How to Set Up the Accounting Software for a Small Business
The accounting process is an integral part of keeping the business up and running. Having the detailed information on your money flow helps to understand the nature of both internal and external transactions.
Fortunately, as modern technologies develop, we receive more and more opportunities to automate the accounting process with computers. A lot of software suppliers provide a broad range of products for businesses of any scale.
Small business accounting has its specifics and requires following some successive steps to build an efficient system. Let's find out how to set up the accounting software for a small business in these 6 steps:
Assess Your Business Requirements
You should choose the software provider depending on your business structure, scale, platform, and accounting system budget. Let's discover the most substantial point to bear in mind.
Business Platform Integration
If you run an eCommerce business and use a web platform for it, it's essential to integrate your accounting program with the platform. This will significantly reduce the time and effort you spend on the bookkeeping.
Small business is an extensive concept, and different entrepreneurs operate with different business net worth. Moreover, competing service suppliers offer different software features, such as regular backups, summary reports and other options you may find necessary to satisfy your business needs.
Accounting Software Budget
Considering the scale of your enterprise, the cost of automated bookkeeping can be an issue as well. Decide how much your company is ready to invest in accounting. However, we believe that most accounting and invoicing software for small business has an affordable price tag and pays off really fast.
After all, there are several decent free-of-charge solutions to start from. And don't forget about free trials offered by the majority of paid-for programs to verify the efficiency of their functionality.
For example, if your small company includes 10 or fewer employees, you may find the Wave Accounting the best solution with unlimited invoicing, as this software supplier offers a free-of-charge application.
On the other hand, if you need to add up to 50 contacts and not mind spending a couple of bucks per month, you can choose Zoho Books. It's a truly budget-friendly and powerful bookkeeping software.
There are, however, other accounting software programs for small business. Your choice should always be a comprehensive and reasonable decision based on the aforementioned aspects.
Set Up the Configuration of Your Accounting Software
Now that you have chosen the suitable small business accounting software, it's time to configure it!
At the very beginning, it's always required to fill in the additional information about the company (name, address, other contacts). After you have completed this formal step, you can start setting up your program. We believe that spending some time exploring the functionality and options your software provides is totally worth it.
It's vital to add financial information about your enterprise, set tax rates, and templates for invoices. The cutting-edge accounting software allows small businesses to add a payment gateway to let the businesses accept payments for invoices online.
What is more important, every bookkeeping program has a feature for adding new users and setting up the payrolls for employees in the "Settings" section. As you can see, digging into the settings from the start is not an option but a strict requirement. It will lead to tremendous losses later if you don't customize the software the way you should.
Connect the Accounting System to your Bank Account
You may need to link a banking account to your accounting software. It's a convenient way to track and record all the transaction via your bank. This is where this feature can be hidden in your interface:
- Settings section;
- Expense tracking;
If you are still unable to find the information about the linking process, feel free to contact your software provider to figure this out.
Integrate the Applications You Use
As we've previously discussed, it's essential to check the accounting software for the needed integration possibility. Modern UI/UX approaches of software suppliers make an integration a piece of cake, even for the beginner.
All you have to do is to find an integrating feature on the dashboard or, once again, in the "Settings" section. That's it! Connecting the external applications sounds more complicated than it actually is!
Import Your Existing Data into Your Business Accounting Software
You have saved the necessary settings and connected the application you use, it's time to impart the data you have in your previous accounting software (if you are migrating to a new platform) or another source.
The most significant aspect to keep in mind is the guidelines for the data import that the software supplier has published. This is a set of strict rules and formats the program accepts. You won't be able to import a random file with your transaction records.
Depending on your business specifics, the information you need to import includes but is not limited to the following:
- Chart of Accounts (a list in the accounting system for every single account in it).
If you don't have structured data to import into your bookkeeping program, the majority of software providers offer a formatted template for data so you can fill it with yours. In spite of the common opinion that it's a long and tiring process, the initial data import saves you hours because you don't have to manually add every single record later.
Refine Your Accounting Software
Every decent small business accounting program offers a range of "additional functionality" - unnecessary yet useful features for managing your bookkeeping even more convenient.
These are the options that are often deactivated or lowered by default but can be launched manually from settings:
- Project time tracking;
- Backup frequency;
- Project management;
- Additional automation features.
Make sure to implement the full power of the product you use. No genius software developer can compensate for the user’s lack of attention and zero desire to know the program better.
The Bottom Line
The modern accounting software is a convenient and beneficial solution for small businesses to keep track of their income and expenses. Cutting-edge interface approaches make it a no-brainer to set up these products and use them with maximum efficiency.
The greatest thing about this software type is that it doesn't require involving any accountants: you can configure and maintain these pieces of modern technology by yourself.
One more thing to remember is that you should feel free to contact the software supplier support about any issues you encounter with the program. These people guarantee you stable access to the data and flawless performance, and they have to keep their promises.
Double-check the software you are going to use, read the user guidelines and manuals for the program. Be confident and passionate. Bear in mind that a thriving business of yours is the only motivation you need!