Small business bookkeeping software is a powerful tool. Are you moving up from a manual system or maybe you’re ready to begin doing the bookkeeping yourself rather than having it done outside. Maybe you’re setting up a bookkeeping business yourself. In any of these cases, the software you choose can help your business grow. Here are 5 tips for choosing wisely.
1. Know what you want?
Any accounting software will perform the core accounting functions of general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable and the cash functions. But often you need more, depending on your industry. So the best investment you can make for picking software is to define what your needs are. Do you want payroll software or will you get payroll done outside? Do you need job cost records? Also what reports will help you? Spend the time to define your requirements.
2. The price is more than what it costs!
By that I mean that “free” software isn’t free. Learning software is often a bigger cost in time and effort than the initial cost. Don’t forget the training costs too if you have staff. Pick the wrong software and you may get to go through all that again soon too. There are no “free” puppies and there is no “free” software!
3. Where’s The Help?
You’ll need some help to learn the software and you’ll likely need on-going support too. Now hopefully not very much, but somebody must work through whatever problems arise. Is the only help just a manual? Is it through a toll free number? Maybe you can get local help? Often local accounting firms are experts on the major software products. Plan ahead for inevitable problems.
4. Can You Graduate?
As your business grows, you may need more accounting power. Choose some brands of software and you can upgrade to more power smoothly. If you have to switch brands of software, you get to pay the start-up training costs all over again. Consider whether you can upgrade.
5. Making The Most Of What You Get!
Generating tax forms and government documents is one of the goals of a bookkeeping software package. That’s staying out of trouble. But accounting is much more powerful than just staying out of trouble. The right software can help you produce reports that help you make decisions. Better information can lead to more profits and better control of costs.
Bookkeeping software or accounting software is a powerful tool for managing a business. The cost of a software system is more than just what you pay up front. Remember the training costs too. Make a wise choice and you can save money and prepare for future growth.