Choosing The Right Accounting Packages
Knowing which accounting packages to choose for your business can be rather confusing the first time around. In this quick read, we will break down what you need to know about accounting packages and fill you in on factors to consider when picking the perfect option for your small business.
Establishing a small business can be quite a stressful and overwhelming process. You will need to do your homework concerning your transaction management, banking, and fundraising, as well as get clued up on a few other accounting topics. You will also be required to have your store’s finances in order from the very beginning.
SureBooks offers plenty of different bookkeeping services for small businesses. If this is something you’re interested in, get in contact to receive a custom quote. For more information regarding accounting packages visit SureBooks today!
Accounting Packages From SureBooks
The packages that we offer at SureBooks include our SureStart, SureGrowth, SurePlus, SurePay, SureTaxes, and SureCFO packages. All of these packages include different accommodating services to fit various business models, so you will easily be able to choose a package that will work best for your business.
Accounting Packages: Factors To Consider
- Do you know whether or not the software is built for a specific size of company or business? For example, if it is a micro business, the needs will be different to that of a larger business.
- Does this software suit your certain business or industry sector?
- Do you know the price and are there any additional expenses for maintaining the software?
- What kind of features does the software provide you with? And are you able to customise it if the standard components do not match your specific requirements?
- Will the software assist you in complying with statutory requirements, for example; tax returns, annual accounts, or audit trails?
- Is the software accredited as a complaint with all the specified services? – such as the PAYE recognition scheme or the HMRC’s Making Tax Digital for VAT.
- What types of support are available for setup, maintenance of the system, and staff training, and what will the cost be?
- Are there security measures in place to backup data and protect customer information and what are they?
- Is the accountant versed with the software and is the software itself suitable with the accountant’s package? If you have an accountant assisting you in submitting your business accounts, you will probably want to be able to exchange account data electronically.
Define Your Business Requirements
Once you have figured out what package options are available, you should consider defining your business needs and requirements, as well as matching them to the current packages. To help you with this below is a checklist from two well-developed resources:
1.An accounting requirements checklist to help you with assessing your business’ basic accounting needs
Are you operating as a sole trader or is your business a limited company? As a sole trader, you might be able to use your personal accounts package instead of a business package, because they are more unlikely to require payroll processing.
Is it necessary for you to have complied with Making Tax Digital for VAT? All VAT-registered businesses need to be signed up for Making Tax Digital for VAT. If you have not signed up, then customs or HM Revenue will sign you up automatically unless you have applied for an exemption or you have already been exempted. Now, you need to keep all your VAT records and submit your VAT Returns using compatible software.
Do you have employees? If the answer to this question is “yes”, then you may want to consider getting accounting packages that have a payroll function instead of separate payroll software. You may need to file specific PAYE returns online, so it is important to check and make sure that the software can handle e-filing and meets the HM Revenue and Customs payroll standard.
How many transactions will you be expected to do every month? If it is less than ten, you might find that a manual system will work the best. If you have more than ten, you may need to choose a package that is designed for higher levels of activity.
What is the number of users on the accounting packages at any given moment? If only one person is working on the accounts, a simple low-cost package may be all that’s needed. Nevertheless, if there are numerous individuals entering transactions at the same time, you will need to have something more sophisticated.
What computer systems do you use? The majority of businesses use personal computers with a Windows Operating System and there is a large variety of accounts software for this platform. If you are currently using a Linux or Macintosh, your choice of software might be restricted, and you might want to consider using a Windows-based PC only for the accounting packages. Some applications depend on additional software to link a Macintosh computer to a Windows-based PC
2 .A list of important features of accounting packages – to assist you in understanding the different tasks accounting software packages can carry out
There are a variety of accounting packages available for business, with a range of features and important functionalities. You should keep in mind that the software you choose depends on the type of business you have and how it is run.
Ultimately, you have to look for an accounts package that meets all your standard business requirements as well as detailed needs. To assist you in figuring out your basic needs continue reading for a list of detailed requirements for accounting packages:
•Basic bookkeeping – for example; purchase ledgers and sales, invoicing and nominal ledger.
Capable of keeping digital records for Making Tax Digital for VAT purchases.
