A small business like yours needs to manage inventory, employees and customers regularly. Having proper accounting software can help you greatly in this regard. It also saves lots of your time by reducing your efforts handling the books manually and making redundant data entries.
Thus, if you are looking to smartly handle all your records accurately, cater to your customers’ growing need, and save time and efforts, you must opt for the right accounting software. But how to make the right choice with accounting software for your small business?
Following are some basic guidelines to help you make a wise selection:
1. Know your requirements
It is always practical to select things based on your unique requirements. You can optimize your expenditure by making a list of specific features you are looking for in accounting software for your business. For example, some accounting software is customized for specific industries like manufacturing, construction, and wholesale distributors.
Some of the common features of the accounting software for small businesses are- sales tracking, inventory management, merchant account support, estimates, budgeting, payroll and maintaining customer contacts etc.
Thus, you should always check-in for your requirements. You can ask other people from your industry before making a purchase.
Moreover, you can get insights from your team to enlist your unique requirements so that you do not have to repurchase or cancel the software you already bought.
2. Check if it satisfies your business requirements
Once you enlisted your business requirements, get answers to some of the critical questions before buying accounting software for your small businesses to check its suitability. The questions can be:
Q. Will the software upgrade according to your needs?
Check if the software has a module you can consider adding later if the need arises. For example, you may need a payroll accounting module that you will probably add later.
If adding modules is not a possible case, check if the software enables easy upgradation to a more potent version of the same accounting software? Do you need to export to data format as CSV to upload the software with another accounting software title later?
Q. Does your bank support the software?
It becomes easy to download transactions from your active bank account as it saves your time and effort. Thus, make sure you are opting for software that is supported by your bank.
Q. Online or installed software?
Online accounting software provides the convenience of data access from multiple devices. Thus, you should consider online accounting software that runs safely over the Internet.
Q. Should it be accessible to all?
You need to ensure that if multiple users are operating the accounting software, one specific user might need full accessibility. At the same time, others may require access to the data entry area alone and not with reports.
3. Figure out the support cost
Check your accounting software’s support cost as you explore various options that provide the best service at minimum cost. Some accounting software gives fee-based support through an email or over a phone call when you start using the software. However, there is some accounting software that provides support for free for a specific period. Thus, discover the options that provide support at low or no cost. After a set time, you can opt for the support on an annual or quarterly basis. Also, make use of a free online user forum where you can raise your questions.
4. Avoid over-buying
For a small business like yours, you may not need those complex features that larger businesses usually need. Thus, avoid over-buying and stick to your business requirements.
5. Discuss with your Accountant
Having accounting software doesn’t mean that you won’t need an accountant. An accountant is your helping hand with regards to legal and tax-related issues. However, discussing with your Accountant before choosing accounting software is a great idea.
You need to provide reports generated by accounting software to your Accountant on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. Thus it is necessary for you to ask your Accountant what reports are required and see if you can provide them with the required reports with the accounting software you are considering buying.
While accounting software offers you great benefits when it comes to handling your records correctly, help manage your inventory, employees, customers and most importantly save your time and efforts etc., selecting the right accounting software becomes crucial. This article has provided basic guidelines for choosing small businesses accounting software and thereby getting equipped with smart business solutions.