If you are starting out in business or you are planning expansion one of the tools you may need to look at is your accounting software. There are several different options available and finding the right solution may take some time.
A good starting point may be to speak to your accountant or bookkeeper if you have one, they may have a product that they use and can recommend. It is also worth contacting other businesses or look on forums for recommendations.
We have outlined some of the options available for your business. Look at each option and find the advantages and disadvantages.
There are a couple of free accounting software downloads available. One of the choices that I have looked at is Wave Accounting. Although it was useful for simple bookkeeping; it did not keep track of your bank account. It would, therefore, make it difficult to ensure that all the transactions are posted unless all your paperwork is together.
There are several free Excel bookkeeping templates available for down load, most of these are for the very basic business and you may find that you need to transfer to another product fairly quickly. Some of the templates are also fairly difficult to use and mistakes can easily be made. Ensure that you test the template first and if they have a demo take a look to see if the reports included are useful.
We have written some of our own free Excel bookkeeping templates. We try and make them simple to use, with clear instructions. Our templates include Cashbook, business expenses and petty cash.
Paid for Excel templates can be a cheap solution with a one-off payment. If you are going to pay for a spreadsheet; ensure that you can do a trial first.
What is cloud accounting? Cloud accounting is becoming a very popular product for business accounts. You pay a fixed fee each month which includes support and upgrades. All the software and data is held on a remote server, which you can access from any PC. Most of the suppliers offer a free trial with up to 60 days. Some of the choices include QuickBooks, Sage, Accounts Portal, Kashflow and e-conomic.
The traditional way is to purchase an accounting software package such as QuickBooks or Sage. It can be an expensive initial outlay, but in the long term may be cheaper than paying monthly for cloud accounting. On top of the software, you may also need to pay for support on a yearly basis.
Look at our accounting software reviews section for further details about the different packages available.
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