You probably know that most SMB (Small and Medium Business) owners aren’t bookkeepers or accountants. In fact, many owners spend too much time on the things that don’t directly make their business money. Let’s look at some of the benefits of online accounting software that allow you to take back your most precious commodities – your time, money, and energy.
1. First and Foremost: They’re Easy-to-Use
Ease and simplicity are the backbone for many online accounting software options. This was born from necessity as many online accounting software products were originally designed to meet the needs of small and medium businesses.
Their dashboards and interfaces have been artfully crafted to help eliminate the need for hours of searching the web for “how to use accounting software” or following an endless playlist of video tutorials. Most tasks are completed in a matter of clicks through layouts that are intuitive and easy-to-navigate.
2. Online Accounting Software is Cost Effective
Two benefits: they’re based in the Cloud – which saves you on install license fees – while many charge just a small monthly or annual fee.
If you’ve heard the term “the Cloud” but aren’t sure what it means, in simple terms, is an application that isn’t installed on your computer. Instead it’s installed on a webserver that you connect to using the internet. Think online banking or checking your e-mail. This feature makes online accounting software cost effective saving you IT or technology maintenance costs. Being Cloud-based means many programs receive updates automatically, and many come with support features connecting you to live support.
The annual or monthly costs of online accounting programs allows SMBs to make just a small purchase instead of an expensive commitment. Since updates are usually provided, there’s no need to go out and get a new CD-ROM to keep up-to-date with technology. You can typically receive a discount for purchasing an annual package, which can drop the monthly price significantly.
Being Cloud-based allows for the user to access their information anytime, and across different devices (computer, tablet, or smartphone). Some online accounting software options sync directly with your bank account or business card accounts, allowing for the SMB owner to see real-time account balances, expenses, income, and other critical aspects – anywhere.
Another convenient feature is the ability to add user accounts and configure access. Not every SMB owner will manage their books themselves, so the flexibility to add users with restricted or full access can be a major selling point when evaluating online accounting software.
4. Fast and Accurate
Their ease-of-use and back end design means online accounting software is fast and accurate - most functions need only a matter of clicks to complete. Using our own Liberty Accounting software, we were able to add expenses, incomes, and other activities in only four to seven clicks and see instant updates in our ledgers. The intelligence of the system ensures that what you’re seeing is accurate, without having to constantly reconcile your work or rely on excel formulas.
5. Speak Your Accountant’s Language
The average price for a part-time accountant in the US is $32 an hour. Now, imagine if you were able to cut your billable hours in half, just by using an online accounting software. How you ask? It’s actually pretty simple, Double Entry Accounting.
There are several different types of accounting systems, however Double Entry Accounting is the current standard in Accountancy. Double Entry Accounting means that for every entry, there’s an opposite entry made to another account. The nice part about online accounting software is that many programs automatically make the opposite entry for you – without you needing to add that entry. What this means for you is that you can input regular, daily financial information without taking it to an accountant or bookkeeper for simple account or book maintenance.
6. Assess Your Financial Health – No Accountant Needed
Since you have access to your business’ financial health in real-time, you can use dynamic reporting to help track a project, or aid in making personnel decisions. Online accounting software can easy provide a business’ profit and loss statement, accounts receivable reports, specific project or account reports, and others that assess the financial health of the business with a click of a mouse. This allows the SMB to plan and forecast with much more accuracy than before.
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