You need to make smart financial decisions for your small business. Well, it all starts with insight that comes from financial software. With the right software and the click of a button many small business owners get the opportunity to feel like financial wizards.

Financial software provides small business owners with the feeling that there is someone - or in this case something - looking out for the best interests of the company.

Many software programs send alerts that can give a heads up should any problems arise. They have the ability to track virtually every aspect of a business' financial performance. Budgets, investments, spending, payments, bills, banking, retirement plans, lending, along with company debts are all tracked by leading financial software programs. Common financial ratios can be easily monitored to measure the company’s health at any time.

Depending on the needs of the small business, decision makers should determine if their needs would be better suited with financial software or accounting or tax preparation software. Many of the features between the two programs intermingle, but some are more likely to be used or needed than others.

Determine needs before committing to a product.

For instance, tax-prep software is essential for any small business that completes all tax and accounting information in house. It does everything from planning to importing forms and documents to checking for errors to just about everything else. Plus, it takes away that feeling that an agent from the Internal Revenue Service is just hovering outside the doorway ready to scrutinize every receipt and dollar spent.

Every business owner needs to keep on top of the tax situation, and the IRS Tax Topics site contains a number of articles to help address this concern. But for most small business day-to-day money management is even more vital. That where's money management software comes in to play.

It's all about the money, money, money.

The financial or money management software gives users the ability to create budgets that limit and manage cash flow; pay bills online and print payroll checks; plan for unforeseen expenses and forecast needs; create and track investment portfolios; generate reports; and they also have the ability to export all data into a tax-prep software program.

Money management software keeps an eye on the financial health of the business all the time. It takes care of the tedious chores that manual financial tracking requires and helps prevent user error that can occur in manual financial planning set ups.

Try free samples before making a commitment to the whole enchilada.

Deciding on purchasing a financial software program is really up to the needs of the business owner. Several programs offer free online tours and/or free trials. Programs can also be installed via disc or by granting access for users to a web-based data center where all information is securely stored.

Getting down to the final decision.

Make a list of what the business truly needs and what the financial goals are so that it is easier to select a program. Remember, it's better to purchase a program with too many features as opposed to too few, so check out several different programs before committing to any.