The coronavirus pandemic arrived out of the blue in early 2020, and whilst it was taken seriously from the get-go, nobody thought that we would still be suffering from its effects nearly a year later. Many countries are still in lockdown with non-essential shops and services all closed, and private gatherings have been curtailed as we are spending our days at home in isolation.
From an employment point of view many people have been furloughed from their jobs, or worse they have been made redundant, and the lucky ones that still have jobs find themselves working from home rather than commuting to an office.
To fill the time and to combat the loss of income, many people have decided to set up their own business from the comfort of their home, but often they may have the kernel of an idea, but may not have the experience to set up all of the back-office functions that any company needs.
In this article, we are going to take a look at accountancy applications as they are fundamental to any nascent business, so if you are a budding entrepreneur and want to find out more, then read on.
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When you start a new business it is important to get all of your finances in order from day one, otherwise, it can be difficult to understand whether you are turning a profit or not. Quickbooks is one of the most comprehensive types of accountancy software out there and comes in two different versions. If you are always on the go and require access to your accountancy software wherever you are then QuickBooks hosting is the way to go as you can access all of your data from anywhere as it is stored in the cloud.
You will also have your dedicated servers so you can ensure that you have your data with the fastest speed possible, and you will receive 24/7 support so that any issues you may have are resolved in as timely a manner as possible. The alternative option is QuickBooks online, but this means logging on using a web browser and often the software isn’t compatible with certain bank accounts so you can run into problems before you have started in earnest.
Freshbooks is another great accountancy package that is aimed primarily at service-based businesses. Its main asset is the customization of its invoicing software which is not provided by many other accountancy providers, and as we know, invoicing is an integral part of any service-based business. On top of handling all of your invoicing needs, it will also perform basic accounting functions, so it is a great all-round package. It is a cloud-based service that has a user-friendly interface and allows third-party app integration.
The downsides are that there is no payroll service and no inventory management and the mobile app is rather limited. However, if you run a service business and need great invoicing capabilities, then Freshbooks could be the software that you are looking for.
Funds can be extremely tight when you are starting a new business, especially given the current climate with banks reluctant to lend money to businesses that do not have a history of trading. This means that entrepreneurs often look for free services to get them started, and the best free accounting package is Wave. Being free it will not have all of the features of a paid-for service, but if you are looking for basic invoicing and bookkeeping and the ability to collate the date for your year-end tax returns, then Wave could be the software that you are looking for.
There is a mobile app that functions well that can be used by many different users and there are no transaction or billing limits which are ideal for a start-up company. The drawbacks are that there is no inventory management or 3rd party app integration, but these things are often not necessary for new business, and as you expand you can upgrade your accountancy applications accordingly.
Xero is one of the new kids on the block and its main selling point is its simplicity. You will not find a package that is full of the features that a business that has been trading for many years may need, instead, you will find an interface that is easy to use, that fully integrates with third-party apps so that you can collect your invoice receivables, for example, without having to resort to using a different application. There is also a great mobile app, and the whole software package is cloud-based so it can be accessed from anywhere. It will even run your inventory management, which most basic packages will not, and there is a payroll management feature so that when you have employees you can manage their salaries accordingly. The downside is that the customer service and support are limited, there is little reporting so you may struggle with your end of year returns and there are fees charged for ACH payments, but these drawbacks are offset by the many positive features. Consider this app if you are looking for something simple to ease you into the intricacies of the accountancy side of a new business.
As we have learned, accountancy operations are extremely important for any new business so it is vital that you understand what you are looking for and then find the most applicable product. Quickbooks offers a comprehensive service that is available in the cloud and covers all aspects of accounting from invoicing to payroll. Freshbooks is brilliant for service-based companies that require an in-depth invoicing function alongside all of the normal basic accounting functions.
It is also available in the cloud meaning that you can access your data when you are on the go. Wave is a very basic service but is free, so for any business where funds are tight it is ideal, and Xero is effectively a piece of software for dummies as it handles all of the necessary functions in a simple easy to use manner, although it won’t give you the advanced features some businesses require. Choose a service that meets your needs, and one of the most time-consuming aspects of a business will be taken care of in no time at all.
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