Accounting software is a class of computer programs that enable you to manage your business’s financial transactions. Such programs can vary widely in scope, with some programs designed for little more than simple bookkeeping and some designed to manage the entire financial comings and goings of large businesses. Using accounting software helps companies to use the resources in their accounting departments efficiently, and can reduce costly bookkeeping mistakes.
Accounting software can help to increase the accuracy of your records by reducing or eliminating human errors in calculation. Manual bookkeeping processes involve making a lot of mathematical calculations by hand. An incorrect calculation early on in the in the process could have a great impact on the end balance. Computers, on the other hand, are virtually incapable of making such errors. However, it should be noted that accounting software is not immune to human errors arising from data entry or interpretation mistakes.
Using accounting software allows businesses to process their accounts with greater speed than manual processing. Part of this speed increase comes from the use of computers, which are able to process figures far faster than the human brain. In addition, accounting software allows organizations to increase efficiency by introducing automation. Say, for example, that a business needs to record sales tax on all of its transactions. Accounting software could be configured to do that for each entry automatically, rather than having a staff member work out the tax longhand.
The benefits resulting from the speed and efficiency of accounting software often go hand-in-hand with reduced overall costs. The use of an accounting program allows each member of the accounting team to do more in a given time, potentially meaning that a smaller team is needed overall. This, in turn, can reduce the accounting department’s payroll and administration costs. However, these savings should always be balanced against the cost of the software itself and any additional hardware needed to run it.
Accounting software helps businesses to supply the necessary members of staff with timely and accurate financial information. For example, suppose that a company’s finance director needs a report of cashflow to take to a meeting in two hours. Many accounting software systems have built-in reporting modules that enable users to create this type of report by simply filling in a form or clicking a button. However, creating such a report manually would be a time-consuming process.
Filing your business taxes can be a complex process, requiring you to keep close track of all your business’s transactions. Accounting software helps to make this process easier by ensuring that all of your business’s financial details are in one place. In addition, companies such as Intuit and ATX produce tax return software that integrates with their accounting programs. This allows you to calculate your return itself semi-automatically, rather than spending time and resources working out the necessary details by hand.