Accounting is an essential process that should already be set in place before you start your business.
It aids you in monitoring your income and expenditures to ensure that you are gaining a profit from your venture.
Proper implementation of accounting principles also makes sure that you are compliant with state rules and regulations, especially regarding taxes. Moreover, the process enables you to provide quantitative information on your finances, which is crucial when reporting to investors, management, and the government.
If your company is still in its early stages, finding the right small business accounting software can make or break your enterprise. Here are the factors that you need to consider when choosing apps or programs for your business:
Your Business Needs
Your top priority when looking for the best accounting software is to ensure that it suits your needs perfectly. You don’t want to end up with a useless program that doesn’t do anything for your business.
A company that makes millions of dollars each year will need a different set of functions than one that earns less than 50,000 USD. Moreover, you may want to find a software that’s specific for your niche, if you specialize in a particular product or service.
These are the essential features that you should look for in an accounting app:
- Basic Accounting Operations – Tracking income and expense, invoicing, generating financial reports, and managing customer information are just a few basic accounting features that your software should have. Inventory, supplier management, and purchasing are also crucial if you sell more than one product.
- Automated Features – The primary advantage of an accounting software is that some processes can be programmed for automatic execution. For instance, if you have inventory, you should look for a program that reorders supplies automatically once the number of items drops to a specified threshold. You can also choose an app that can send past-due alerts when the transaction hasn’t been settled yet.
- Tax Facilitation – Tax season is a busy time for business owners and their accountants. Make it less stressful by opting for accounting software that performs automatic tax calculations, knows multiple tax rates, and generates tax reports with ease.
- Additional Functions – Payment processing and payroll services are other features that are essential to small businesses. While these add-ons can cost extra, you’re paying for the convenience and automation anyway. Plus, you can be sure that the system won’t have any issues with compatibility with other peripherals like Point of Sale (POS) and employee management systems.
- Specifications – CPA-specific accounting programs will be designed for payroll, expense and reporting for multiple companies, and will also include useful tools like auditing, tax preparation and time-based billing. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) manage the finances for dozens, or even hundreds of corporations and individuals, they need software that can keep up.
Your Staff’s Skills
Often, owners handle key responsibilities when starting their own business, including accounting. However, there will come a time when you need to upgrade your business accounting staff, mainly when your enterprise has grown.
With this growth, you will need to consider purchasing an accounting software to make your operations more productive. This entails that you will have to evaluate the competency level of your accountant or accounting staff.
They’ll be the ones who’ll use the program or app regularly, so it’s best to assess their knowledge of accounting principles and determine if they know their way around technology or not. Remember, the application is only a tool. Your staff must know what to do with it so that they can monitor your income and expenditures efficiently.
You must find a balance between the features you want and the budget that you can allocate to this expense for now. Fortunately, there are lots of affordable options on the market today.
These products offer you basic accounting features and a few add-ons. However, you’ll need to budget a considerably higher amount for specialized software.
Another crucial factor to mull over along with budget constraints, your business needs, and the skills of the people who’ll be using the software is scalability. This pertains to the ability of the tool to accommodate the growing needs of your company.
Any business owner dreams for their enterprise to rise to the heights of large conglomerates. Start right by purchasing a software that offers an entry-level version while allowing you the option to go for a more advanced one with features that will prove valuable for the future.
Compatibility is also a vital factor to consider when choosing an accounting software, especially if you’ve already purchased related peripherals. Talk to the salesperson about the equipment you already have and clarify if their program works with the ones you have.
An accounting software helps your company become more efficient and productive. If you’re thinking about purchasing one, make sure that you consider the needs of your business, the skills of your staff, your budget capabilities, as well as the scalability and compatibility of the application.