Best Accounting Software for (Really) Small Businesses

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There are a lot of software options out there that market themselves as the premier accounting solution for small businesses, but there are few that work well when your business is really quite small, even tiny. Many of these software packages aimed at small businesses include features and services that the majority of micro businesses will never use, and shouldn’t have to pay for. If you’re running a really small business, like a sole proprietorship, a freelance or consulting business, e-commerce site, or a business operating entirely out of your own home, Zoho Books may be the perfect accounting software for you.

Microbusinesses- those with a total of 5 employees or less- have very unique needs when it comes to accounting software, as well as almost everything else. They need time-saving, user-friendly solutions without all the added bulk of multiple department management tools and endless lists of “teams”. For microbusiness owners, time really is money in the truest sense of the phrase, because the less time they spend trying to make accounting software work for them and other banal tasks, the more time and energy they have to focus on growing their business. Zoho Books provides great basic functionality, is easy to use, and can grow as your business does- all at an affordable price, making it a perfect choice for microbusinesses. It comes recommended by industry professionals at Atkinsons Accountants in Brighton. Some of its most handy features include:

  • Automatic Tasks – This is one of Zoho Book’s most innovative features, and it really helps to keep things up-to-date and easy without you having to spend much time or energy looking after it. The software can automatically perform common tasks like sending invoices, setting up recurring billing, tracking expenses, notifying you with payment reminders and more.
  • Online Payments – Zoho Books can seamlessly connect with popular payment gateways like PayPal, Authorize.net, Stripe, Braintree and 2Checkout, so that your customers can instantly pay their invoices online. This ensures that you receive payment in a timely manner, improves cash flow and guarantees that every invoice gets properly accounted for.
  • Price – Pricing is certainly one of Zoho Book’s most attractive features. $24 per month will give you access to full functionality for unlimited users. This may seem more expensive compared to options like Xero, and Outlook, which can be had nearer to $10 per month, but you will find that those options limit you in number of users and access to functionality in a way that Zoho Book simply doesn’t. These supposedly cheaper options are misleading, because they likely won’t cover all the needs of your business at that price.
  • Customer Support – If you have questions or run into an issue while using Zoho Books, all you need to do is get into contact with any of their wonderful customer support agents. Support is available by email or phone, 24 hours a day, five days a week in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and India.
  • Mobile App – Your subscription to Zoho Books also entitles you to access through a fully-functional mobile app, so that you can manage your accounts wherever you are.

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3 Accounting and Bookkeeping Software You Can Use in Your Business

There are so many programs that have evolved to help businesses with accounting challenges that it can be hard to tell which one is right for you. The different solutions offer very similar functions, for the most part, but some have specific vertical or application options.

When a business is small, there’s a way for most people to handle the books without specialized software. However, as a business grows, evaluating the right product to support the business’s goals is important.

These software products are available for use in businesses in the United Kingdom.

Xero

xero

This full featured and competitive software for small and midsized firms is an accountants dream. It takes the best features of Quickbooks and melds them into a beautiful and functional system.

Intuitively designed and heavily integrated with other business software, the program is one of the most popular and advanced on the market.  In addition, it is very affordable.

ClearBooks

clearbooks

ClearBooks keeps it simple, with an incredibly streamlined interface and a low price point that any business can take advantage of. At £7 per month, the hosted service is more than practical for many people. Including feature sets like Human Resources, Accounting, Payroll and Final Accounts, the ClearBooks advantage is its intentional development for the UK market.

QuickFile

quickfile

A cloud based program that is designed to make sure accounting is accessible to people who are not trained in accounting. The program runs through a quick tutorial at the first login of any user, and from there the system is completely self-navigable.

You can even integrate QuickFIle with a variety of different providers including PayPal and BitCoin. Keeping security and data integrity at the forefront of their development plan, the team at QuickFile makes sure that backups and security are handled with intense dedication. The best thing about QuickFile is that the program is offered at no cost.

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Things To Consider When Hiring an Accountant

If you’ve been keeping up your own spreadsheets or handling your own books on sticky notes, it may be time to consider bringing in a trained and qualified accountant.

There are great up sides to an accountant’s assistance, but a business owner who is not trained might have some concerns about hiring an ethical and upstanding person, as well as one who is competent.

Bookkeeping

While accounting software programs are smarter and easier to use than ever, giving each business a chance to keep track of its own books easily, there are still advantages to having a person oversee the strategic financial direction of the company.

A professional accountant on staff can help with the daily tasks of payables and book keeping, and will ensure that collected receipts are applied properly. Accountants who are properly trained and certified can also help with audits and taxes. Finance, lending and strategic finance are all aspects of an accountant’s role.

Qualifications

Each accountant is different. No matter how similar the educational backgrounds, accreditation and thought processes, there are differences in how accountants conceptualize and handle the dollars for the business. Some of the best operations managers and professional logisticians are in accounting departments.

For this reason, make sure that you interview at latest three people before deciding on an accountant to hire. Ensure that your business philosophy lines up well with the accountant’s way of understanding his or her role.

Certifications

If you are not ready to bring on an employee, but are still interested in having professional accounting advice, think about working with an outsourced provider. You can access a higher level of skill and seniority with a CPA or other accounting when you are using an outsourced contractor and you can do it at a lower price.

There are some people who grow concerned that an outside provider cannot care for their accounting needs the same way an internal employee could, but the professional senior accountant with strong ethical guidelines and an understanding of regulatory and compliance standards will dedicate the proper amount of attention to your firm.

You should be looking for accountants that have certificate to work just like these chartered accountants serving Epsom. This type of accountants are certificated to do their job and will help your business benefit greatly.

Now that you know what to look for, here’s a great video by Leah Remillét on the 10 questions that you should ask your accountant before hiring him or her:

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Reasons to Register Your Company for VAT

Most small business owners struggle with the decision as to register their organization for VAT. There are considerations about how VAT is calculated and what the VAT thresholds are that might apply to their business or company.

When are you obliged to register for VAT?

Since registration for VAT is not required for companies that turning over a total sales volume of less than 82,000 GBP, it’s not a cut and dry decision for many running their own companies.

For organizations that are exceeding the 82,000 GBP cap and do not elect to file VAT there are some pretty severe penalties. Most accounting software programs will help the company to understand when they are coming close to the VAT threshold, and will help them file the correct funds.

Beyond that decision point, understanding how VAT works is not too complicated. There is a responsibility for each vendor to add VAT at twenty percent to any item sold. This revenue is collected expressly on behalf of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. Each quarter, the collections on behalf of HMRC are remitted by the business owner.

A Practical Example…

However, most businesses buy things in addition to selling things. When they buy things, they will probably owe VAT. When they calculate the revenues they’ve collected for HMRC, they should subtract any VAT they owed on behalf of another. In an example where the vendor has collected 1,000 GBP for HMRC in a given quarter, and has made a purchase resulting in 500 GBP owed in VAT, they would remit 500 GBP to HMRC.

In this way, there is a financial benefit to registering for the VAT. However, there’s also a branding element at stake in the decision making process. By deciding not to register for VAT, you effectively choose to inform the entire UK that your business isn’t netting more than 82,000 GBP per annum.

So why would you not want to register for VAT? There’s an impression that the paperwork is overwhelming, and while that can be true, many accounting programs work out the details and print the required forms for the business.

What’s the next step? Probably register for VAT. Here’s how to do it in 5 simple steps.

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