Why and How to Seriously Consider an Automated Accounting System

Posted by Joseph Himy

“The price of anything is the amount of life you pay for it,” the great American author Henry David Thoreau once said (paraphrasing from Walden, 1845). By using accounting software to automate and simplify your accounting processes, you can balance the books faster and get back to what really matters: running your business. You need a program that helps you accomplish your daily accounting tasks, such as recording payments, tracking expenses, invoicing customers and reconciling transactions—and one that also generates the reports you need to effectively analyze your business’s performance.

The good news is that an automated accounting system can help you do all of the above, and more!

Specifically, it can help you and your team:

  • Save time
  • Get organized
  • Save money (by cutting down on billable hours from your accountant)
  • Keep all your data in one easily accessible spot, and make backups easy
  • Access critical information with just a few keystrokes
  • Get a clear picture of your business’s health
  • More effectively control your finances
  • Benefit from the “anywhere, anytime” mobility enabled by the cloud
  • Gain valuable business insights for better informed decisions
  • File your taxes more easily

Choosing the best accounting software for your business is no small task, and it’s even more challenging if you lack accounting or IT expertise. It is also important to consider that even though accounting software can make the task of keeping books easier, it still requires a certain amount of financial literacy.

Here are six things to keep in mind when selecting accounting software for your business:

1. Look for true accounting features.

Some so-called “accounting” solutions actually aren’t really full-featured accounting tools at all. Instead, you might receive an app with only invoicing capabilities, or perhaps with some light bookkeeping capabilities.

A true accounting software system should provide or accommodate:

  • Double-entry accounting
  • Chart of accounts
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Accounting reports
  • Financial Statements

And then there are an abundance of add-on features (you’ll find a comprehensive list here. Do you want to access the software remotely, accept payments online, or integrate the accounting software with your ecommerce or tax software? Is a dashboard overview important to you? There’s a feature for that!

2. Consider cloud applications.

Cloud applications can be accessed from any location with a broadband Internet connection, and you don’t need to purchase software licenses or servers to run them. The installation of upgrades and patches is done on the server end, so you and your IT staff don’t need to worry about keeping the software up to date.

Cloud applications can be accessed using a laptop, a tablet, or even from your smartphone.

Another plus: your records are kept secure at a data center far from the physical location of your business, so they are safe and secure in the event of a local disaster or other disruptive event.

3. Keep your budget in mind.

There is business accounting software available to suit all budgets. Less feature-rich or “introductory” versions may be downloaded for free or bought off the shelf at a lower price.

If you want something specific to your industry or customized for your company, expect to pay more—but the resulting operational and managerial value may be worth it.

4. Reliable company.

While features and pricing are key factors on the forefront of most business owners’ minds, reliability is an often overlooked factor that is arguably even more important. Be absolutely sure that the company you choose is reliable and that your data is secure. This is particularly important if you opt for cloud-based software.

5. Ease of use.

You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive, so don’t sign away your soul to an automated accounting solution before testing it out first. Almost all software companies offer a free trial. Take advantage of it. That’s the only way you will find out if you actually like the software, and if it’s a viable option for your business.

6. Get help from your accountant or qualified consultant.

Your accountant may prefer that you choose an application that is compatible with their own system. Every business is different; your accountant is in the best position to guide you.

Your accountant or consultant may even be able to help you set up the software you choose. That’s just one of many services CFO Squad can provide.

How we can help.

CFO Squad has begun implementing software automation of accounting services. We’ve adopted solutions from Sage Impact, a leading provider of accounting automation, remote access and reporting tools. We use these systems to empower our virtual CFO services and remote accounting capabilities.

What does this mean for our clients? Closer integration and more options—and with greater efficiency than ever before.

We started with our healthcare clients, with great success. We will soon extend this integrated service to our SaaS and software industry clients—and then to a broader range of service industries.

How can we help you?

If you’re in a fast-moving, distributed, service-providing industry that depends on agility, flexible business processes and real-time analytics, you may be a great fit for a financial services automation solution.

Would you like to take advantage of the considerable managerial benefits that benefits that can be gained from an automated accounting system?

Bottom line: We can answer all your questions and help you every step of the way. Contact us today at jhimy@cfosquad.com.