How human is your accountant, or rather, how human should your accountant be? Yes, of course accountancy services are all about figures, and accuracy, but there’s something else a business...
Accountancy software is designed to give you greater visibility about your business, while improving and speeding up processes. Not only this, but you’re legally obliged to keep accurate financial records, and accountancy software for your small businesses will help you to do this.
While the Government’s Making Tax Digital initiative is on hold, the principles of it are essential – the future is digital, and managing your accounting electronically will be unavoidable. You don’t want to feel forced into adapting, when you could be so much better prepared.
If you’re not already using accountancy software, consider doing so, so you’re ready for the future.
Your accounts system should keep track of your income and expenditure, and tell you how your business is doing, while providing enough detail to make sure HMRC is happy.
Here are our three recommendations for the best accountancy software to help you, alongside our business accounting services, of course.
If you’re looking for a well-rounded accountancy package, then Quickbooks will do the job. If the financial management aspects of running your business seem daunting, then here you’ll find a useful means of managing your own accounts.
Intuit’s Quickbooks Online Essentials is accessible and therefore popular. Because it’s an online service, all you need to access it is a web browser.
The package means you can easily keep online accounting records and simply log on to process them. Furthermore, your business accountant can also log on to view them, so when you need professional advice and support, or troubleshooting, with your permission, your accounts will be instantly accessible.
The Quickbooks system has a straightforward web interface with tabs, and provides easily readable graphs for your accounting overview.
You can have a certain degree of customisation at the set-up stage, and the package allows you to link personal and business bank accounts. If you’ve international business, you can also work in multiple currencies.
You can easily create invoices, enter bill details and expenses, categorise your expenses, and manage payroll for your employees as required.
The software caters for VAT-registered companies and gives you the means to prepare your returns and file them with HRMC.
There is now also an OSX app for Quickbooks, so you can run certain of your business functions from a tablet; including creating invoices, generating receipts and estimates and adding new customers.
As with Quickbooks, KashFlow is web-hosted so you don’t need to download or install anything to get started. You will, however, need to ensure you’re using a supported browser to access KashFlow’s cloud-based software.
There is a simple set-up process, with a security configuration that prompts you to log on with selected letters of your previously chosen memorable word.
You can import contact information, along with other essentials such as bank accounts and contracts.
Once you’ve organised your personal settings, you have a dashboard screen that displays the features available to you, which include invoices, quotes, purchases, payments and payroll.
There’s plenty of guidance and support available through KashFlow’s online Knowledge Base, and a free ‘Getting Started’ Webinar.
A quick search will also net you various YouTube videos with tips on getting the best out of the software. KashFlow is, perhaps, less immediately accessible than Quickbooks, but it does have an impressive assortment of features, making it an attractive accountancy package.
These features include: the overview of your accounts via the dashboard; an invoice template and function, including automated emails; estimates; contact management; and project management.
Using KashFlow, you can set financial targets for individual projects, and the programme will track your projected income and expenditure, displaying the actual figures against your budget.
A standout feature is job costing, where you can run specific profit and loss statements.
In addition to other features including payroll, VAT support and multi-currency, this online accounting package also offers over 50 reports, including accounting basics and its own Health Check report.
There’s also software support available by phone, email or live chat.
Large-enterprise software provider Sage has specially created the Sage One accountancy software for small businesses, and is very much aimed at startups and sole traders. It’s designed to be easy to use, especially if you’ve not tried an accountancy package before.
Like Quickbooks and KashFlow, you set up your account online to use Sage One’s cloud-based software. It’s got a clearly-labelled interface and summary tabs for different tasks that you can use to get started.
The process of creating estimates and quotes, then converting them to invoices is very straightforward, and you can customise the invoice, adding your logo. There are two templates to choose from, one for services and one for products.
Sage One offers over dozen different financial reports, including a general ledger report, and you can connect both your credit card and bank account to reconcile your accounts.
There’s also a dedicated mobile app for iOS and Android devices, which enables you to create invoices, record your expenses and monitor your business’s performance through graphs.
Sage One will integrate with many third-party programmes and you can integrate it with a Google account.
Generally, the Sage One system is more basic than either the Quickbooks or KashFlow online packages, but it does provide a useful entry level point for anyone completely new to accountancy software and to managing their business accounts online.
It has 24 hour telephone support, and it applies a step-by-step approach throughout, so that you’ll find everything is explained to you.
If you’re unsure about what accounting package will be the best fit for your business, talk to us. There doesn’t need to be a one-size that fits all – each business is different, but we can help you find the right software for the accounting support you require.
Get in Touch
For business accounting services in Burnley, Lancashire or anywhere else across the North West, please get in touch. We’re easy to talk to and we can offer you the right level of business support. Give us a call on 01282 902456, email email@example.com or visit the contact page on our website and fill in the contact form – we’ll reply as soon as we can.