If you’re a startup company or newly formed small business, odds are that you are not able to afford an on-staff Accountant or CPA to help you conduct all of your financial and accounting needs just yet. Accounting and financial management can be very tedious work and sometimes can become a full time job for the business owner if not managed correctly.
Manually keeping track of all of your business income and expenses can be cumbersome and time consuming depending upon sales volume and compliance requirements. As a business owner you want your primary focus to be on business/product development, leadership of your team and customer relationships.
There are many financial software tools that are easy to use and allows you the business owner to run your business more efficiently and effectively. Many financial software tools today have mobile and cloud-based capabilities for convenience and ease-of-use.
I have identified four financial software tools aimed to meet your budget and more importantly save you time.
Intuit QuickBooks has created a user friendly and cloud-based accounting software application that allows you to instantly keep track of your income and expenses at the tips of your fingers.
Users are able to create and send invoices to customers, pay employees for payroll, file taxes and run essential financial reports including cash flow statements, balance sheets and income statements for the business.
The QuickBooks format is available in a desktop, cloud and mobile application versions. For basic versions of QuickBooks the cost is usually less than $10 per month. In my opinion, this software is great for a new business just starting out and may be used throughout many phases of the business growth cycle.
Zoho Books is a 100% online accounting software provided by its parent company, ZOHO. The application has been on the market for years and is now starting to compete with some of the other major accounting software players like QuickBooks and Bookkeeper.
Users may experience some of the same benefits as QuickBooks however you can also keep track of product inventory and transactions (great for inventory management).
Other key features include dashboards and reports, automatic invoicing to customers and categorizing of accounting line items from bank deposits and expenses. Another key benefit of using Zoho is that the company also provides other ancillary applications including Zoho CRM, Project Management, Help Desk and Email Marketing.
You can essentially run major business functions through the many applications that Zoho offers. I have never used Zoho Books personally but I know many small businesses who use it and they are very satisfied with the software and its capabilities.
Paylocity is a leading Payroll and Human Resource Management company that recently went public in the 1st quarter of 2014. The software allows small businesses to pay their employees, contractors and vendors through its easy to use cloud-based application.
Users can track employee time and labor, taxes, manage employee benefits and navigate the new health care reform laws without pulling your hair out.
Compared to its competitors, Paylocity provides low initial set up fees and monthly servicing fees. Many small businesses that I know can essentially run all of its payroll and human resource efforts through Palocity’s small business solutions. Other software alternatives to Paylocity is Paychex and ADP.
Everyone knows of PayPal and they have consistently proven to be one of the best in their industry when it comes to Point of Sale transactions via online and mobile pay. PayPal now offers its users the ability to get paid directly from their mobile device using the credit card swipe technology, email invoices to customers, and through point of sale tablets that are located in stores.
There is typically a 2.9% transaction fee when receiving payments to your PayPal account and there are no fees for using PayPal to make payments.
One of the great things I like about using PayPal is that many consumers and businesses know the PayPal brand and they feel comfortable with making payments through the use of the PayPal service.
Other software alternatives to PayPal is Square and Stripe.
Before you decide to choose a particular software for your financial and accounting software needs, you might want to consider the mobile capabilities, ease to migrate information from other applications, security and costs. Many of the applications provide the ability to try the software for a trial period, usually 14 -30 days.
Take advantage of the trial period and test the waters first to see which software is a good fit for you and your company.