Step away from the spreadsheets…We look at smarter solutions for the year ahead
Have you made a new year’s resolution for your business? Finance is often the focus at the start of the year and there’s all sorts of software to help you get your office in order. Whether you’re determined to sort your expenses, streamline your invoicing or start tracking your mileage, there’s a tailor-made solution out there. But with so many options available, it can be hard to find the product that makes most sense for you.
From old school to online
Not so long ago state-of-the-art accounting software came in a box. And while it’s still possible to find accounting tools that are literally bought ‘off the shelf’, these days, online options make a lot more sense. Monthly subscriptions take less toll on your cash flow than a large on-off payment. Plus, you won’t have to worry about updating the software – that’s all done automatically with an online package.
Ahead in the cloud
There are plenty of reasons to choose online accounting solutions instead of desktop packages. Most of them boil down to saving you time. Working ‘in the cloud’ means you can access all your information anywhere, at any time and from any device. So instead of waiting until you get back to the office to check how much your clients owe, you can check everything on your phone or tablet. And when it comes to finding an accountant or bookkeeper there’s no need to be limited by geography. Complete collaboration is now possible online.
The new way to work
Flexibility is one of the perks of working for yourself, so choose accounting software that supports this. A good package should make it easy to email estimates or invoices when you’re on the go, using templates you can customise. If you’ve got multiple clients or various projects make sure you have access to a time tracking feature. And if you’re always losing receipts a ‘snap and store’ feature will save a lot of stress. In the future, online accounting won’t just be a matter of personal preference. The government’s plans for Making Tax Digital mean that over the next few years, tax returns will have to be submitted online every quarter. You’ll be able to import the details directly from your software, so make sure yours is compliant.
Made to measure
Small businesses are as individual as their owners. From single-person start ups to well-established firms with several dozen staff, they often fall under the same umbrella. Look for accounting software that recognises these differences and offers a variety of packages to suit specific needs, such as multi-currencies. Otherwise you’ll end up paying for all sorts of features that aren’t relevant to your business, or missing out on things you need. It’s wise to sign up for a free trial period to make sure you’re not committed to something unsuitable.
A sense of security
When it comes to anything involving money or data, privacy is paramount. People who are new to cloud accounting may be unsure how robust external servers are in the face of cyber attacks. In fact, they’re much less vulnerable that single servers that rely on individuals to back everything up. As well as eliminating human error, they store data in multiple locations, minimising any risk posed by fire, flood or any other unwelcome visitors. Yes, you’ll want to do your research and use an established company with a solid reputation, but providing you do, your information (and your clients information) should be perfectly safe.
Know the score
If you’ve noticed which website you’re on, it should come as no surprise to hear a recommendation for QuickBooks Online. Yes, there are other accounting software companies – Sage, Xero and KashFlow to name three – but we’re confident that QuickBooks has the most versatile range of features for the most competitive price. We offer Self-Employed, Essentials and Plus packages featuring state-of-the-art security, amazing app integration and all the features you could possibly need, from payroll to project tracking. But don’t just take our word for it:
‘Bottom Line: QuickBooks is the best online accounting application for small businesses, thanks to its depth, flexibility, and extensibility. It’s easy to use, well-designed, and built to serve a wide variety of users.’
Oh, and did we mention that it’s worth checking out online reviews too?
Score correct on date of publication – 29/11/2017
Still not sure which accounting software is right for your business? QuickBooks makes it easy to switch from other systems. If you’re known as a ninja when it comes to Excel, we can show you how to shine in QuickBooks. From free webinars and online tutorials to classroom-based training designed to help you tap into every single time-saving feature. Most of our customers just login and get started, saving an average of 8 hours every month on their finances. And if problems to arise, our support team are available throughout the day (and night) to help.