Formula Accounting Software

You need a simple yet powerful way to keep track of your finances, and accounting software is the best solution. Accounting software will help you see how much money is coming in and going out so that your budget stays on track. It also provides instant cash flow forecasting and handles expenses, taxes, payroll & other tasks related to managing a small business. Best of all, accounting software works right in your browser — no installation required!

In this guide, we review the details of Formula Accounting Software, how to create an accounting software in excel, simple accounting formula, and which software is used for accounting.

Formula Accounting Software

When your business is growing, you need to keep an eye on every penny. The last thing you want is for unexpected expenses to derail your budget or to waste time and money because you don’t have the right tools. That’s where accounting software can help. With proper accounting software in place, you’ll be able to see how much money is coming in and going out so that your budget stays on track. Here are some other ways that accounting software can help improve efficiency:

Don’t let unpredictable expenses derail your budget.

When it comes to budgeting, there’s nothing worse than an unpredictable expense. Whether you’re trying to save money or make more of it, unexpected costs can throw your entire financial plan off track.

But the good news is that there are ways to plan for these unexpected expenses and even save money on them in some cases. Let’s take a look at how you can handle these kinds of expenses so they don’t derail your budget forever!

Control How You Are Alerted to Problems

Alerts are an excellent way to stay on top of your business. With alerts, you can monitor important metrics, such as cash flow, inventory and tax liability. You can set up alerts for these metrics using the Formula interface and then receive notifications via email or text message when they reach a particular threshold. For example, you might want to be alerted whenever your cash balance drops below $1 million or when quarterly taxes are due by December 31st.

You can create alerts for individual transactions as well as for entire categories (for example: all invoices that have not been paid in full). This makes it easier than ever before to keep tabs on your company’s financial health! If you’re unsure how best to utilize these tools at first glance then consider some examples:

Determine Where You Spend and Save the Most.

  • Determine spent money and how to save it
  • Use software to help manage your budget
  • Make better financial decisions

Streamline Duties for Efficiency

Streamline duties for efficiency

When you’re tasked with the responsibility of managing multiple tasks, efficiency can be a big help. When you use accounting software, it can automate many of your daily duties and increase your ability to focus on higher-level tasks. You can also use software to streamline other aspects of your business such as payments and reports.

Automate Important Tasks

One of the greatest benefits of accounting software is that it can automate tasks that are time-consuming and repetitive. This frees up your time so you can focus on more important tasks, such as improving customer relationships or developing new products.

Automation is often done with software, but there are other ways to automate processes in your business. For example, if you receive a lot of orders from customers each month, it’s possible to set up an automated system that generates invoices after receiving an order form. Then all you have to do is enter the information into a database and send out invoices automatically! This can save hours of time each week!

Maximize Your Payments

Maximizing payments is important to ensure your business stays solvent and can continue to grow. Here are a few simple ways you can do that:

  • Make sure you’ve entered all of the data in your software correctly. If any information is incorrect, it could cause delays in payment or mistakes in calculation.
  • Be sure to pay off bills on time every month so that interest doesn’t pile up too quickly, which could lead to overdrafts and additional fees from other services like banks and credit card companies.

If you find yourself struggling with financial problems due to not maximizing payments, we recommend contacting a professional accountant like [accountant name here] who can help guide you through these issues as they arise.

Create Plan for Savings

A savings plan is an important part of your financial planning. It’s a way to get started on saving for your future goals, and it can show you how much money you need to save each month in order to reach those goals. Having a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve will help you create a savings plan that’s right for you.

The first step in creating a savings plan is figuring out what goal or set of goals would be most important for you right now. Consider things like:

Use Software to Improve Your Accounting Efficiency

If you’re a small business owner or have been tasked with managing the finances of a new enterprise, you may be confused when it comes to choosing accounting software. There are many different types of software available and they can all offer varying benefits depending on what your needs are.

