In past posts, we’ve talked about how important “keeping the books” is for any business, new or established. By dealing with the financial aspects of your business on a consistent basis, you’ll save time and sanity, and be well prepared come tax time. Businesses that focus on tracking receipts, invoices, expenses and deductions save more money on their taxes than those businesses that leave it all for “crunch time” and often miss opportunities as they scramble to meet their deadlines. Saving time and saving money should be the only motivations you need to realize how important it is to stay on top of every aspect of your small business accounting.
So what’s the best way to do that? You can, of course, develop your own methods, using spreadsheets and the like to track everything. But to effectively manage the full breadth of your accounting needs, choosing an appropriate software system is paramount. And we use the word “appropriate” intentionally. It’s not just a matter of picking the best software; it’s about picking the best software for your business.
When it comes to accounting software, QuickBooks is far and away the most popular choice, serving more than 75 percent of the American small business market. And in past years, the largest area of growth for the software company has been QuickBooks Online (QBO), with many new users choosing it over QuickBooks Desktop. But how do you know if QuickBooks is right for your business? And which version should you choose?
Why Use QuickBooks?
Regardless of whether you were to choose the Desktop or the Online version, QuickBooks is a solution you can count on for the long-term. With more than 20 years on the market, it has a robust feature set, from basic accounting to handling invoicing, reporting, inventory tracking, and more. It connects to tens of thousands of financial institutions. And if your business relies on solutions like PayPal and Square to handle transactions, you’ll be glad to know that you can import financial data from these solutions straight into QuickBooks. With trustworthy data backup that promises bank-level security, there’s peace of mind that comes from using QuickBooks.
But QuickBooks’ biggest strength can also create a challenge for newer businesses. While it has a robust feature set that can replace many more expensive enterprise-level solutions, this can prove intimidating to new businesses that are just getting started. On Day One of your business, detailed reports, granular inventory tracking, and automated invoices may go a bit beyond what you’re looking to do, or what you can handle thinking about.
But with the right training, such as the QuickBooks training provided by Steiner Business Solutions, you can get started with the basics of QuickBooks now, and know that the rest of the features are there for your business to grow into.
Why Use QuickBooks Online?
Another way to keep QuickBooks from feeling overwhelming in the early days of your business is to check out QuickBooks Online. While QuickBooks Desktop requires a software purchase to get started, you can take advantage of a free 30-day trial with QuickBooks Online to check out the software before making a commitment.
And while its feature set is less robust than that of QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online has several strengths that make it ideal for many modern businesses. While QuickBooks Desktop is tethered to the computer it’s installed on—and only accessible from that computer—QuickBooks Online can be accessed anywhere there’s an internet connection. With remote access capability and the option for multiple people to access the books at the same time, many newer businesses find the program’s adaptability to be a great strength. And at the outset, these businesses often need less of the more detailed, customizable features available with QuickBooks Desktop.
Here at Steiner Business Solutions in Richmond, VA, we love this quote from a Fortune article written about Intuit, the company behind QuickBooks: “Since its founding, Intuit has done what every company today must learn to do, disrupting itself continuously, reinventing its products and its business model before any competitor can beat it to it.”
Give us a call today at 804.525.4259 and we can help you decide if QuickBooks is the right choice for your business.