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Small Business Accounting Software

If you are setting up a small business or a home based bookkeeping business, ideally you will be looking to use suitable accounting software
to keep track of the accounts for each business.

There are a multitude of products out there that can help you do this but short of reviewing each one individually, it is difficult to suggest the best one for your business.

As the requirements of each business will be different,  here are some of the software features you need to compare against your business needs before deciding which product to purchase.

Number of users (Licence)

If you will need access to the software by a number of people, it is worth considering the detail of the licence in respect of how many users will be allowed. Some software packages have restrictions in this regard which could mean a costly upgrade if you haven’t obtained the correct level initially. When weighing this up, don’t forget to factor in future growth as nothing remains static for long. 

Number of Companies

Some packages will only allow say one, three or five companies to be operated on a particular licence. If you are running a bookkeeping business you will require a software package that offers “unlimited companies”. This will save you time and money upgrading at a later date.

Reporting options

Most packages will give you the option to run all of the standard reports, such as trial balance, profit and loss and the Balance sheet. However, is this enough?  Think about which reports your business or clients may require? Will they want monthly cost analysis? Do they have “Departments” that they need to scrutinise?  Does the software produce the relevant reports required for the various tax returns? It is worth considering all of these things before purchase as again this will save you a huge amount of time later on.

Nominal coding and departments

Often, software comes with preset nominal codes. Often these can be quite restrictive so you need to ensure that these are editable.  This allows you to adapt the software to the business you are accounting for.  In order to drill down deeper, you should look for the facility to use “Departments”. This is particularly important for companies operating from more than one location and facilitates detailed reporting for each location within the one main company. In summary, flexible nominal codings and the “Department” functions will save loads of time when producing detailed reports at a later stage. It also enables valuable information to be provided to the end user very quickly.

Portability

Think about where you will need to access the software from. If it is just from a small number of desktop computers then there is no problem.  However, if you will also need access on your laptop for example when visiting clients, then you need to ensure that the software is compatible and can be easily updated from changes made on the static computers.

Storage and backup facilities

Last and by no means least, you will need to take regular backups of your data as if it gets lost or corrupted you are in for a pretty mammoth task of salvaging the information.  Ensure that the software and your hardware are compatible in terms of where the data will be backed up to and how the process is carried out.  Finally you need to determine where a physical copy of the backup data will be kept. This should ideally be in a fireproof safe away from the main computer database.

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One Response to “Small Business Accounting Software”

  1. [...] choosing accounting software, your should read my previous article on “Small Business Accounting Software” as this will help you know what features you should be looking for in relation to your own [...]