Your goal

You want to find the best accounting software at the best price for your business – the most bang for your buck that will save you time while producing reports that help you not just manage your business but grow it.Step 1 is first knowing what you’re doing now. Outline what you currently do every day, every week, every month, every year.

  • Sales – how do you record your sales? Is it handwritten on a scrap of paper, entered in the computer later or using an app on your phone?
  • Getting customer payments into the bank – is this a daily or weekly trip to the bank for you or one of your employees with checks and cash? Are all your sales done by credit card or Paypal and transferred directly to your bank account?
  • Purchasing – do you call up a vendor and order what you need? Do you issue purchase orders and check incoming deliveries? Do you track inventory?
  • Paying bills – do you get writer’s cramp handwriting checks, spend time buying stamps and envelopes? Do you pay through your bank’s website, by ACH, bill pay, quickpay, etc.? Do you use Paypal for vendor payments? Do you use credit cards to pay vendors?
  • Employees – are they punching a physical time clock and you’re spending hours calculating pay and taxes, writing out checks? Are you using a payroll service like ADP, Paychex or Quickbooks payroll?
  • Financials reports – do you run these regularly or is it a pipe dream? Are your year-end tax returns your version of financial statements?
  • Business management reports – are you seeing reports that help you manage your inventory, your sales team, your production team, your costs and revenues? Or are you scratching your head wondering what a business management report looks like?
  • Taxes – do you dump a shoebox on your accountant’s desk at year-end or muddle your way thru TurboTax in April? Are your payroll tax reports getting filed timely with the city, state or federal government?

A Bonus

As you document what you’re doing now, you may realize that you can be more efficient and productive simply streamlining some of these processes, aside from your current or future accounting software choices. Often we get too caught up in the day to day work of running a business to take a step back and review what’s happening. Making a change in your business such as changing accounting software can be a good turning point to change your physical processes. And give this review a proper priority, don’t put it off because you’re too busy, this is how you make more time for yourself, your employees and your business – periodic reviews are critical to forward progress!

Next up: Defining your pain points.