As BAS time approaches, every quarter we get inundated with calls from business owners. They are often tired of trying to do their own returns based on receipts in a shoebox or on their phones’ camera. Their invoices are creations using Word or Excel and they are struggling to match them to payments in their bank account. Does that sound familiar?
If it does and you are looking for a way to get on top of your finances, then bookkeeping software may be just the thing you’re looking for. It can help you to get organised and stay on top of your expenses. With a little training, you can manage your accounts much more easily, even at BAS time!
As a Bookkeeper Company, of course, we use the software every day of the week. We couldn’t do what we do without it. We think we are pretty expert at it. Having had over 30 years’ experience you would hope so right!
Bookkeeping is like so many other ‘tasks!’ You can do it yourself, but you will never do it as well as an expert. But you can get tips from an expert to help you on the way!
There is no doubt that Bookkeeping Software is not only good for keeping track of your cash flow, but it also helps you avoid errors. The most common errors we see are in invoicing, payroll, and record keeping.
Manual bookkeeping that involves massive data collection and calculation is time consuming and gives a lot of room for error. Mistakes in your invoicing and payroll can be tricky and confusing to correct, especially if you are not an expert.
Accounting software can make easy work out of complex payroll. You may have the competent maths skills to work payroll and varying hourly rates etc. out yourself why waste the time? You may have designed an impressive excel sheet to do it for you, but you are still using a lot of time. You could be working on more important things to advance your business and generate revenue!
If you are convinced to have a look at least we are here to give you some key things to consider when deciding yay or nay!
The first thing you’re going to notice is that bookkeeping software is essentially accounting software. There is little difference between the two. So that we don’t confuse you by using various terms we will continue to refer to it as Bookkeeping software! Let’s give you some information that should help you figure out if this is the right way for you to go!
We think that choosing the right software comes down to just three things:
- Integrated features
The really great aspect of bookkeeping software is that you can either use it online which means that you can access it from anywhere! You don’t have to be sitting at your computer. You could be on a beach in Cairns or at a retreat needing access out of hours.
Our recommendation is always Xero and we will discuss in greater why in a moment. It may be that you prefer another platform. It is worth having a chat with your accountant or a bookkeeper who will understand your needs.
The Benefits of Using Software
These benefits will vary across different platforms. Some of the general benefits of transitioning to Bookkeeping Software include:
- Access data easily and from any location
- All templates and systems are usually in place or you get some custom designed by someone who knows what they are doing
- You can look at the info at the same time in real-time
- Data gets backed up to the server
- Can be compatible with other third-party apps or software
- Is cost-effective
- Faster to use a software that has all the templates and reports all ready to go and compiled with a click of a button
- Accurate if correct information is entered
- Improves productivity by streamlining invoicing and payroll processes
- Helps businesses manage their cash flow
- Allows business owners to perform financial analysis
- Helps strategic planning
Key Features to Expect
The following features are fairly customary across software platforms. These are the standard when it comes to bookkeeping software. This will help you when you are ready to streamline your business financial documentation processes.
A Ledger is a book which has all the information on debits and credits of a business. While some like to create this document in an excel file, your chosen software will have a ledger feature to keep everything in one place. No more spreadsheet!
- The ability to integrate billing features with inventory storing
- A display of accounts receivable and accounts payable
- High-security features to keep data secure
- Time tracking for payroll or single touch payroll
- Business expense tracker
- Direct banking or the ability to handle many accounts
- Automatic payments for wages and other bills
- Tax calculations
A Few More Things to Consider
As mentioned, our preferred application is called Xero. We are finding many bookkeepers and accountants are choosing Xero over every other option.
Before making your decision, you should consider the following questions:
- Will it grow with you if your company starts to expand?
- Is support provided?
- Is it user friendly?
- Does it have multi-user access, and can other external people access it too?
- Is it compatible with other systems or software that could be integrated?
- How the data and reports easy to read?
- Does it have varying types of reports available?
- Is it expensive?
- Is it cloud-based meaning you have access all the time, where ever you are?
- Is there mobile access?
- Is there training available?
- Is it suitable for multiple currencies?
- Is CRM integration possible?
Xero is just about the gold standard when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting software. That is why as bookkeepers we recommend it above all others. It was one of the first to go completely cloud-based, making it easy to access through any browser. There’s honestly not a lot Xero can’t do when it comes to managing finances for your business. Some of the very few cons of Xero are:
- No live support provisions
- No customer or vendor portals
- No ability to do quarterly taxes.
We would be happy to offer help in this. We can work with you to understand how this software package works and even set it up so that you can the most benefit from it.
Get Extra Support
Settling on the right Bookkeeping Software for you and your business can be tough. We can make it easier by talking you through how it can help in your particular circumstances.
We can set it up for you and even offer training. There is online training, webinar training, workshops and one to one training. You will be surprised how adept you can become in a very short time.
If you’ve decided software just isn’t for you, one of our qualified bookkeepers can step in to assist you with your financial record keeping. We will help with all your compliance requirements and can do as little or as much as you would like. Please contact Liz Peacock by emailing her or telephone 0405 801 119.