How to Choose the Best Accounting Software for Your Small Business?
Accounting software saves hours of time compared to manually handling your books and is much more efficient than using a spreadsheet. The software saves you the time of constantly having to re-enter redundant data like customer’s address on the quote, then the work order and then the invoice. Small business who have inventory and numerous employees and customers will save time and have more accurate records by using an accounting software. Most accounting software is so easy to use that you don’t need to have a person with accounting experience to operate them.
To get a better understanding of what accounting software is best for you company, think about what accounting features you need to run your business.
Most of the small business accounting features include:
- Sales tracking
- Inventory management
- Merchant account support to accept credit card payments
- Manage customer contacts or work with your current contact management software
- Business tax reporting
- Industry specific requirements
This article will also discuss:
NOTE: FreshBooks Support team members are not certified income tax or accounting professionals and cannot provide advice in these areas, outside of supporting questions about FreshBooks. If you need income tax advice please contact an accountant in your area.
What to Consider When Choosing an Accounting Software?
Now that you have thought about what you need from the accounting software for all your business, here are some other considerations for you thinking about when you’re shopping around for your small business accounting software.
Will Your Software Grow with Your Business?
If you’re a small business experiencing growth, you need a software that can grow with you.
When shopping for software find out if the software has the capability of adding modules you can later if needed. As a business grows and hires employees, a commonly added module would be payroll accounting.
What Accounting Software Will Work with Your Bank?
You can save a lot of time with your banking for your small business if you’re able to download transactions from your bank. When considering your small business accounting software, check to see if the product works with your bank.
Do You Want Online or Desktop Software?
Do you want to keep your accounting software on your desktop computer with limited licenses to access the program or do you want web-based software that runs securely through an Internet browser? If you want to access your data and records from multiple computers, online accounting software is especially convenient.
Is There Restricted Access for Some Users?
When more than one person is using the accounting software, one individual might have full access to all functions, but others may only have access to data entry areas and not reports.
Does the Accounting Software Come with a Free Trial?
The best way to get an idea if the accounting software will work for your small business is to try it out. Many accounting software programs have free trials, guides and tutorials, so you can get a sense of what it is like to use the program.
Is It Mobile-Accessible?
Web-based accounting software with subscription-based billing allows their customers to access their financial records via their mobile devices. This makes it possible for small business owners to send invoices and enter expenses from wherever they are working from.
Are the Features Easy to Use?
Making sure your accounting software is easy to use is critical for small business owners who might not have a background in accounting. You want typical accounting functions to basic enough of on the software that you can easily understand how to input the correct data.
Here are some things to consider when thinking about how accessible your accounting software program is:
- Does the software allow you to send cheques, purchase orders, and invoices online?
- Can it link online to your bank accounts?
- Can it be integrated with other software you use often like Microsoft Office Excel?
- Can it convert data from other accounting programs or databases?
- Will you be able to easily extract and migrate your existing data?
How Is the Customer Service and Support?
When you’re shopping for an accounting software program for your small business consider the customer service and support experience. You want to make sure you have access to screen tips, a searchable help index, demos and example accounts to get you started.
Plus, you want to make sure you can contact a human being when you encounter problems that can be answered through online resources. Good customer service and support is key to having a successful experience with your accounting software program.
Should You Use an Accountant or Accountant Software?
Accounting software does not mean you’re replacing an accountant to ensure that your business adheres to legal and accepted accounting and tax practices. Using accounting software takes the everyday tasks out of the hands of your accountant and saves your small business money.
If you pick a good accounting software program, you will have access to the monthly, quarterly and annual basis reports that you can print out or deliver securely online to your accountant.
Consult with your accountant to see what reports are needed and make you are able to generate them with the software program you are choosing.