Tips For Choosing Finance Software For Your Business
For any business there are few things more important than the finances, after all without those being managed correctly the business will certainly fail to maximize its profit margins and may fail to make any money at all. Even charities and non-profit businesses need to manage their costs to ensure they can make best use of the money they are given…
So whether you own or run a business and no matter what the size – finance software is an important tool that you need to think about.
Unfortunately, for any non-accountant, choosing the right software for your needs can be a tricky process.
Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:
On The Cloud?
A lot of software these days is cloud based, which basically means that it is online and generally that you access it via the internet using your web browser. But you can still find old fashioned software that can be downloaded to your machine.
The advantage of cloud software is that you will usually pay a monthly fee instead of a large upfront fee, and it is often very affordable. Additionally you won’t have to worry about installing anything and your data will automatically be backed up and accessible from anywhere.
The advantage of regular software is that once you have bought it you will generally not have to pay any further fees and your software will be available to use off-line, but probably only on your computer.
Which option to choose really depends on your preferences. Cloud software generally offers the best options for integration with other services and future compatibility – but it’s not for everyone.
What About Integration?
You could choose a basic bookkeeping platform that stands alone, but you may be missing out on some really powerful tools. Many finance software platforms can be integrated with your other online services.
For example; you might want to integrate it with your bank account(s) and automate the downloading of your transactions and statements.
Another option is integrating with your CRM software. Platforms such as MS Dynamics can integrated with various different finance packages to create a seamless data analysis tool. The set up may not be trivial, but the possibilities are vast.
Have a think about which types of software you currently use and which services you might want to use in the future and then consider whether your chosen finance software can be integrated with them.
Aside from the issues discussed above, what do you actually want out of your finance software? You may not really know, but different options might include different functionality, so it’s something to think about.
Here are some options to consider:
- · Inventory / stock control
- · Invoice creation
- · Sending payment reminders
- · Creating budgets and forecasts
- · Managing payroll
- · Multiple bank account support
Although that’s just the tip of the iceberg, so it is a good option to find a list of features for each option you consider and note down any that you will definitely want and that you may want. Then you can compare them later.
Ease Of Use
Finally of course, think about how easy to use each option will be. This isn’t always easy to tell before you try, but generally the more powerful it is the more complex it will be. This is a trade off that you will have to consider.
Are you willing to invest in IT support to help set it up and train you? Or are you confident to learn by yourself? Either way, you should consider your own ability and see what support is available to help you learn.
About The Author
The author of this post is Mike. Mike works for a business called Advantage; who specialize in business management solutions for consultancy business (learn more here) and many other types of business. Mike enjoys writing about finance and entrepreneurship.