How to Select the Right Online Accounting Software for You
We are seeing a change underway in how small business entrepreneurs and freelancers opt for the products and services that help them grow and work proactively. This is significantly different than what used to be the case in a small business. I remember once at Welcome Networks, we had to send a technician to a small business office to train users how to scan to a folder from an MFP printer. The issue was that users could not figure out that they needed to select their name from the address books configured on the scanner and they were just choosing the “Frequently Use” container; a simple task, but pretty hard for a novice.
The new generation is different and they like things that are mobile, offer flexibility, and can get the job done quickly. There are many online accounting solutions that are repackaged from the business logic of decades ago. Things have changed and this is what you should look for in an accounting solution for your small business.
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Accounting Software should work for you to increase your cash flow
The days of printing and mailing an invoice are gone. Today, most modern accounting software allows you to send invoices online so that you can track things like whether your customer has viewed the invoice. Online invoicing also helps you in getting paid on time because you can collect payments right from the invoice page. The most common payment options are PayPal or credit card and the common ongoing rate is 2.9% + 30¢ per successful credit card charge. Though online payments can be turned off in Xero, I would highly recommend that you turn it on. Our research indicates that most invoices with online payments enabled are being paid within 2 business days compared to 2 to 3 weeks when paid by check. Things like sending late payment reminders and live bank feeds are a must to ensure you get paid fast and are on top of your finances. Xero fetches live bank feeds from more than 17,000 banks and credit unions all around the world.
Clarity for you and your clients
I have seen software where it seems like you need a Ph.D. to figure out the breakup of your invoice. Can you enter and display discounts clearly on your invoices? If you charge taxes and you deal with multiple taxes, can you figure out with one click how much sales tax you owe to the government? If you have to jump through 3 pages to find all the critical information, there is something wrong with the software you are evaluating and it is probably not the one for you.
Ease of convenience
Many old solutions are bloated with features that you will rarely use. Think about the core features you really need: you need online invoicing and online payments, what else? Think about what you need and what is a waste of your hard earned money. You may end up paying close to $50 a month for features that you will never use. Being smart and visionary about your business will help in putting hard earned cash back in your business.
Better connection to an Accountant
No business would become a great business without a great accountant at their side. There are things like bank reconciliations, making financial statements, and information needed to file personal or corporate taxes where access to an accountant can be the difference between the success and death of your business. Many accounting solutions cut corners and leave you stranded when you need to dig deeper to understand your business. If you are using ForwardAI, there are multiple important financial reports for you to utilize; invite your accountant for help when you need it.
Think about what’s important for you. ForwardAI Predict has a logical sequence of defined workflows. Let us look at the invoice. First you can create an invoice and keep the draft and when you’re ready, approve it and send it off to a customer and your customer can make their payment online or offline. For some of you, this workflow can be just as simple as creating, approving, and sending with one click or maybe not sending it at all because you already have done the work and just need to enter payment details. Understanding and implementing your business goals in your online accounting software will lead to growth and a better future for your business.