The Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses
The Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses
Accounting software is a highly competitive market. These days, most of the solutions available will add value by letting you automate repetitive tasks, reducing your redundant data, and effortlessly integrate with your other software solutions. But in such a saturated market, how can you choose the best accounting software for your small business?
As a small business owner, you're probably well aware of how managing your finances can be a proper productivity killer. A recent survey shows that one in three American businesses spend more than 80 hours per year on filing taxes. That’s a lot. Can you really afford that?
One way to combat tax fatigue is to implement an accounting software. Ideally, an accounting solution will automate your existing workflows - and save you valuable time, human resources and money. Not to mention, a software can mitigate the risk of human errors and make sure that your business is not risking financial compliance issues.
Accounting Software Benefits At A Glance
- Frees up time, money and resources
- Automates the tax filing process
- Removes unnecessary paperwork
- Mitigates the risk of errors
How To Choose Accounting Software?
While accounting software has been around for awhile, it’s only more recently that we've seen solutions tailored specifically to smaller businesses and freelancers.
To put it simply: the software solutions of today are designed to make life easier for you. Not only will they help you with taxes, but they can also overlook the day-to-day management of your business finances, such as bookkeeping, reporting tools, monitoring your cash flow, invoices, and payroll. This sounds all fine and dandy, but how do you actually go about choosing an accounting software? With so many solutions available, how do you pick the right one?
As a small business owner, it’s imperative that you choose a software that’s right for you now - not in 5 years. If you’re new to accounting software, we recommend that you implement a solution that is both user friendly, intuitive, and that integrates effortlessly with other software you might already be using. Additionally, you should consider these key features before agreeing to a new solution:
- Does this software have the ability to import already existing data?
- Is it user friendly?
- How many members of my staff will need access to the software?
- Is it possible to scale?
- Is it vital for me that it’s available from anywhere?
- What’s the subscription fee?
Comparing Accounting Software for Small Businesses
The software market is flooded with various solutions and providers. This is good as competition drives quality, but it still makes it challenging to navigate the market and actually settle for a solution.
Is this the first time you’re looking into accounting software? Click here for our Introduction to Accounting Software.
To help you navigate the market more easily, we have picked three of our favourite accounting software available for small businesses. And there’s plenty of opportunities for you to shop around: Most of the software solutions offer a free trial, which usually lasts about a month, so you can still try it out and see if it’s the right one for you.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
QuickBooks is a classic accounting solution. It was developed by Intuit, and it was actually one of the earliest providers of accounting software on the market.
Despite their age, it’s safe to say that they’re still going strong: the developers at QuickBooks HQ are continuously releasing new updates and changes to their software. Their solution is available both on desktop and as a cloud-based program (QuickBooks Online).
If you’re self-employed, you can sign up for their basic package where you can track your income and invoices without any fuss. Smaller businesses will benefit from the various reporting and monitoring tools available, and you might also find it easier to stay on top when it comes to dealing with VAT and payroll issues.
Benefits of QuickBooks:
- Being cloud-based makes it easy to manage taxes from anywhere
- Easy access on mobile devices
- User friendly and intuitive
- Does not require previous knowledge of accounting
This list wouldn’t be complete without Xero, a legend of a software that originated in New Zealand. Launched as early as in 2006, this is another big player on the market.
With Xero, you get stress-free access to bank transfers, invoicing and receipt management. The solution also features dedicated tax modules - a feature that will definitely make your life as a small business owner much easier.
Benefits of Xero:
- Dedicated tax modules
- It makes tax forms readily accessible
- Streamlined and user-friendly
- It explains various tax components
- Integrates easily with other softwares
Another well-liked accounting software is Zoho Books. This solution is constantly receiving praise from small business owners worldwide. It features contact management, expenses, purchase orders, inventory management and invoices - to name a few!
In short, this software can help you sort out your expenses and issue invoices. Unfortunately, there are some noticeable differences between the desktop version and the online version, so make sure that you invest in the one that’s most compatible with your needs.
Benefits of Zoho
- Easy to use
- Connects effortlessly to your bank accounts
- Good tracking and monitoring tools
Should You Worry About Making Tax Digital?
Our experts here at Software Advisory Service get a lot of enquiries regarding the government’s Making Tax Digital project. The project, which has been postponed a few times, is now confirmed for April 2019. But what does it mean for you?
In a nutshell, this means that if you need to submit a Self Assessment Tax Return you will need to do so via a software that’s fully compatible with HMRC guidelines. According to the government itself it’s simply a long-promised shift to a digital tax system: “The way you interact with the tax system is changing. (...) it will become increasingly digital and most businesses, the self-employed, and landlords will need to use software or apps to keep their business records.”
It’s undoubtedly a step in the right direction, but it also makes picking the right software a wee bit trickier. At the moment, it’s impossible to predict which of the various software companies will make changes in order to comply with HMRC - or if it will be HMRC themselves that will overhaul their own systems first.
For now, it’s imperative that you choose the accounting software that best fit your needs.
Software Advisory Service offer a non-chargeable consultative service that can save you both time and money. Our expert advice is completely unbiased and tailored specifically to your business.
Are you ready to find your next accounting software? Let's get started!
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