Have you just started a business? Maybe you are done with your business plan and you have decided to consider getting an accounting platform for your cash flows. Getting the perfect accounting software for your business is not an easy task. At the time you have decided to invest your money and time for an accounting system, it will be very tedious transferring it to another software that you find more updated in the future. With so many online accounting softwares available, it is always best to spend much time in trying out available softwares before the purchase and avoid any regrets and waste of resources in the future.
How do you decide which software is best for your business? How will you be sure if your cloud-based accounting software is reliable? Can you tell whether your choice can do everything for you? Here’s a quick guide to help you on this decision:
Make a research about accounting softwares. Know how it can help you business. You also need to consider what your business is and do research on what type of cash flows will you expect. This way, you will have an idea what types of accounting software you really need. If you have an existing accounting software, does it serve you well? If not, what else do you need aside from what you are getting from the existing. It pays when you make a study of how each accounting software works. Here are some things you need to understand when doing your research:
1. What Is The Size Of Your Business?
Business size greatly affects accounting functions that you will need. If you have a lot of employees, you may require an added feature to process employee payroll. You may also want unlimited number of invoices and receipts for customer transactions. If on the other hand you have an online shop, you can consider an inventory management feature from your accounting software. Consider also user management features, such as the number of users, if your business will grow bigger in a span of five years, you can look into an upgraded plan or check that you are able to add more users as you need.
2. What Are The Software Features That You Need For The Business?
As a business owner, software functions are the most crucial thing to look into. Of course, you are willing to pay this much for a multi functional software, or maybe you pay this low but you are getting more than the functions you need. Some functions that are basically needed for a business may include:
- Invoice generation or recurring invoice generation for the regular customers
- Automated payment reminders
- Delivery notes and billings
- Time Tracking and payroll
- Tax computations
- Financial report generation
- Bank collection
- Multiple currencies
- Proposals/ Estimates
- Inventory management
You may use this list as your guide in understanding business accounting requirements.
3. Set Your Budget
Know how much budget will you allocate for this. The bigger your business size, the
more requirements you will need, while if you have a small business, there are cheaper softwares that you can choose from and even free softwares is available. And this is a good start-up option, these inexpensive ones let you try a software that gives you the basics such as invoicing and cash flows, you will be able to determine if you need more features or this is good enough for your business. You might end up not spending a single cent once you have tried it.
4. How Familiar Are You With Accounting Concepts?
Honestly, not everybody has an experience with accounting. Be sure that you get a software that can be easily understood and check that it has a simple user interface. You may want to consider a software that uses common accounting terms. You have to know how well you understand accounting so that you may decide to get one that will offer ease of use especially if you are not really well experienced with bookkeeping.
After considering these 4 steps, your next step is to look for accounting softwares available through the world wide web. You can also make it easy and fast by searching for the best accounting software reviews that give you a rank higher than 3.5.
Now that you have sorted out the best available softwares, you may now use the following pointers to shortlist them:
1. How Secure Is It?
Your data needs to be secured. Some companies offer SSL encryption (Secure Sockets Layer) as security measure for data protection.
2. Does It Satisfy Your Requirements?
Based on your checklist mentioned earlier, does the software give what you need for your business. Make sure the software will offer the basics that you will absolutely need, some other features may just be additional “wants” for your operations. You can actually run the business even without these “wants”.
3. Can It Offer Integrations Or Collaborations?
You can also check out the add-on features it can give you. Your customers may have an existing payment facility which you can integrate with your chosen accounting software.
4. After Sales Service
How does the company provide technical support to the end users? Are they available and willing to help you when the need arises? This may not be a crucial factor in deciding which software to get, but knowing how well they can help you in the future is a big factor when you really need their support.
No need to worry so much about searching for the most appropriate software. With the list given, you now have a reliable guide to get what you really need for your business accounting. Getting an accounting software will significantly improve efficiency and accelerate the process for your accountant and bookkeeper. Thus, you save on accounting time and man hour costs if you get the appropriate software for your business.