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You have the idea, you've built the business plan, obtained funding and perhaps even your first customer. So it's time to select the right small business accounting system, which will make a big difference when tax time rolls around. There are a variety of options available, so it can be a little challenging to narrow down the choices. A good way to start is by identifying your needs, your staff abilities, your workflow and your budget.
When evaluating accounting systems, consider needs such as basic bookkeeping, payroll, tax filing and reporting. Depending on which functions you need, you can choose from the following options:
• Spreadsheet-Based Manual Methods - Excel templates are very useful tools for ensuring correct calculations and simplifying the organization and display of data. However, Excel cannot provide a comprehensive framework and processing system for your company accounting files.
• Desktop Software Solutions - Popular software solutions like QuickBooks greatly simplify small business accounting tasks. You can easily automate processes, create and send forms like invoices and purchase orders, and view standard reports at the click of a button. The intuitive interface also greatly reduces errors and makes accounting tasks much more efficient.
• Cloud-Based Solutions - The latest advances in small business accounting allow you and your accountant to access and input real-time data from your desktop computer, laptop, mobile devices -- any computer with internet access. There are several different cloud-based accounting< solutions available with various features and functionality. One advantage of starting your business with a cloud-based accounting solution is that with subscription-based plans, your accounting system can start where you are and grow with you.
There is no doubt that the most efficient accounting systems are software and online applications. These options also significantly reduce the risk of human error because the processes and logic are already automated.