Selecting the right bookkeeping software for your business is essential. Not only can a good accounting program help you keep on top of your company’s bookkeeping tasks but it can also help you plan for the future by allowing you to track inventory and make accurate forecasts.
By keeping the following factors in mind when choosing a program, you should be able to find the perfect software for your needs.
Types Of Accounting Software
The market is filled with different programs designed to help businesses of all sizes tackle their accounting. These programs usually fit into one of four different categories including:
Payroll and Accounting Software for Small Businesses
Countless different bookkeeping programs are designed specifically to address common accounting tasks that are faced by small businesses. Programs like Quickbooks and Sage have a strong record of success in the UK market.
Cloud-Based Bookkeeping Programs
Cloud-based programs are rapidly growing in popularity. In fact, they are even poised to overtake traditional accounting programs in terms of the number of businesses that use them. One of the most appealing aspects of these programs is that they allow business owners to access their financial records from anywhere as long as they can get online. For instance, imagine how convenient it would be to be able to use your Apple Watch to log in and view your Xero records.
Software for Business Management
For large-scale businesses that have more complex accounting needs, business management programs are a good solution. These programs provide detailed tracking of your financial records, as well as information on inventory, customer relationship management, and the ability to work with multiple currencies.
Although there are a number of different free accounting programs available, they should be used with caution. In most cases, these software programs are too basic to be of much value to a business. They also may restrict the number of transactions that you can perform before upgrading to a paid package. Additionally, these programs rarely allow you to build a database of your customers.
Most cloud-based programs are not purchased outright. Instead, the business pays a monthly fee to access the program and to receive technical support if they need it. Other types of software programs are usually paid for up front. In some cases, they may also require a once-a-year fee.
Typically, software companies put out several different versions of each program to cater to a variety of different businesses. These program variations usually also have different price points. Be sure to compare software companies since there can often be a large difference in price for the same services.
You will need to choose software that is designed to work with your business, regardless of its current size.
According to Pro Back Office some packages like SageOne are geared toward small businesses while others like Xero can handle much larger businesses.
For businesses that deal with particularly complicated situations, business management software like Exchequer is usually a good choice. You may also need to have a software program custom designed for your business.
Access to Your Financial Records
Cloud-based software programs like Xero allow you to access your records from anywhere. They also allow multiple people to access the records at the same time, meaning that you and your accountant can view them simultaneously. If you don’t need this type of remote access, however, you can probably get by with a traditional accounting program like Quickbooks.
Ease of Use
Look for bookkeeping programs that offer a free trial period. Downloading these programs and giving them a try can help you get a sense of how easy they are to use. If any of the programs are too complex, you can simply choose a different program without having made a large investment. Be sure to try programs from a few different companies to determine which one is best for your needs.