5 Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Accounting Software For Your Small Business
Gone are the days when accounting was just about recording transactions. With ever high competition, accounting and finance has become more about knowing how to increase profitability. This requires an easy, reliable and cost-effective means of monitoring financial dealings. Some of the best accounting software not only assist in managing and tracking cash procedures but also help to gauge the performance of your business.
The best accounting software packages are designed and developed in ways that streamline, speed-up and enhance the accounting processes of companies, no matter what business they are in or what is the size of their operation. Accounting software make the accounting processes such as tracking cash flow, revenue calculation and payroll easy and accurate.
While it is possible for owners to manage their small scale finances without the need for specialized accounting software, the simple looking process can be demanding, taking your valuable time that you would better be spending on your core business activities.
“You’re a small business owner, not an accountant. You’d rather spend your time running your business than stressing out about manually updating ledgers, tracking expenses, creating reports and performing other time-consuming tasks to manage your company’s finances. This is where accounting software can help. If you use it correctly, and choose the right one for your business, accounting software can make your life easier by doing all the number crunching and inputting all the data, so you don’t have to.” (Source: Businessnewsdaily)
Choosing The Best Accounting Software
Investing in one of the best accounting software available in the market can be a great decision for a small business owner. Accounting software greatly reduce the chances for human error that comes with accounting on paper. Also it can allow business owners to access critical information in just few clicks, giving insights on business matters like sales forecast planning, estimating stock levels, figuring out the least productive processes or service, etc.
However with plenty of options available in the market, finding the best accounting software for your business can be confusing. The range of accounting software products available for SMEs has been growing rapidly.
Following are the five key things to keep in consideration when selecting the best accounting software for your business –
1) Accounting Software features that you will be using
Before you go out finding the best accounting software for yourself, you need to make sure that you are somewhat financially literate. At least you need to know what financial data your business will store and what reports will be required.
“One of the mistakes businesses make when they buy accounting software is in believing that they don’t need to know anything at all about financial accounting because the software will just take care of it for you,” says Linda Pinson, author of Keeping the Books: Basic Record keeping and Accounting for the Successful Small Business (Kaplan Business 2007).
2) Have a clear understanding of your business needs
Another major point to consider when looking out for the best accounting software for your business is the type of business you operate. Every business will have different requirements from an accounting software, and it is important that you understand what you need.
“Several different sectors have specialized modules or add-on packages because they need to keep specialized data. If you are a manufacturer, for instance, then you may need to have an understanding of inventory and handling of parts and labor. If you are a retailer, you may also need to have an understanding of your inventory through a point-of-sale program. A doctor’s office needs specialized programs for billing insurance companies, although many may farm this function out to middleman and/or consultants.” (Source: Inc)
3) Take opinions of others on accounting software
Talking to other people who use accounting software in businesses that are similar to yours can prove a wise step. Get details on what they like about their accounting software and what needs improvement. Also you should seek advice of your accountant or finance professional as they may be able to recommend the best accounting software that works with programs they use. Further, you also need to analyse your hardware situation as accounting software packages use big databases. Discussing the situation with your technician or IT expert can help you get clear understanding on factors like age of your system, back-up procedures and storage media.
4) Scalability and flexibility of the accounting software
If you plan on expanding or if your business is quickly growing, an accounting software can save your growing business tons of time and money by automating processes and being highly scalable to the size of your operations. Find out if the accounting software has modules you can add later if needed. A module that is generally included after a business grows is for payroll accounting. If modules cannot be added then will the software upgrade easily to a more capable version?
5) Keep your budget in mind
A key consideration is your budget. Usually software applications for larger audiences are free to download or can be purchased at a nominal amount. However, the more specialized the software is, the more expensive it gets.
Also remember to find out the after-sales support costs into your accounting software budget. Some accounting software providers offer fee-based services over email or phone from the moment you start using the software. Generally, service providers offer free service for a set period of time so you can get resolution to your initial queries on the software usage. After that time period, you will have to pay for support on annual, quarterly or on a per-use basis.
There is no denying the immense ease and efficiency that some of the best accounting software can deliver. Using accounting software saves hours of time compared to manual handling of accounts books. Small business owners who maintain stocks, have considerable staff or have more customers will save time and have more accurate records if accounting software is used. Talking of the best accounting software available in the Indian market, BUSY Business Accounting Software is an excellent product, specifically useful to small businesses and startups.
BUSY was launched at IT ASIA’ 94 held at New Delhi, and is a product of Busy Infotech Pvt. Ltd. is a sister concern of Digitronics Infosolutions Pvt. Ltd. It has an installation base of over 1,50,000 including the prestigious ones like World Bank, India International center, All India management Association (AIMA), Amity Business school, Delhi Public School, Children Book Trust, LG Chemicals, Wembley Laboratories (makers of QUICKFIX adhesive), Asian Paints, Plaza cables, Baron International (AKAI TV), Essel Shyam Communication, Archana Airways.
BUSY is an integrated business accounting software for Micro, Small and Medium businesses. The basic edition of BUSY is available in 1 variant (single user), while Standard & Enterprise editions are available in 3 variants (single user, multi user and client server) each.
Besides BUSY, brands like Tally, MProfit, and Profit Books are some of the other best accounting software in use. With MProfit you can manage multiple individual and group portfolios, import data from over 1,200+ sources, get reports on goals, annualized returns, capital gains (with or without indexation), asset allocation, XIRR and others. All your financial data is saved locally on your computer for data security.
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