In this article we’ll explore the different options available and how to choose the right one for your business.

how to create an accounting software in excel

If you run a business and need to manage your accounts, a spreadsheet can help to record the data and carry out any necessary calculations on it. Spreadsheets can format numbers for currency or dates, as well as performing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division as necessary. Once you have the structure of an accounting spreadsheet in place, you can continue adding data records to it and your calculations will automatically update. The specific details of what you record in an accounting spreadsheet vary according to your own business area and structure, but most accounting spreadsheets contain the same general elements.

If you run a business and need to manage your accounts, a spreadsheet can help to record the data and carry out any necessary calculations on it. Spreadsheets can format numbers for currency or dates, as well as performing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division as necessary. Once you have the structure of an accounting spreadsheet in place, you can continue adding data records to it and your calculations will automatically update. The specific details of what you record in an accounting spreadsheet vary according to your own business area and structure, but most accounting spreadsheets contain the same general elements.

1.

Open Microsoft Excel 2010 and start a new workbook by choosing “File” and “New.” In the “Available Templates” section, choose “Blank Workbook” to begin.

2.

Decide how many worksheets you want to use for your accounts. By default a new workbook contains three, with each one accessible from the tabs at the bottom of the window. You may wish to use one for each table you plan on using to record your finances. Depending on the complexity of your accounts, one sheet for expenses and one for income may be sufficient, together with one in which you calculate the balance together with information such as tax owed.

3.

Create headings for each data item you plan to record in your worksheets. In the top row for each table you require, add a header in each column to represent the data item you want to list under it. For example, for income you may have headings for the date, product or service for which the income was received, customer name (including any account or other reference numbers you use) and optionally notes for recording relevant information.

4.

Insert some income and expenses data. The easiest way to ensure you have all of the column headings you need is to enter some of the data you will be including in your accounts. This way you can edit the columns you have to accommodate your data. Format the columns in your worksheets by selecting each column in turn, choosing the launcher icon next to the Number group in the Home tab. From here you can apply a category to the column you have highlighted, such as currency, text or date. Once you apply the formatting, any data in that column will be formatted accordingly, including data you enter later.

5.

Within your worksheets, you can now apply calculations to work out the totals for your income and expenses. In Excel, you can set up a cell to calculate the sum of the values in all cells above it by clicking and dragging to select (a) all of the cells containing the values to be added and (b) an empty cell beneath them; then click the AutoSum button in the Editing group in the Home tab. Alternatively you can enter the sum formula into the cell manually, using the structure “=SUM” followed by the group of cells to be added in parentheses. For example:

This will sum all of the values between cells A2 and A10.

6.

Calculate your accounting balances. If you have tables spread across different worksheets, use a new worksheet for your balance. In your balance sheet, you can calculate the balance for your business based on the data in your income and expenses tables, optionally including taxation calculations as well. For example, if you select a cell in the balance sheet and enter “=” then select your income sheet and click the total income cell, then enter “-” and select the expenses sheet, clicking the total for expenses, then press Enter, your total balance will appear in the new sheet.

Sue Smith started writing in 2000. She has produced tutorials for companies including Apex Computer Training Software and articles on computing topics for various websites. Smith has a Master of Arts in English language and literature, as well as a Master of Science in information technology, both from the University of Glasgow.

simple accounting formula

Keeping track of the revenues and finances of your small or big business is surely a full time job, so you may need to create a financial position to handle these duties within your business.

However, many small businesses—especially new businesses —prefer to handle this aspect of their businesses themselves, forgoing the help of an accountant to manage the balance sheet, business transactions, cash flow statement, and financial statements

If you’re a small business owner who would prefer to monitor your company’s cash flow statement with your own two eyes, there are financial accounting formulas that you should be familiar with. These basic accounting equations are rather broad, meaning they can apply to a variety of businesses. Combined with an understanding of accounting basics for small businesses, the accounting formulas will provide you with the figures needed to understand your business’s viability and health to make more informed business decisions.

