Simple Accounting Software
Financial management and controlling cash is essential for a business to survive in today’s tough economic environment therefore all businesses should have some accounting software. Even if simple accounting software is used it is important to have something.
Many businesses will have complex accounting systems that allow customer invoicing, sales ledger control, purchase ledger control, payroll preparation, dealing with the VAT affairs, general ledger maintenance and full management reporting amongst other things. There are no doubts that these complex accounting software systems are useful, however small business may find them a bit too much and are unlikely to need all the features these software programs have. In the real world simple accounting software packages are all that’s needed and are actually better than the more complex software packages.
There are many different types of simple accounting software packages available, some of which are free and some of which you have to pay for. Some of these simple accounting software packages
are very good and some are not so good. The free accounting software packages are popular however there are many disadvantages associated with downloading and using free software, some of which can be very costly for the business. Because of the disadvantages of free software packages I would always recommend spending some money and buying a simple accounting software package, which is not going to adversely affect your business.
The advantages and disadvantages of simple accounting software packages
Simple accounting software is readily available and can be bought from many different places so getting a copy is not going to cause too many problems.
The more complex accounting packages are bundled with a complex and in depth training manual that will run in to many pages. Simple accounting software packages are not like this and will be bundled with a short user manual that has everything you need to know. A shorter user manual will be a great time saver as you won’t need to spend hours and hours reading in order to get the software up and running.
Simple accounting software is easy to use and you won’t need to attend any formal training courses or seminars to learn how to use it. In order to become competent to use it all you are going to need to do is read the user manual and spend a few hours using the software. If you do get stuck there will be a support package available, which is going to cost you extra, or you will probably be able to find an online forum to assist you.
Most simple accounting software packages will not integrate and communicate with other pieces of software the business may have, which can create some issues. There are, of course, exceptions to
this rule. For example, Sage has a simple accounting software package, a simple payroll software package and a simple forecasting package that all integrate together. This is fine if you only use Sage software products but if you use a different payroll software package you can not integrate the two. So, it is either spend some money and use all Sage software packages or forgo the option to integrate.
What is the best simple accounting software package?
The answer to this will depend entirely on personal preference. There are some simple accounting software packages, such as Quickbooks, Sage and MYOB to name but a few, that easy to use, loaded with features and are exceptionally good. Any one of these simple accounting software packages will be more than good enough for your small business and you will be able to get on with all of them. Stating the “best” software would be an impossible task without being biased, and the best one will come down to personal preference.
Sage - Arguably the best piece of simple accounting software
Working in the accountancy profession I find that most clients I have dealings with use Sage or Quickbooks, and I think both of them are very good. Out of the two I prefer to use Sage, purely because it is user friendly and logical however if a client were to ask me which one is the best for their business I would suggest taking a closer look at both of the software packages.