Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Do You Need Accounting Software?

If your bookkeeper spends Saturdays in the office trying to keep up with paychecks and taxes and tax code updates and outstanding invoices, you know what?—you need accounting software.

If someone came to your office and asked to see your accounting system, what would you show them?

If you haven't been using accounting software, it would probably be going something like this: You'd turn to your PC and fire up some Excel spreadsheets and Word documents. Pull open a drawer and grab some invoices and purchase orders that need processing. You might nod your head toward a calculator and a label printer, and point out your checkbook and envelopes. There are sticky notes on your monitor, one from an employee who wants to change her income tax withholding, another from a vendor wanting to check on a payment, and another from a customer checking on an order.

If you have coworkers, that same scene more than likely would be duplicated at their desks.

What if your visitor asked you for a current list of your customers? Quick—how many widgets did you sell last month? How many are left in inventory? Which of your employees are on a health-care plan? What was your profit or loss from last quarter? Whom do you buy widgets from, and what are your credit terms?

In the time it's bound to have taken you to accomplish all of this, you could have set up and started using small business accounting software. Because it sounds as if you need it.

A Place for Everything
There are three major areas of benefit in using accounting software if you have a small business, and lots of little ones. Taken together, they mean you're sure to save time and even money—and gain time to concentrate on growing your business.

Customers. That list of customers you're trying to maintain as a Word document or in Outlook or a Rolodex or—say it ain't so—on paper? That list needs to be in a database designed for finances. Accounting software contains record formats that let you type in—or sometimes import—relevant details, things like contact information, credit terms and limits, credit card numbers, and price levels. You can usually set up custom fields to track any additional information you'd like to. And sometimes customer records can also contain descriptions of jobs you're working on for that company; they may even display a history of your transactions with them.

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1 comment:

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