If you find accounting and bookkeeping intimidating, you’re not alone. According to research by Paychex, more than 50 percent of small businesses don’t even use accounting software.
The reasons for this unfortunate aversion ranged from lack of an accounting or bookkeeping background, to fear of accounting software itself to being just too harried starting their business.
Their preferred accounting “package” was ... a shoebox, an envelope or an Excel spreadsheet. The research confirmed that at the end of the year, bookkeeping-shy entrepreneurs brought their preferred package to a tax accountant and hoped for the best. And they ended up paying a lot more just to have the mess straightened out before the tax work could even begin.
What Paychex saw in that sad state of affairs was an opportunity to create an accounting solution aimed squarely between the box/spreadsheet and the more complicated options such as QuickBooks.
That research guided the creation of Paychex Accounting Online, a simple Cloud-based accounting package that meets the needs of new and established small businesses.
Despite its simplicity, Paychex Online Accounting is actually a powerful, full-throated backend accounting package that has true double entry accounting. That may not mean much to you as a small business owner, but your CPA will appreciate it.
Being Cloud based makes it easy to share access to your general ledger, allowing your accountant to see if books are in order—eliminating a lot of the expensive corrective work at tax time.
With little or no training, you can invoice clients, track bills and expenses, reconcile bank accounts, and access reports that help reveal your business’ financial health. You can import transactions from your bank account directly into your books, along with bank card or credit card transactions for your monthly reconciliation process.
And to track your expenses, all you need is a smartphone. Just take a photo, make a simple entry and upload it directly to your books—in real time, when you incur the expense.
Other advantages of being in the Cloud:
• You don’t have to install software, do backups, manage security and worry about upgrades.
• Access your files from anywhere. Run your business on any device with an Internet browser, whether you use a laptop, desktop or a tablet.
• Your books are not only protected should your computer crash, but entry errors are lessened because there is only one version being used.
• Transactions are captured and stored real time. If you lose your Internet connection during a session, just pick up where you left off when you’re connected again. Or work offline on an iPad. Once connected, the transactions will sync with your ledger.
• No software to buy. It is Software as a Service (SaaS), which means you pay a reasonable month-to-month fee with no commitment.
The bottom line: Cloud accounting overcomes many of the fears and concerns of new business owners and gives them the power to make better decisions.
It’s time to find a new use for that shoebox.
* Paychex is an official Web.com Global Partner. For a free trial of Paychex Accounting Online made available exclusively to readers of the Web.com Small Business Forum blog, please follow this link.
David Durick is the Product Marketing Manager for the Accounting & Finance products at Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. He has 20 years of sales, consulting, operational and technical experience in the payments industry.