It has been my experience that not all accounting software is created equal. In fact, some alternatives seem more advanced and complicated to use than others. If you want the business to succeed, it needs to have a strong method of accounting. After all, you can’t change tactics on spending if you’re unclear as to where the money is going. When looking for the perfect solution, I have found 10 functions that can help you achieve your goals.
I’ve seen many professionals keep archaic computer systems simply because their favorite accounting software needs 1990s technology in order to operate. In today’s world, multi-platform developments allow you to use these systems without worrying about keeping around that old computer. In many cases, these applications advance with the technology simultaneously allowing you to stay current regardless of what operating system is popular or which computers are available at the store. Some of the best personal finance software can be used from virtually any device you sit at through the use of web browsers.
Mobility allows you to control more of your business without being tethered to a workstation. It also means you can accept payments from anywhere without a cash register. Accounting software that can be accessed from anywhere there is an Internet connection keeps you in direct contact with your financial assets. This goes beyond simply looking up the bank account. You could determine if your budget could include a new expense should you find something you like while on the move such as advertising or additional products.
Integration with the Bank
During my experience, bank integration with accounting software can save a great deal of time. Since it’s automated, you don’t have to sit for hours on end making sure your records are straight. Once you input the information of the account, the software can pull information regularly ensuring the cash records of your business are accurate.
Although there is nothing wrong with hiring a full-time person to manage your accounting program, team integrations can be helpful in the event someone is sick or away. Some businesses could benefit from having more than one person govern over the financial records of the organization, and your software should have this capability. I have found that delegating certain tasks within a robust application can reduce the workload of each individual.
Management for Income and Expenses
Tracking the cash flow is important, but managing the income and expenses could help you create strategies for future spending. For example, your accounting software should help you develop a correlation between certain marketing expenses and income. If a specific advertising campaign isn’t helping to increase sales, it may not be worth the expense. Such reports can show this information enhancing the way you do business.
Digital Payment Solutions
As we steadily march into the 21st century, digital payment solutions are higher in demand. This not only helps you save money while processing credit cards, but it can help customers by giving them different methods in which to pay. The best personal finance software will have such methods installed in order to make those payments accessible for customers as well as staff members using the application. Less people are carrying cash, and you don’t want to alienate those that prefer plastic.
Accounting software should be able to send invoices through email without a fuss. I have found that simple click-to-send platforms work well in an environment where clients pay for services or bulk products. Once the client receives the email, he or she can choose to pay the invoice using the online payment methods mentioned earlier. This makes the entire transaction quick and efficient for both parties.
Managing Contact Information
At one point, I had a long list of suppliers written down on a pad of paper. There are a number of times when I had to spend hours looking for that pad in order to place an order. After using choice accounting software, all of my contacts and suppliers are at my fingertips at all times. I cannot express how much easier running the business can be if all of your phone numbers and emails are accessible 24-hours a day.
Alerts and Reminders
Some of the best personal finance software will come loaded with alerts and reminders for bills and customers payments. If you deal with subscriptions or monthly payments from clients, you need to know if someone is late. As I can easily forget making payments to distributors or utility companies, reminders are placed so that I am never late with my own payments.Sage has a great alert system that can be synced to my mobile.
Accounting software should be able to provide you with a wide range of reports covering all financial aspects of your business. “What products do you sell the most,” “how much is spent on marketing campaigns” and “what are the busiest hours of operation” are just a few questions you can answer with detailed reporting. The best personal finance software should be able to deliver all that information allowing you to develop strategies for purchases, staff scheduling and planning discounts of unpurchased goods.
Whether you’re operating a company with only you as an employee or have several others working under you, the right accounting software can increase success. While there are several other factors that play in how well your business performs, accounting shouldn’t be one that you dread. Having clarity in the financial aspect of the organization can help you make wiser choices for future improvements.