For SMEs there are two resources that will always be more valuable than any others – time and money. With the latter it’s important to keep track of it at every step of the way, but this can in turn deduct considerably from the amount of time you have available for fulfilling other business critical functions. And the larger and more successful you become the more time your accounting procedures and other financial management tasks will take up.
So as you grow, you inevitably think about taking on an extra member of staff to handle all financial matters for your business. But if you’re at that awkward stage of growth where your business has grown far beyond its beginnings but you’re not quite ready to commit to expanding your workforce it can be a difficult time.
There is however a viable alternative, in the form of a virtual accounting system. That is, computer software that helps you record, track and monitor your finances , without the need to have a degree in accounting or even be very good at maths!
What a digital accounting system can do for your business
So what exactly does accounting software do, and what can it do for your business? The exact specifics will of course depend on the particular package you go for, but here are a few common features and functions that many of them share.
– Cash flow tracking and forecasts – One of the main reasons why SMEs fail, particularly start-ups, is that they fail to keep track of the finer details of their expenses and revenue. A virtual accounting system will take care of all the fiddly bits for you, leaving you to simply enter your sales figures and expenses. As well as enabling you to keep a close eye on you current finances, many packages will also allow you to create practical cash flow forecasts so you can predict any future problems and budget efficiently for the year ahead.
– Simple invoice creation – Drawing up invoices can be a time-consuming and tedious process, particularly if you’ve got lots of clients. Accounting software can make the process as quick and simple as entering a few figures and pressing a few buttons.
– Perform financial calculations and produce in-depth financial reports – This is where digital accounting systems can really come into their own. Why pay a financial expert to advise you when you can benefit from computer algorithms designed by financial experts far quicker and for far less money?
– Manage payroll – Payroll is another especially fiddly and time-consuming aspect of running a small or medium-sized business, particularly if you’re not mathematically minded. Many software packages incorporate a payroll element, which can greatly simplify the process
– Make taxes less taxing – Working out how much tax you owe, and how much you will owe in the future, is another aspect of financial business management that can put the fear of god into arithmophobics, and is another area that computer software can help with.
JonJon Yeung is a freelance writer and enjoys writing on New Technology and aims to be a tech guru. He blogs about Entrepreneurship, Business and also lives a Tech-Savvy lifestyle. He particularly likes to write about software products for businesses.