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Online Bookkeeping: How It Will Simplify Your Life

One of the most daunting aspects of running a business of any size is the need for meticulous bookkeeping. Anyone who has ever cowered in fear of having to solve a math problem at the board in front of the class is likely more than a little anxious about taking on bookkeeping for their business. After all, there’s a lot riding on that record keeping, including wooing future investors and proving your figures when the IRS comes knocking.

Unlike balancing a personal checkbook, bookkeeping for a business often requires keeping track of several accounts, as well as a basic knowledge of accounting. Bookkeeping requires maintaining a balance sheet and income statement, tracking payments to suppliers and accounts receivable, and keeping meticulous payroll and tax records.
If it all seems like too much, online bookkeeping can be a lifesaver for small businesses.

The Benefits of Online Bookkeeping

Just as the average, semi-mathematically challenged person benefits greatly from tax preparation software to take them through complex calculations and legal scenarios, so too do small business owners benefit from online bookkeeping software to talk them through their work. Here’s how online bookkeeping software and services make business accounting easier:
  • It Saves Time: Once employees understand the program, it’s quick and easy to log receipts and other paperwork as they arrive instead of letting them stack up. With information securely stored in the program, it’s also only a click away to find it again to answer a question about a transaction.
  • It Streamlines Paperwork: Instead of writing receipts and invoices by hand, a robust online bookkeeping program compiles all financial information and allows for automatic reports and tracking. It’s easy to see outstanding payments and track the ebb and flow of income at a glance.
  • It Improves Accuracy: A single subtraction error can echo throughout the books for weeks, and clerical errors are notoriously difficult to track down once they’re made. When a computer is doing the math, computation errors are a thing of the past.
  • It Simplifies Payroll: For small businesses with employees, payroll can be an additional challenge, as hours need to be logged and taxes accounted and reported to various governmental entities. Online bookkeeping software prompts users to enter information and automatically calculates withholding, benefits and more.
  • It Makes Business Mobile: Cloud-based accounting programs allow users to access the software from anywhere, which helps workers stay on top of data entry and invoicing even while on the road. With real-time updates, no one is left in the dark about cash flow.

How Online Bookkeeping Improves Small Business Operations

The benefits of online bookkeeping software go far beyond simply improving the books. Once utilized to its full potential, online bookkeeping can transform a business by providing a great deal of information at a glance. Use the power of the program to generate reports on income, losses, payroll and a whole host of other areas. The software makes it easy to zoom in on a single day of the week or take a global view of a year’s sales. Having this information can change daily operations to solve problems and maximize profits.
Online bookkeeping also frees up small business owners to spend more time on what they love: their business, not the books. Because it makes everything faster and easier, entrepreneurs can take the time they save and reinvest into coming up with more great ideas or making better connections with the community. The productivity boost can be huge. 

Options for Online Bookkeeping Services

There are many online accounting programs out there, but these are some of the best:
  • Quickbooks Online: There are five different online iterations of Quickbooks, so it’s easy to get as much or as little functionality as a business requires. Mobile features and add-ons like check printing make it easy to customize a program for any size company.
  • Harvest: This is a good program for beginners who don’t need a full array of accounting features. It includes time tracking and is compatible with iPhone and Android phones for total convenience.
  • Kashoo: This program is cloud-based for easy access from anywhere in the world. It’s also a great choice for real-time currency exchange for business who deal with overseas customers or suppliers.  
  • BrightbookThis option is completely free to use online, so it’s another good choice for beginners to get a sense of what they like before investing in a more permanent solution. The program offers invoicing capabilities and basic income and expense reports.

The Bottom Line

Transitioning to an online bookkeeping program is nothing short of life-changing for small business owners. They’ll save time, have more accurate records and reap the benefit of a slew of data and reports to help see exactly where the money is going. Though the startup costs and time required to fully learn a new program can be daunting at first, the return on that investment will continue to pay dividends into the future. Choosing a service with great features like invoicing, payroll and more will help any business owner be more efficient and more aware of where each and every dollar is going. 

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Category: Productivity

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Tags: bookkeeping, Taxes

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