There is no doubt keeping the books has changed over the years. Legions of clerks behind large desks scratching figures into huge dusty ledgers was once the norm.
Time then moved on to accountants with green visors and armbands cranking out figures on large calculating machines.
Of course, the modern reality is much different. With slick accounting software revolutionising the way businesses process their financial data.
Why use accounting software?
Unlike the old clerks pushing pens across their desks and laboriously compiling a profit & loss account, a click of the mouse can now perform a plethora of sophisticated financial exercises.
From generating invoices to analysing cash flow and managing payroll, multiple tasks can now be performed automatically, giving a business, of any size, complete control over its financial data.
Advantages of accounting software
Any business, from start-ups to SMEs, will find accounting software that’s right for their business. There are many different packages available, ranging from simple bookkeeping tools to sophisticated and intelligent software which can control every nuance of a business’s financials.
With so many options available, the key is to select the best package for your business.
How to choose accounting software for your business
If you are a sole trader running a small business it is unlikely you will need a sophisticated package which includes all the high-end bells and whistles. Software which takes care of invoicing, VAT, cash flow and can track expenses should be sufficient.
Larger businesses with staff and a significant turnover will require accounting software which can provide more automation, sophisticated banking tools, and payroll functionality.
Retailers, either those with brick and mortar stores or selling online, will need software which can handle stock and monitor inventory. Every business is different but all need to keep on top of the bookkeeping – accounting software makes it easy.
The key attribute of accounting software is the way in which it can complete routine functions automatically.
Being able to automate essential day-to-day tasks brings greater efficiency to the business allowing tighter financial control. Automation also helps to eradicate the mistakes which can occur with manual processes saving time and money in correcting mistakes.
Examples of how accounting software can automate routine tasks include linking timesheets to payroll, creating and submitting repeat invoices and reminders, and even real-time information submission to HMRC.
Cloud or physical install?
Accounting software can be physically installed on your computer or there are a number of web-based packages available. Some software, such as Sage 50 Accounts, provide all the benefits and reliability of a physical install with extra cloud functionality.
Sage Drive is an example of how the cloud has expanded the capability of accounting software beyond anything which was imaginable even just a few years ago. Now you can manage your business finances no matter where you are in the world. Additionally, some packages allow your accountant to securely access your data in real time including live bank feeds for reconciling accounts.
Again, this saves time and boosts efficiency within the business.
What features should you be looking for in?
A full review of all the different software packages available is beyond the scope of this article. However, you can narrow down your options by ensuring the following features are included with the software you are considering:
- Manages income and expenditure
- Customisable and template invoices
- Cloud functionality
- Bank reconciliation
- Automatically calculate and submit VAT returns
- Stock management
- Sales ordering and processing
- Scalable to meet the demands of your growing business
- Free updates
- First class online and telephone support
Accountancy software at Ebuyer.com
Here at Ebuyer.com we stock the full range of Sage accounting software. With packages for any sized business, Sage provides easy to use and affordable solutions ranging from Sage 50 Essentials for new and small businesses to Sage 50 Accounts Professional for small and medium enterprises.
This post is a sponsored article by SAGE UK