Before the arrival of cloud accounting, software options were traditionally rather cumbersome and generally more suited to larger organizations. This type of software makes it easier for entrepreneurs to manage their finances, however, and lets you get on with running your business.
With such a wide range of options on the market these days, it can be difficult to know which cloud-based accounting software to choose. So what should you consider when narrowing down the choices?
Features of cloud accounting software
Data backup and security
How and where is your data backed-up, and what security features are included? You’re obliged to ensure that data is secure, with significant fines being imposed for businesses that fail in this respect.
Financial reporting allows you to regularly measure business performance, and is a crucial part of day-to-day and longer-term management. Common reports include profit and loss, balance sheets, cash flow statements and detailed debtor information.
Links to your bank account
Some software allows you to link directly with your bank account and business credit card, with transactions being uploaded automatically.
If you run an import/export business or trade abroad, the software may need to handle multiple currencies.
Do you sell inventory?
If you sell a range of products, cloud accounting software that tracks your inventory saves a great deal of time and effort.
Can you set permissions for multiple users? You’ll need to consider this if you have different teams using the software, as you may want to limit the extent of their access.
Integration with other software
Third-party integration seamlessly links your accounting software with other useful packages, such as payment processing or email marketing.
Links to your accountant
You can work closely with your accountant by giving them online access to your accounting software. This can be hugely beneficial if you’re struggling with figures or reports.
Is the software customizable?
Plans for business growth are a key factor in your choice of software. You’ll need it to manage the increase in sales and other general developments in the business.
Is telephone support available, or obtained by ticket or email? Also, consider whether this is part of the basic cost, or needs to be added on.
Being able to access your accounts and other financial information from any internet-connected device offers valuable flexibility.
Last but not least, the cost of this software is a crucial factor, particularly for startups. Many cloud accounting software providers offer a free trial, and pay-monthly terms to spread your costs if you choose to go ahead with the package.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to choosing the right cloud accounting software for your business. The research involved is time well spent, however, if you identify your needs, and carefully apply them to all the options.
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