For centuries, “bookkeeping” referred to the manual processes of paper-based accounting, from ledgers and columns to handwritten numbers and financial data. Today, however, there are a variety of digital accounting solutions to provide businesses, big and small, with actionable insights and access to critical tools and information that’ll help organisations grow in the digital age.
Accounting software products and services will streamline multiple processes, while reducing human error, improving data access and gaining invaluable insight. These insights benefit in future sales forecasting, identifying overstocked items and prioritising your highly-profitable goods or services.
The right business accounting software can assist owners and managers in building more efficient and effective bookkeeping practices and a deeper financial understanding. However, finding the right digital accounting solution needs to be a carefully-considered process, which avoids unreliable and cheap store-bought software alternatives.
If you are trying to find the best business accounting software out there for your business, you must consider your company’s business accounting needs, understand your business’s financial context and explore what products are available.
What Digital Accounting Products Are Available?
Over recent years, the range, specs and quality of accounting software and services for small and medium-sized business have grown tremendously. There are four main types of business accounting software that are designed to optimise your financial processes:
- Small business payroll and accounting
With the explosion of accounting software programmes, we have seen in recent years; a range of exciting and useful ‘basic’ software options have become available. These options are affordable, accessible and easy to use, and can be bought through a vendor, instore or over the web. Smaller businesses can use these simpler options to keep their books, manage inventory, track cash flow and organise operational expenses, with many more additional features.
- Business management software and services
Business management software and services are fully-loaded business accounting solutions that can help executives and managers run their business, access their financials and organise their supply chains, more efficiently. These benefits can include accounting support, inventory control, points of sale, customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), purchasing and billing.
- Cloud-based accounting applications
Another innovation in the world of digital bookkeeping is the, recent, emergence of brilliant cloud-based accounting applications. This evolution is thanks to the growing trust in cloud-based and online applications and services around the world, especially in the corporate environment. Cloud-based programmes are being used to coordinate large numbers of workers, report on important financial data and create offsite central hubs, that can be accessed and managed from anywhere.
- Free accounting software programmes
Free programmes should always be approached with a sense of caution, especially when that software is dealing with sensitive financial or personal information. However, there are some free online programmes that can help with basic accounting processes, to create a more efficient workflow. When used correctly, these free programmes and applications can help owners and managers create invoices, handle payroll, keep basic books and manage a few customer accounts. These are hugely beneficial for young entrepreneurs and recently-opened businesses, when chosen carefully and safely.
Choosing the Right Business Accounting Software for your Business
Gather important financial information and identify your business needs
To help you find the best accounting software for your business – and use it to its fullest – you’ll need to have some financial literacy. Beyond basic bookkeeping knowledge, you should be aware of your business’s current accounting procedures and financial numbers. Many businesses have succumbed to the mistake of using accounting software with no financial understanding or background.
Entrepreneurs, small businesses and large corporations, alike, need to be capable and proficient in the account management and financial analysis of their daily business, such as: operational costs, supply chain management, bookkeeping, labour and wage admin, etc. Once you’ve gathered the necessary financial understanding and business insights, you can begin to assess what services and programmes will suit your particular needs. What is important to the future of your business and its financial wellbeing?
Consult with your accountant and their team
Whether your business has a dedicated accounting department, a small and capable team, a single accountant or you’ve outsourced an accounting consultant or service, it would be a wise business decision to consult with them. They may have important insights into which software and applications may work in your current accounting setup or, at least, what areas of support would be valuable to your current financial organisation. Business accounting software can transform your business’s tax, wage, bookkeeping, operational and labour management schemes, all the while improving customer and partner relationships.
Know your budget
The reality is that the combination of business accounting software, applications and services will be hugely beneficial, but the prices can become expensive. As vertical software integrations and add-on services become more available and prevalent in modern business, keeping up with the digital age comes with real investment. Know what your business accounting needs are and how much you’re willing to invest into those solutions. This will determine whether a bespoke accounting solution is necessary, or if simple off-the-shelf and online alternatives can meet your business needs.
Making your business accounting software decision
These are some of the key considerations that any business owner will need to have when investing in business accounting software and services. Understanding your finances, accounting practices, business requirements and budgets, allows businesses – of any size – to choose the right option for their goals and accounting expectations.
Lorge provides a wide range of business and accounting solutions to give your company a competitive edge. From management and analytics to IT and accounting services, we digitally transform the way companies conduct their business, contact Lorge for more information today.