While spreadsheets are a huge help in accounting processes, it still cannot meet the modern demands for speedy processing and minimal errors. Spreadsheets still rely upon human intervention to enter data, store information, and generate reports. Additionally, files are not easy to sync and access, especially if you have a large team or managing multiple branches.
Accounting software takes you beyond the simple functionalities of spreadsheets. Most platforms include user interfaces crafted specifically for accounting transactions such as receivables and payables. Furthermore, you can process payroll, cash flow, and more in one place. Generating reports for detailed or high-level analytics are also easy as you have a centralized database.
In this article, we will examine what accounting software can do and its benefits. We will also explore the types of accounting software in the market and show you some of the leading platforms available. After reading this piece, we hope to help you evaluate what kind of accounting application to consider for your business.
In the age of digital transformation, speed and accuracy reign supreme. This is why many businesses are choosing to automate arduous tasks that do not require extensive brainpower. As such, deliberate efforts are being made in various industries to adopt automation technology. Finance, marketing, and sales are three of the industries with high demands for automation. In fact, 29% of automated solutions in 2018 are focused on accounting and other related processes.
From organizing financial paperwork and computing payroll to tracking inventory and preparing income tax returns, advancements in cloud accounting technology have proved useful in trimming down the hours spent on these bookkeeping and accounting responsibilities, keeping ahead of their on-premise counterparts.
Industry experts have predicted that major accounting tasks will be fully automated by 2020. Sophisticated solutions are now capable of handling processes such as payroll, audits, banking, and taxes without the need for human intervention. Consequently, these innovations are now disrupting industries beyond accounting and finance.
Organizations from industrial manufacturing to governments are considering automation to save money and create more efficient workflows. Now, automation technologies are affecting the bottom line, and companies are taking notice. Up to 75% have increased their IT budgets to get their hands on various applications for sales, risk management, and, of course, accounting.
Utilizing these applications not only saves you time in handling your income and expenditures but also helps you make well-informed business decisions. With the help of accounting solutions, you can get down to the nitty-gritty of your company’s finances without having to take away your focus from what you do best—managing your business.
Are you still contemplating whether you should invest in financial management programs for your company? If you want accounting software explained in more detail, read on. We’ll discuss the many benefits of accounting software as well as the different features they have to offer, so you can better determine if using one is suitable for you. We also included a few examples of accounting software to help you get started. For more examples, you can always check out our top 5 accounting solutions of 2020 list.
Without an accounting software, you will have to rely on your ledger and a calculator. While this process is time-tested, it could take days before you can even start analyzing the data you’ve compiled. By automating these tasks, you can accomplish more detailed reports at a fraction of the usual time. To add to that, you can enjoy these other benefits of accounting software utilization:
To understand the purpose of accounting software in your day-to-day business operations, we must first understand its main functionalities and the problems it can solve. In a nutshell, it is a collection of applications designed to gather, record, summarize, and store financial data for interpretation. Programs such as these are meant to minimize the number of effort users have to exert in computing data. Moreover, they speed up the creation of comprehensive financial reports and allow for immediate analysis of cash flows.
Some of its key features include:
There are many types of accounting software available on the market that you can choose from. Some of them are:
Likewise, depending on the needs of your business, you may choose between an on-premise software or cloud-based application. If you intend to use an accounting program but want to make sure that all the data can only be accessed within your office, an on-premise installation may be ideal for you. On the other hand, cloud-based software may work best if you want to get hold of your files whenever and wherever.
With the fundamentals of accounting software explained, we can move on to steps on why you should invest in one of these programs for your company.
The purpose of accounting software is to simplify back-office responsibilities. By finding the right program, you can store, access, and process all the data you need to run your business with just a few clicks and taps. Whether you want to combine several components of your accounting tasks into one program or find specialized applications for particular facets of your business, there are options for you. Here are some examples of accounting software that you can choose from:
FreshBooks is a popular accounting and financial software that is perfect for small and medium-sized businesses. It is a flexible solution that makes complex financial processes simple and efficient. The platform’s robust features allow you to focus on growing your businesses instead of wasting time on repetitive accounting processes.
If you’re interested in trying out all its features, you can sign up for a free trial for a no-cost full experience.
The software includes various automated processes such as invoice to payment functionality. You can easily create invoices and send them to clients. Also, you can monitor when the client opens the invoice to ensure that it was successfully delivered. FreshBooks allows you to set due dates, offer online payment options, and even charge late fees.
It also allows you to track expenses easily. You can attach receipts to their corresponding transactions and organize them right on the platform. That means it is easy to track down all these documents and entries once you are ready to prepare your tax forms. Furthermore, you can generate financial reports with just a few clicks. Create profit and loss reports, expense reports, and balance sheets in no time. You can export these documents to a CSV file or other popular formats.
Detailed FreshBooks Review
NetSuite ERP is a cloud-based ERP platform that comes with a fully-featured financial application that suits medium-sized and large enterprises. It includes accounts receivables and payables, fixed assets management, general ledger, and tax management. NetSuite ERP is a full-scale platform that includes other functionalities such as inventory management, order management, revenue management, fixed assets, and more.
