All small business owners and managers must have a basic grasp on the accounting functions of the business, empowering them to incorporate financial budgeting and planning that is essential of all business in the postmodern and competitive global marketplace. For many business owners, it is easy to fall into the trap of concentrating on the day to day operations and strategic direction for the business without implementing financial controls that are essential to the implementation and evaluation of such plans. All successful businesses allocate time to devise and prepare accurate and timely budgets and periodic financial budgets to realise the company's visions and to regularly monitor the organisations finance and performance. Ensuring that a structured financial plan is in place will assist your business grow, enabling the allocation of resources to increase profits, while reducing costs and increasing financial returns.
One of the key benefits of financial budgeting and planning is the direction and focus it provides, presenting key targets to be meet to guarantee growth, assess performance, identify areas for improvement and base decisions upon with greater confidence. However, many small business operators either lack the technical knowledge or the available time to dedicate to the time consuming financial functions of the business. In response to this, the development of software designed to assist businesses gain control of their financial budgeting and planning has accelerated rapidly.
When perusing the various options that are available, it is important to note than not all software is developed equally. Care should be taken to ascertain the requirements of your business and the features that the software possesses. Key features and functions of any financial based program should have the following bases covered:
- Main Office Screen: this allows the user to easily in navigate the system, allowing fast and easy access to components of the program that you require.
- Cashbook: Empowers the user to manage their finances effectively. Fast downloading of bank statements reduces the time needed to be dedicated to this function. Additionally, auto-coding and the splitting of common transactions can further automate the process. The origination of financial reports for individual or selected banks, with associated GST reports, along with the production of annual reports is a must.
- Budgeting: Allows user to plan and project for the future, while providing valuable information to evaluate performance and identify opportunities. The program should allow the use of previous cashbooks to populate a new budget, as well as starting from scratch.
- Invoice: This should be an easy to use module which is fully integrated into other functions of the software. The production of statements and aged debtor reports should be available.
- Wage book: This is an essential component of any business software that facilitates the payment of wages, employee deductions, tax-free and taxable allowances, pay calculator and leave recorder. The production of pay reconciliation reports for tax purposes is an essential function.
- Reports: one of the most important functions of any business software is its ability to provide comprehensive and easily comprehendible reports.
- Free Trial: to make sure that you have the right software for your business, look for programs that have a free trial period. This will give you a chance to operate the system and evaluate its effect and suitability for your business.