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7 Must-Have Features for a Small-Medium Business Accounting System

By: SmallBizClub

 

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As a business owner, why settle for accounting software that isn’t working for your business? The ability to expand and increase your profits hinges on your ability to control and track your revenue; otherwise, you are doing your business a disservice.

 
There are many accounting systems available on the market, making it challenging to discern which one is best for your organization. Technological advances today have made it possible for small businesses to have access to robust accounting system coveted by organisations with much larger profit margins. The best way to determine what system will work best for you is to take a thorough assessment of your business needs.
 
Once you have the information in hand, compare it to the list of features listed below to find an accounting system that will meet your business needs.
 
1. Easy Integration
 
Fragmented systems are inefficient and cause more problems than they solve. With an accounting system that is compatible to your other business systems, integrating the software is a cinch. Look for an accounting system that will communicate with your warehouse, human resources department, sales and every other functional area of your business. These systems help streamline business processes, which allows you to focus your attention on developing opportunities for your business.
 
2. Monthly Reports
 
Accounting systems that have the ability to analyze your data and generate a report is essential to your business. Robust accounting software will help you recognize problematic areas in metrics and entire departments. MYOB Exo for example (a comprehensive financial and business management system) employs dashboards, allowing you to know when something goes array in your business immediately.
 
3. Ease of Use
 
Having a robust accounting system that no one in your company can use makes little sense. You want to make sure that the system you choose is user-friendly. The system must also allow multiple users to make changes based on their functional areas. Empowering your employees with the tools they need to do the job will help them improve production. For instance, allowing first line or point-of-sale employees to issue credit up to a certain dollar amount. This will help your supervisors remain focused instead of wasting time doing menial tasks.
 
4. Expandable Software
 
Even though you are a small business, the goal is to broaden your horizons in your business, so don’t purchase a system that won’t sustain your growth. Although operating a small business means that your money is tight, investing in an accounting system that can grow with your business will save you money and time in the long run.
 
5. Works in the Cloud
 
As a business owner, you can’t be at your business every hour of the day. You have meetings that require your attention, that can’t be delayed. With an accounting system that operates in the cloud or via mobile or tablet will allow you to continually track your business regardless where you are. For instance, if you are expecting data about a new opportunity, your ability to access on your smartphone or online, can help you react quickly while you are out of town—creating more opportunities for your business.
 
6. Technical Support & Backups
 
Systems go down, regardless of how great they are for your business. To prevent your business from losing money, choose an accounting system that offers around the clock technical support and automatic backups. With 24-hour technical support, you can get your business back up and running.
 
Just as technical support is essential to the accounting software you choose, so is data backups. Proprietary information about your customers, business strategy secrets or promotional information is easily lost with the click of a hacker’s mouse if you are not backing up your entire system on a regular basis. With automatic backups, security breaches and related power outages will not jeopardise your business.
 
7. Point of Sale
 
Choosing an accounting system with a point of sales system (POS) built in will help decrease your workload. A POS system that handles customer’s transactions, while simultaneously transmitting that information to your accounting department eliminates redundant tasks for you. With a POS and a fully integrated accounting system, your vendors can see when you are running low on products automatically and initiate fulfilling your inventory.
 
The list isn’t exhaustive, but it is a great start to help you find the accounting system that will help support the direction of your business.
 
To conclude, the accounting system that you choose for your business is critical to the success of your business. The right accounting system can help you gain a competitive advantage over your industry competitors and increase your market share. At the same time, with little consideration, the accounting system you choose can cause inefficiencies and lead to revenue loss across your organisation. Keep the aforementioned key considerations in mind and you will have more control over the revenue your business generates.
 
Author: Michael Pendred is Managing Director of Horizon Business Systems, a leading provider of MYOB EXO Accounting Software for Small Business in Perth Western Australia. Find Michael on Google+.
 
Published: June 11, 2014
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