When entrepreneurs set up their businesses, the last thing they had in mind is that a good chunk of their time would be taken up by sorting through receipts, issuing invoices and chasing bad debts on a Sunday night.
Using a traditional accountancy firm can work for some, but there is still the issue of face to face meetings and chasing things up to make sure they are done.
But there is an alternative and it is usually cheaper and more efficient. You guessed it, the traditional accounting model for small businesses is increasingly moving towards a cloud setup.
Cloud based accounting software can help businesses save money and automate procedures that not only save them time, but also monitor and generate business insights reports to help them make smarter and more informed decisions.
Cloud based accounting packages are also scalable, meaning that if a business is affected by seasonality, it can scale back on the services it needs during the tourist shoulder season, for example.
Cloud accounting software also allows businesses to synchronise their records with their bank accounts and point of sale systems to make transactions quicker and easier to handle.
There are literally hundreds of different software platforms and apps out there, and it might be worth doing a bit of research on comparison websites to see which ones have the features that are relevant to your business.
You might want to simply handle your bookkeeping and invoicing, for example, and not need a full suite of tools that come with other packages.
Influential magazine Business News Daily recently published their list of the most effective cloud based accounting solutions for small businesses. We take a look at their top 5 picks and what they are particularly good at.
The best accounting software for small businesses overall was Quickbooks online. With subscriptions as little s EUR 7 per month, this platform delivers good value and is also available on iOS and Andriod.
The winner of best invoicing software was FreshBooks. Slightly more expensive at EUR10 per month, this platform also works on iOS and Android.
Mac users are advised to stick with Xero, an award winning platform from New Zealand that has now spread across the world. It works fine on PC but is fine tuned to work on Macs.
If you have a really small business, you are advised to go for Zoho Books which ticks all the boxes for a modest EUR 7 per month.
And as a bonus freebie, you could also take a look at Wave Accounting which offer all the basic accounting functions your business needs free of charge and it also comes with email support!