Below, we’ll cover the fundamentals of the accounting equation and the top business formulas businesses should know. Read end-to-end for a thorough understanding of accounting formulas or use the list to jump to an equation of your choice.

What is the accounting equation?

Whenever you post a transaction, you should practice double-entry accounting. Double-entry accounting requires you to make journal entries by posting debits on the left side and credits on the right side of a ledger in your balance sheet. The total dollar amount of debits and credits always needs to balance.

To perform double-entry accounting, you use the accounting equation, also called the balance sheet formula, to ensure your company’s assets equal the sum of your company’s liabilities and shareholder’s equity. The accounting balance sheet formula makes sure your balance sheet stays balanced.

All basic accounting formulas discussed throughout this post highlight the importance of double-entry bookkeeping.

What is the balance sheet?

A balance sheet is a financial document that shows what a company owns and owes, along with shareholder equity in a company. The balance sheet is used to provide a picture of how a company is performing at a specific moment in time. There are three main components to a balance sheet: total assets, liabilities, and shareholder’s equity. All three work in tandem to show a company’s financial position.

On your balance sheet, these three components will show how your business is financially operating. Your assets include your valuable resources, while your liabilities include any debts or obligations you owe. If your assets are financed by debt, it’ll be listed as a liability on your balance sheet. Assets financed by investors and common Inventory will be listed as shareholder’s equity on your balance sheet.

With the accounting equation, you can better manage your business’s finances and evaluate your business transactions to determine whether they’re accurately reported. If both ledgers of your balance sheet don’t match, there may be an error.

Accounting basics for small businesses

As a small business owner, you need to understand a few key accounting basics to ensure your company operates smoothly. Below, we’ll cover several accounting terms and principles you should have a firm grasp on. For a complete list, refer to our full lists of accounting terms and accounting principles.

Accounting formulas for businesses

There are a variety of accounting formulas for businesses that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as producing a statement of cash flows, reviewing inventory turnover, and analysing total sales. Below are some of the most common accounting equations businesses should know.

1. Accounting equation

As stated, the accounting equation or balance sheet equation is one of the most important accounting formulas you should know. So, what is the balance sheet equation?

Total assets = liabilities + equity

What this accounting equation includes:

2. Net income equation

As a business owner, it is important to know whether your company is profitable or not, especially if you’re looking for investors. One business equation an investor may use is the net income equation:

Net income = revenues – expenses

What this accounting equation includes:

By subtracting your revenue from your expenses, you can calculate your net income. This is the money that you have earned at the end of the day. It’s possible that this number will demonstrate a net loss when your business is in its early stages. The ultimate goal of any business should be positive net income, meaning that the business is profitable.

3. Break-even point equation

Business owners have many expenses to keep their company running, including salaries, logistical costs, and rents—these are just some of the costs you will be responsible for. However, If you’re not breaking even, your business can land in troubled waters. The break-even point equation is an important business formula that can help you determine whether you can cover your costs or make a profit. The following is the break-even point equation:

Break-even point = (sales – fixed costs – variable costs = $0 profit)

What this accounting equation includes:

The break-even point tells you how much you need to sell to cover all of your costs and generate a profit of $0. Every sale over the break-even point will generate a profit.

4. Cash ratio equation

Most businesses take on some form of credit to operate, such as business loans, mortgages, and pension obligations. The cash ratio equation measures your company’s liquidity, or ability to pay off all of these liabilities at once if you were required to do so. Below is the cash ratio equation:

Cash ratio = cash ÷ current liabilities

What this accounting equation includes:

5. Profit margin equation

To get a better understanding of how your business uses its revenues to generate profits, use the profit margin equation. Not only this accounting formula shows the overall health of your company, but also helps derive a better strategy:

Profit margin = net income ÷ sales

What this accounting equation includes:

When you divide your net income by your sales, you’ll get your business’s profit margin. Your profit margin reports the net income earned on each dollar of sales. A high profit margin indicates a very healthy company, while a low profit margin could suggest that the business does not handle expenses well.

