In years past, small business owners found themselves entering facts and figures into ledgers by hand, which took hours and hours to complete. Fortunately, financial software for accounting and bookkeeping has changed things dramatically. Now, what once took hours can take mere minutes, making it easier for you to focus your attention on other important areas of your business. If you’re looking to choose the right financial software for your business that will allow you to easily upload files to your CPA when needed, here are some tips to ensure you get the perfect software for your business.
Does It Have All the Features You Need?
First, make sure the software you have under consideration has all the features you will need for your business. With most types of financial software for small businesses, the top features should include billing and invoicing, budgeting and forecasting, inventory management, and payroll management. If the software has these features, it will be much easier for you and your staff to track expenses, record payments made to your business, and generate customer invoices.
Cheap or Expensive?
Next, you should determine how much you want to spend on your financial software. If you are on a tight budget, which may be the case if you have just started your small business, you may want to choose software that is no-frills and gives you the most basic features needed to run your business. If your business is well-established or very complex, you may want to consider buying accounting software that costs a bit more, but also has more features that will let you do more things with the software as your business grows. If you have questions about various types of accounting software for small businesses, don’t be afraid to ask your CPA for advice on what they think would be your best bet.
Is It Easy to Use?
If there is one thing you don’t want to discover after purchasing financial software for your business, it’s that you and your staff quickly realize the software itself is a nightmare to use. Thus, before you make your final decision, find out all you can about how easy the software is to use. This is vital, since it is likely people of varying skill levels, knowledge, and experience may be using the software at various points along the way. The easier your software is to use, the less likely mistakes will be made, which as you and your CPA know can be quite a headache when it comes to payroll, taxes, and other areas of your business.
Since you are using other types of software for your business, always try to verify that whatever financial software you choose will easily integrate with other software you rely on each day. Whether it’s sales software, shipping software, or other applications, having accounting software that will not easily integrate with your existing technology can lead to one problem after another, not to mention decreased productivity.
In today’s business world, more and more businesses are opting for cloud-based systems when it comes to their accounting software. This can offer you a variety of advantages, the most important of which may be data security. If you use cloud-based software, all of your sensitive financial data is kept off-site at a secure facility, where it is monitored 24/7 for cyber threats. Cloud-based software also allows your business to have greater flexibility in terms of IT infrastructure. For example, if your business needs extra bandwidth, it’s much easier to get this from a cloud-based system, so keep this in mind.
No matter what type of financial software you have for your business, the time will inevitably come when you’ll experience some type of problem. When you do, having excellent tech support you can contact day or night can make all the difference in the world. Whether it’s a system glitch or simply a question you need to ask about how to use a particular feature, being able to get answers right away and problems solved quickly will ensure your business continues to function as needed.
Most of today’s top financial software allows for multi-user access, so you should try to make sure yours does as well. If it does, this will let you allow others to use the system for various tasks and to have access to certain data. For example, you can set up your software so that your CPA has full access to the system. This can be important should you upload files to your CPA and they have additional questions or need additional data from your business during tax season. However, remember that not everyone needs to have complete access to the system, so you can give your employees access only to features that let them track their time or perhaps generate invoices to customers.
If your financial software comes with mobile apps, this is definitely a good thing that you will come to love more and more. By being able to install an app on your smartphone, this will give you access to the system no matter your location. Should you be meeting with your CPA and need to gain access to certain data, having the app on your phone can let you do this in an instant. Should you have sales teams that may be working in the field, having apps on their phones can help them track time, submit expense receipts, and even accept payments from customers.
If you take your time and keep these tips in mind as you search for the best financial software for your business, you’ll find exactly what you need. Before you know it, you’ll be meeting with your CPA and thanking them for the advice they gave you about that great accounting software you just purchased.