So you have decided to take the plunge, you want to follow your dream of becoming a successful business entrepreneur, you have the knowledge of your chosen product, the contacts and the funds to get started, just one thing is getting in your way to becoming the next Peter Jones or Deborah Meaden and that’s your books. Where do you start? Who can you talk to? How much is this all going to cost you to get set up? Right now your mind will be all over the place and it can be a little daunting but you need not fear as there is a lot of help available to you.

Accounting can be the most difficult part of running a small business, with expense-tracking and tax calculations both necessary evils. No wonder then that almost half of small businesses rate accounting as their least favourite task.

Even the smallest business will benefit from using accounting software rather than spreadsheets or a paper-based system. Not only does it make staying on top your company finances easier, but it also enables you to prepare and submit your tax and VAT returns faster and with the government rolling out its ‘Making Tax Digital’ initiative, having a software package has never been more important, But, with so many packages on the market, how do you choose one that’s right for your business?

Essentially all the best accounting software packages are designed to help you manage expenses and income, send invoices and generate financial reports about your business. However, there are specific features you may want look out for. Each package will include a variety of features, and most will offer multiple pricing plans to choose from which will also vary by feature, number of users or other factors.

Here are three things to keep in mind when selecting accounting software for your business:

  • Costs. Would you prefer an inexpensive, basic software package or an application that costs a little more but includes many extra features?
  • Usability. How many users will need to access the software? Do you prefer a cloud based system that will allow you to work from anywhere or desktop software? Do you need a mobile app for the software and if so what capabilities do you need the app to have?
  • Features. What do you need the accounting software to do? Do you need both accounts receivable and payable tools? Do you need to have specific reports generated? Do you need it to track your inventory? Will you need it to include other features like time tracking, project management and/or payroll?

Most competent accountants will be able to use any accounting software to help with you with your records, but they will usually have a preference so before you commit to any one package have a talk with your accountant, after all they know your business so they will be well placed to offer advice on the best accounting software that will suit your needs.

For more information and advice call Vincent & Co on 01803 500500 and speak to a member of our knowledgeable team.

This article was written by Matt Rook of Vincent & Co.