Remember,your net income is made up of your total revenue minus your expenses. If you have high sales revenue but still have a low profit margin, it might be a high time to take a look at the figures making up your net income.

6. Debt-to-equity ratio equation

The debt-to-equity equation is a business formula that shows how much debt a company uses to finance its operations. To understand the stability of your company, the debt-to-equity ratio can prove helpful:

Debt-to-equity ratio = total liabilities ÷ total equity

What this accounting equation includes:

A high debt-to-equity ratio illustrates that a high proportion of your company’s financing comes from issuing debt, rather than issuing Inventory to shareholders. Suppose you’re attempting to secure more financing or looking for investors. In that case, a high debt-to-equity ratio might make it more difficult to find creditors or investors willing to provide funds for your company.

which software is used for accounting

Accounting software is an essential ingredient for a successful business. Depending on the program, it can help you create professional invoices, record incoming and outgoing payments, identify and follow up on past-due receivables, streamline tax management, and run reports that analyze your company’s financial health and project for the future.

To help you find the best accounting software for your business, we examined some of the most popular platforms on the market today. We looked for affordable, easy-to-use accounting programs that included time-saving features, such as automated bank feeds, automatic payment reminders, and online invoicing and payment acceptance. We also searched for software with comprehensive, customizable, real-time financial reporting because that is crucial for monitoring and understanding your business finances.

Compare Our Best Picks

Our Reviews

Intuit QuickBooks Online: Best for Small Businesses

We found QuickBooks Online to be the best overall accounting software for small businesses. It provides four plan options for small businesses, as well as a separate option for self-employed users. Each offers features that are suitable for a range of small businesses, from startups to established companies. Between the four options for small businesses, you’ll have access to all the tools and reports you’ll need for accounting purposes, and you can seamlessly upgrade your plans as your business scales. (Note that self-employed users cannot upgrade to the small business tiers.)

The platform is also easy to set up and use, allowing you to do everything by yourself to get your accounting software up and running. However, if you want extra assistance, Intuit offers access to professional bookkeepers who can help you configure the software in a way that makes sense for your business. Additionally, QuickBooks Online allows you to create custom invoices and forms so your company’s branding is always at the forefront of client-facing communications. For the features and services you get, the price is a bargain.

Oracle NetSuite Accounting Software: Best for Advanced Features

We chose Oracle NetSuite as the best accounting software option for midsize and growing businesses that are seeking advanced features. As part of its robust enterprise resource planning (ERP) offering, Oracle NetSuite offers an intuitive cloud-based financial management solution that can track your financial data and automate a variety of essential accounting functions. Like any highly rated accounting software, it offers reporting, planning and billing capabilities. It also easily integrates with other software, including Oracle’s comprehensive suite of business solutions. It can also be used with multiple currencies, so it’s a great option for companies with a global customer base.

If your business needs to expedite its accounts receivable and payable, accelerate deal closings, and keep up with more complex financial compliance obligations while taking advantage of a full suite of powerful business management features, Oracle NetSuite is ideal. Moreover, it doesn’t limit the number of users or rely on third-party apps for customization. However, it may be cost-prohibitive and present a steep learning curve for small businesses that don’t need access to the advanced slate of features it provides.

FreshBooks Accounting Software: Best for Invoicing

We recommend FreshBooks as the best software for invoicing. Not only can you develop professionally looking invoices that match your brand, but the software also allows you to track the status of invoices so you know when customers received their bills and when their balances are due. It also facilitates online invoice payments so customers can pay you directly from the invoice.

The FreshBooks dashboard is simple to navigate and includes time and expense tracking, project management features, and tools to create proposals that you can send to prospective clients. The double-entry accounting system makes sure you are organized and prepared for tax time. If you want accountants to have access to your dashboard, reports, invoices and expenses, you can assign them permission, as well as grant other users access to different features. If you have employees, you can give them access to their projects and track their time and additional expenses. FreshBooks has over 100 partners, so you can add plenty of features and connect with other business programs.

