One often-overlooked yet very important aspect of accounts payable and receivables is the accounting software being used to track them.
It may be tempting for many small – or medium-sized businesses to use simple spreadsheets for accounting. However, this can double or triple (or worse) the effort, such as having to enter the customer’s address on the quote, then the work order, and then the invoice, taking up valuable time and introducing many opportunities for errors. It can also greatly limit the ability of a business to review information and forecast for the future.
Accounting software can eliminate the extra efforts and give you perspective into your business’ profitability in ways simple spreadsheets can’t.
A dizzying assortment of accounting software platforms exist in the market today. Small to mid-sized firms might like QuickBooks, Sage 50, Cougar Mountain Software, or MYOB Accounting, for starters.
A few popular and more full-featured (but higher-priced) programs are Everest’s Business Management Software, which integrates all business processes into one solution, and NetSuite, which boasts that it’s “everything you need in one powerful solution.” Some of these platforms are free, some cost. Each offers different options to suit your business needs, but they each should be evaluated carefully against those needs.
But how do you choose which accounting software is best for your accounting needs? Consider this 3-step process:
- Financial Literacy. Accounting is not the same as keeping a check Ensure that your business has at least one financial guru in place.
- Needs Analysis. Consider managerial and financial needs for your business. Consider all job functions, and don’t just stop with the obvious questions – dig deep!
- It’s time to use that financial guru for more than just keeping the accounts. Get his or her opinion on the best accounting software. The person in this position may have more insight than anyone.
Accounting software can make a big difference in your business, but it’s important to take the time to choose the right software to meet your needs. For example, if you have a busy medical practice, you’ll want to save time while contending with patient debt. Your accounting software is one of many ways to help you manage patient payments for your business.