Accounting Software Ratios Defined, Part 2

(Continued from the previous post) Using business ratios can help you analyze the financial health of your business. You can use ratios to help compare your business against other businesses similar to yours, and to see how yours compares to the industry averages. By comparing your business, you can identify trends and make changes accordingly. Here is Part 2 of the components of ratio tracking, what they mean, and how they can help your business.

  • Inventory Turnover: This ratio measures how quickly inventory sold. A higher number generally indicates efficiency. However, companies must be careful of stock-outs in situations where too little inventory is kept on hand.
  • Net Profit Margin: Measures the profitability in terms of return per dollar of net profit.
  • Quick Ratio: This ratio is often used to evaluate a company’s immediate liquidity position. A quick ratio that is too low indicates greater risk for creditors and investors.
  • Return on Assets: This is often used as an overall index of profitability. The higher the value, the more profitable your business.
  • Return on Equity: This ratio measures the rate of return on money invested in the company by the owners. The higher the value, the more profitable your business.
  • Working Capital: Because it is a dollar amount, this measurement is difficult to compare with other similar businesses, since you must also take into consideration the size of the business. However, it is a measure of the amount of funds available to purchase inputs and inventory items after the sale of current assets and payment of all current liabilities.

Use business ratio analysis to reveal trends and understand where improvement is needed in your business. Use ratios to make comparisons, understand your business, and stay ahead of your competitors.

Accounting Software Ratios Defined, Part 1

Using business ratios can help you analyze the financial health of your business. You can use ratios to help compare your business against other businesses similar to yours, and to see how yours compares to the industry averages. By comparing your business, you can identify trends and make changes accordingly. Here are some of the components of ratio tracking, what they mean, and how they can help your business.

  • Accounts Receivable Turnover: This ratio measures the promptness of customer payments. Higher numbers indicate the effectiveness of collection policies and procedures.
  • Current Ratio: This ratio gives an indication of a company’s short-term debt paying ability. The higher the ratio, the greater the liquidity.
  • Equity to Asset: A measure of financial position, this ratio measures the proportion of total assets financed by the owner’s equity. A higher ratio indicates better protection to company creditors, since more capital has been supplied by the owners and less by the creditors.
  • Debt to Equity: Measures the extent the company is financed with money borrowed from non-owners. The higher the value of the ratio, the more total capital has been supplied by the creditors and less by the owners.
  • Gross Profit Margin: This percentage measures profitability in terms of return per dollar of gross profit.

Stay tuned for the next post, which covers more ratios terms and what they mean!

Multiple Companies: Three Ways Accounting Software Can Help Manage Them

Once a company grows into multiple entities, there are special challenges to face that were not present as a single company. There are ways you can keep these challenges under control, and one way is to use the features available within your accounting software. Here are some of the ways accounting software can help you manage multiple businesses.

Consolidated reporting.

When you own or manage multiple companies, you may want to look at the financial information of one company on its own, or have the option of combining the financials of several companies to look at together. Having the option to consolidate the financials of some or all companies can be extremely helpful for this reason. When you are able to get a financial picture of each business, you can make smart adjustments as necessary.

Multiple warehouse management.

While one company could possibly have more than one warehouse, it’s even more likely that multiple companies will. In this case, use a multiple warehouse management option within your accounting software’s inventory management system. Keeping track of your inventory by location is more efficient, since you can see with just a few clicks where your items are, and how many. This in turn helps you provide your customers with the products they need more quickly, too!

MICR Check Printing

Managing the accounting for more than one company means printing separate payroll and accounts payable checks for those companies. The problem of having to switch out the check paper each and every time can be solved by using the MICR check printing option. MICR check printing allows you to set up different check designs, and then print them with a special ink, onto blank check paper. It even allows you to print a signature on the check.

These are just a few of the accounting software features that can help you manage multiple companies! Learn more about your accounting software today to be sure you are using it to its fullest capacity, and you might be able to try to something new to streamline your processes.

Shortening Transaction Entry Time

Of course you are always looking to save yourself some time so you can get your job done faster, right? Your accounting software surely offers its own set of time-saving functions. Here are some standard time-saving tools you might want to try out today, in the interest of shortening entry time and getting your job done faster.

Entering dates

Instead of having to type in the date every time you enter a transaction, use the shortcuts available throughout your accounting software. Typical shortcuts for the entry of dates include:

  • Choosing dates from a calendar which can be pulled up on the screen.
  • Auto-fill, a function in which the system recognizes the current month and year. You need only enter the day. For example if it is now February 2012, and you enter the number 25, the auto-fill functions will recognize it as February 25, 2012.
  • Numerical entry. You enter numerically the month, date and year, for example 022512. The system recognizes this as February 25, 2012.

Set as default

If you find yourself selecting the same option each time you go through data entry, you may want to save yourself time by setting that option as the default. That way it appears every time you come back to the data entry screen, and you don’t have to manually choose it!

Tab stops

Are there fields of information you see every time you enter data, but you never use them? You can set up the system to skip those fields! Tab stops allow you to choose which fields the cursor stops at in each transaction entry screen. By setting tab stops, the cursor will only stop at those items you actually use, saving you significant data entry time.

You have enough to do during the day! Let your accounting software help you cut out unnecessary time and shorten your data entry process.

Accounting Software - How to Test your Potential New System

So you’ve done your homework and narrowed down your accounting software search to just a few systems. Now it’s time to test out each system and see which one works best for you. There are several ways to test out your new system. Being aware of what is available will help you choose the right method for you and your business.

View product videos

Watching a video about your potential software is a good way to get to know the system and in general, what it has to offer, including some of its features and the user interface. The downside of product videos is that you can’t search for the features you are seeking, or see how the product works. It is a great way to get a general feel for the system, which can be extremely helpful at the start of your software search.

Attend a live demonstration

Some software companies offer potential users the opportunity to join a demonstration of their software, whether it’s via the internet or in person. This can be a beneficial use of your time, since you can watch an expert navigate through the system, with the ability to ask questions along the way. After all, who is better at showing you the system than a system expert? Attending a demonstration is a must-do for the purchase of any software system!

Fully functioning trial software version

Some software vendors offer a trial version of their software for you to try out. Some software trials are fully functioning versions of the software, and others are more limited. The advantage to using a software trial version is that you can really get a feel for how the system works. However, without some training or at least familiarity with a software system, it’s nearly impossible to get a true picture of how the software really works.

In a perfect world, you would have the option to use all three of the above to make your decision. First, view a product video at the start of your software search, in order to gain familiarity with the system. After that, attend a live demonstration to get an idea if that system (how it works and its feature set) is an appropriate option for you and your business. Using these two options together can be enough to make your decision, but if you still have questions after that, installing the trial software version can really help. Just be sure that when you are in the trial version working, there is somebody at the software vendor company who is willing to help you along the way and answer any questions that may arise during your testing.