Everything from bookkeeping to customer management, billing, inventory and invoicing can be accomplished in a few clicks with online accounting programs. Moving your financial management to the Web can free you from worry about storing paper files, upgrading software or maintaining extra computers.
Before deciding to manage your business finances online, ask the following questions:
- Does the provider offer a full array of financial management services or just a few?
- Will my data be backed up regularly?
- How secure is the platform?
- Does support come with the service or is it extra?
- Can I get my data back if I stop using the service?
Investigate Web-based accounting systemsOnline accounting platforms can handle key accounting tasks through "dashboards" that keep all your company's information right at your fingertips and can be accessed anytime and from any Internet connection.
Upgrading from software to online management shouldn't be difficultIf you manage your business finances via software, check to see whether the provider has an online edition — and whether you can transfer your information to the online edition without too much fuss. Also check to see whether the online edition has all the features offered via software.
Find an offering that is tailored to your needsSome online products are for small businesses, others for larger organizations, and some primarily for consumers, although they have business components.
Some financial management products can be accessed by cell phone or PDAFor true portability, consider products that work on your Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) or cell phone.
Banks of all sizes offer online financial management tools for businessSoftware companies aren't the only purveyors of online financial management tools. Many banks, large and small, now offer products.
Some banks offer online business services teamed with an online software programIn a bid to grow their online banking business, some banks offer a program that interfaces with an online business software program, such as QuickBooks.
Consider an online bank for business bankingIf you're managing your business finances online, why not go all the way and use an online bank for your business banking? Online banks have no physical branches or ATMs, but often offer compelling fee structures.
- Advantages of online financial management for businesses: You don't have to buy servers or new computers to use it…You don't have to download software…You don't have to spend time configuring it…You don't have to build a dedicated IT network to service it