To find the best accounting software for your business, the first step is to figure out the primary reasons why you need one in the first place. For some businesses, using spreadsheets, or even handwritten ledgers will do. For most, however, the ease and efficiency of accounting software make it the better choice.
Here are some factors to consider:
You’re just starting out. Using accounting software right from the start sets your business up for success down the line. It’s far more beneficial to begin using accounting software from the first day than to implement one after months, or even years, of using spreadsheets or handwritten ledgers.
Your business is growing. If you plan to expand your business, or if your business is quickly growing, a manual accounting system becomes inefficient and complicated. If you use accounting software, it can save your growing business tons of time and money by automating processes and being highly scalable to your business’ size.
You want immediate, on-demand access. Think accounting software is just about the numbers? On the contrary, this software gives you an easily accessible database of both financial and customer information. You can even include all types of details about clients and vendors, such as contact information, purchase histories and credit terms.
You want to streamline your operations. By performing tasks ranging from payroll to day-to-day transactions, accounting software can integrate all parts of your operations and automatically input data from other systems, such as your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, point-of-sale (POS) system, customer relationship management (CRM) system and other third-party solutions. Accounting software can also link your bank accounts and credit cards to automatically track expenses and update your books.
Your current system is too complicated. Not all accounting systems are made the same. For small businesses, some of the mainstream accounting systems are too complex and packed with unnecessary features. If the software you currently have is too complex, a solution made specifically for small businesses is a much better option.
You want to make sure you comply with all laws and regulations. Don’t know anything about generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), tax laws or other financial regulations? Many accounting software programs do the legwork for you and can guide you to ensure compliance. You can’t get that with spreadsheets or by doing everything by hand.
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