The right small business accounting software helps reduce errors, track finances, monitor money movement, and make informed decisions based on concrete data. Whether your company is a brand new startup or an established business, choosing accounting software can be difficult. As you do your research, keep these tips in mind.
Look Into Cloud-Based Systems
Accounting is quickly becoming part of the cloud revolution. Online accounting software offers tremendous benefits over traditional on-site spreadsheet options, including increased security, easier collaboration, convenient accessibility, and protection from physical hardware damage. Additionally, cloud accounting lets you take advantage of powerful automation features. That eliminates the need for tiresome data entry, saving your accounting department a significant amount of time, money, and resources.
Avoid Overly Complex Software
A lot of accounting software has a steep learning curve. You or your accountant may be able to input basic data without issue, but more advanced features such as cell formatting, bank reconciliations, customer categorization, refunds, bounced checks, and other essential components are often overly complicated, even for tech-savvy users. Go with accounting software that’s user-friendly and intuitive. Ideally, you want software that doesn’t require extensive accounting knowledge. That way, you can do your own accounting easily.
Seek Scalable Software
Your business may be small now, but ideally it’s going to grow. You want software that has the ability to grow along with you. This means the software should be able to support more than one or two users. It should also be able to handle large amounts of data, even if you’re not using that storage space right now. You may also want to find software that allows you to track inventory, sales, expenses, and other sets of numbers at multiple locations.
Look for software that includes features beyond just bookkeeping, such as customer relationship management and inventory management. When you need these tools in the future to grow your business, you’ve already got them ready to go. You may also want to look for accounting software that integrates point-of-sale software or is compatible with your existing POS system.
Select Software With Automated Backup Features
Data loss can be disastrous for businesses of all sizes. Modern accounting software is fully capable of backing up your company’s data to cloud-based, off-site servers in real-time, ensuring you’re able to recover from data loss immediately. These days, there’s no reason not to take preliminary precautions. Automated backups ensure that even if you forget to take steps to protect your critical data, your software has you covered. You never want to have to use these automated audit trails and backup files, but it’s definitely nice to know they’re there just in case.
Stay Away From Software That Lacks Support
You never know when you’re going to need immediate assistance from a qualified expert. You want to make sure the software company has a solid reputation for taking care of its customers. Search for common accounting software questions online, and see if there are answers and resources available in case you have problems or questions in the future. If you’re depending on outdated software with no customer support team, one minor issue can turn into a major catastrophe before you know it.
Try Before You Buy
There’s no reason to make a blind commitment or rush into a purchase. Take advantage of free trial offers, and be confident in your final decision. Speak with software company representatives, and inform them of your company’s specific needs. If you do your due diligence now, you shouldn’t have problems finding accounting software that you can depend on for many years to come.
The right accounting software can keep you organized and help when you’re trying to decide whether to grow your business. Ideally, the software should work with your budget and offer you a tangible return on your investment. Follow these six tips to make the selection as easy as possible, but first, start with a free trial run to see how well the software meets your needs.