One of the main reasons businesses fail is because there isn’t a good bookkeeping system in place that would provide warning signs the business could run out of cash. When searching for the best financial accounting software, look for solutions that are affordable and easy to use and time-saving features such as automated entries, invoicing, bill payments, expense reports, financial reports and reconciliations. Additionally, look for software that makes it simple to perform advanced tasks, such as built-in financial reports and data syncing, for instance, with point of sale (POS) systems and bank accounts.
What to consider when choosing financial accounting software
Every business will have different requirements. When choosing your financial accounting software consider the following:
1. Does the system calculate all payroll requirements (PAYE, annual leave, long service leave etc.)?
2. Does the system track stock, work in progress, orders, jobs and other task management requirements?
3. Will the system be able to handle multiple bank accounts?
4. Does the system need to handle foreign currency?
5. Does the system track separate financial records for each business or department within the business?
Financial Accounting Software options
There are many software packages on the market that allow business managers to successfully control records without an accounting degree. Some of them, such as Free Accounting software leads, have no cost. Some commonly used accounting systems used by small businesses are:
• Reckon One
• Cashflow manager
Here are some of the features financial accounting software should offer to help you save time and better manage your finances:
• Basic accounting tasks. Most small businesses can make do with accounting software that offers basic functions like invoicing (both by email and snail mail), income and expense tracking, financial report generation, and client and vendor management.
• Automation. Things like automatic billing, recurring payments, past-due notifications and other automated processes save you time because you will not have to manually do them yourself.
• Quote and estimate creation. Use customized, premade templates to create quotes and estimates for clients; then automatically convert them into invoices.
• Tax preparation. Make both your life and your accountant's life easier with accounting software that can help you with your taxes. Features include automatic tax calculations, multiple tax rates and tax reporting, and the ability to instantly email all necessary data and files to your accountant at the click of a button.
• Multiuser access. Most accounting software products give access to multiple users (e.g., you and your accountant), so you don't have to do everything on your own.
Accounting software also offers a wide range of additional benefits for small businesses, simply because it makes it easier to run a business. There are numerous financial accounting training programs available across South Africa. If you would like to find out more, visit The Skills Portal for more information.