Melio: Best Accounts Payable Tools

We recommend Melio for small businesses seeking user-friendly accounts payable tools that do not need a lot of bells and whistles. It’s an excellent option for cloud-based software that will send invoices and receive payments, as well as manage bills. Melio also integrates with QuickBooks for free. There’s no charge to make payments through a bank transfer, but there is a 2.9% fee to pay by credit or debit card. Two paper checks per month are free; after that, they are $1.50 each.

Melio is very easy to use, offering one of our favorite user experiences. Adding vendors is quick and intuitive. Melio lets you enter a vendor’s information manually, upload a file with that date or snap a photo of an invoice. You can invite both internal users and accountants to use the software and then assign roles and permissions so you know who is accessing your information and what they are doing with it. You can set approval controls for transactions, thus preventing you from overextending yourself or having a cash flow issue because you paid a bill early.

Zoho Books Accounting Software: Best for Microbusinesses

We selected Zoho Books as the best accounting software for people with microbusinesses. Not all accounting software programs are appropriate for freelancers, independent contractors, sole proprietors, consultants, home-based businesses, individuals operating e-commerce sites and companies that employ fewer than 10 people. The software may be too complicated, unnecessarily powerful and overly expensive. Not so with Zoho Books. It works well for businesses with straightforward invoicing and accounting needs, and the low price is attractive for budget-conscious entrepreneurs.

Zoho Books is also scalable. As your small enterprise expands into a larger business, you can make use of the options that allow you to upgrade and integrate with other business applications. It also includes a mobile app to ensure that you can keep up with accounting tasks while you’re on the go.

Xero: Best for Payments

We chose Xero as the best accounting software for making and tracking payments. Xero enables you to maintain excellent relationships with your suppliers and creditors while avoiding costly late fees. With Xero, you can be sure that your cash flow is positive so you don’t come up short when it comes time to pay. On the user-friendly dashboard, you can see when each bill is due, view current and projected expenses, and manage purchase orders. The spare interface gives an immediate picture of your business’s financial position. You can view costs as they happen in real time, then make instant modifications.

Since Xero is cloud-based, you don’t need to download or install any programs. It offers professional double-entry bookkeeping functionality, so your transactions will be entered as a debit as well as a credit. This software also saves you time because you can schedule upcoming payments and batch pay suppliers in advance, automating a process that is typically manual.

ZarMoney: Best for Transparent Pricing

We chose ZarMoney as the best accounting software program for businesses seeking transparent pricing. Organized by “entrepreneur,” “small business” and “enterprise,” the plans reflect each company’s needs. The cost is based on the number of users, from one to more than 30. If you add or remove users, ZarMoney will automatically update your account and charge you accordingly. Each additional user costs $10 per month.

In addition to the transparent pricing, ZarMoney’s powerful cloud-based software makes sure you have everything necessary to organize your businesses financials. You can create and send invoices, manage your company’s cash flow, track business expenses, run financial reports, and stay on top of inventory. It’s easy to use and is adaptable for small and larger businesses. It integrates with thousands of apps, including Shopify, Stripe, PayPal, Zapier, Gusto, Authorize.Net, Mailchimp, AutoEntry and WePay. The software also offers a 30-day free trial so you can test it out before you buy.

Plooto: Best for Automation

Plooto is our software choice for automating key accounting processes. With it, you can manage your payments in one central location, providing you with a clear picture of your finances. Payments, approvals, reconciliation and reporting are unified under one dashboard. The software includes smart approval workflows and secure electronic payments, which reduce errors and speed up the accounts payable process. Most notably, Plooto offers business accounts payable and accounts receivable automation, which helps you collect on past-due bills.

