Accounting is an essential part of any business. It helps you keep track of your documents, finances, how your money is used and much more. And because we are in 2018, online accounting software is becoming more and more popular among business owners of all kind. The benefits of web-based accounting software are indisputable: they can be accessed from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection, most of them also have mobile apps so you can also use them when you are not in front of your desktop and you can say good bye to messy papers, shredders and folders that occupy your entire office space.
But the market is full of cloud accounting software providers. How do you choose one? Well, the size of your business should be your first criterion. If you own a small business or you are just getting started, you are probably on a tight or calculated budget. There is no need to spend more than you have to. You can just upgrade as you grow.
Here are some guidelines to help you choose the best accounting software for your small business:
- Type of industry. In addition to the size of your business, you should also consider the type of your business. There are programs that are designed specifically for certain industries such as manufacturing, constructions, etc. Make sure you choose something that fits your needs. Also, if you have more than one business, you might want to consider an option that can support multiple businesses
- As we’ve already mentioned it, the cost of the accounting software is among the most important factors. While more affordable programs only include basic features, those might be enough for your type of business. Most providers offer monthly subscriptions for their web-based accounting programs. Expect to pay somewhere between $10 to $40/month. If you want something more complex though, prices will be higher
- Ease of use. This is another important factor to consider. The software has to help you with your accounting needs, not confuse you and consume your time in order to learn how to use it. Make sure the interface is straightforward, well organized and important features are within reach
- Basic features. Regardless of your choice, all accounting software should have at least the basic tools: customer management, income and expense tracking, invoicing, tax reporting, payroll. Inventory management is also a common feature. One important feature for some businesses is multi-currency support. Unfortunately, a lot of accounting programs lack this tool, so if you think you need it, do your research before you purchase anything. Another aspect to consider is available third-party integrations: Google apps, e-mail marketing, payment processing, CRM, POS systems
- Try to find an accounting software provider that offers a free trial. It can be a helpful thing to be able to test the product before buying a subscription. This way you’ll be able to test the features of the program, check out its user-friendliness and so on
- Never forget/ignore the importance of good customer support. You should go for a provider that offers support whenever necessary for you: maybe even during weekends or in the evening.