Small business owners are a notoriously hardworking group. No matter the nature of the company, the entrepreneur at the helm has to wear many hats as they navigate the demands of today’s fast-paced market. It’s certainly not uncommon for small business owners to work more hours than the 40 defined by a “typical,” full-time workweek.
Some experts advise to work smarter, not harder. What does this mean for small business entrepreneurs? Using technology to outsource certain tasks can be a lifesaver, as it frees up extra time and energy in the workweek without sacrificing the service in question — like accounting, for instance.
There’s a plethora of small business accounting software options on the market today. Which one is best for your business? Here are three key elements to consider.
Features Befitting Your Business
The biggest determiner of which small business accounting tool is right for your company will be the features your firm wants and needs. When you start shopping around to get a sense of the features available, you may even feel overwhelmed by all the different options.
According to The Balance Small Business, some popular features include:
- Inventory management
- Sales reporting
- Customer relationship management
- Online store support
- Tax preparation
And, of course, some software programs can be broadly applied to most small businesses, while others are tailored toward the needs of more niche industries. The point is that accounting software for small business has progressed far beyond offering basic ledgers and budgets; it is now an option for many financial and organizational tasks.
Budget-Friendly Price Tag
If price were no object, it would be a no-brainer to go for the most feature-rich software package available. However, how well a tool fits your company’s budget is one of the largest considerations, especially for small businesses just getting started. The general rule of thumb is, of course, that the more features a software offers the heftier the price tag tends to become.
The good news is that there are many low-cost or even free versions of software for fledgling organizations. The challenge then becomes trying to get as many useful features as possible for the most reasonable cost — whatever that looks like for your personalized budget.
Strong User Experience
It’s also imperative to consider who exactly will be using this software. Are you a sole proprietor running a one-person show? Do you have a small team of employees who may need to access metrics, like sales tracking and customer data, from your accounting software? Will a wider range of approved users need secure access to the program from a variety of remote devices? If your company grows rapidly over the course of months or years, will the software be able to scale up accordingly?
As Business News Daily writes, thinking about who will be using the software and how they will use it will help you answer questions such as: Should you go with a desktop-based program or a cloud-based one? Would you benefit from choosing software with a mobile app for flexible usage on the go?
Many organizations and experts have compiled lists of what they feel to be the best small business accounting software out there — and these lists are absolutely useful to peruse. However, what works amazingly for one firm may fall short for another.
Determining which software is truly best for your company and your company alone is a matter of analyzing its features, price point and user experience. When in doubt, consult your accountant on what they believe would be advantageous for your specific organization.