Back in the day, maintaining the books for your business meant that you had to record figures in a paper ledger. But these days, that’s no longer necessary.
Businesses of all sizes are now using a wide range of different accounting software programs in order to track their revenue, forecast sales, and manage their inventory.
There are many great benefits to choosing business accounting software for your company. One of the biggest reasons why an increasing number of businesses are using this option is that it drastically reduces the risk of human error that is often commonplace with paper accounting. And, it can seriously free up time for you to run your business by allowing you to access important information about your business and its financial history in just a few clicks.
But, with so many different options now on the market, choosing the right accounting software for your business is not always an easy task. We’ve put together some top tips to help you find the best software for your business.
Make a List of Needs and Wants
First of all, it’s important to know exactly what you are going to need from accounting software. Examine how your business operates and carefully consider the different types of software on the market and how they fit in with your company’s needs. For example, if your business is turning over millions of dollars’ worth of profit each year, it is likely to have many different accounting needs than a small mom and pop shop that only turns over a few thousand dollars annually. Take the time to draw up a list of both needs and wants before you go out and explore the different accounting software options available to you.
Consider Your Industry
You should also consider your industry when choosing accounting software. There are several software programs available that are designed specifically to fulfill the needs of businesses in various niches. For example, there are accounting apps that are custom-designed for businesses in hospitality, retail, manufacturing, and many more. You may find it easier to use an app that ‘understands’ your industry and the unique problems that you face.
Consider Your Own Accounting Skills
Chances are, your accounting software is going to be something that you use every day to some extent. Whether you are looking for an accounting software program that you can use by yourself or want to hire the services of an accountant alongside it, it’s important to consider the extent of your own skills when choosing. Picking a software program that is too complicated for you to use could mean that you end up wasting valuable time trying to figure out how to make it work for you, and there’ll be a bigger risk of you making mistakes that could be very costly to you in the future.
Have a Budget in Mind
There is business accounting software available to suit any type and size of company, with something to suit everybody’s budget. How much you want to spend on your accounting software will depend on a wide range of factors such as how much money your business is bringing in, the other expenses that you have to cover, and whether or not you are already paying an accountant or bookkeeper.
If you want a software program that you can use yourself in order to replace hiring a human accountant, you might want to consider spending a little more so that you have access to a wider range of features. Have a budget in mind before you start searching so that you can easily narrow down your choices to suit. Remember, the best price doesn’t always necessarily mean that you are getting the best deal and sometimes it’s worth paying a little extra for more features or more streamlined software.
Consider Add-on Features
All accounting software programs have a range of basic features that they offer, but some also provide users with a further range of optional ‘add on’ features that you might find useful. For example, this could include the option to access the software remotely, accept online payments, or integrate the software seamlessly with your eCommerce platform or CRM. You can also find add-ons that will enable you to make your accounting software compatible with the tax software that you use. Before you choose the right accounting software program for you, consider the software programs that you are already using that you might like to integrate it with, and find a program that will allow for this.
Do Plenty of Research
Bear in mind that choosing accounting software is not something that should be a rush decision. Chances are, you will want to be able to rely on the software that you choose for quite a long time and want to avoid the hassle and cost of switching to a different one. Look at reviews and comparisons of the various accounting software programs available and compare the features that they offer to see how they align with your needs. You can find plenty of accounting software comparisons that you might find useful on PieSync’s blog, including Wave vs Quickbooks.
Ask Your Accountant
Many people believe that accounting software is to replace an accountant, but this isn’t true at all. In fact, many accountants themselves use accounting software – so if you hire an accountant to do the books for your business, it’s a good idea to speak to them before deciding on the best software for you. They may already be using a certain software program and it would make sense for you to choose the same one, or they could simply make recommendations to you based on what they already know about your business and its financial situation.
Today, there are several different accounting software programs available and it makes sense for every business to be using one. But, with so many available, it’s important to put a lot of thought into choosing the right one for your needs.