Accounting is a difficult field which is best left to the professionals. Unless you studied accounting, the chances are you’ll be lost amid a sea of numbers, legal requirements and regulations. However, when starting a new business, it’s difficult to justify expenditure on an accountant.
Fortunately, today’s technological market provides a great alternative: accounting software. This can be leveraged to help you meet bespoke accounting needs, honing in on specific functions like budgeting and expenses. Discovering the right accounting software can be difficult if you don’t know where to look. If you’re eager to find out which program meets your requirements, you’ll certainly benefit from this guide.
Below are some solutions that will help your business grow, but before we explore the software available to you, let’s begin by addressing the factors which will help you make a well-informed decision. These considerations will help you determine which type of accounting software is best suited to your business circumstances.
Identify Your Needs
What do you need the accounting software for? This all-important question will help you work out a solution that fits your priorities. Do you need to track inventory, tackle sales tax, execute receipt-tracking?
Perhaps rank your needs in terms of importance, so you can then select a piece of accounting software that meets the majority of your chosen needs. Be flexible, but remain cognizant of why you need the accounting software in the first place.
It’s important to be honest about your budget to avoid overspending on software, only to experience difficulties later on. You should allocate a set amount you can feasibly spend on accounting software and stick to it. Once you’ve determined your budget, you can avoid wasting time evaluating software that’s outside of your price range. You should, however, allow some wiggle room, for example ensuring the solution you select is no more than 25% more than your budget.
Research the Relevant Features
Remember to look out for the features you need, rather than becoming starry-eyed about software attributes that aren’t relevant to your situation. For example, if you wonder over a piece of software with global features when you only conduct business in the US, you could end up paying more for software you don’t need. Keep your list of priorities in mind and evaluate software that fulfills a specific purpose.
The Best Accounting Software for SMB
Here is some of the most suitable accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses:
Intuit QuickBooks Online
Perfect for receipt capture, QuickBooks integrates with Paypal, Shopify, and Square. It offers 24/7 support while allowing you to easily track income and expenses, receive payments, send invoices, run reports, track taxes and organize receipts. With the more advanced plan you can unlock various features, where you can manage contractors, track inventory, track time and run full-service payroll. Pricing varies, you can either pay $7 per month for one user, $17 per month for up to three users, or $30 per month for five or more users.
Freshbooks is your ideal solution for time tracking capability, sending out recurring invoices and running a subscription model business. What’s great about Freshbooks is the location tracking feature, where you can easily indicate the exact location of a customer when they open your invoice. This is handy because it enables you to overcome the occasional excuses you’ll receive from clients. The software integrates with various business applications, offering a central dashboard to manage your accounting and finances. The app will regularly back up your data, and the mobile element enables you to monitor your business at all times. Freshbooks costs $15 per month for 5 clients, $25 per month for 50 clients and $50 per month for 500 clients.
Wave is great if you’re working as a freelancer, especially since most of its services are free! It’s suitable even if you run a company with just a few employees, where you can execute functions like invoice and transaction management with no costs involved. The software syncs with your information, ensuring your bookkeeping remains up-to-date. However, be aware that if you seek inventory tracking, time tracking or project management, you’ll need to consider an alternative option. Though receipt scanning, online payments and invoicing are all free, if you require tax services you’ll need to pay $35 per month in tax service states, and $20 per month in self-service states.
Sage is a great solution for SMB. It tracks payments and expenses, sends invoices and calculates taxes for you. It executes functions in ways which free up time for core competencies, where you’ll consequently spend less time on administrative tasks. If you’re looking for collaboration tools and time tracking, you should look elsewhere. Payroll also comes as a separate product. The Pro Accounting version is $48.83 per month, Premium Accounting version $72.41 per month, and Quantum Accounting is $182.91 per month.
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