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BJG Accountants in Braintree Essex

Advice For Small Businesses On Bookkeeping Software

Any small business now has a range of choices when looking for bookkeeping software.

Clearly the main development in the past few years has been the growing market for online bookkeeping systems and the choice available may mean that it is not easy for every business to choose the most appropriate system for them.

Although in general most of the online software products aimed at small businesses are designed on the same general layout, it is important to look in detail at the specifications for the particular product you are considering.

For example, the cheapest versions of some products have a limit for the number of sales invoices that can be issued per month, or the number of bank transactions that can be entered per month.

Therefore, if your business only issues one invoice per month, but  all other specifications meet your requirements, then it makes sense to start with the cheapest version, as there can be a significant pricing differential to the next ‘higher’ version of the software.

Alternatively, if your business  processes a large number of bank transactions per month, then you should check for any limitations in this respect on cheaper versions of a particular product.

(I will be returning in detail to the subject of how bank accounts and bank feeds operate in online systems in a later blog).

A major consideration for small businesses in respect of marketing is being able to use branded stationery. Online bookkeeping systems are designed to ‘create’ a sales invoice on the system (rather than just inputting invoice values and printing invoices outside of the software) – the good news is that the most popular products allow for personalised branding of invoices and other stationery using your own logo, letterhead etc.

Another factor to consider is whether the supplier also offers a payroll option (which will be at an additional cost) which can be linked to the accounts software and therefore saves time in respect of wages journals. Any payroll option on offer should be HMRC compliant and RTI ready.  Please note that cheaper payroll options will also most likely have a limit on number of employees that can be processed.

The above are just some of the factors to consider when choosing the most suitable product – it is also important to remember that the software provider will offer a free trial period in order to assess the product for your needs.

It is usually worth starting with the cheapest version suitable for your needs, as most (if not all) online bookkeeping software products are paid by monthly subscription, and there should not be any penalty for deciding after a few months that the software you are using is not the optimum solution for your business and you wish to change to a ‘higher’ version or change to another product.

For further advice and assistance on your bookkeeping needs please contact BJG Accountancy on info@bjgaccountancy.co.uk

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