The end of the financial year is here again and it is time to consolidate the accounts. Do you have an easy system in place for this or use small business accounting software or do you sit tearing your hair out and losing sleep over not being able to balance the books?
If the latter, what are your options? Personally I believe having an accountant is crucial to any business. Or should I say a good accountant. My accounts aren’t that difficult and I could quite easily do them myself but I have found that my accountant will always, without fail, find something that will save me money on my tax bill that I hadn’t thought of which pays for her fee instantly.
You can then look at getting a bookkeeper in to reconcile the accounts at the end of each month but this is where I think money can be better spent (sorry to any bookkeepers out there and do correct me if I am wrong!).
I believe in the power of automation to save time, money and stress. And this is where small business accounting software comes into its own. Yes, you can use software to replace your accountant but my personal preference is to use it in conjunction with my accountant to make their life easier (and their bill lower!).
There are some fantastic software options on the market today which will make balancing the books so simple and take literally minutes once you get to grips how to use them.
What can small business accounting software do for you?
These packages can take care of all the admin for you including expenses, payroll, and time tracking, to estimates and invoices.
They can help you keep track of your cash flow, see how much profit you are making, allow people to pay you online and send out automatic reminders to people who owe you money.
They will allow you to keep an eye on how much tax you owe and when it’s due. And some even file your returns including VAT, RTI and Self-Assessment directly to HMRC on your behalf if you are not using an accountant.
Many software options have a free service but these are usually only up to a very small number of clients and also do not include many of the more advanced features so the paid for versions are always better.
Try before you buy
Before you go down the route of using a paid for service, take up a free trial so you can have some time to play with the system and make sure it does everything you want it to and that you can navigate your way around easily and understand the system.
Don’t just go with the first option you come across but review a number of options by talking to other people, particularly those in your industry that may have some quirks that need addressing. Use online resources to read reviews and make sure you compare prices.
Below are a number of different financial software solutions for you to have a look at. There will many more out there but this is a small selection to consider.
FreeAgent Package prices start at £19.99 + vat PCM. Hearing lots of good things about this package and just about to switch to it myself.
Freshbooks A free option for just one client. Package prices start at $19.99 PCM
Kashflow Pricing starts from £5 + vat PCM for sole traders. Has add-on features such as CRM.
Quickbooks Pricing starts from £9 PCM. A simple calculator to see which package is best for your business.
Xero Pricing starts at £9 PCM for up to 5 invoices. Lots of add-on features
So have a look at some of these small business accounting software options and please give your own review on which you prefer and why in the comments box below or on The Small Business Kit Facebook page.