Tips to Keep in Mind When Buying Accounting Software

All good business owners should know how to keep a pulse on today’s trends but also understand how to plan for the future. As such, financial planning and budgeting are critical techniques that help small businesses manage their current fiscal responsibilities, while also gaining insight that can be used for long-term strategic decisions.

Unfortunately, not every business owner is a numbers guru. For that reason, it may be worthwhile to hire an outside accounting consultant.

Whether you hire an accounting consultant, bring on an internal CPA, or try to manage the books yourself, it may be wise to also integrate accounting software into your business.

Accounting software can drastically improve business operations, making it easier to track, record, automate, and plan financial activities and projections. However, picking the right accounting software isn’t cut-and-dry. For that reason, here are a few things to keep in mind as you start looking at accounting software for your business.


Know how you plan to use the accounting software

Experts agree the first step in picking the right accounting software is to first understand exactly what business operations you are trying to accomplish with the accounting software.

Each software has its pros and cons, so picking the right one will often depend on how you want to use it and what feature(s) you find most important.

It’s also important to remember that accounting software is not necessarily a replacement for professional help. Rather, accounting software and a CPA can be used in unison to increase the financial efficiencies of your company.

Start with your basic accounting needs

When it comes to accounting software, sometimes less is more. If you’re a small business that has historically used paper bookkeeping or invoicing, then you may not need an intricate accounting software. It may make more sense to find one that provides your day-to-day accounting needs like digital invoicing, income and expense tracking, and payroll management.

While many small businesses can survive with software that accomplishes basic accounting tasks, it’s also important to know when your business needs more specific features like inventory management, vendor tracking, organizing purchase orders, and budget forecasting for example.

It can help you manage payroll

Payroll management can be one of the biggest headaches for a business. As an employer, it’s critical that you have a proper process for calculating employee timesheets, pay summaries, and check issuing. Many of the available accounting software also have payroll features that can streamline your management of this important business operation.

Not only will digital payroll software help you issue payments and track timesheets, but it can also provide detailed profitability reports per employee. This micro-level data can help you make important decisions about your human resources.

Look for ways to automate the accounting processes

One of the biggest benefits of using accounting software is the ability to automate certain processes. Some accounting software can be set up to automatically to send recurring invoices or alert when payment is due, late, or incorrect.

Building automated workflows within your accounting software can drastically increase your operational efficiencies which saves you time and ultimately, money.

Use other features to save time

Much like the automation above, there are other time-saving features within accounting software. One such feature is the use of templates within the software to build custom reports, sales quotes, or invoices.

Some software will let you insert a few variables into a form that automatically spits out a beautiful quote or estimate. If the customer accepts the work, it will then automatically convert into an invoice. This simple feature will save you time, while also increasing the professionalism of your sales and invoicing.

Remember; time is money. The more time you can save by using the accounting software means more time you can put into other areas of your business.

It can help you with your taxes

Another benefit of accounting software is its ability to streamline tax preparation and planning. The tax features of your software will make your life and the life of your accounting much easier.

Look for accounting software that provides automatic tax calculations, multiple tax rates, and tax reporting. You may also want to find features that instantly send data and files to your accountant, to mitigate communication gaps.

If you have an outside CPA Firm that handles your taxes, like Rivero, Gordimer & Company, then it’s a good idea to consult with your Firm before you decide on an accounting software.

Other things to consider

There is an endless number of features when looking at accounting software, so it’s difficult to say which are most important. Some additional questions to consider when looking into what accounting software is best for you include:

  • Am I on the go a lot? If so, you may want to find an accounting software that works well on mobile devices.
  • Do I need it to integrate with other software? Maybe you have different software for the business that you want to integrate with your accounting software. If so, third-party app integration may be a feature you need.
  • Do you need collaboration with accounting data? If you need multiple people to have real-time access to accounting information, then you may find data sharing important.

Additionally, some other popular features of accounting software that may be important to your business include

  • Inventory management
  • eCommerce functionality
  • Marketing budget/revenue reports
  • CRM and ERP features

Choosing an accounting software can be a very important step in growing your business. The right software can improve your payroll management, financial tracking and forecasting, and increase your operational efficiencies throughout your business.

If you’d like to learn more about accounting software and how to integrate it into your business, contact the Tampa CPA Firm, Rivero, Gordimer & Company today at (813) 875-7774.

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