It can be a complicated task to manage your company’s finances as a small business owner. You can get help and make your life easier by investing in a reliable accounting software tool with integrated payroll services and features. This system can help you monitor your firm’s financial health and track the movement of funds into and out of accounts. Plus, you can track expenses, create invoices, and generate insightful reports to run your financial processes and business efficiently.
But it can be a bit difficult to pick a suitable accounting solution for your needs as each product comes with different features, number of users, and pricing plans. We help you in this article by detailing the main factors to consider in your selection process.
What are the main features that you need? These can include invoicing, accounts receivable and payable, payroll, project management, time tracking, inventory tracking, and others. Do you wish to generate periodic reports? An accounting system with integrated payroll software can be a big help to both your accounts and HR departments.
Usability: How many users in your company need to access the program? Do you want a desktop solution or a cloud-based one that can be accessed from anywhere? Do you require a mobile app as well along with the accounting software?
Costs: Are you looking for an inexpensive and basic accounting product or are willing to shell out more to get advanced features?
10 Steps to Picking the Right Accounting Software for Your Business
Use the below steps as a guide in your selection process.
- Do you have Accounting Skills?
Small business owners may not be finance experts but still, need to stay on top of their firm’s accounting. Therefore, consider your capabilities as well as needs while making your selection. The accounting software can indeed make bookkeeping simpler, but you still should have a basic comprehension of financial aspects so you can use the solution effectively. Therefore, perform proper research and select the right tool for your skills and requirements.
- The Cost Factor
Accounting solutions are available for all business budgets. Free and cheap applications can save you money, but are they useful and capable of the task? More expensive accounting software with additional tools could be worth the investment as they can help to reduce common accounting mistakes and thus save you money and time. Cloud accounting software vendors offer pay-as-you pricing plans that allow you to pay for only what you use and thus save money.
- Cloud Benefits
Cloud-based accounting products offer many benefits. You can access the system from anywhere, anytime, on any internet-enabled device, including smartphones, laptops, and tablets. This convenient facility allows you to keep your accounting consistently updated from any place.
You don’t need to hire IT staff to handle the software installation, maintenance, and upgrades as the cloud provider will take care of all this work. Top cloud platforms also guarantee data security and will keep your confidential business information safe from thefts, local disasters, and other destructive events.
- Choose Your Needed Features
To run your company efficiently, you need to use accounting software with the essential features. Some of these functions include:
- Sales tracking
- Inventory management
- Business tax reporting
- Customer contact management
- Support for a merchant account to take credit card payments
- Compatibility with Your Bank
To save time, pick an accounting software that works with your bank. This will enable you to download banking transactions which will make it easier to track your cash flow and pay your bills. The accounting solution should also meet your online banking needs.
- Simple to Use
Pick an accounting system that is easy to learn and use for you and your employees. This will allow even those without an accounting background to utilize the platform as needed. The software’s interface should be simple and not packed with needless features. This will help to shorten the learning curve and your staff can get the hang of the product quickly and save time.
- Data Security
Data Security should be a vital consideration in your selection process. Check how the vendor stores the application data. Leading cloud services use their own servers to host their platform. Select a provider that uses bank-grade security protocols and standards to safeguard your sensitive business information. The cloud software should have https:// on its address bar which gives you the assurance that data transfer is secure on the website and cannot be hacked by criminals.
- Third-Party Integrations
The accounting software should integrate with your existing services and programs and automatically share data between platforms in real-time. Common integrations include Google apps, email marketing, CRM, ERP, e-commerce, inventory management, payment processing, and POS solutions.
- Add-on Tools
Add-ons to the accounting software like payroll services and payment processing make it simpler to pay employees and accept client payments online. These tools may cost extra, but they provide convenience and are well worth the investment.
10. Reliable Customer Support
Make a test call or send a message to the accounting vendor’s customer care team and check their quality of service and response time. You may need help anytime if you run into problems while using the software. Typically, cheaper programs don’t include the cost of customer support in their rates. However, it’s worth paying more for post-sale service for the timely assistance you’ll get. Select a vendor that offers support on multiple convenient channels.
Don’t make the mistake of settling for accounting software that only meets your current needs. As your business grows, you may need to add more employees and require extra accounting work. The basic software you have bought may not be up to the challenge and migrating to an advanced platform can be a difficult task.
The solution is to choose an accounting solution that can scale easily to meet your business growth. Leading vendors offer progressive versions, so you can start with a basic edition and then migrate to a feature-packed version later when you need more accounting firepower.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.