When you start a business, your to-do list may seem never-ending. Not only do you need to build a solid team, find a location, produce your product and start marketing to your target audience, but you’ll also need to make a number of less visible decisions that will be essential to the long-term health of your operations.
For example, most entrepreneurs don’t start their businesses so they can also moonlight as their own accountants. However, money management is critical to the survival of your business.
If your current bookkeeping system is solely comprised of a shoebox full of receipts and invoices, making the move to a software-based accounting tool will help your business in a number of immediate ways.
1. Know Where You Stand Financially
Poorly managed cash flow can devastate a business, and as your business grows you can’t rely solely on your brain to keep track of your finances and give you an accurate snapshot of you business’ health.
Most accounting software options can easily give you this snapshot based on the data you enter, so you’ll be able to better understand what money is coming in versus what’s going out – and just as importantly – how fast and when that money is moving.
2. Fewer Time Crunches
You wear many hats as a small business owner, and you time is precious.
Accounting software, especially when it runs in the cloud and can be accessed on any internet-connect device, helps streamline financial tasks and automate many processes.
For instance, when you can generate and send invoices automatically and don’t have to waste time creating individual invoice in Word whenever you need to bill a customer, you can instead dedicate time to more productive, growth-oriented tasks such as marketing or employee retention.
3. No More Guesswork
You don’t have to be an accountant (or even have a full-time one on staff) to take care of many basic accounting tasks in your business. With the right tools, managing your books and filing your taxes can be made much easier.
Many accounting software options will actually walk business owners through these tasks step-by-step to help simplify them, which can be especially helpful when tax season rolls around as taxes have been long-regarded as one of the primary causes for alarm by business owners.
4. Shared Workload
When you don’t have a formal accounting system in place, it can be very challenging to delegate accounting-related tasks to your team.
Accounting software packages often have multi-user options so you can allow other team members to login and take care of daily bookkeeping tasks, and subsequently free up your time to work on your business, instead of in it.
It’s About Treating Your Business Like a Business
While managing your business’ accounting procedures on the fly may work in the very early days of your business, ultimately you’ll need to commit a more formal accounting system if you want your business to grow.
And once you’ve analyzed your needs and decides on an accounting software option to help you manage your business’ finances, you’ll probably wonder how you ever managed without it.