I'm not going to lie - I'm a huge fan of technology. The right software and tools can not only make our personal lives a whole lot easier, but make running a small business that much simpler and more enjoyable too.
In a recent blog, I talked about how great online invoicing software is. I think it's also important, however, to take a wider view and realise how crucial it is for small businesses to invest in a good accounting software package.
With so many options in the market now, it can be hard to choose - so here are a few quick tips of buying the right accounting software.
Should I go general or specific?
The business accounting software offerings today fall into one of two broad categories - generic or industry-specific. Companies in some industries, such as construction, require solutions that are tailored specifically for the sector. Others can get by with a generic package that can accommodate the majority of business types.
There are pros and cons to both types - for example, industry-specific options can be more powerful and efficient as they're optimised for your business, but are often on the pricier side. Give some serious thought to how your industry works when making this decision.
Is it easy to use?
The last thing you want to find after investing in software is that it's simply too hard to learn to use. Having to take courses just to get to grips can slow down the ROI on the software.
Look for a powerful but simplistic package that has everything you need - and nothing else. Features such as dashboards and automated reports are big bonuses to keep an eye out for.
How does pricing work?
With many small businesses regularly strapped for cash, getting a good understanding of how a software's pricing works is important.
Ask providers about what options they offer and whether they will fit in with your budget and cash flow needs. Consider not only the upfront costs, but whether there are other ongoing expenses involved, such as monthly fees and support costs.
Wishing you all the best for your week in business.