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Choosing the right accounting software for your small business

29th September 2021 Print

With so many types of accountancy software available, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. But feeling overwhelmed and confused isn’t a good enough reason to put off streamlining your business processes, which is where this blog comes in. If you’ve been going backwards and forwards between options for a while now, these are some important factors you really need to bear in mind.

Potential for customisation

Does the small business accounting software you’re interested in come with a lot of features? If you need a more basic package, make sure you’re not overpaying for things you don’t need. Ideally, you want to find software that can be customised or upgraded at a later date. This means that you can adjust the programme to suit your business's changing needs. Many providers will offer multiple packages for basic bookkeeping, payroll and cash flow reporting. Picking a system that you can be more flexible with means you won’t need to relearn a new programme each time your small business expands.


This might seem like an obvious one, but initial subscription prices aren’t always what they seem. Beware of cheap trial offers because, while they might seem like a great deal, your total costs could double or even triple further down the line. If you commit to a 12-month period, this could mean you end up spending a lot more than you’re comfortable with. Sometimes it’s better to choose the software without an introductory offer to be safe.

Online or offline?

Online accounting software means that you can access your data from just about anywhere, but it does mean paying a fee each month. Offline accounting software will usually involve a one-off payment for the version you choose. However, if your computer fails, you might be at risk of losing all your books. Think about the way you run your business to determine which type of software would suit your operation the most.


If you want your accounting software to make your tax calculations for you, make sure that it’s fully compliant with regulations. Choosing software that’s out of date or uses a system not approved by the tax office could lead to mistakes. You don’t want to end up having to redo the maths or pay hefty fines for submitting your tax return incorrectly. If there’s one area of your business you want to pay extra attention to, it’s this.


Some accounting software is designed for accountants to use, while others are more accessible to the general user. If you don’t have accounting experience, pick software that’s user-friendly and doesn’t require a lot of training to operate. While most providers will offer online support for any issues you’re having, the fewer problems you do have, the smoother your business will run. This is especially key if other employees will be using the software, as extensive training will cost you both time and money.

To find the best accounting software for your small business, take your time, shop around, and weigh up the pros and cons.