You can use the same system to pay all vendors, even those located outside the U.S., as well as add payees in seconds, either by searching Plooto’s network of 120,000 suppliers and vendors or by adding them manually. Once a customer pays, the payment is automatically reconciled. You can pay electronically or via check with the integrations, as well as make batch payments, search records and set payment approvals.

Wave Financial: Best Free Accounting Software

If you’re looking for an effective, free accounting software, check out Wave Financial. It offers many important, high-quality accounting features at no cost to you. There are no monthly or annual fees, nor do you have to license software. Through the cloud-based accounting program, you can create and schedule recurring invoices and payments, as well as set up automatic payment reminders and automatic syncing with your bank, credit card and PayPal accounts. It also gives you the ability to run financial reports, and it provides you with unlimited accountant connections and transactions. If you want to integrate popular business apps, you can do so at no extra charge.

The only fees you’ll experience with Wave will come from selecting optional add-ons – for example, payroll features – or accepting invoice payments. Wave charges a flat rate of 2.9% plus $0.60 per credit card transaction. Bank payments are 1% per transaction, with a $1 minimum fee. The company also has additional payroll and bookkeeping services that business owners can access for a fee.

Sage: Best for Freelancers and Self-Employed

It is essential for self-employed entrepreneurs and freelancers to quickly and easily send invoices and track payments. For this reason, Sage Business Cloud Accounting is our top choice for these types of small businesses. With Sage, you will have an affordable way to keep the cash flowing into your business without unnecessary delays. This accounting software offers well-priced tiered plans with which to create and send invoices and track payments. With its many integrations and apps, such as AutoEntry, Draycir, Avalara and Credit Hound, Sage can adapt to your growing and changing business.

The program is fast and easy to set up, and the system is simple to navigate. Sage’s software automates a lot of the accounting processes that are typically manual, such as posting expenses and payments and sending invoices and reminders about past-due bills. The software also automatically reconciles bank entries, saving you time and energy. If you need extra assistance, Sage’s customer service is very accessible, which is good news for freelancers and self-employed people who don’t have accounting expertise. If you have questions or need help, you can access customer support 24/7 by chat and live Q&A sessions. Sage also offers one-on-one help through online sessions with Sage accounting experts.

Neat: Best for Receipt and Expense Tracking

As a small business owner, all you may want your accounting software to do is help you manage your receipts and expenses. If so, Neat may be your best bet. This cloud-based tool enables you to upload all of your business receipts with the mobile app and starts at $200 per year, which equates to $16.66 per month. Once done, you can categorize each, keeping you well organized and on top of your costs.

With Neat, you’ll have a good understanding of your cash flow and the ability to access interactive charts and run accounting reports that will analyze the financial health of your business. All this can reduce errors often associated with handwritten recording. It also takes the stress out of making sure that you get the right deductions come tax time.

Accounting Software Costs

Accounting software helps business owners streamline billing and accounting, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Most programs offer several plans to accommodate your needs and budget.

There are typically two types of pricing models for accounting software: perpetual licensing or a recurring subscription. With a perpetual licensing model, you make a one-time payment for unlimited access to the software. With a subscription pricing model, you pay a monthly or annual fee for access to the software.

For subscription pricing, expect to pay anywhere from $4.99 per month for a basic starter plan to as much as $60 per month for a more advanced service plan. Other factors, like the included features and number of users, will affect the monthly cost as well.

Regardless of the pricing model you select, watch out for hidden fees, which can include charges for customization options, installation or setup services, integrations, and maintenance or support services.

If your business is on a really tight budget, you might want to consider free accounting software. Wave, for instance, offers many of the accounting and invoicing features you would find in paid programs.

When you’re choosing accounting and billing software for your business, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of any free trials to test out the solutions and see which one offers the features and tools you need. Plus, spending time with the software beforehand will help you feel more confident in your decision.

