3 mistakes people make when choosing small business accounting software

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3 mistakes people make when choosing small business accounting software

Over the last 10 years I have found that small business owners fail to invest in small business accounting software due to making one of these 3 mistakes

Mistake No 1 – They think the more they spend, the more useful it will be

Software that can track your stock in multiple sites is irrelevant if you’re a service provider and being able to deal with foreign currencies is pointless if you plan to operate in a local market.

It would be like my mother buying the latest smartphone. The most important features for her are big buttons that she can press easily with arthritic hands and loud ringtone so she can hear. It just happens to be one of the cheapest phones in the shop, but she would still want and buy that model if it were the most expensive, because it solves her problems.

‘Think about what your business does and what problems you want your accounting software to solve’

If you’re biggest problem is getting cash in from clients, you need accounting software that allows you to easily add a payment button that links Paypal or GoCardless to the sales invoice. That way your customer can pay you as soon as they receive your email with a simple click of a button.

If you need to file VAT returns make sure there is a seamless VAT return filing function. Some of the free cloud solutions are great at tracking expenses but do not allow you to file to HMRC directly.

Mistake No 2 – They think that what their friend/someone on facebook/ networking associate uses will be great for them

Recommendations are a great starting point, but make sure you find out who is actually using their software, do they manage it themselves or do they get a bookkeeper to maintain it?

How comfortable are they with numbers and tech compared to you?

You need to find people in similar sectors, with a similar skill set and ask what they use. Be more discerning when you ask for advice.

So if you’re a creative who hates numbers, tell the world and ask what they use and how comfortable they are with it.

Ask how much training is needed to get up and running, I HATE reading instruction manuals so for me the fact that XERO had nice short training videos that were easy to find and follow was a deal clincher.

Mistake No 3 – They think it’s a boring necessity for tax reasons that won’t add any benefit to their business

You may never like working with numbers, but if your software can cut out the brain numbing data entry and send out automatic payment reminders to persistent late payers it will stop being a chore.


XERO, Kashflow and Freeagent all support automatic bank feeds, so your bank statements automatically go straight into your accounting system.

Bank feeds have more than halved the time I spend on bookkeeping in my own business. I can also send slick invoices with my logo on them from my phone whilst waiting for my children to come out of school.

I know that accounts and software may not be your thing, but saving time and money is. If you’re ready to take action and get your accounts sorted email me on laura@pieaccounts.co.uk or send me a message here

1 Comment

  1. Eugenio says:

    This is really helpful, thanks.

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