Choosing an Accounting Package For Your Small Business

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Many small businesses face endless hurdles, either in the setting-up process or even in the ‘keeping-going’ process. Setup costs for businesses can sometimes seem enormous, when in fact they need not be. In most cases high start-up costs can be avoided if enough research is done to pin down exactly what you need for your business to get started. The temptation to overspend initially needs to be curtailed so that your business does not overextend itself before it has had a chance to start generating revenue.

So where do you start? Make a list of what you need to get your business operating. Then refine it, adapt it to suit your business, and then refine it again until you have a basic list from which to get started. Some of the items on your list will be premises, office furniture, equipment such as computers, printers and faxes, and software to manage your various processes. The standard software you will need will be an operating system, which will most likely come preloaded on new computers, document software like Microsoft Office, and possibly an accounting software package.

Do you need an accounting package for your business? In some cases it is not necessary, but in others it is. This would depend on a number of factors, such as how many transactions you have going through your books per month. If you have only a few clients then you may be able to get away with not having one, providing your business is not a limited company. If you are processing more than fifty transactions per month, then it is advisable to have an accounting system in place.

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So what accounting software should you use? Again this would vary according to your type of business and how you see it changing in the next few years. A few factors to take into account would be scalability, support, report generating, ease of use and features you require.

Businesses change over time and it is vital to ensure that your accounting package can grow with your business. You may add more products, hire more staff, and hopefully, get more customers. Try and think a few years ahead and make sure your accounting package can handle the growth you plan for your business. It is better to invest a little bit more now than have to repeat the whole process and expense two years down the line.

It is also imperative that you have the necessary backup and support from the software company to help you get through the initial setup stages, and to help you through any upgrades and new features you may need to implement. If you are going to be using the software yourself then it is helpful if you can try it before you buy it, and test it out against other software you may need to use with it. It will give you an opportunity to see if it has an easy-to-use interface and all the features you require for your business.

There is a wealth of information resources available to assist small businesses get going and keep going. It will take a bit of time and effort initially but doing the research beforehand will save you time and money in the long run.

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