Time is money in businesses, and small businesses typically experience the paucity of both these precious resources. Beyond this, accounting is the lifeblood of any enterprise, given that it deals with the accurate and adequate management of money without which, no business can be expected to flourish.
Neglecting this all-important facet is more than likely to spell doom for any business.
Accounting’s primary purpose is to record and disseminate financial transactions in an understandable format that helps owners (and financial expert) ascertain their businesses financial standing. In the modern era, accounting serves the following purposes:
- Derives profit and loss
- Analysis and interpreting of financial statements
- Collects economic and statistical data
- Financial planning
- Formulates financial principles
- Forecasts economic estimates
- Determines profitability
- Expert and actionable insights
As the owner of a small business or a startup, hiring the services of a professional accounting firm oftentimes becomes a tedious and expensive process, as these businesses don’t have the luxury of splurging in massive budgets. They need to make the most of their existing resources to grow their businesses without making indiscreet expenditures.
Against this backdrop, automated software that performs its task efficiently at a breakneck speed without user intervention becomes indispensable. These days, it is not uncommon to find many companies offering different types of accounting programs through their websites.
While a few of them do offer free online accounting software, not all of them entail same degree of performance. Therefore, it becomes necessary to choose a program that addresses your accounting tasks efficaciously without burning a hole in your pocket.
Selecting an appropriate program
When searching online for accounting software for small business, you will find two distinctive types of programs.
- A conventional program that you are required to download and install on your computer; and
- Cloud based software.
A cloud based accounting program is a hands-down winner any day as it lets you access your account from anywhere as long as you have a device – be it a desktop, laptop, tablet, or a smartphone connected to the internet.
Points to ponder
Before zeroing in on any small business-centric accounting software, you may want to ascertain whether it is suited to meet your firm’s requirements and is user-friendly.
Small businesses need accounting software that can:
- Create and send invoices seamlessly
- Create estimates
- Track payments
- Accommodate delayed/ recurring billing
- Print checks
- Track expenses
- Generate and email reports
- Connect multiple users in different locations
- Set different permission levels for different users
- Has an easy learning curve so that you can start using it quickly
Free versus paid
Several cloud based accounting applications offer free and paid versions of their program. While the free versions do provide the basics, they do not have advanced features like setting up accounts and advanced access for other users.
Your best bet is to sign up for a free account with a few such online accounting applications. Most of them allow you to try their software free of cost for a specific period.
Zenscale is one such pioneer, a leader of the pack in the online accounting. Apart from being future-ready and technologically advanced, the price of their program is pocket friendly – which makes it a natural fit for all types of businesses.