These days, there is a host of accounting and payroll software solutions: some are cloud-based, while others are loaded straight onto your desktop. Some are simple to use; others offer full functionality and are more complicated. The type of software you settle on will depend on factors such as your business needs, your budget and your know-how. Here are some more things to take into consideration before choosing accounting software.
If you don’t have an accountant on hand, you’ll need to become financially literate before making any decisions. According to Inc.com, it’s vital for business owners – whether they’re the CEO of a large corporation or the head of a small start up – to understand the basics of finance. If you don’t grasp the fundamentals of your books, then you’ll input the incorrect information into the accounting software. It’s therefore essential that you learn: read books, follow blogs, or take online courses. An online course, in particular, is a great way to familiarise yourself with new software. Courses such as basic bookkeeping or MYOB set up are short (usually just one day), and they’ll enable you to navigate accounting software with ease.
Which application is best?
Your choice of software will depend largely on what kind of business you have. For example, if you own a small start up, you’ll need payroll solutions that are tailored for a small enterprise. If your business in larger, however, you’ll need to look at software that can handle more complex functions, such as inventory control and CRM. It’s also worth noting that it’s possible to combine software with certain social media applications. According to FSN.co.uk, some of these applications employ the use of streams and user-friendly alerts. Lastly, you can also consider web-based applications, which utilise cloud technology. Many business owners are becoming more comfortable with using cloud, as it offers convenience, safety, and efficiency.
What are your needs?
An important consideration is budget. Many software packages are affordable and are aimed at the lower end of the market, but some are highly priced. If you’re looking at industry-specific software, you’ll have to pay more than software with general functionality. It’s wise to talk to other people prior to settling on specific software, such as your accountant, IT technician, and industry peers. You’ll also need to think about whether or not your software will grow with your business, and if upgrades are readily available.
The type of application you choose will depend on your type of business – and how much money you’re willing to lay out. Fortunately, most accounting software is affordable and easy to set up. Choosing accounting software doesn’t have to be arduous. If you’re stuck, speak to someone in the know, or take an online course and educate yourself about the basics.
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Ang Lloyd writes for Now Learning, which promotes online and classroom-based MYOB courses in Australia, as well as a range of TAFE accounting and bookkeeping certificates and diplomas.