One of the most important decisions a small business needs to make is your choice of accounting software.
Some small business owners make the mistake of purchasing accounting software beyond their business needs and level of accounting skill. This can lead to considerable frustration and records that amount to nothing more than a ‘computerised shoebox’.
With so many software options available it is easy to become confused, and they range in functionality and sophistication with a price tag to match. To assist you we provide the following guidelines:
If you don’t understand double entry accounting (i.e. debits, credits and journal entries) then avoid sophisticated accounting software programs. If you need to use such a program then consider a training course.
Don’t buy software beyond your business needs. If you don’t need inventory or a fully integrated general ledger system don’t waste your valuable dollars on something you don’t need.
Let’s briefly have a look at one of the simplest and most popular accounting software programs in Australia, Cashflow Manager.
If you simply need a ‘cashbook’ program to track your receipts, payments and GST we recommend Cashflow Manager. It looks and operates like a manual cashbook complete with a spreadsheet or column layout and it requires no understanding of accounting, debits, credits or journal entries. At around $297 it represents excellent value for money.
If you have internet banking you can download your bank statements and import the data to save even more time. You can have multiple bank accounts in a single business and the comprehensive reports explain your business results and make preparation of your BAS very easy.
MYOB and QuickBooks and Xero are also very popular programs and could be ideal if your business needs a full general ledger or point of sale solution. They offer a range of packages each with different features.
The MYOB product range stretches from Business Basics to powerful multi-user products such as Premier and Enterprise. Business Basics gives you the ability to track job costings and profitability, prepare your BAS and automatically reconcile your accounts. You can also customise the content and look of reports to suit the needs of your business. Other packages in their extensive product range include Accounting Plus, Retail Ready and Retail Manager.
Similarly, QuickBooks offers an extensive range of programs including general ledger, invoicing, basic stock control and a report generator. QuickBooks EasyStart is their entry level program and although the word ‘easy’ is part of the product name you will need to have some basic bookkeeping or accounting knowledge to use the program. Their product range includes Quickbooks Accounting, Plus, Pro, Premier, Retail Point of Sale and Retail Starter Kit.
Xero software is a cloud based package which offers different pricing based on your business. It includes invoicing , bank reconciliations, payroll, inventory and can be accessed on mobile devices as well as from any PC via the internet.
If you do not want to do the bookkeeping yourself there are other options we can also assist you with. We offer bookkeeping services here at Miranda Accounting Services and are in partnership in an associated business solely focused on managing you bookkeeping needs.
We can assist you to obtain the right software for your business and we urge you to contact us regarding your choice of accounting software because the wrong choice can prove both frustrating and costly in the long term.