The benefits of online accounting software

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If you use online accounting software for your business, there are many advantages. Here are some of the main ones:

  • Access from any device
    Log in to your accounting software from your laptop, smartphone or tablet. You’re not stuck using a single computer in an office.
  • Simple, easy-to-use features
    As a sole trader, you don’t need bloated software with unnecessary features. You need a package that does what it’s supposed to do – quickly.
  • Data entry automation
    Smart accounting software automates data entry and even follows up with customers regarding payments on your behalf. Instead of organising and manually typing data into your accounts, the numbers can flow in automatically from your bank and with the help of data capture tools. And you can set up automatic invoice reminders. Automation solves the major problems with accounting data entry by saving time, reducing costs and eliminating human error.
  • Log in from anywhere
    If you’re out and about a lot, sometimes it can feel like you have no fixed workplace. So you need to be able to work from wherever you are. Online sole trader accounting software lets you do that. Wherever there’s an internet connection, you can get to your accounts and issue or pay invoices.
  • You don’t need to worry about technology
    If you’re not technical, updating computer software can be a worry. With the best online software, that stress is taken away. Updates are carried out by the software company while you sleep – and your data is backed up automatically.
  • Airtight security
    Your accounts are confidential. With online accounting software nobody will have access to them unless you hand over your password. Cloud security is much safer than leaving data on your hard drive or a USB stick.
  • Ability to share data
    You may not have employees, but you’ll need to share data with your accountant or bookkeeper. Some software will allow you to give people a remote login – and you can control the level of access.
  • Pay as you go
    Choose software that’s based on a subscription model. This will mean you have a small cost every month, instead of a lump sum up front. For businesses just starting out, this is a real cost saving.
Find the right software for you: Three steps

Now you have an idea of the type of accounting software you need, it’s time to choose the best package for you. Here are three simple steps to help you.

  1. Ask for recommendations
    You need software that’s been proven to work well for your type of business. So talk to other people in your situation. Network with other sole traders, online and in the real world. Find out what accounting software they use, and if they’d recommend it. Ask your bookkeeper or accountant for suggestions too.
  2. Plan ahead
    If your business grows you may need to hire employees. So try to find software that will grow with your business. For example, you may not need full payroll features today. But next year, who knows?
  3. Try before you buy
    Companies that believe in their products are often willing to offer a free trial. See if you can sign up to online accounting software for free. Test it, get used to it and see if it will work for you. We can help you on finding the right software for your business.
Make it part of your business
Even if you hire bookkeeper or accountant, you may have to do some of the daily bookkeeping yourself. With the right software, this can be easy – and even fun.

Sole trader accounting software isn’t just a key part of your business. Think of it as a way to fine-tune the way you work. It can help you become more efficient – and pretty soon you'll wonder how you managed without it.

Source : Xero