An accounting software is an application designed to monitor the earnings and expenditures of an individual or a business. If you are an owner of a small business or perhaps a freelancer who are looking for a way to streamline and simplify your accounting tasks and other business related activities such as invoicing, time tracking, and allocation of funds, this tool is indispensable. Of course, you can do these tasks the old fashioned way or assign someone in your team to handle them but they take time and involve too much paperwork. A tool that can help you automate billing and allow you to monitor your profits and track your spending in real time can improve your performance and allow you and your team to focus on the more important aspects of the business.
Accounting softwares are not that new. In fact accountants have been using them for years. However, old releases are not recommended for start-up business or layman owners because they are designed for accountants. Their methodologies are a bit too complicated for a simple freelancer or entrepreneur whose passion or expertise is set elsewhere. Nowadays, you can benefit from a cloud accounting software. These types store your data in the cloud, allowing you to access your files even from different devices. This means that you can execute important transactions, no matter where you are and stay updated on the real status of your business. A cloud based accounting software gives business owners full control over their finances and provides a more secure platform to store sensitive financial information. If you are sick of manually encoding your invoices and are practically drowning in paperwork, you may want to consider getting one. It would be additional cost on your part, but the convenience, ease, and simplicity you’d get in exchange will all be worth it.
Here are some tips to help you find the best cloud accounting software for your company.
Do you really need it?
A lot of entrepreneurs jump right into something because it is on trend or just because their colleagues and competitors are all over it. Before you avail of a plan for cloud accounting, ask yourself this: Do I really need it? If you are a freelancer who is into a lot of projects and it is taking a lot of time for you to monitor each and every one of them, you need it. If you are a starting business with an expanding number of clients and would want to be free from the hassle of billing them on a regular basis, you need it. If you are an entrepreneur who is collaborating with other like minded individuals and are working on a project together and a looking for a convenient way to keep tab of your spending, you need it. If accounting takes the life out of you and you’d rather sleep than create balance sheets and financial statements, again this is for you. If you work exclusively for one client, have strong accounting skills, a bit obsessive in tracking your daily expenses to the last cent and actually love doing that, maybe you don’t need it.
Avail of a free trial if there is one.
Many reputable cloud accounting apps are too confident of their features that they offer free trial. Take advantage of this. This way you can have a first hand feel of the software’s features and be able to actually see if you need it or not or if it improves the way you do business enough to spend money on it. A free trial also lets you identify the possible issues with the system. Is it really easy to use? Can it actually track your spending real time? Does it crash? Does it have annoying ads that you’d rather not see? Do you like the interface? These are the questions that you need to answer while exploring the site.
Also the free trial is only helpful when you actually use it. Take your time exploring the features. Check everything. If after sometime you find yourself going back to your old ways of accounting, maybe it is not really for you and is not worth spending on.
Check to see if the features are actually relevant to you and your business.
A cloud based accounting software can have a lot of features but these would only matter if they are relevant to your business. If you are a service provider and most of your daily tasks revolve around invoicing, the plan or app you should pick should have a strong invoicing feature. One that automates billing and updates you when your client gets an invoice is a good thing and can save you a lot of time. Accounting softwares are classified according to the tasks they focus on. Here are some of them. There’s core accounting software which is focused on essential accounting concepts such as bookkeeping, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and stock management. This type is actually pretty challenging and headache inducing for a non-accountant because it is technical in nature. There’s inventory management accounting software, which is focused on keeping tabs of inventory, this is actually for companies with many products to keep an eye on. There’s billing and invoicing which focuses on simplifying invoicing tasks and keeping track of payments whether incoming or outgoing. There’s project accounting that focuses on project management to keep financial transactions in check. As had been said, there are various types and it is important to pick one that caters specifically to your needs to give you exactly the results you are looking for.
Is your data safe?
Know that whatever cloud based accounting tool you pick will house very important data that pertains to your business and yourself. The system has to be secure and able to protect your data from cyber intruders. A means to backup your data is also a must so you can retrieve important documents in case the company shuts down or you wish to avail of the services of another software.
Hopefully these tips can help you find the right cloud accounting software for you and your business.