When it comes to accounting and financial management, a lot of small businesses are falling behind. In fact, 18 percent of them don’t use any kind of accounting software.
Are you part of this group? If so, it’s time to invest in a program that helps you keep up with your finances and get a clear idea of where your company stands.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of business accounting programs, as well as how you can choose the right one for your company.
Why Use Business Accounting Programs?
If you’re running a small business, you might assume that an accounting program isn’t necessary. In reality, though, these kinds of programs are essential to businesses of all sizes.
They provide tons of benefits when it comes to financial management, including the following:
It’s much easier and more efficient for businesses to use an accounting program rather than trying to do everything by hand.
It doesn’t matter if you have the most skilled accountant and bookkeeper on your staff. They’ll be able to get a lot more done (and get it done in a shorter period of time) when they have access to the right accounting software.
Manage Cash Flow
Accounting software makes it much easier for you to manage your business’s cash flow. You can use it to keep an eye on how much money is coming in compared to what’s going out, and it’ll be easier for you to identify patterns throughout the year.
When you use the right software, you’ll be less likely to come up short when it’s time to pay your bills because you’ll have up-to-date information on how your business is doing.
Get Accurate Statements
You’ll be less likely to have errors in your financial statements and reports when you use accounting software, too. As you know, errors can be quite costly, so it’s important to prevent them at all costs.
The right accounting tools work wonders when it comes to picking up on potential errors and helping you and your accountants and bookkeepers address them right away.
In addition to spotting possible errors and helping you correct them, accounting software also helps you prevent errors by keeping you organized. They make it easy for you to keep all your financial information in one place and prevent you from missing anything important.
How to Choose the Right Program
Okay, you can see why an accounting program is a good investment for your business. How do you choose the right one, though?
Here are some important things to keep in mind when shopping for business accounting programs to ensure you’re choosing the best option:
Know Your Budget
When you start searching for an accounting program, it’s best to figure out your budget first. Look at your business’s finances and think about how much you can afford to spend on a monthly or annual basis for accounting software.
Many of these programs are quite affordable and accessible to businesses with limited budgets.
Keep in mind, though, that the cheaper a program is, the more limited its features are going to be. Depending on your needs, that might be fine, but it’s important to remember before pulling the trigger.
Be Honest About Your Skills
When deciding what kind of program you want to use, it’s important to be honest with yourself about your skills, as well as the skills of others on your team.
Do you have the knowledge necessary to use accounting software with minimal training? Is the same true for your staff?
If this isn’t the case, you’ll want to keep ease of use and training resources in mind when making your final choice.
Consider Usability Needs
How many people are going to be using this software? Is it just you and your accountant? Do you have various team members who will need access to your accounting information?
There’s no right or wrong answer here. However, you should make sure the program can accommodate the number of users who will need to access it.
Talk to Your Accountant
Unless you’re the only person who’s going to be using the software, it’s a good idea to get feedback from other members of your team before making a final decision.
It’s especially important to talk to your accountant. Find out what they think of the program and whether it meets all their specific needs. After all, they’re probably the person who will be utilizing it the most.
It’s a good idea to look at reviews online or talk to your colleagues about their favorite accounting software programs, too.
When asking for recommendations or reading reviews, be sure to look beyond star ratings and find out exactly what people did and did not like.
This can help you get a clearer understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of each program. It can also help you know what to expect when you start using a specific type of accounting software.
Don’t Forget About Features
Finally, don’t forget to think about the specific features that the program you’re considering has to offer.
You might not necessarily need software that comes with all the bells and whistles. Make sure it at least meets your basic business accounting needs, though.
Consider how your needs may change over time, too. You might not require certain features now, but they may come in handy later on.
This is why the folks who created Quickbooks Enterprise 2019 recommend investing in software that’s easy to scale. That way, you can upgrade your plan as your business grows.
Start Using an Accounting Program Today
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why you may want to consider using business accounting programs to keep up with your company’s finances.
If you’ve been on the fence about choosing a program, keep the information outlined above in mind. It’ll help you find the best program for all of your business’s financial needs.
Don’t forget to check out the Finance section of our site as well to learn about other helpful tips and tricks.