Accounting Software is a tool that can help you manage your financial information and keep track of a variety of business data. Of course its main purpose is to give you a clear view of your financial and profitability status. In addition, the right accounting software can make a drastic difference in the efficiency of your office! That’s why it’s important to be sure your software is keeping up with your business needs. If you outgrow your accounting software, your financial data may become questionable, and your efficiency may go downhill. So how do you know if you are outgrowing your software? Here are three clues you are headed in that direction!
You can’t get the information you need.
The main purpose of accounting software is to provide you with the data you need for your company. Perhaps you want to see how profitable you have been for a period of time or whether you can afford a high dollar purchase. You should be able to gather that type of important information out of your accounting system, without any problem or hassle. If you find that the information you need is difficult to obtain, or takes a lot of manual calculations, it might just be time to look for a new system that can give you the information you need.
Processes take forever.
If data entry seems to take a long time, functions such as entering invoices or other information into your accounting system, you should check into why that is happening. Perhaps your needs have grown and you are no longer able to enter information in a way that fits your business. Your business may have grown to need purchase order management or order entry. These, along with many other accounting software features, are things that companies start without, but find useful as they grow. Look at the processes that have become time consuming, and see if your current system can be set up to handle them. And if not, you may be ready to move on to something new.
Your system seems frustrating rather than helpful.
Let’s be real here; all accounting software is frustrating when it’s brand new. But, shortly after you begin using it, you should start to feel it become a big help to you. If you have been using an accounting system for a long time, you may start to find yourself ‘tricking’ the system or creating your own workarounds to get it to do what you want it to do. This becomes a huge waste of time, and can also be very frustrating. It’s also a sign that you may want to start searching for a new accounting software system.
No matter where you are in your business lifecycle, your business can outgrow the accounting software you are using. Knowing when to move on and search for something new that fits better can keep your business running smoothly and also provide the tools you need to understand your business finances. For free accounting software guides, check lists and articles to help you find the right accounting software for your business, visit https://www.redwingsoftware.com/home/find-accounting-software.
There has been a trend in the last couple of years to use accounting software as a service or ‘in the cloud’, which basically means using the software which is hosted on somebody else’s server, instead of your own. You access the software and your data via the internet. No matter whether you prefer cloud-based or installed accounting software, you should always be sure that if your data is hosted elsewhere, the company you are working with is a trusted partner. Here’s why it is so important.
When your data is hosted outside of your facility, somebody else is in charge of the security. Therefore, the more familiar you are with these people, the more confident you will feel with your data in their hands. And while pricing is important, probably the most important thing is trust. So choose a trusted partner, rather than an unfamiliar vendor who gives you the lowest price.
If something goes wrong with the company hosting your data, you will want to be sure your data is safe. Think SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act, U.S. House of Representatives) and PIPA (Protect IP Act, U.S. Senate). These bills are aimed at foreign Web sites that infringe copyrighted material. These two pieces of legislation could greatly affect the use of data on the internet. Who will regulate what? Which site might be shut down as time goes on, in the quest to stop online piracy? No matter what, you will want to be sure your data is controlled by the company you have carefully chosen and trust. Of course, no matter whether your data is stored internally or externally, there are risks. But you can cut down on the risk by choosing an external host who is a trusted partner.
Never underestimate the importance of a good backup. When your data is hosted elsewhere, there is somebody else besides you in control of backing up your data, so you should check into how they are handling that. Make sure you are comfortable with the frequency with which they back up your data, and also the procedures they use to do so.
The internet is becoming more useful to businesses every single day. And yes, we should all take advantage of the time and cost savings benefits that it can provide. Simply be aware of the risks and dangers of hosting your data with somebody else, be sure you are working with a trusted partner, and most importantly, keep an updated backup of your data. There are circumstances for which you should weigh your options very carefully before moving forward. With whom you host your data, the heart of your business, is one of those times.
Many businesses start out by paying employees by hand. As a business grows, so does the number of employees, and along with those employees comes a growing variety of payroll needs. Managing earnings like paid time off, wage garnishment, overtime calculations, and a host of other options can become complex and nearly impossible to manage on paper. Enter: payroll software. Are you ready to say good bye to the long green sheets and manually processing payroll, for a long term solution that can streamline your payroll processes and save you time and lots of headaches? This article may just help you make your decision.
Tracking pay and deductions: Keeping track of pay and deduction types can become difficult as a business grows. Each employee has their own set of specific needs: hourly or salaried, regular or overtime hours, 401K participation or not, and these are just for starters! If you are tracking this information by hand, it becomes hard to know if what you have written down is the most current. A software system keeps track of this information with codes; each employee is linked to a code that fits how they are paid. This way you can be sure that the employee gets that pay or deduction type, and when payday comes, pay entry is a snap because calculations are done automatically behind the scenes, providing a fast and accurate pay process.
Tax payments: If you are worried about your payroll tax payments being timely and accurate, this may be a sign that it’s time to automate the process. Calculating these payments is a very complex and time consuming process, especially as your number of employees grows. Most payroll software programs will have the tax calculations you need already built into the system, so rather than calculating each employee’s tax by hand, you simply run a report for the tax form you need, and the information will be generated directly from the pay that you have entered into the system. Some programs even offer complete online filing “eFiling” capabilities, so that nothing needs to be printed, and the process is completed electronically, saving you money on costly forms, envelopes, stamps, and most importantly, your valuable time.
