There are a lot of details to deal with when starting a business. Along with searching for suppliers, you also have to figure out how you are going to track and manage everything from your finances to your customers’ information. As you work on getting your business established, one of the most important issues that you need to address is which accounting program you are going to use.
When choosing a program, you need to consider both the needs of your business and the equipment that you have on hand. For example, the rules can differ from country to country. Read more about Italy e–Invoicing to learn more. You also need to take into account your anticipated growth and your level of experience. As you search for the best software for your business, keep these ten tips in mind:
1. Identify Exactly What You Need the Software to Do
Most accounting programs allow you to track and store data about your customers and your suppliers. They also provide tools for managing invoices and statements, reconciling your bank records, managing taxes, and generating a variety of financial reports.
Think about whether or not your business has needs that go beyond the basics. For instance, do you need a program that can convert between different currencies? Do you need to be able to estimate the cost of projects or analyze your expenses? By identifying your requirements up front, you can do a better job of choosing a software program that will meet your needs.
2. Consider Purchasing Software That You Have Used in the Past
If you or the individual who handles your company’s accounts are already familiar with a particular accounting program, it may be worth purchasing that program for your business. Having previous experience with a program can make it a lot easier to learn. Even if you go with a different program from the same company, the way that it operates will usually be quite similar, reducing the learning curve required to master the program.
3. Consider How You Plan on Accessing the Information
Many modern accounting packages are based in the cloud. These services are convenient and affordable. Before you sign up, however, you need to think about whether or not a cloud-based program is the best choice for your business.
In order to access the program, you need to be connected to the Internet, either through a traditional computer or through a smartphone, tablet, or another handheld device.
Being able to access data remotely is beneficial if you or your employees are often out of the office. If you need mobile access, look for a vendor that provides cloud-based accounting services. Alternatively, you could also look for a package that has an app available that allows you to access software that is installed on site.
Going with a program that is cloud-based makes accessing data remotely extremely easy. Just be sure that you factor in the cost of your computer hardware, mobile devices, and Internet connection.
4. Consider the Legal Accounting Requirements in Your Area
Accounting requirements can vary based on your location and the field that you are in. Make sure that you are aware of all of the specific legal requirements regarding accounting for your business. That way, you can choose a program that will allow you to meet your legal obligations.
5. Consider How You Will Be Billed
Typically, there are two options when it comes to paying for accounting software: you can either pay a large lump sum up front for a program or you can pay a small ongoing monthly fee. If you are just starting out, you may find it easier to pay on a month-by-month basis.
If you decide to sign up for a monthly contract, compare all of your options to make sure you are getting the best deal.
6. Get Input from Your Accountant
One of the best sources for information when it comes to choosing an accounting package is your accountant. Naturally, you should consider choosing a program that your accountant is familiar with or that they recommend.
If you find a package that is a good fit for your business that is not the same as the one currently used by your accountant, talk to the supplier about whether or not a version of the program specifically for accountants is available.
7. Consider How The Software Will Integrate With The Rest Of Your Business
Oftentimes, accounting programs need to integrate with other parts of your business. For instance, the program may need to be compatible with an online payment gateway or with your company’s payroll system. If you have existing programs that your accounting software needs to be able to integrate with, make sure to keep that in mind as you compare your options.
8. Take Into Account The ROI
Some accounting programs come with additional features above and beyond the essential features that you need. These extra features can sometimes have a positive impact on your bottom line, even though they aren’t technically considered necessities.
As an example, if you spend a lot of time and money on stock control, you may find it beneficial to pay more for an accounting package with built-in stock control features. The money that you save as a result could offset the higher cost of the program.
Purchasing a package that has stock control could lower the total amount of time that you have to spend documenting and updating your stock, storing excess inventory, and calculating your total profit. The stock control feature could also provide your customers with a better overall experience, leaving them more satisfied and more likely to do business with your company in the future.
When considering the ROI of a particular accounting program, don’t forget to factor in the cost of training and support. There is no point in wasting money on an accounting package that your employees are unable or unqualified to use – especially if they can’t get support in the event of a problem.
9. Look For A Package That Offers A Free Trial
These days, most companies that provide accounting packages offer their customers a chance to try the program out for free for a specific amount of time before deciding whether or not they want to buy it. Some companies also provide demonstrations through the Internet or at your place of business, allowing you to view how the software works before you buy it.
After you come up with a list of programs you are interested in, explore whether or not there are trial versions or demonstrations available. This will make it easier for you to compare the programs so that you can see how they work and get answers to any lingering questions you may have.
10. Think About Your Plans For Growth
When choosing an accounting package, consider your plans for the future. How will your company grow in the immediate future and over time?
Ideally, the program that you opt for should be capable of scaling up along with your business. If nothing else, the supplier should at least have additional packages available that you could move to if necessary. Ask about what kind of support is available if you do need to move to a bigger package. Taking this into account ahead of time can wind up saving you a lot of money further down the road.