Gone are the days when bookkeeping for small business, planning and budgeting revolved around physical ledgers, or even excel spreadsheets. While accountants are naturally going to be drawn to processes which allow them to really get into numerical detail and work with complicated formulas, these days there are so many tools available that allow for easy bookkeeping for small businesses, even the more complicated processes like payroll accounting and management accounting can be simplified.
Our Top 5 Accounting Tools
In no particular order, here are five handy tools that accountants commend for being able to manage clients more effectively and facilitate easy bookkeeping for small business clients.
The advantages of moving more business processes into the cloud have become more and more apparent to progressive organizations, and accounting processes are no different. There are a multitude of cloud bookkeeping and accounting packages out there, with QuickBooks being one of the most well-known and popular. With a free initial 30-day trial, it’s definitely worth it to ‘try before you buy’. And if you decide to stick with them, you can opt for their month-on-month plan, meaning you’re not locked into any type of contract. The features you have depend on the price you pay (there are different priced tiers), but even the basic package offers every key feature a small business could need.
Bento for Business
Love receipt sorting and expense reports? I didn’t think so. The Bento business prepaid debit card is an easy way to make bookkeeping for small business pretty much paperless, saving time and money in the process. Providing real-time control over employee spending with the ability to set individual budgets by employee and function, Bento’s employee expense cards auto-categorize transactions, support transaction tagging, and the dashboard makes data selection and exporting (into QuickBooks) a breeze. And because it’s a Visa card, you get increased security and it’s accepted nearly everywhere, just like cash, but much safer.
Bento makes it easier to track and control budgets and remove the administrative burden of out-of-pocket employee business purchases. Business owners love the security, accountants love the time-savings, and employees love the flexibility.
While not specifically for accountants, Box.com is one of the top cloud storage solutions and offers great features and high security all at a reasonable price. Cloud storage is perfect for that extra peace of mind when it comes to storing financial data in a secure environment, especially in the accounting arena where you’ll need it for audit purposes.
Another popular software for online accounting and bookkeeping for small business is TurboCash, which offers core financial accounting functions plus added extras such as stock control and advanced reporting features, and best of all, it’s free. With an estimated 80,000+ worldwide users there’s very little risk involved in making the decision to use it for management accounts and more.
As accounting roles increasingly become more project-oriented, having project management skills as well as the tools to maintain and manage projects is more important than ever. Online project management tools such as Clarizen can help accountants manage their clients more effectively, as well as their accounting projects.
Clarizen is a cloud application and offers all of the usual project management capabilities, with some, like budget and time tracking, which fit perfectly with an accounting role. Completely state-of-the-art, teams can even access the projects from their Android device or iPhone.