Cloud accounting software tends to include invoicing functionality within it, and is commonly considered a must-have for small businesses. If you’re looking for the right one for your business, here’s what you should consider:
1) Your size
Small businesses and global giants have very different needs. Some solutions will try to address both, others will focus on one over the other.
Choose the software that’s best tailored to your size, and you’re likely to have a much better experience.
2) Budget and pricing
You get what you pay for. A free product will save you cash up front, but is almost certainly going to lack features you need.
At the other end of the spectrum, there will be cloud accounting packages that offer more than what your business needs, costing you more than you need to be paying.
Tying into the above, it’s good to start your search for cloud accounting software by considering your needs first.
What kinds of finance and accounting tasks do you need to undertake?
Do you just need to send out invoices, or are you looking for forecasting or tax capabilities too?
Once you’re clear on those, your search will be easier. And it’s a good idea to involve whoever in your business will be using the software, in this process.
There are three broad things you’ll want to consider here:
Can the provider demonstrate they meet your compliance needs?
Can they demonstrate they meet your security needs (keeping your data safe from both theft, and loss)?
And do they come highly reviewed by their users?
5) Your growth
Are you expecting your business will grow significantly in future? Make sure you understand if, and how, the provider’s solution can accommodate this.
If this means needing to switch providers entirely, make sure you understand what your options are to export your data from one provider and import it into another.
6) Customer support
Customer support can make or break your experience with software. Make sure you understand what options will be available to you (e.g. email, telephone, live chat), which days and times they operate, how fast response time is, and - if you can - how well-rated their customer support is by their users.
7) How it looks and feels
Watch a demo video of software you’re interested in, or ideally try a free trial of it. Whoever is going to be using this software in your business should pick something which feels the easiest to understand and use.
8) Integrating apps
Perhaps an obvious one given the topic of this article, but ensure you check out the provider’s app store or app marketplace.
While you can’t expect your accounting software to cover every aspect of your workflow, there should be a variety of apps that you can connect up to fulfil those needs. It’s also worth trying to find reviews online that speak to the quality of these integrations.
The size of the above list might make it seem like you have to be a detective to find the right cloud accounting or invoicing software for your business.
However, it's a very important piece of software for a business, so it’s worth dedicating the appropriate time and effort choosing.
And remember, if you’d like some guidance from an expert - don’t forget your accountant. They should be able to give you an informed opinion of what’s best for you, or at least guidance on how to best approach your search.