4 Top Tips for Choosing the Right Accounting Software for Your Business

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There are a lot different accounting software out there to help you keep tracking of your accounting and making sure that you’re able to find the details you need, when you need them.
But knowing which software to choose, and whether or not it’s right for your needs can be difficult, choosing the right software can make a huge difference in the daily running of your business, and even the effectiveness and profitability of the company, and with digitally based accounting becoming the standard, especially with tax and reporting, getting it right is more important than ever.
We’ve put together some questions you should be asking of your software, and our top tips – so you can make informed decisions that save you time, effort, money, and stress.

1. What are Your Business Needs and Does the Accounting Software Cover Them?

You need to look at what you’re doing in your business, and ask yourself – does this software have the capability to cover what I need to use it for, and is it saving me time and effort to use it?
Depending on the size and scale of your needs, you need to look for a program that integrates with your needs (such as mobile working if you’re not generally working from an office space), ranging from the basics such as producing statutory accounts, tax returns, and spreadsheets, to the more complex such as group consolidation, or dealing with intangible assets.
You should choose a program that meets your immediate needs, but also offers flexibility and the additional service you’ll need as your business grows.

2. Does the Software Provide the Reports You Need, and Is It Compatible with Official Channels?

With the rollout of Making Tax Digital still underway, and applying to wider groups than before, it’s important to have your essential documents in a format that is readable, understandable, and compatible with official channels such as HMRC – you don’t want to spend all that time inputting your data, only to find that the format isn’t recognised by the tax office, and you then have to transcribe it all into another program or enter it manually!
You should also think about the reports that the software is capable of generating. If you’re looking to expand, and the bank, for example, ask you to provide a statement of your incomings, outgoings, and assets – using a program that can prepare these quickly and easily is a far more effective use of your time, than manually scouring your records.

3. Does the Software Have Compliance Built In?

HMRC doesn’t specifically say what format your accounts should be in – as long as they’re complete, accurate, and readable – then it’s acceptable. However, to make use of their digital and online services, not every format is compatible or complies with their regulations for the data that’s required to be provided.
For some self-employed individuals, it’s a requirement to file online using HMRC approved accounting software – so picking one that complies with these regulations makes more sense than having to spend time altering your files to fit.

4. Does it Allow You to Manage Everything in One Place, and If Not – Does it Work with Your Other Software?

When making your decisions, you need to think about how many people are going to be accessing the software, whether it’s usable in all different areas of your accounts, and whether it has the functionality to split your record keeping into different clients or accounts as you require.
If the program doesn’t have full functionality, and you’re using a mix of different software, you also need to look at whether they support integration with one another, and if the data from one program can be transferred across to another one, without having to make huge changes or waste time on adjusting settings and permissions.
We know how important it is to get your accounts done consistently and correctly, with the minimum amount of hassle, which is why we work in partnerships with Pandle, QuickBooks, Receipt Bank, Sage, Satago, and Xero Accountant, providing our clients with a range of different software options that range in suitability from small businesses and sole traders to large companies and complex arrangements.
Get in touch with one of our experts today and discover how we can help you choose the best software for your business needs, and ensure that you’re complying with legal obligations, spending less time on frustrating forms, and managing your accounts with ease.

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