Every small business needs needs a way to track expenses, log customer transactions, and pay taxes. After all, these processes can help you move forward in a competitive marketplace. If you’re not a whiz at crunching numbers, don’t worry — you have plenty of alternatives to keep your company’s books.
Succeeding at Small-Business Accounting
As a small-business owner, you’ve got a lot at stake. Organized accounting practices can help keep your doors open, especially when you work with tight margins or carefully controlled budgets. The right accounting solution can help you stay compliant with the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) requirements for everything from payroll procedures to filing taxes.
It helps to get your bearings as a new small-business owner by knowing what to expect. You need to be able to connect and communicate with your business bank accounts, track operating expenses, set up payroll (if you have employees), and figure out tax obligations. You also want to develop day-to-day bookkeeping operations and calculate margins to track your company’s performance, but don’t want to spend lots of time on the process.
If you have a physical location, your accounting likely includes inventory tracking and point-of-sale transactions. The same goes if your business offers services or sells products to international customers. This makes it imperative to keep all your transactions categorized and logged to ensure smooth sailing.
Benefits of Online Accounting for Small Businesses
As important as accounting is, your small business probably doesn’t need a fleet of professional accountants or an expensive large-scale software program. Most accountants bill by the hour, and complex programs involve extensive setup — both of which can prove challenging for small companies. That’s where online accounting services come in handy. Most cloud-based accounting programs offer a suite of simple double-entry accounting applications and a few convenient features, which is all most small businesses need to get started. As a result, your business can save time and money.
How Do Cloud Based Accounting Services Work?
A cloud accounting service stores your information on a remote server. To access it, you can simply log in to your online account. That means that you can always run reports or enter new financial data, no matter where you go. This accessibility is a key factor in making your accounting system more manageable.
Think of cloud accounting systems like your online banking system. Each time you log in to your bank account with a computer or phone, you use the cloud. The platform lets you access the software and your data anywhere you have an internet connection. The best vendors back up your data and upgrade their technology regularly to provide data security and peace of mind.
Making the Most of Online Accounting and Bookkeeping Services
As you move to an online system, these tips can help you succeed:
- If you’ve been using paper invoices and receipts, organize everything into categories. You might have a category for vehicle expenses and another for office supplies. When you enter them into the system, it adds them up automatically.
- Track expenses electronically using your online accounting software’s app or website. When you do this, you don’t have to pay an accountant to comb through paper receipts.
- Use accounting software to generate financial statements. This shows you a snapshot of your small business and helps you make decisions accordingly.
- If you move to an online system at tax time, remember to have your notice of assessment handy, plus your prior year’s tax return.
- Save accounting documents to the hard drive on your computer. When you’re ready to move to the cloud, you can access these documents easily.
- If you keep physical books that require you to do calculations and ledger work by hand, save them. Later, you can check your math in an online system.
The right online accounting service can help take away some of the financial stress of running your small business. It can also save a great deal of time, which means you can better focus on building your company and doing what you love. 4.3 million customers use QuickBooks Online. Join them today to help your business thrive for free.