Accounting Software Features

There are many aspects of accounting software that help make it a useful tool. As a small business owner, it’s important to know which features to look for. Most online accounting software offers accounts receivable, accounts payable, banking and reporting features. Some programs include inventory management, project management, time tracking and payroll tools.

Here are some of the core features to look for in accounting software:

Bank Feed

This feature connects the software to your business bank and credit card accounts to receive a daily update of your transactions. This saves you time, as you will not have to upload transactions manually. It also gives you a daily, rather than monthly, overview of your accounts. A real-time bank-feed feature can assist with reconciliation, allowing you to make it a small daily task rather than a monthly ordeal.

Dashboard

When you log in to your account, you’ll be greeted by a dashboard that shows you an overview of your account activity and key metrics, such as cash flow, profit and loss, account balances, expenses, accounts payable and receivable, and sales. Some accounting programs allow you to customize what you see first by rearranging the information.

Online Invoicing

If your business sends invoices, the ability to email them and accept online payments helps you get paid faster. Some accounting programs integrate with third-party payment processors; others require you to use their in-house processing services. It’s a plus for accounting software to serve as an invoice generator also.

Recurring Invoices

With this feature, you can schedule the system to automatically generate and send invoices for recurring charges, such as subscriptions. You can choose how frequently invoices are sent – daily, weekly, monthly or annually – and indicate whether there’s an end date to the billing.

Automatic Payment Reminders

This feature helps you remind customers about upcoming and past-due payments. Some have sample email text that you can use as is or customize. You can then choose when you want the reminders to be sent. Some programs give you the option to send thank-you emails to customers after you receive their payments.

Bank Reconciliation

Smart reconciliation tools identify potential matches between your bank transactions and the bills and invoices you’ve entered into the accounting software, saving you the hours it would otherwise take to sift through your bank account for this information. You can then approve or deny the suggested matches. The best applications suggest potential matches as you reconcile your accounts, and a few include a reconciliation tool in their mobile apps.

Financial Reporting

Every accounting program can generate financial reports. But some are more basic than others, and some require you to subscribe to a pricier plan for advanced reporting. If you need specific types of financial reports, you’ll want to make sure they’re included in the software application and plan you choose. Detailed reports can help you interpret your financial data to make informed business decisions.

Mobile Apps

Not all accounting and invoicing programs have mobile apps, but the best ones do. There is, however, quite a range in the capabilities of mobile apps. Some can only capture receipts for expense tracking, some allow you to create and send invoices, and others have almost every feature the web-based software does. It’s worth checking if the software you’re considering offers a mobile app and, if so, what features are included in the app that will help you manage your business while you’re away from the office.

Integrations

The ability to connect your accounting software to other business programs you use saves you valuable time because you don’t have to manually transfer data from one system to another. Payroll, payment processing, point-of-sale (POS) systems and customer relationship management (CRM) software are just a few of the popular types of integrations that are available with accounting software. Integration with systems you already use also cuts down on training time for employees who will use the software.

Tracking for Billable Hours

If you’re a consultant or your business bills clients by the hour, you need software that allows you to track and bill your time or that integrates with the time-tracking program you already use. This is an important feature for freelancers.

Inventory Management

If you have a retail, e-commerce or distribution business, you need an application that helps with inventory tracking and purchase orders. You may need to subscribe to a top-tier plan to get this feature. If you need more advanced inventory features, look for software that integrates with a dedicated inventory management system.

Project-Based Billing

Firms, freelancers and consultants who work with clients on projects or jobs should look for accounting software that helps them track their projects’ tasks and budgets. The software should allow you to invoice customers for tracked time and bill them for project expenses.

Support for Multiple Businesses

Several programs we evaluated let you add more than one business to your account, though some companies charge extra for this convenience. Also, the types of accounting tools that are important to you will depend on the specific needs of your business. For example, if you run a small freelance business, project-based billing might be the most important feature on your list. Or, if you plan to do some work on your mobile device, a full-featured mobile app might be at the top of your list.

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