We live in a highly digitised world with ever changing technology. The way you keep track of your accounts has also changed dramatically over the years. Therefore, it has become very important to equip ourselves with the right technology that not only assists with compliance but also helps analyse our business data. It is a long-term investment that can support the growth of your business.
So, how to decide which bookkeeping software is right for me and my business? Come step into the world of digital accounting software and let me show you.
- Purpose – the main factor in deciding the best bookkeeping software is understanding the purpose of having one. Apart from doing the mundane tasks of recording sales and expenses, what else do you need? Do you need to track inventory, analyse different cost centres, payroll management/timesheets or a comprehensive reporting tool? Do you want only one software that efficiently keeps all your information in one database? Once you understand what you want the software to do for you, it would be easy to decide what features you need.
- Cost – let’s be honest, as a small business owner we are always trying to minimise cost when starting out. However, the cost shouldn’t be the only deciding factor when choosing the right bookkeeping software. There are a lot of bookkeeping software in the market like MYOB, Xero and Quick books that can be catered according to your needs for example you can start with a basic system and then upgrade or add on features as your business grows. The critical thing to understand here is that your costs need to outweigh the benefits you receive and have room to expand on your software as and when your business grows.
- User friendly/features– well in my opinion if you cannot use it properly then you lose the whole purpose of owning it. A bookkeeping software should have an easy-to-use functionality and have an interface that is easy to flow from one function to another. For example, most bookkeeping software have inbuilt bank feeds where all your bank statements are automatically transferred into your software saving you time, paper and reducing potential errors. Some software like XERO enables you add on products that integrates with third party software such as Stripe. Therefore, it is important to test drive and get the feel for it before committing to purchase. Most software provides free 30-day trial option so keep an eye out.
- Mobility of software– do you want a cloud base software that you can access it from anywhere and anytime? Do you want the software to travel with you in your pocket and you can see real time data on the go? Are you a person, who wants the function to close the sale and prepare an invoice on the spot while standing in front of the customer via your phone? Do you want to capture all your expense receipts on the go with your phone and upload it automatically into the software before you forget it or lose it? Think of how you would like to use the software and what features would make your life easier.
- Compliance – The ATO consistently puts pressure on businesses to have compliant software. In the unlikely case of an audit, your accounting software can attach an electronic copy of all invoices/receipts/supporting documents to the relevant transaction eliminating the need for any hardcopy folders and making it very easy for anyone, internal or external to the business, to review and audit. Your software also needs to be compliant for BAS, STP and Superannuation. Some accountants are also very particular which software they would work with and sometimes they prefer the clients to use a software that integrates with they own tax software. So, it is a good idea to involve your accountant in the decision making.
So, choosing the right bookkeeping system is very crucial for a successful business, as your data, is your business’s success.
Avenue Accountants is partnered with all major bookkeeping software currently on the market and can assist you with the right choice of software by consulting with you on your current needs and future expected growth of your business. We are also able to provide training and on-going support.
Time and money spent wisely will provide results.