Bookkeeping is a necessary component for any type of business, yet it is often neglected or done quickly or improperly because it is a tedious task.  While traditionally bookkeeping was always done by using a paper ledger and pencil, today there are many bookkeeping software options that help to make the process a bit more user friendly.  That being said, the number of choices on the market may cause your head to spin even more than the process of keeping the books itself.  In order to help you sort through all of these options, here a couple of things to consider when choosing bookkeeping software for your small business.

Choosing Bookkeeping Software

The first thing you should consider when looking into bookkeeping software is if it will meet the needs of your specific business.  It is not uncommon for small business owners to select the first bookkeeping software option they come across.  Most people believe all of the programs work the same way and all are suitable for any type of business.  This is most definitely not true.  Unfortunately, most business owners find this out after they have made the purchase and begin setting up the program.

Software Features: Some features of the program may be completely unneeded for their type of business, and features that are needed may be absent. 

User Friendliness: A proper small business bookkeeping program should be completely user friendly and offer plenty of options.  In order to find the best option for you, it may be necessary to try out a few different programs.  Some software companies allow free trial downloads online, so take advantage of these offers.  If you feel as though the program does not meet your needs, move on to another option.

Business Growth: The next thing you should consider is if the program allows for business growth.  If for any reason the program does not allow for an increase in the business size of any kind (such as additional staff, new clients, new services, etc.) you should not start with this program, as this will make your record keeping more difficult in the long run.

Software Features: You should always select a program that will allow you to expand as much as needed, and provides easy migration of records to a more elaborate setup.  Look for a bookkeeping program that has built in transition features that allow for easy transfer of data such as services, customer information, and payment methods.  While you can always purchase a separate “conversion program” at a later date, these programs can be difficult to use and can be quite expensive.  Not only this, but by purchasing a program that has all of these features included from the start, you will save time as well as money in the long run.

Our picks: A couple of popular bookkeeping software options include: Xero, Quickbooks and MYOB.  These programs offer a wide variety of features needed for everyday use (such as payroll, retail information, and day to day record keeping), along with many different setup configurations for various types of businesses.  Both program options also provide businesses with expansion tools and data transfer capabilities for easy transitioning at a later date.

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