, such as inventory management, CRM systems, task management etc. You don’t want to have to take information from one system and enter it into another. Make sure the systems you’re going to use can talk to one another.
Design is a critical part of any solution and although accounting software isn’t exactly exciting the design doesn’t have to be dull. A well designed system should be enjoyable and above all easy to use.
If you don’t have an IT team behind you, you want to know that you can contact a technical support, or at least support articles, when you need.
Most providers offer a free trial, so it’s a good idea to try before you buy to make sure it’s going to be the best solution for your business.