When choosing a cloud based or desktop accounting software, one should look for the simple, easy, affordable and basic featured accounting software as well as advanced accounting software which can upgrade your business to the next level is the real need for micro businesses.
Depending on the situation and need, an entrepreneur can look for following three what’s to choose a right business Accounting software.
- What’s the price your are ready to pay?
- What’s the need for Accounting software?
- What are the features your business require in accounting software program?
What’s the price you are ready to pay?
Depending on the usage and features of an accounting software you may choose can vary in cost or price of it. Accounting software vendors provide or offer different types of packages and models with various modes and modules like cloud based accounting software or desktop accounting software, package of this choice and depending on the features and mode of operation, the cost also various. Sometimes they also offer free version with basic functions along with some restrictions or limitations on number of users operating the Accounting software.
Most of the accounting software vendors are providing rental based monthly package, quarterly package, half yearly package and yearly packages. These are the paid packages which can roughly range from $15 per month to $50 per month or $180 per year to $600 per year. This prices are for basic model packages.
If you can shell out a little more, say an extra 10% to 15% amount, you can get some add on or include some advanced features to your basic model package.
The features which can be included are automatic billing, automatic system generating invoices, tracking company’s marketing and sales, managing payroll services, tracking the expenses, tracking the reconciliation, vouchers, maintaining automatic ledger books on the cloud, company image building and branding, advance reporting services are the few add on features which can benefit the entrepreneur to cut down on time consuming activities and also can cut down on man power.
What is the need for Accounting software?
A company with a sole proprietor or with very few employees at hand to run the business error free and hassle free. The entrepreneur can adapt for an accounting software which can make an easy and flexible working environment by under taking the minor and reoccurring work activities such as data entry, invoicing, vouchers, expense reports, reconciliation and sorting out a good budget plan for various raw materials and activities involved in production of the product. These are the routine work which eat away one’s precious time and results in loss of focus on major business opportunities and growth. Many entrepreneurs have bundles of concepts and ideas but due to less man power and time constraints, they are unable to deliver it.
To enhance your business further more you can incorporate advance accounting software tools like data synchronization, built in accounting report templates, CRM (Customer Relation management), mobile synchronization and alerts.
The following are some of the entrepreneurial needs to be taken into consideration to buy an accounting software to run the business smoothly with out any hassles.
For a Start Up or New Business:
When a start up incorporates a automated business model by incorporating even a basic accounting software with limited utility also saves lots of time and focus which you can utilize in concentrating in other important and useful business development activities and ideas. This ultimately can lead to success down the line. We can consider it as an smart move by the start ups from the beginning itself for adapting easy, fast, simple and error free mode rather than a manual spreadsheets or hand written slow and time consuming mode.
If already using a incompatible and complicated software:
Every business does not require same software features because some of the advanced accounting software are too complicated and complexly packaged with unnecessary features which only leads to further confusion and irritability and may lead to switch off from the software by the user. To avoid such frustrating situation, you should need to chalk out the personal needs of your business and make a clear note to the accounting software vendor to have the priority features as you wish. Mostly the vendor may offer a specifically made accounting software for small businesses with only necessary features will be a better solution or option to go for.
Complying with the rules, regulations and laws of your country:
If you are not knowledgeable about your business locations rules, regulations and laws regarding the tax payments, do’s and don’t of a particular business. Then Accounting Software can provide you with an edge over service without an accountant. The accounting software should be able to generate tax reports automatically. If the account part of it is automated then you may not need an experienced accounting professional thus cutting down cost. By using the accounting software you can at any hour of the day can produce the required statutory reports to the government or the auditor. So the accounting software ensures it follows accounting standards recommended.
To ensure a step by step operations of the company:
To perform the day to day operations in a step by step process accounting software can make things easy right from accounting to customer transactions, all the tasks are interconnected. With the help of accounting software, all the operations and transaction data from different systems and modes now gets saved in one data headquarters. This makes extracting of data and reports easier. Let us see from where all your business can get data
• POS – Point of Sale(Sales data)
• Purchase data
• Production data
• Prospects data
• Customer data
• Vendor data
• Product data
• Accounting data
• Tax data
If you see, most of the things mentioned above are handled by different people at different locations. With the accounting software you get the flexibility to integrate everything under one roof. As a business owner it is critical for you to know all the information from all the departments. If it is done manually you will end up getting more and more of excel data from your employees. To consolidate those data as a meaningful report will be a bigger challenge. It makes decision making little difficult thus restricting your growth. So if you really want to scale up it is important to automate your business by going for accounting software which can save money and time
What are the features your business requires in an accounting software program?
The accounting software which caters to your business requirement is the need of the hour. As an entrepreneur you can consider accounting software useful when you feel it is time saving and easy to use and you can mark it as top priority feature one can look for. Here are the features you can look for in accounting software for better management of your finance and save time.
Managing basic accounting tasks: Micro business and small business entrepreneurs can go for accounting software to manage the basic tasks of maintaining automatic ledger balances, purchases made, vouchers given, payment received, timely calculation of fixed assets, depreciation of assets, process costing, tallying, allotting and chalking out budget plans for new product line or existing product line, allocating budget to marketing and branding, income and expense tracking, vendor and distributor management, financial report generation, raising invoice and so on.
Task Automation: To save time and cut down on manpower certain tasks can be automated like raising product quotes, sending auto emails, sending due notifications, automatic billing, automatic customer relationship management(example – Greetings mail to customers on their birthdays, anniversary etc). Similarly recurring payments can be created and delivered without any manual input.
User Access: The Accounting Software you are looking at should have the option of selecting the number of licenses or access based on the team size. Most importantly the pricing should change based on the number of users. This gives flexibility for you to control your business. Another important aspect is the user rights. Accounting software you are choosing should give you the option to give rights to the users based on their roles and responsibilities. By doing so, you can limit the data access to an individual. Moreover this will restrict unnecessary flow of information.
Management of Tax Preparation: Accounting Software should be able to do automatic tax calculations, different tax notes and also have to provide tax notification like due date alerts, arrears, last pay date and generation of tax reports. This makes the entire tax preparation process simple and easy as it provides all the necessary files and data at a click of a button.
Payroll Management Process: Accounting Software helps to process the things from the time an employee is recruited by segregating the employee category and personal details to schedule training programs at regular intervals. Calculating employee’s pay days is also important when choosing accounting software.
Preparation of automatic quotes and estimations: Accounting Software provides customized templates to create quotes and price estimates. Apart from that accounting software also comes with auto mailing of quotes to customers instantly from the software. In some software like “Reach Accounting Software” you can also convert the quote created into invoice in just one click. This saves lot of time and all your quotes and invoices are stored in the software for future references.
Any Device Access: Accounting Software should be accessed anytime anywhere and in any device. This is very critical as a business owner you will be mostly on the move. If the chosen accounting software does not allow mobility of data, then it becomes difficult for you to do business. This kind of a set up is possible only if the software is an online one. In online accounting software as a business owner you can feel virtually present in your office even though you are physically not in office.
Bridge software or third party integration: The Accounting Software that you are choosing should have the ability to allow third party integration. For example, if you want to get payments from your customers, then there should be a way to integrate payment gateway in the software. You should make sure the accounting software has an API for you to integrate with other applications. This feature will be critical when your business grows big.
Report Generation: Auto generation of reports is another thing which you have to look for in the accounting software. Any data will have value only if it is interpreted as a report. So make sure the accounting software can produce ready-made reports like Sales report, Expense report, inventory report, tax report, trial balance, profit & loss and more.