Small Business Accounting in the Cloud

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It seems that every software package that was once taking up space on our computers, is now available in the Cloud. This has several benefits. Immediate upgrades (at no additional costs), quicker fixes to bugs, better security, access from anywhere, at anytime and you have the flexibility to pay monthly or annually. Of course, it does require a good Internet connection and it may not be a good fit for advanced functions with inventory management, purchase control or CRM solutions. Here are some of the higher-ranking small business accounting software solutions.

QuickBooks: Used for years as resident software, it is now available online starting at $10 per month or for resident software between $225 – $1000 depending on number of users and advanced functions. This software is nearly synonymous with small business accounting, bookkeeping, invoicing, billing and payroll. Now it integrates with a variety of 3rd party apps including PayPal, LivePlan, Square, Constant Contact and many others. It works with both PC and Mac platforms and most mobile devices.

Xero: This Cloud-based solution for small business accounting is available for PCs, Macs and mobile devices. Reconcile accounts while on the go; invoice, reconcile your bank accounts, handle purchase orders and payroll and expenses. Apps and add-ons that integrate include PayPal, Square, Bill, Stripe and many others. The small business version is just $9 per month, however this only allows 5 invoices per month. Most customers will be at levels between $30 and $70 per month.

Cheqbook: For new businesses and freelancers, this is a basic bookkeeping and accounting solution (beginners). Monthly prices for this Cloud solution begin at $10 a month and can go up to $75 per month depending on the number of users and functionality required. Download transactions from financial institutions, send invoices, accept payments, print multiple reports, and export data to your small business accountant for further reconciliation, analysis, payroll or tax time.

FreshBooks: This Cloud solution includes multi-currency invoicing, imports expenses, tracks expenses by clients and can even send friendly “reminders” to your customers with outstanding invoices. It provides you with a solution to quickly track billable hours, team time tracking and allows different projects to have different rates. Exporting to Quickbooks is a snap, saving you and your accountant plenty of time and frustration each month.

These software programs are not mentioned to encourage small business owners to navigate away from their accountant; quite the opposite actually. Accountants that focus on small businesses have the expertise and insight required to help businesses succeed. Payroll, financial planning, sales tax returns, IRS returns, etc. need not just a software program but the knowledgeable eye of a professional accountant. These or other small business accounting software programs should be used in tandem with an accountant’s expertise for the best financial health of your small business.

What all of these software programs lack, is financial knowledge, economic trends and your personal financial goals for your business. These programs can provide insight but they will also help you during tax time. A few of the programs mentioned above allow for in app photos of receipts, that are immediately entered into the system; think of how much time that will save you at the end of the year!

If you are interested in learning more about why you should have an accountant for your small business, please call Barry Bandler Accounting and Tax Services at 561-470-9396 today.

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