EA - How to Choose the Right Accounting Software for Your Startup

How to Choose the Right Accounting Software for Your Startup

We live in a digital world, which means that your small business is going to get left behind if you are still tracking expenses with pen and paper. If you don’t already have a good accounting software program, then it might be time to implement these changes so that you can boost your reporting and tracking.

Overcoming the Overwhelm and Indecisiveness

A search for “accounting software” on Google will uncover a seemingly endless list of possibilities that might be used for your company. One common problem is that small business owners start reading reviews and information about these different software programs… and then quickly get caught in “analysis paralysis.”

Even though there are many options available, this decision doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated. Choosing the right accounting software is easy when you lean on the advice and expertise offered by an experienced accountant. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or information while you are comparing the various options in the accounting industry.

Ask Questions about What You Need

You will struggle with choosing the accounting software if you don’t have an end-goal in mind. Ask yourself: what are the features and details that need to be available in the program? Asking a few questions about your goals and needs will help you steer the decision in the right direction.

For example, if you only hire contractors and don’t have any employees on the payroll, then the payroll features might not be important to you. But don’t overlook the possibilities that you might need payroll processing in the future

Consider the Future

As you get clear about your goals, you can consider the features or things that you might need in the future. It is important that the software program can grow as your company expands. You don’t want to face the headache of changing accounting software during the stressful time of business growth in the future.

So, make sure that you don’t cut corners right now. Choose a good software program that meets your current needs and will allow you to expand in the future. A good accounting program will help to minimize the growing pains while keeping you informed about the financial health of your company.

Price Points and Value

How much do you want to pay for the accounting software? It might be tempting to choose a product based on price alone. You are choosing to organize your finances to manage cash flow, so it makes sense that you are trying to save money on the expense.

Instead of only looking at the price tag, evaluate the value that is available from the software. What features will save you time? Decreasing the time that is spent on accounting and bookkeeping tasks is the same as saving money because you can redirect that time for other business activities.

In fact, choosing a cheap software program could potentially cost more money in the future. You might use the software for a while, only to find that you run into problems because you don’t have the necessary features. As a result, you will likely lose both time and money when you decide to switch to a different software. Not only is this future change time consuming, but it can also be stressful.

There’s no question: choose a program right now that will handle everything that you need in the present and future. You should never cut corners when choosing the right systems and organization for your startup company.

Talk to Industry Professionals

It is important to talk to an accounting team about the recommended software programs in the industry. This information can be valuable to help you select a system that will improve your company. Have a conversation about your current and future needs and ask for advice about the ways that you can simplify the implementation of a new tracking system.

In addition to simplifying your finances, you also need a robust computer software that will generate the reports and data that is required. You can use these reports to determine the right decisions in the future regarding cash flow, expenses, and other financial milestones that need to be met.

Make sure that you are working with accounting professionals who understand your industry. For example, if you are just starting a company, then you will be well-served to choose an accounting team that specializes in startups. While a corporate accountant can assist with the services that you require, their expertise isn’t as honed in as someone who is working with small businesses on a daily basis.

One important note: if you are working with a CPA and/or bookkeeper, then it is wise to choose the software preferred by your provider. This financial pro is an integral part of your team and will help with the costly decisions that need to be made in the future. Ask about the software they prefer to ensure they have the system that will enable the best data analysis and reporting down the road.

Cloud-Based Storage

Have you ever had the frustrating experience of having your hard drive crash and losing all of your files? It can be exhausting to recreate the system after everything is lost due to hardware failure. Using an accounting software where the files are only stored on your computer is a risk. If the computer is lost or damaged, then you will also lose all of the accounting information.

A better solution is to choose an accounting software that has a secure system for cloud-based storage. Keeping the information online means that there is no reason to stress if your hard drive goes down. All of the files will still be accessible from the cloud.

Plus, a cloud-based accounting software makes it more convenient if you choose to hire an outsourced accountant. You can take advantage of the skilled accounting services that are available without the need to have someone in your office.

While many accounting software services are cloud-based, there are still old systems that require an on-computer install. Use this feature as a filter to help you choose a program that will last for many years.

Ease of Use

You don’t have to have an accounting degree to navigate the software program. While you are considering the features that are available, also think about the ease of use for each of these features. It is important that the program is user-friendly and a simple solution for people who don’t understand the manual accounting calculations.

For example, many software programs provide a user-friendly admin area with tutorials and simple instructions. You shouldn’t have to do manual calculations for payroll taxes or invoicing. Instead, the right software program will make it simple to plug in the numbers so that you can get the results that are needed.

Additionally, consider how many users will be accessing the software. Not only do you need access to the information when it is time to run financial reports, but you also need to provide access to your accountant. There might be other people in your company who can also benefit from accounting software access, such as an assistant or bookkeeper who is responsible for invoicing. If the person needs to access the computer software regularly, then you should ensure that you have sufficient access logins for the software.

Make sure that each person has their own credentials when logging into the system. The risk of fraud goes up if you have multiple people using the same username and password. If something happens, then it can be difficult to determine the culprit. Keep things clear by separating access for each person who needs to use the accounting software.

Perfect Recipe for Success: Accounting Software and a Good Accountant

Even if you choose the best accounting software, you’ll run into problems if you don’t have the right team to help with the implementation of the computer system. The software is only as good as the person who sets up the system. So, the best thing that you can do to ensure a successful future for your startup is hiring the right accountant to help with setup and implementation.

Combining the right software with an experienced accountant will give you the peace of mind that you are creating a strong accounting system that will last for years. Rest assured knowing that you don’t have to try to figure it out by yourself. Instead, lean on the experience offered by someone who understands the industry.

At Easier Accounting, we specialize in small business accounting services. Our team offers quality, trustworthy accounting services for startups and small business owners. By focusing on services on the smaller companies, we can ensure that you are working with someone who has hands-on experience with other companies similar to your business.

We are happy to answer your questions and help you choose the right accounting software to support your business needs. For more information, you are welcome to call us anytime to talk to an industry professional. Contact Easier Accounting at (888) 620-0770.

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