Support: Processing payroll by hand means you are going it alone, and have nobody to turn to when you have questions about payroll processing. This is a major advantage offered by most payroll software companies! Support services are offered to customers, so a source is available when questions or problems arise. This is especially helpful when there is a time crunch for completing your payroll!
Switching from hand-processing to a software program sounds daunting, but the majority of people are pleasantly surprised to learn how much time can be saved and how accuracy is increased after implementing a good payroll software program. To make the transition easier, create a plan for your switch, including a timeline and all the necessary steps. And when it comes time to make the switch, be sure to use all the help provided by your new software provider. You will be glad you did!
Small businesses are definitely aware of the challenges of trying to compete with bigger companies. Not only do bigger companies have deeper pockets, but their budgets allow for cutting-edge technology to help them keep their customers happy. There are accounting software features available to help small businesses compete with the technology of large companies! Here are just a few of the features that help small businesses compete and keep their customers happy.
Multiple price levels
Have you ever put your customer on hold while feverishly searching for their pricing in a paper file? Consider using your accounting software to set up different pricing levels, so you can immediately see your customer’s price while you are on the phone with them. This makes your customer happy, and it also keeps you more organized and accurate.
Custom invoice tools
With the growth of technology comes the ability to print your invoices exactly how you want them. Having this ability allows you to look much more professional than just using a standard template without your logo and other crucial brand information. Use your software to personalize your invoices, and you will keep your image fresh and professional, just like the bigger companies.
Do you scramble to find customer information while they are on the phone? Perhaps the customer only knows the invoice number or the date, or maybe only the product he or she purchased; now it’s your job to search for the document based on what the customer has given you. It’s true the bigger companies have fabulous software systems, but nowadays many of the smaller systems are quite powerful and allow you to find what you are looking for fast. Check to see if your accounting software has transaction search capabilities, and find out all of the different ways you are able to search for information. You might be surprised about the variety of methods you can use to find what you are looking for! You can keep customers happy by giving them the information they need more quickly, rather than scrambling around or asking them to provide alternative information.
You may not think an accounting software report can benefit your customers in any way. One of the best ways to stay in touch with customers or find out which customers have drifted away is by running a customer analysis report. From there you can see who has purchased what, and when. You can detect customers who may have gone away, and give them a call to touch base. Or, you can call those customers first when running a special, to let them know about the special before anyone else. Using this report can let customers know you care about them and their business before they start buying from somebody else. That is a personal touch the larger companies are likely not going to offer.
Small touches can add up to a better experience for your customers! Use simple accounting software tools to enhance your image and keep your customers happy.
Are you and your business in need of new accounting software? Are you dreading the buying process because of stories you’ve heard? Many times, the stories you hear are just that. Check out these four myths about buying accounting software, and you might just gain the confidence to make the software purchase you need for your business.
Transition times are long and tedious.
You may have heard others talking about their accounting software switch and how long it took to implement the new software. This is not a rare occurrence, but it’s definitely not a requirement for switching software. There are things you can do to prevent long transition times. Typically, these issues are the result of a lack of planning. You can lessen transition time by scheduling your data transfer or new data entry ahead of time. If your software vendor is going to help you, be sure they are committed to that date. Also m ake your internal staff aware of the scheduled date well ahead of time. When the data transfer/entry day arrives, you, your staff, and your vendor should place your primary focus on getting the data into the new software system. One mistake many businesses make is making the software transition a low priority, so efficiencies get lost, errors are made, and the process seems to drag on. Make your transition a priority, and it will be completed more quickly and efficiently.
You should wait until you have plenty of spare time to make the software transition.
It is true that you should schedule your data transition/entry during a time you are not at your busiest. However, if you wait until you are absolutely sure the transition day will be free and clear of any problems, that day will never come. Your business will always have work to be done, issues to deal with, and problems to solve. Therefore, be realistic and shoot for a day and time that will provide those who are involved enough time to focus on the transfer.
There are hidden costs associated with accounting software systems that pop up after you purchase it.
Believe it or not, many times what are considered “hidden costs” turn out to be needs and features that had not been discovered during the software search. This happens either because you forget to mention it, the sales representative didn’t ask about it, and/or your business needs changed. To keep this from happening, take control of your business needs well before your software search even begins. Make a list of the features your business needs. Get other departments involved in creating the list, and let them know that it will affect their job for years to come. Provide that list to your vendor and ask for a written quotation. Be sure your vendor understands your type of business, so they are also equipped to ask relevant questions you may not have considered.
There is a software package out there that precisely meets your every need.
Unless a software vendor is completely customizing a system that is specifically tailored to your business, expecting it to match up perfectly with your every need is unrealistic. What is important, is to find one that fits your needs BEST, at a price point you can afford. This is where your list of needs comes in handy. Use the list, and also schedule a live demonstration of the system for everyone involved. This way you can learn how the system will handle your needs, or discover deal breakers well ahead of time.
With careful planning and preparation, your company can find an accounting software system that will fit well and help your business for years to come.