Finances: Use The Perfect Software To Streamline Your Finances

Finances: Use The Perfect Software To Streamline Your Finances

What one change will make the biggest difference in your small business’s efficiency, profitability and success? Switching from paper-based accounting to an accounting software system.

Today’s accounting software programs do more than keep the books. With one click, you can generate reports that tell you and your Finances accountant everything you need to know about your company’s financial situation, import transaction data from your bank, create and send invoices, and more.

With so many choices, how can you find the perfect accounting software for your business? Follow this advice:

Know what you need:

A one-person consulting business that just needs to track sales, expenses and taxes has different requirements than a multi-employee retail business that must handle payroll and inventory management. Your business’s size, number of customers and employees, and industry are among factors affecting your choice of accounting software.

Investigate add-ons:

Some accounting software programs offer add-ons to expand their functionality. For instance, you might be able to add on programs to integrate the software with your e-commerce site, accept credit card payments or track expenses, if the software doesn’t already include these functions. Keep an eye on costs, however—add-on expenses can mount fast. It may make better financial sense to pay more upfront for software with everything you need built in.

Consult your accountant:

Talk to finance expert to ensure the software you choose generates the kinds of financial reports he or she needs. Also make sure it integrates with the software he or she uses so you can share information electronically, speeding up tax preparation.

Get opinions:

Read reviews about the software you’re considering—both objective reviews and user reviews. Talk to other business owners to see what they recommend.

Think ahead:

What works for your business today may not work for it tomorrow. Keep your business’s growth plans in mind and choose software that’s flexible enough that you won’t have to replace it if your customer base, product line or staff expands in the future.

Put your head (and data) in the cloud:

Instead of buying a software package you download and install on your computers, the software is hosted online; you subscribe to it by paying a monthly fee. There are many advantages of cloud accounting software, including:

  • Updates happen automatically in the background, so your software is always current, and you don’t have to worry about installing security patches.
  • As long as you have an Internet connection, you can access your data wherever you are using an Internet browser or the accounting software provider’s mobile app.
  • Cloud accounting software typically provides greater security than having the data stored on your own network.
  • Cloud software can integrate with other software, so your transactions are automatically entered into your accounting system.

Find out about support:

What kind of customer service is provided? Can you get help by email, chat or phone? How will you be charged for support, and is any free support available? For example, you might get free support for a limited time while you’re learning to use the software, or have access to free user forums or help centers where you can get advice from other users.

Consider mobility:

What types of accounting functions do you need on the go? If you spend a lot of time out of the office and need to generate invoices, create estimates or track expenses on the fly, a good mobile app will be important to you.

Try it out:

Most Finances online software packages offer a free trial period so you can see whether the product is right for you before you commit to it. Ease of use matters—the best product in the world isn’t right for you if you have trouble understanding it or simply don’t like the interface.

Choose the right accounting software for you, and you’ll quickly find you spend less time inputting numbers… and more time growing your business.

Related Article: “what value does a financial advisor bring to your company

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