Whether you’re a busy solopreneur, a boutique shop owner, or an event planner with employees who depend on you, accounting software is a powerful tool in your small business toolbox. But if you’re like many cash-strapped small businesses, maybe you’ve decided to skimp on software.
A lack of accounting software — or a lack of the right accounting software — could be holding you back. Paperwork piles up, your finances are never quite in order, and cash flow is hard to manage. It’s time to bite the bullet and invest in your own efficiency and productivity.
When considering your small business accounting software options, it's important to consider the needs of your business and choose software designed with companies like yours in mind.
How Will Secure Accounting Software Help Your Business?
The benefits of an accounting program that integrates with payment processing are clear:
- Protect sensitive company and customer financial data
- Integrate accounting and sales for smooth business operations
- Save time by reducing the need for manual data entry
- Cut down on data entry errors
- Improve reporting and account reconciliation
- Improve cash flow
A reliable small business accounting provider helps you manage your financial records, reconcile accounts, invoice customers and more. It’s not a question of if you need an accounting programs; it’s a matter of which is right for you.
What Features Should Your Accounting Software Include?
Before you plunge too far down the rabbit hole of individual features included in various accounting programs, consider whether your small business is part of an industry that has specific accounting requirements, such as manufacturing, construction or wholesale distribution. If it is, you may wish to look into specialty accounting programs designed with the needs of those industries in mind.
Consider the features that would most benefit your business. Do you need a program with integrated contact management features, or one that can work with your existing method of managing customer contacts? If you want to be able to download bank transactions, you should check to see what software your bank supports. If you have a merchant account for credit and debit card payments, your accounting program should support it.
At minimum, a small business with inventory and reasonable customer volume will likely need software that includes inventory management, sales tracking, budgeting tools, and features that organize your financial data for tax preparation. The right accounting programs can help reduce redundancy and user error in data entry, which is an asset in shipping merchandise to customers.
Consult with other small business owners whose businesses are similar to yours in size, structure, and other needs to find out what software they use, and what they like and dislike about it. Don't neglect to consider your software's technical support.