As the internet has evolved, online bookkeeping has become a practical solution for many businesses. The idea of running bookkeeping transaction over the internet initially seemed all a bit science fiction – but instead it has become reality for many businesses.
Online bookkeeping is sometimes also called remote bookkeeping. Software allows you to access all your transactions and data, which is stored on web servers remotely. This is like looking up your bank account via internet banking. You can see balances and transactions as they are stored remotely.
As with anything there are both advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of an online bookkeeping service
- Generally they are quick to customize and implement. Based on this, the cost of doing so, is usually cheaper than other options.
-Your data is automatically backed up. There is no longer the problem of having to make sure there are continually current backups existing. And if anything ever went wrong and you found you needed to use one of those backups it was always corrupt or slightly more out of date than you thought. With bookkeeping online your provider should provide at least daily backups of data so that the maximum loss would only ever be one day’s data.
- Presentation of data for users. Getting the information in is one step in the process. The next is being able to use the data in a useful manner. Online bookkeeping services usually have friendly interfaces so that people can log in and see results presented in an understandable way. This information can also be real time. If sales data is continually fed in, then your sales team can see at any point how the day, the week, the month, or the year, is going.
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Most small businesses have realized they have a need to for specialized small business bookkeeping software. This is software that recognizes their needs are different from the large international firms and that the software they use has more features than small businesses would ever use.
There is also the recognition small businesses do not want to pay for the purchase of such software and its ongoing maintenance costs. Large programs are usually expensive to buy and have weighty ongoing support costs. As a result there has been an increase in recognition that specially designed small business bookkeeping software options are needed.
The process of bookkeeping is transaction based and small business bookkeeping software needs to be able to cope with large volumes of input. It needs to try and eliminate the chance of human error, but at the same time remain easy to use. And in the end, it needs to be able to reproduce that information in the form of financial reports.
There are a number of features that any good small business bookkeeping software should offer.
Small Business Bookkeeping Software Features
- It should be able to offer a number of the modules you want to use. Common modules include Accounts Payable, Accounts receivable, Quotations, Inventory, Sales Orders and the list goes on.
- The modules should all be integrated so that information entered into one is reflected throughout the software without having to re-input the data.
- There should be adequate reporting options so that information can be checked for reason-ability. That information should be able to be analyzed in a number of ways, dependent on what your business needs are.
- Any good small business bookkeeping software should have an automatic audit trail built into it. This means you are able to trace any transaction through the system. It also means you are able to find any changes that have been made to transactions, or to the program setup.
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