Should I get accounting and payroll software?
As a one person business I am keen not to spend all my time doing admin - should I invest in some accounting software and a payroll programme or just use a spreadsheet and the HMRC free tools?
I would try out free options like Wave Accounting and see how it works for you.
There are multiple options available to you, but yes, you should do the accounting in a program. If you start from now using accounting software, you'll have all of your history in one place and can generate reports to compare time periods. And many import your transactions, so if you know what they are for, it won't take long to post.
That doesn't mean you have to do the work yourself. If it's a fairly simple business, you can have a teenager or intern assist you as long as you understand the process yourself. You'll have to show them at first how to do the steps, and you should write written instructions for anyone assisting you to follow. Keep in mind if you have anything difficult, you should have someone who understands accounting assist you. It's worth it to pay for the work to be done right the first time.
You may think you don't need it now, but you'll be thankful down the road you used software. And your CPA will thank you too!
I would invest in Quickbooks or Zoho for accounting.
The average small business owner spends 6.8 hours a week on financial stuff, like bookkeeping and payroll. If you're a one-man show, you could likely spend your time doing more productive tasks to service and grow your business.
Kashoo offers a great cloud solution for bookkeeping. For those in Canada, http://www.easyrecordbooks.com is based on the Kashoo platform and provides a personal bookkeeper and payroll specialist to handle the paperwork so you can focus on your business.
It all depends on the size of your business. If you spend a good part of your day doing the books then it is worth the investment. I just finished a short-term engagement at local company and all the bookkeeping functions are done via spreadsheet and paper. It was nuts. When I see $100K in A/R from an established client and the business owners says to me oh I need someone to go through and update the file there is something wrong.
Hello Tony, I am part of the Trainer/Writer Network of Intuit's QuickBooks Online product and I see great advantages in using a cloud based Accounting system such as QBO which already has Payroll (KeyPay) built in for up to 10 employees. The advantages of using an Accounting program (Database) rather than a Spreadsheet is that the key information such as Customers, Sales, Suppliers, Bills, Banking and Taxation are integrated so that changing one piece of information, such as paying a Bill will adjust other information automatically, QBO now has automatic bank feeds which allow you to create rules to detect information flows into your bank statements and automatically assign the appropriate tax code and ledger posting, cutting down the data entry required. You can also attach scanned or photos of receipts to transactions in the field using the mobile QBO App.
I would suggest you contract with someone to do those important functions and focus on what you do best.
If you have time & are numerate, managing your own books is a good way to stay close to your business performance/cashflow. However if your focussed on delivering the best experience for your customers & not good at numbers - you can also outsource the book-keeping to a Virtual Service for a fixed fee per month...its that easy !
Hi Tony, yes you should definitely invest in accounting software and online payroll. This will save you 50% of the money and time in the long run. Plus it will save you the stress if you're not keen to spend all your time doing admin.
If you'd like some guidance on the best accounting software feel free to get in touch with me.
Most tax accountants prefer to work with a counting software at year-end. In addition, it allows you to view reports that can keep you abreast of where your money is being spent, what income you have, etc. I recommend QuickBooks desktop as the online version is subscriber and very expensive to maintain. Payroll, especially if it is just for 1-2 people, can easily be handled, and tracked, in Quickbooks desktop - the caveat being that you should add reminders to deposit necessary taxes on a timely basis.
Search Amazon.com for my book that walks you through setting up and maintaining a basic service business. "How To Do Your Own Small Business Bookkeeping."