The vendor offers a free trial to get you up to speed on its features before committing to a paid plan.
The accounting application makes it easy to enter all relevant data into the system. For example, in accounts payables and receivables, you can enter, store, and manage receipts, vendor invoices, and purchase orders. It also includes online payment functionalities so you can receive payments easily. Additionally, you can pay your company’s and vendors’ taxes using electronic funds transfer (EFT).
The financial management software can be expanded using NetSuite ERP’s other features and modules. It seamlessly integrates with CRM, inventory, ecommerce, and order management tools. That means you can easily scale your platform as your operations grow without having to pay for another application.
Detailed NetSuite ERP Review
Tipalti is used by many C-level executives and over 250,000 payees worldwide, processing over $1 billion annually in international bank transfers. And there is a reason for this: Tipalti is simply secure, powerful, and simple. It automates all stages of payment processing that you wouldn’t even know it was there, from onboarding to tax compliance, and it does this by complying with the tax regulations of 190 countries, accepting payments in 120 currencies, and supporting 6 payment methods.
You can try all its premium features at no cost when you sign up for a Tipalti free trial.
Tipalti leads its category in terms of automation. It eliminates over half of all tedious, manual tasks related to accounting, and streamlines processes in AP/AR, payment reconciliation, and financial reporting. It can integrate as well to the ERP systems to further reduce downstream and human errors by checking all tax data against 26,000 local and international standards.
Finally, Tipalti also has an advanced analytics and reporting engine. It creates automatic reports based on payments, taxes, and other transactions. Even better, it takes regional policies into account and collates them with the reports so you can get an accurate and actionable insight on your financials.
Detailed Tipalti Review
FreeAgent is a powerful accounting platform that was specifically developed for small businesses and freelancers. It can handle all core finance-related tasks with feature-rich tools from payroll to expenses. You can even connect the application to your bank accounts for a more seamless workflow.
You can easily sign up for FreeAgent free trial and get to know the features firsthand at no cost and without commitment.
The accounting platform allows you to create invoices and send them to your clients right away. You can track upcoming payment due dates and paid projects all in one place. Additionally, you can manage your expenses by taking a photo of receipts using your phone and uploading it to the system. That means you can associate entries with their corresponding supporting documents, so you do not have to rummage through your physical files again.
FreeAgent makes it easy to monitor your current financial status using its intuitive interface. The Overview dashboard is designed to show relevant and important information effectively. You can even explore your main cash flow and transactions in the past months. The dashboard also provides quick access to your Projects, TimeSlips, Invoices, and Estimates.
Detailed FreeAgent Review
Zoho Books is a part of the popular Zoho family of business solutions. The accounting software is suitable for small business with its smart and innovative solutions. It is easy to remain on top of your cash flow with its intuitive interface and controls. You can quickly make data-driven decisions in real-time with its powerful reports and analytics.
You can use all the features for free for a period of time to see if the software matches your needs. Simply sign up for Zoho Books free trial.
You can create invoices and send them to your clients right on the platform. Offer online payment options to your clients so they can send funds easily. You can also set up payment reminders for your customers. Also, setting up recurring payments is fast and easy. The system also allows you to import bank and credit statements to reduce manual entries.
Zoho Books is also packed with more accounting functionalities that allow you to create and generate documents such as P&L, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and much more. Payments, expenses, and revenue are associated with each project. That means you do not have to hire a dedicated accounting team just to manage these tasks.
Detailed Zoho Books Review
Sage Business Cloud Accounting, previously called Sage One, is an intuitive accounting application powered by cloud technology. It includes a robust dashboard with detailed data visualization so you can easily see your entire cash flow. This allows you to identify opportunities and minimize risks right away.
If you want to investigate the features closely you can easily do so when you sign up for a Sage Business Cloud Accounting free trial.
Much like some of the platforms on this list, Sage Business Cloud Accounting is made especially for small businesses. The system handles expense management, accounting, project accounting, and compliance management. Furthermore, you can also generate documentation such as price quotations, invoices, estimates, and statements without reentering transactions and repeating any tasks.
Aside from a powerful dashboard, you can also compute tax easily using the available transaction data. The application can also forecast cash flow and cash requirement estimates based on your transaction history. You can also track vendors, bills, and related data. You can even add notes, categories, and pricing details.
Detailed Sage Business Cloud Accounting Review
Modern businesses are required to operate with speed and accuracy in order to compete with the rest of the market and increase revenue. This includes accounting tasks and processes. Accounting software does not only store your financial information but allows you to automate tasks that would otherwise take much of your time.
Financial management platforms allow you to create detailed and accurate records while focusing on the most important aspects of your business. Furthermore, these applications allow you to easily generate reports that will allow you to make the right decisions at the right time. Whether you are a budding start-up or an already established brand, having an accounting software will help your team develop and maintain an efficient workflow.
Of course, accounting is not the only part of your business that needs a robust platform. You can also explore other business process management software to take advantage of various solutions that you may apply to various aspects of your operation.
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