While the benefits of supporting large businesses through the use of accounting software go without saying, it’s not uncommon for accounting firms to forego the use of accounting software as it relates to working with small business clients. Often times, it’s seen as an unnecessary investment, and because the clients are small, working with products like MS Excel appear to be a familiar and comfortable option for everyone.
However, it’s important to consider that, as with larger clients, accounting software considerably reduces the time spent on manual entry. Additionally, when not utilizing software, you’re creating processes that are inconsistent and labor intensive. These processes are less effective and don’t suggest the same level of professionalism that comes with software programs created by accounting professionals. Let’s further examine eight reasons why accounting software isn’t just for big business.
When using tools like MS Excel, the risk of human error when working with spreadsheet formulas is much greater than when using accounting software specialized for a client or industry. Accounting software takes the guesswork out of the equation, no matter the size of your client’s business.
The reality is that most people believe what they perceive, and a company with a more professional appearance is perceived to be more successful and trustworthy. Your clients are putting their best foot forward when they’re using accounting software as it relates to things like invoicing and payroll.
Today’s workforce has shifted from traditional working hours and many employees now enjoy flexible work options such as working from remote locations and on devices other than their laptops, such as tablets and smartphones. Both you and your client need to be able to gain visibility to their account, as well as other associates within your office, from anywhere, at any time.
Every business owner, small or large, wants to know what their bottom line looks like. Small business owners should have the ability to see where they’re at in real-time, so that they have the option to course correct immediately on something going awry, or, to capitalize on something working out favorably. In this case, their size is an advantage, and with the right information, they can be more agile than their larger counterparts.
Auditing Made Easy
Small business owners wear many hats, but accountant is typically not one they have on too often. With the use of accounting software, they’ll have an audit trail. They can simply and easily see what changes were made to their books, by whom, and when. If they are audited, that information can be retrieved easily and simply, without question as to how things were handled in the past.
It may seem like a small business client’s ad-hoc process wouldn’t be terribly time-consuming or cumbersome, being that their volume is lower, but consider having separate systems for creating, sending and receiving invoices, managing the books, and payroll. This becomes an unnecessary burden that can be solved by putting all of those functions in one place.
Most business professionals have become accustomed to on-demand reporting, and small business owners are no different. This includes their accounting function. Software tools allow you to generate reports in an instant, rather than manually generating reports from a spreadsheet tool.
Getting your client engaged with your accounting software helps them to start becoming more comfortable with the world of accounting. Once your clients become more comfortable with it, they’ll start to become more competent with that side of their business, which is an important part of gaining confidence as a business owner. This isn’t only good for their business, but it’s good for your relationship with your client as well.
When considering your small business clients, it’s important to keep in mind that the benefits of using accounting software may considerably outweigh the decision not to make the investment. Not only is it beneficial to your client to work with an accountant who makes doing business easier through the use of a cloud-based tool, on-demand reporting, and all-in-one services, but you’re also lowering their risks, simplifying the audit process, and ultimately building a stronger relationship.
Not sure where to start in your accounting software search? Use our product selection tool to find the right software for your needs or call one of our unbiased Technology Advisors. The expertise is free and you’ll have several suggestions in less than 5 minutes.
Jessica Barrett Halcom specializes in accounting and human resources. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and currently lives in Nashville, TN.