•VAT calculations – your account systems must be able to not only keep track of your VAT but also be able to calculate your VAT payment every time a VAT period comes to an end.
•Processing of payrolls – If you have employees, it would be good to think about a payroll function that calculates PAYE (Pay As You Earn) as well as National Insurance contributions either weekly or monthly.
•Automatisation of management reports – you might have to prepare internal management reports regularly, and a system that provides you with management accounts regularly which will help improve efficiency.
•Invoicing – any accounting package is expected to be able to provide invoices. Despite that, you most likely will have to be able to customise them and you might want to send them via email.
•Credit Control – an accounts package will assist you by highlighting where customers have exceeded their limits and provide you with statements to chase.
Compatibility with other types of computer systems – these include account systems utilised by your accountant, as well as e-commerce websites, stock control systems or customer relationship management systems.
•Industry accreditation – from an independent industry body, for example, the Business Application Software Developers Association.
Specialised Requirements For Your Accounting Packages
When you are picking which accounting packages you need for your business, you might realise that general-purchase applications do not fit your requirements perfectly. Depending on how complex your needs are, you might want to consider the following things:
- Industry-specific solutions
- Custom-built solutions
- Software that has integrated or add-on modules for specific tasks, for example, project accounting
Some of the more typical specialised features in accounting software are listed below. You can get accounting packages with all of these features if you require them, however, the costs are more likely to be higher.
If you are buying and selling in foreign currencies, your accounts might be more complex. You can buy accounting packages that fully support foreign currencies; however, these tend to be created and priced for larger businesses. You are still able to operate with cheaper packages, unfortunately, you may have to do more of the manual work.
Specialised VAT Schemes
There are a few of these, the most common of which is called the Cash Accounting Scheme where you pay VAT when your invoices have all been paid. Others do this like the Flat Rate and Retail Schemes. If you make use of any of these schemes you must look out for a package that will support them.
If you own a business that sells products instead of providing a service and you have a high turnover of sales, you might benefit from integrating your stock control function with your accounts.
You will get significant benefits by paying invoices online using electronic funds transfer. Some types of accounting packages support this capability in an integrated manner. If this will deliver significant benefits for your business, it is worth investigating how the accounting packages work and the costs that apply to this type of service.
If your business has a high volume of small value sales, for example; if you own a shop, you should consider looking for an accounting system that supports this type of operation.
Integrated with Other IT Systems
It might be your wish to integrate your accounting software with your other software like customer relationship management or an e-commerce website. For example, you want all your financial transactions to be recorded directly to your accounting software.
Implementation Checklist For New Accounting Packages
There are multiple ways of approaching setting up new accounting packages and making them suitable for your business. The majority of individuals start by carefully planning and analysing the critical steps that they have to conduct for a successful implementation of accounting packages. The following is a checklist for your implementation plan and the steps you should follow.
1 – Package Installation
This step is usually in the form of a CD-ROM, or via the internet if it is hosted in the cloud and might need you to register the package with a supplier so that it is fully licensed and works correctly. Depending on how complex the accounting packages are the supplier might have to install it for you.
2 – Initial Company Setup
You will be required to enter the details of your business including the year-end date, the form of VAT accounting you are currently using as well as other details. Your accounting packages might have a lot of different charts of accounts, for example, the headings you use in your accounts.
3 – Parallel Running
You might find it useful to run all your old accounts and the new accounting packages alongside one another for some time to make sure that you are getting the right results. However, it is challenging to maintain parallel running for a long time because of the duplication of effort.
4 – Training
Ideally, the individuals who work with accounting packages daily should have some form of formal training. You must time this training just before the installation of the software.
5 – Support
It is a fantastic idea to buy a support agreement from your supplier for all your new accounting packages, at least for the first year of your operation to ensure that you have a readily available contact to assist you with any sort of questions, queries, and problems. Numerous small businesses have found it incredibly useful to have a support agreement as a sort of investment even after the initial period has ended.
Contact SureBooks to schedule a complimentary consultation and decide what bookkeeping services you need for your business. We will ensure that the package you choose best suits your financial needs. If there are any additional bookkeeping services you would like, we will be happy to discuss this with you.