The requirements of any accounts system are to keep track of income and expenditure and tell the business owner how his or her business is doing (in enough detail to keep HMRC happy).
In a really simple business structure, a quick look at the bank balance might be enough to get an overview, but it doesn’t always tell the true story when things are moving quickly – which is where accounting software comes in.
However, using a computerised accounting system can be a project in its own right, and getting one set up can be very time consuming.
Apart from manual systems, including paper books and spreadsheets, there are two basic options, a cloud based system or a system where the software and data reside on your own computer and network.
But beware, you might need to keep your own backup of data (preferably in a form other software can understand) and you shouldn’t rely on the cloud system to keep your valuable data safe.
The de facto choice of accounting software for small businesses was Sage 50 or, its cut down sister Sage Instant. And Sage have a cloud based version as well, which you pay for on a monthly basis. However, these systems are not cheap for an entrepreneur looking to keep costs down and there are better, cheaper systems available.
If you keep your eyes open you can find free versions of some software; TAS Basics, built by Sage will do a lot of what you need to keep basic records even if it doesn’t file VAT returns online. But if you get that far you will probably need to start paying for your software.
What can accounting software help with?
There are a vast range of services and tools available with accounting software, and they vary between individual offerings.
The most basic software allows you to record your income and expenditure in a clear manner.
More complex offerings allow you to fill out tax forms and file returns, control stock levels, make and send invoices and even carry out payments in a variety of currencies
Disclaimer:- The information contained herein is given by way of general guidance only and no action should be taken solely on the basis of the information contained herein. The Avanti Group (UK) Ltd will be pleased to provide further guidance on the issues, and how they might affect you. No liability is accepted by the firm for any action taken without seeking appropriate professional advice.