If you're thinking of expanding your small business and getting more serious about profiting, adding small business accounting software is a great way to do it. But, as you head out to shop for the right package for your business, it helps to know what you want to do with it. As features and strengths vary between software systems, knowing what you're looking for will help you find just the right one.
To help you get started, here's a brief overview of 5 of the most valuable features to help save you time and money.
Double-Entry Accounting. If you've been keeping your books on paper, you may not understand what double-entry accounting is. But, it's key to growing your business into a real enterprise. Double-entry accounting is simply the ability to balance your assets and your liabilities to ensure accuracy. A software package that does not feature double-entry accounting methods will limit your growth and prevent you from doing things like generating business-wide reports to plan your future.
Recurring Invoices. Many businesses have customers who receive the same goods or services on a regular basis (usually monthly). Cut down time wasted and errors made by choosing a software that can generate an invoice for the same order month after month. Service business with a regular route will benefit the most from this feature.
Automated Reminders. Everyone wants to get paid, but you often have to send reminders to customers in order to do so. Calling customers or sending out hand-prepared reminders is a big time waster. Instead, opt for an accounting package that will automate this process and send your customers an email reminder or generate a form letter for you to send.
Bank Downloads. Get rid of unnecessary transaction entry by downloading transactions directly from your bank's online records. Be sure your software package can work with your bank's systems. In addition, if you have a lot of daily transactions (like sales and supplies purchases), you may want a system that can download current bank transactions rather than from a statement.
Mobile Access. Small business owners are generally on the go a lot, and so they benefit from being able to access their books and do some transactions on the road. Many modern software packages allow you to do things like track payroll time, invoice customers, generate quotes, and check balances online or through apps.
Which of these features is the most valuable to your business will depend on your circumstances. But, knowing what will help you best will surely enable you to find a great small business accounting package that will help your business flourish for years to come. For more information, contact accountants like Teri J Henderson, CPA, P.A.