There are many software packages that allow you to control records without using a bookkeeper or accountant. If your small business is in an industry with specific accounting requirements, don’t forget to ask other people in your line of work for opinions on their accounting software to help you choose.
Your tax accountant is a great place to start. But remember their choice is to suit their end business needs (aka doing your tax!) If you are a sole proprietor and have a modest income, you may not need the accounting software yet. If you have staff or sub-contractors then the single-touch (Australian Tax Regime) comes into need.
Regardless of your end business needs, if you carry inventory, are juggling lots of estimates and quotes from catalogues and centralised suppliers. If you have a easy way to manage the back end and front-end (customer invoice) will save time and you will have more accurate records to provide comfort to your accountant or bank manager.
Here a few tips on how to choose the right app for the different needs in your business.
void abandonware. One problem we see frequently in the mobile app arena is “abandonware,” which refers to software that is no longer supported or updated by the developer. Some mobile apps will remain up for sale in the mobile app stores despite not being updated in a long time. Be sure to check the product version notes to see how frequently the developer is updating their software—you certainly don’t want to pay for a buggy mobile app.
Be aware if the app needs you to be online to use it. Also consider whether the app can be used offline. Most can be, but some might not be able to access certain features without a cellular or wireless connection. Consult with your team first to ensure you are covering features that you need and maybe hadn’t though of before. Once you onboard software into your business, it can be costly if it is missing key tools. Its a great idea to check if the software also has modules that you can on later. Restrictive customer relationship management software is the last thing that you need when you are growing.
Check reviews. Be diligent: some developers have sly ways of spamming the app stores with fake reviews. Try to find independent, third-party reviews from people in your industry to help inform your decision. At the same time, don’t let a lack of reviews dissuade you from trying out an app (especially if it’s free or low-price). New apps or apps from smaller developers can take time to gain traction, so be sure to keep an open mind while you find the app that is a best fit for your needs.
That said, it is unlikely that there is one app that covers all of your needs. You might find you like certain features in several different apps—there’s nothing wrong with relying on multiple apps if they help you do your job.
That beginning choice is one of the most powerful things to do. It is the most valuable go-forward key to your next business expansion blueprint.
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