Nearly all small businesses today use some form of accounting software, to keep their financial functions moving efficiently and (relatively) error-free. But choosing the right small business accounting software package can be difficult. Before you commit to any single small business accounting package or platform, here are six critical factors to consider:
1) Automation Features
The more you can automate your accounting practices, the more time you'll have to focus on other areas of your business. Good automation can make small businesses much more competitive against even big firms with much greater resources because these smaller businesses can operate much leaner.
It doesn't make any sense to invest time and money in accounting software your business will eventually outgrow. Because of this, look for the ability to easily scale up your software as your operations expand and your needs change. This eliminates any of the costly issues created when changing accounting systems during times of growth, which are busy and stressful enough as is. Staying with the same accounting system for longer means less training time for your employees as well, leading to even more savings and efficiency.
Data breaches cost your business in a range of ways, from expensive security audits and upgrades to a loss of client trust due to the leaking of personal information. The security features included in any accounting software you choose for your business need to be state-of-the-art and guarantee the safe-keeping of all of your most sensitive data.
Security features should update automatically within the software, and be constantly improved to defend against the newest cyber-threats.
The most accurate way to determine if a particular small business accounting software solution will work for you is to hear how it has performed for other businesses similar to yours. As you browse online reviews, watch for mentions of any issues that could cause complications for your business, as well as examples of how the software has positively impacted users. If you have any specific questions for reviewers, you can always ask by replying to their reviews.
5) Cloud Data Storage
How many of us have lost important documents because of a hard drive failure or local computer glitch? Almost everyone. Accounting practices require lots of documents, files and information to be stored securely, while also keeping them easily accessible. In the past, these documents needed to be kept safe in physical form, or stored on a hard drive kept at your business location. Accounting software now allows for the storage of your most important accounting-related files on the Cloud.
This gets your data off-site to a secure location, where no local disaster or mishap can destroy it. In practice, it's also usually more secure against employee theft, compromise or accidental leakage.
Only accounting software with cloud-based servers can provide true peace of mind when it comes to keeping your files safe and allowing easy access whenever you need them. LedgersOnline accounting and bookkeeping services uses LedgersDocs for all their clients' document management needs.
It's important to get a software package that is designed with the Canadian market in mind. Canadian and U.S accounting practices have a lot in common. But the tax codes and terminology are very different. Before you commit to a software solution, make sure you're getting one that is designed specifically for Canadian businesses.
These are just some of the most important things to look for in any small business accounting software package. As long as the software you choose is secure, scalable, well-reviewed and offers cloud storage and use automation tools, it will serve your business well.