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Small Business Accounting Software: How to Choose?

There are a variety of features to look for when selecting a small business accounting software package.

For most small businesses ease of useis important, as well as convenient access to training and support. Other factors to consider include:

Small Business Accounting and Bookkeeping Learning Topics:

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Accounting Software: What to Look For
  • Complexity and Scalability |

    If your business is just starting out, tracking income and expenses are key, along with possibly managing invoices and having mobile access to data. As your business grows, adding features to manage and pay bills, support multiple users, process payroll, issue purchase orders, accept credit cards, track inventory and process 1099's may also be useful, as well as represent tremendous improvements in overall operational efficiency. Having the flexibility to add features over time as needed, and access data from anywhere at any time helps to keep things simple, minimize costs and maximize productivity.

  • In-House versus In-The-Clouds |

    Accounting software that resides on your computer offers certain conveniences such as you own it outright. At the same time, however, desktop software requires the initial upfront investment, periodic upgrades, some level of technical savvy to get systems installed and maintained, and the need to back up data elsewhere to ensure disaster recovery.

    Accounting software that resides in the cloud offers reduced investment up front, as well as flexibility, scalability and mobility. For example, you can access your data from anywhere at any time and you can collaborate with financial management advisors and staff by assigning different levels of permission access to data. If having company data outside the walls of the business makes you nervous, familiarize yourself with cloud-based accounting software security, back-up and data-sharing features.

  • Payment Processing |

    For many businesses, having the capacity to accept credit card payments from customers while on the go can be a tremendous benefit. In some cases, this feature may mean the difference between making a sale or not. Other benefits include increased cash flow and saving time and money by eliminating the need to generate, mail and track invoices.

  • Leveraging Time, Money and Expertise |

    It is not uncommon for business owners to start out believing that they will do the bookkeeping themselves. However, if the business requires their expertise elsewhere, this approach not only dilutes productivity, but it may also mean that the record keeping does not get done or worse, gets done incorrectly. Be sure to read Small Business Bookkeeping: Why bother?, to avoid this common pitfall.

    It may also be useful to view bookkeeping as a science and accounting as an art. From this perspective, a trained bookkeeper using QuickBooks can perform the routine data entry needs required and you, the business manager, can use accounting reports efficiently to track, manage and refine financial objectives.

In summary, it is important when choosing an accounting software application that it offers the scalability, mobility and flexibility you need as your business grows. As the #1 rated small business accounting software, QuickBooks provides these benefits and more. You can also be confident that when you need to share your financial data with your accountant, banker and financial advisor, they are likely to be sufficiently proficient at using QuickBooks, which is a further significant benefit in terms of providing you with the expert advice you require to make good financial decisions.

Did you know?

"...that Intuit QuickBooks offers a range of products beyond accounting software? For example, you can access a Payroll Service, Create a Website, Checks & Supplies and Marketing and Communication Tools."

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Other Small Business Accounting Learning Topics:
Bookkeeping | Accounting #101 | Accounting Software | Accounting Training & Support

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Note: This information has been compiled by the Knowledge Institute for Small Business Development (KISBD) for educational purposes only in order to convey a general overview of the options and related services available to small businesses in the subject areas introduced. Content is provided on an "as is" basis and is not intended to be an exhaustive representation, nor does it provide advice or create a customer relationship between KISBD and its sponsors,, its affiliates and any other organization named herein, and any reader.

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