When it comes to selecting the best small business accounting software, you need to make sure it is not only suitable for your business, however that it is also easy to use by everyone in the office. With manual accounting so time consuming and extremely prone to human errors, even professional, experienced accountants are liable to make a mistake that an accounting software program will easily spot.
Though called a “computer error,” often times it is a human making an input or programming error, not the actual computer. Keep in mind that a computer, designed to count numbers, really cannot make a computational error. Maybe it is about time people started following this, however that is another discussion for another day!
However, for this specific reason (among others), small business accounting software not only saves a business owner time and effort, it will also eliminate any possible calculation errors. The program avoids redundant data and allows you to do things by just pressing one button.
In fact, with the accounting software available today, individuals do not even need to have a degree in accounting to use it. If you run a small, startup business, you can completely avoid all costs associated with employing an accountant with the right software. All you will need an accounting for is to help with any audits or signing off on anything.
Below are five tips on how you can select the best possible small business accounting software for your business. By making the right selection, you can totally avoid the cost associated with hiring an accountant and put that money back into your budget.
What does your business need: simple accounting software or the best small business accounting software?
First and foremost, list all the features of accounting software you will need. If you only require a program to record profits, expenditures, and income, than the software program you need will likely be something basic and low cost.
However, if you have a larger business where other things need to be kept track of, including expenses and finances of multiple departments and/or individuals, a program with a few extra bells and whistles may be required. There are a number of accounting software packages that are specific to certain industries, such as finance or real estate.
Again, remember that the software program needs to fit your business needs!
What extra features are you seeking in the business software?
Any additional features should be included in the first point however the physical form of the accounting software is also something to consider. The program should be designed for desktop, portable, and online use. This way, you can access the accounting software from anywhere you are, from a laptop to your tablet. If getting a program with hardware versatility is essential, then ask before making the commitment to a software program.
Read small business accounting software reviews
You might be surprised to know that there are quite a few brands of accounting software currently available on the market. While big name brands are more recognised, they are not always the optimal choice. It is important to find a brand that will fit everything you need.
Important factors to consider when it comes to brand is if it has all necessary features, if you can get a free trial before making a monetary commitment, and how well their support service runs.
Are finance software upgrades and shelf-life important to you?
One of the worst things that can happen is if you buy an accounting software package and then find out that in a few months it will become obsolete with the next generation of hardware. There are software packages that are very expensive and you need to make sure there are free upgrades as hardware continues to develop.
Aside from hardware upgrades, the best small business accounting software also needs to offer upgrades in situations where your business grows. No business wants to buy a new software package every time they increase the business. Therefore, look for software packages that provide upgrades and extensions that compensate for the business as it develops.
Would you rather lease or buy your software?
Depending on what kind of choice you make with accounting software, you have two options – purchase it outright or lease it for a monthly payment. Some vendors offer software on a month-by-month subscription. This is preferred by some businesses as it guarantees upgrades as computer technology (both hardware and software) advances.
Once a decision has been made regarding small business accounting software, always check out reviews of the software written by peers who have used it in the past. Reviews and forums are easily accessible online and you can read all about what others think about it.
While the best small business accounting software may sound good in theory, it may not work well in actuality. Peer reviews are sometimes even better than the aforementioned tips provided.