Running a small business is no easy feat. You have so many decisions to make and a lot of responsibilities fall at your door. This is no different when it comes to accounting and bookkeeping duties.
One of the biggest decisions you have to make as a small business owner involves deciding whether to complete these duties yourself, usually using an accounting software, or use a professional bookkeeping service like ours here at Count.
Don’t get us wrong, accounting software is great. It can be brilliant at helping you keep on top of a mountain of financial information. In fact, this article is going to sing the praises of a few and tell you some of the best software to use if you do decide to go it alone. But accounting software can’t do it all.
If you decide to use a professional bookkeeper like Count, we’ll tell you exactly how you can benefit from using our service.
So, let’s start off by taking a look at how cloud accounting software can help you. Then we’ll look at some of the top cloud accounting software on the market today and see how they could provide a great service to your business.
How can Cloud Accounting software help your business?
Bookkeeping duties for a small business can be fairly intimidating. At a very basic level, you have to record and monitor every financial transaction made by your business on a day-to-day basis. That involves processing and recording a lot of data.
Fortunately, one of the main benefits of using a cloud accounting software is that they let you categorize your transactions yourself. This can be really important in helping to process this data efficiently. It may also make it easier in the future when you have to look back at your records. You may need to consult an accountant to make sure these categorisations are correct, however, as you could end up being culpable come the end of the tax year.
If you don’t categorise your financial records correctly, you may unintentionally mislead HMRC or yourself as to what in your records is an expense, what is taxable and even whether something is an asset or liability.
Making sure these categories are correct is imperative and, although cloud accounting software allows you to create these yourself, it would be wise to consult an accountant along the way to make sure you haven’t made any mistakes.
Another benefit of cloud accounting software helps save time when it comes to actually inputting the data. Many software systems actually allow you to automatically input your financial transactions directly from your payment service.
For example, if you use Paypal to make business transactions, you can import the data for any given period of time so that your payment service synchronises with your accounting software. That way, you don’t have to painstakingly input every financial detail, one-by-one, into the software, it can all be done for you!
An important aspect of running a business is to keep an eye on the expenses accumulated within a financial period. Accounting software, fortunately, won’t be running up those expenses too much. The software is fairly reasonably priced and can save you a headache when it comes to managing your books.
Accounting software sounds great, but what is the cost?
It is, however, a big question as to whether the financial burden is worth it. Using cloud accounting software rather than hiring a professional bookkeeper means you still have to do the bulk of the heavy workload yourself. This could cost you money in real terms.
For every hour that you perform bookkeeping duties – even with a streamlined bookkeeping software – is an hour away from your business, an hour away from closing deals and bringing on new customers.
So, let’s take a look at some specific software, what they’re good or bad at and how they can work for you!
Quickbooks is nearly always near the top of any list of the suggested accounting software for small business’ and there’s a reason why. It has a very user-friendly interface and can help a variety of business’ get off the ground. A lot of business’ also tend to stick with Quickbooks as it has a flexbile and wide-ranging scope of software like customizable reports and an integrated record of contacts.
On the downside, relative to other accounting software, Quickbooks ranks as a fairly expensive one. It can often be a trade-off between cost and effectiveness and, although Quickbooks delivers, it may leave you questioning whether the cost is worth it.
Sage50cloud is another that ranks highly among users. Unlike Quickbooks, however, the user interface is complex and dated, often feeling overcrowded with information.
Whilst this may be good for an advanced level of customisation, for those starting out it can feel a little overwhelming and busy. You can, however, integrate your Sage 50cloud software with your Microsoft Office 365 account, allowing for an integrated cross-platform experience.
Wave has a couple of nice benefits. Firstly, it’s free to use (although making payments and organising payroll will incur a fee). It also has a sleek user interface with guided navigation tools. Wave is great for new business’ that want to get a handle on the basics of double-entry bookkeeping.
The only downside is in its simplicity. Whilst Wave is a great piece of software for a new business, as you grow it becomes pretty outdated quite quickly. Where Sage 50cloud can be overly complex, Wave can be occasionally simplistic in comparison.
Not only that, some features available to other software isn’t available with Wave. You can’t offer discounts to customers through the app or use the receipts function if you’re on Android. This can be a little frustrating as nobody wants to change the software they’re using as they grow.
How does Count compare with accounting software?
Whilst each piece of software listed above excels in one particular area, they can be really frustrating. The software isn’t as versatile as your business might need it to be. You could find yourself in a position where you need to switch software as it might not fulfil your needs. That versatility can be solved by hiring your own professional bookkeeper, like ours.
Count can do everything the best accounting software can do and more. Best of all, they can do it all for you. You don’t have to worry about a thing.
Cost may be a concern. Hiring one of our professional bookkeepers will sound expensive, but when you tot everything up, you could actually be saving money. You didn’t start your business with the intention of spending your time tracking your cash flow or trying to reconcile your accounts – but Count did!
The money you spend hiring one our professional bookkeepers will free up your time to focus on your business. You can rest easy knowing that your books are being delivered to an accurate and consistent standard.
You no longer have to worry about inputting incorrect data or hiring a certified public accountant to double-check everything you do.
Count’s financial experts are dedicated to managing your books and taxes. They can also help you set up payroll and offer advise on the best financial practise.
Our services can also help you catch up with any overdue bookkeeping. We can lighten the heavy load so you can focus on what’s important.
Plus, if you like the sound of the accounting software above, Count provides you with free access to a cloud accounting software and supplies you with a dedicated accountant to support you with any software queries.
Our final say
To sum up, using a cloud accounting service can be a great tool to help manage your financial records. But they don’t do everything. Sometimes they can make you feel a little overwhelmed.
Not only do you have to manage all your financial transactions, but you also need to learn how to use a new piece of technology. This could be valuable time spent refining and growing your business, which is why a company like Count exists.
Our idea is to help you lighten that burden of responsibility. We want to help bring a streamlined and efficient financial practice to your business.
If you have any questions about our service, please chat to one of our friendly experts!