Regardless of the size of your business, you’re going to need to keep track of your finances that are coming into and out of your business. That’s where hiring a bookkeeper will be beneficial. Someone who can help find errors in your finances, provide invoices, and pay bills within your budget. However, when your business is just starting up, hiring a bookkeeper may not be an option. If that’s the case, consider using software as your bookkeeper until you’re able to afford one on a regular basis.
Why It’s Important to Use Accounting Software
Businesses need to keep track of their invoices and bills. If you’re not using a bookkeeper or accountant, who will do those critical tasks for you, you’ll have to keep track of everything on your own. PC Mag notes that over the years, accounting software has become much more user-friendly than when it was first developed. A lot of software is geared towards small businesses, so you can use them without having to deal with things that should only affect larger enterprises.
If you go with an online version of something, many times they offer free trials that usually last a month. You are granted a quick period to decide if you like the way a service runs or if you’d rather use a different service. Once you find a service you like, consider seeing if it’s less expensive to purchase an annual plan versus paying monthly. Sometimes doing that can save you a little money in the long run, which you can surely use in other places for your business.
Pros and Cons of Different Software
Each type of accounting software is going to have its advantages and disadvantages. When it comes down to it, choosing the right accounting software is going to depend on what’s best for your business.
Many startups choose to use a cloud-based software app to take care of their bookkeeping. With the ability to keep track of your financials while on-the-go, it’s perfect for business owners always on-the-move since it only needs an internet connection to work. However, beware of using public connections or weak wi-fi when accessing your cloud-based software, such as a coffee shop or co-working space. If you don’t have a reliable internet connection, backing up to the cloud may not entirely complete, and you could potentially lose data. It may also be easier for hackers to access your data while using public connections.
If you choose to use Quickbooks, you’re using popular accounting software that has been around for years, proving its reliability. It’s desktop-only software, so if you’re looking for a mobile app for your accounting needs, Quickbooks may not be the best route. However, if you’re looking for software that has more features, desktop-only software is going to be a solid choice. It won’t matter if you don’t have reliable internet access, Quickbooks doesn’t require internet to use.
If you use Macs in your business and have been underwhelmed with the way accounting software appears on your devices, Xero may be the software to use. With a Xero account, you can log in on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad. If your business uses PCs, Xero will work on those devices as well. Business News Daily says that Xero supports the integration of hundreds of different apps, making your accounting process simple. However, when you decide to hire an outside accounting service, not all accountants use Xero, which may be difficult when it comes to switching down the road.
Free Services vs. Paid Services
Free services can be beneficial to a small business since it won’t cost you anything. Be aware that free accounting services limit the number of people who can use the software and most likely will only offer basic accounting services, according to Business News Daily. On the other hand, a paid service could potentially let more authorized users have access to your financials, whether it’s your business partner or someone else who needs access to your financials. However, depending on the features you want on the software, it may get more expensive.
Using accounting software may be the best way to go when you’re first starting out. When you’re looking at which software to use, take a step back and look at your business and figure out how much you’re willing to pay, and the kinds of features you want the software to have. Later on, when you have extra money and gain more business, it will be best to hire a bookkeeper to ensure that your financials are kept up-to-date and free of mistakes.