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How to Choose The Best Cloud Accounting Software For Small & Mid-Size Businesses Firstly, you should determine the size of your budget. The more you pay, the wider range of options you will get !

By Emmanuel Mathew

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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If you are running a business, it is a good idea to use cloud-based (online) accounting software to help you with day-to-day accounting. One of the biggest advantages of cloud-based software over regular software is that is always easily accessible from anywhere in the world (provided that you have internet access).

Also, you do not have to worry about updating your software or data backup, as these things are taken care of automatically. Depending on the size of your business, you should look for different things in a cloud-based software.

Firstly, you should determine the size of your budget. The more you pay, the wider range of options you will get (things such as expense tracking, recurring invoices, payroll services and automatic past-due billing all add to the price). Prices vary from about 10 to more than 40 dollars per month.

However, if you own a small business, 20 dollars per month should be enough. Also, some providers offer free or trial versions of their software. These versions limit the number of options you can use of let you use the program for several days before deciding if it is the right software for you.

Depending on your needs, you may not even need an accounting software. However, if you do require some of the following features, then this kind of a program can be a great asset for your business.

· If you have many clients, accounting software can be extremely helpful, because it lets you organize a database of customer information (their purchase histories, credit terms, and all kinds of other information).

· If you do not know much about laws and regulations, cloud-based accounting software can easily help you with this and make sure that everything you do is legal and in compliance with the generally accepted accounting principles.

· If you are just starting out, it is much easier to work with accounting software from the very beginning. If you are running an older business, it will be much harder to implement all the spreadsheets and ledgers.

Accounting software saves time, especially if you are looking to grow your business. The less time you have to spend dealing with accounting, the more time you will have for everything else.

If you are still not sure if you are in need of an accounting program, here are some of the things that it can help you with:

  • Of course, basic accounting services are provided. The software does income and expense tracking, it generates financial reports, it takes care of invoicing...
  • It can also make payroll processing much easier and more streamlined. The programs calculate the pay based on the time sheets, they print the checks and they pay the workers.
  • They save a lot of time because they automatize a number of processes. They provide services such as automatic billing, past-due notifications...
  • If you hate wasting your time doing tax preparation, this type of software is a must-buy. Not only does it automatically do tax calculations and tax reporting, it also prepares all the necessary information so you can easily e-mail it to your accountant.
  • If you are busy and do not have enough time to sit down and take care of accounting yourself, accounting software seems tailor-made for you because it offers mobile access on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Doing manual accounting can quickly overrun your office with tons of papers. However, by using a program, you can, for example, add a receipt to expenses simply by taking a picture.
  • Instead of hiring a bookkeeper, simply buy a program. It is a lot cheaper and programs do not complain.
  • You do not have to input information by yourself. Instead, the software does that for you, automatically and in real-time.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you should not stick with old-school accounting. The technology is developing faster and faster, and accounting software (especially if it is cloud based) has made such a progress that there is no reason to not utilize its many advantages.

This software will most likely make accounting a lot easier. It will make it almost automatized, basically something that you won't need to worry about. And 10 to 40 dollars per month is not a high price to pay for that.

Emmanuel Mathew

GM- Agilne

Emmanuel  is a serial entrepreneur , with a passion for helping organizations improve organizational efficiencies. As founder of Averiware his goal is to allow small and mid-size  to have an affordable business solution to help them manage all aspects of a typical business. He believe SaaS and cloud solutions such as Averiware allow SMBs to have application to be more competitive.
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