Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The good news is that today's accounting software is so user-friendly that most people can learn to use it.
Good news for businesses, that is…maybe not so good for accounting firms. You can save significant money and retain better control of your budget by keeping it in-house, and there are plenty of software programs that allow you to do it effectively. Even if you're not a bean counter by nature, an accounting software package can keep the business on track and on budget by organizing your finances, tracking invoices, payments, and payroll, and keeping a running total of cash on hand. A good program will generate computer checks on cue and report discrepancies – which can prevent human error, like duplicate checks, that can wind up costing money and time. If you outsource your bookkeeping, one of these programs can still be beneficial to track all the information an accounting firm requires, and it also gives you an in-house paper trail, making it easier to find any discrepancy or errors. Some business owners take it a step further with more sophisticated business intelligence software that integrates data from various sources to track sales, inventory, and accounting to deliver comprehensive reports and analysis. Business intelligence software is designed to help business owners determine what drives profitability and where the weaknesses in the business plan are hiding. Armed with that kind of information, a savvy business owner can concentrate on business strengths and maximize profits while pinpointing programs with poor ROI (return on investment). Not so long ago, the cost of these kinds of programs were astronomical, and only huge businesses with deep pockets could afford them. In addition, they required a lot of specialized training. But the same as any new technology, the price has dropped so drastically that it's affordable for even the smallest mom-and-pop shop now. The latest technology is so ubiquitous that a small business owner can take his office anywhere. You might even want to look into cloud computing, an economical solution that allows you to access office data from almost any device. You aren't required to own a copy of the software and only pay for the service. The advantage to all this technology is a huge savings in time and worry. Software programs won't make an accounting error, forget to pay the electric bill, or cut a check to a supplier who was paid last week. Keeping track of expenses goes from a lengthy process with calculator in hand (one step above Bob Cratchet accounting by hand), to a few minutes a day and years of history at your disposal. Technology is the answer for efficient business management, from computer check generations to tracking yearly payroll for tax purposes, it's really the only way to go.