These days’ small business owners have a choice of many quality accounting software programs with many undeniable benefits. Accounting software allows a business owner to become more efficient. I set them up so you don’t have to know double entry bookkeeping; and they can produce valuable reports to track your profit and expenses.
While accounting software has many benefits, they still don’t fulfill the needs of most small business owners. I have worked with many small business owners who have spent the entire year tracking their books with their accounting software only to find at the end of the year it was all wrong. Or worse yet, they had been paying a part-time bookkeeper to do it for them, only to learn that the term “bookkeeper” is loosely defined. Tears have been shed, and rightly so.
What’s the Problem?
The software itself is not particularly the problem. There are two real challenges with accounting software programs. The first challenge is the training required to learn the software, and second is the time needed to actually use the software.
It takes a considerable amount of time to become proficient with the software, and there are many little decisions along how can steer you down the wrong road without a clear understanding of basic accounting principles. Not only do you have to be trained on the software, but then you must learn the basics of small business bookkeeping. Ah! A class at the nearest adult education center! After two days and hundreds of dollars later, are most people more able to jump in and handle their business’s books on the software? No, most are not. The classes show all the wonderful things the software can do, whether it applies to your business. But most folks end up overwhelmed by all the options and walk away, not knowing where to start.
The second challenge is the time accounting and bookkeeping takes. No matter how good the software, most small business owners wear many hats and are super time pressured. Bookkeeping is a silent need and doesn’t scream loudly when ignored. Result? Bookkeeping gets put off; worry builds; and the end of the year is a game of financial Russian roulette.
What is the solution?
Rather than you becoming a part-time accountant or getting lost in the accounting maze, find an accountant who specializes in small business. Many of these accountants can do your bookkeeping or know someone they trust. I train them, full-time professionals, and can help you keep pulse of your businesses’ financial health while you build revenue rather than wrestling with accounting software.
Even better some accountants are now offering access to online bookkeeping software through a secure portal such as you use if you do online banking. This is the best of both worlds. Now you can choose your accountant on quality of service rather than locality. With online accounting, you have access to the software and a skilled accountant right at your fingertips. It hosts your records on a highly secure web-server, and both you and your accountant have instant access. Result? No more financial Russian roulette. You and your accountant have a clear, concise and current picture of your business’ finances. It is a well-known fact that how well your books are kept can determine how successful your business will be. Take control of the bookkeeping nemesis and take control of your business’ future by hiring an accountant that is consistently accessible, fully knowledgeable, and up to date on your business’ finances.
In conclusion, while accounting software is powerful, I can liken it to a jet. It can get you places quick and efficiently, but without a trained pilot with a navigational system, the jet can be ineffective and even worse can be dangerous and you can end up somewhere you didn’t plan to go.
Submitted by John Seagren, CPA.
We take the headache out of managing your business by providing simple bookkeeping and payroll systems, and consulting. We know you didn’t start your business to become an accountant.