Types of Accounting Programs
What Do New Zealand Small Business Accounting Websites Do?
Financial bookkeeping is complicated and time consuming. New Zealand Business owners find it challenging enough to cover the basics—paying the bills and tracking incoming revenue—let alone answer critical questions: Are we profitable, and why or why not? Can we make required tax payments? Should we invest in new equipment? Do we need to explore financing? Will we hit our budget numbers? Where can we cut expenses? Can the appropriate team members access all our accounting data online if they have to work from home?
A good small New Zealand business accounting website can provide information in seconds that will help you answer these questions, based on the input you supply.
Once you populate a site with information about your financial accounts, your customers and vendors, and the products or services you sell, you can use that data to create transactions that the site can, in turn, use to create insights. Instant search tools and customisable reports help you track down the smallest details and see overviews of how your business is performing. Android and iOS apps for the sites give you access to your finances from your mobile devices.
How Do You Set Up Accounting Software?
Depending on how long your business has been operating, getting started with a small business accounting website can take anywhere from five minutes to several hours after signing up for an account.
Most of these sites charge monthly subscription fees and usually offer free trial periods. The more you need it to do, the longer your setup takes (and the higher the monthly payment, generally).
Early setup involves creating an account and answering questions like when your fiscal year starts and whether you use account numbers.
Accounting probably doesn’t make the list of things you like to do as a Kiwi business owner. It can be complicated, and it needs to be done correctly. The makers of small business accounting software have worked hard to present this discipline as simply and pleasantly as possible. Some, including Intuit QuickBooks Online and FreshBooks, have been more successful at this than others.
After you’ve supplied information about your company structure, one of your next setup tasks will be to add information about your customers and vendors. Most online accounting sites let you include more than basic contact details (“customer since” date, birthday, and other similar fields), which can be helpful as you develop and maintain relationships with them. You do the same thing for the products and services you sell, so you can add them easily to transactions.
Accounting services let you easily create any transaction that a small business is likely to need. The most common of these are invoices and bills, and most of the services we reviewed support them. Sites such as Xero and Zoho Books go further, allowing you to produce more advanced forms, like purchase orders, sales receipts, credit notes, and statements. They provide templates for them, too. All you have to do is fill in the blanks and select from lists of variables like customers and items.
Once you have completed an invoice, for example, you have several options. You can save it as a draft or a final version and either print it or email it. If you do the latter and have established a relationship with a payment processor, then your invoice can contain a stub explaining how the customer can return payment via credit card or bank withdrawal. You can create a PDF version of the invoice, copy it, record a payment on it, and set it up to recur on a regular schedule. All forms in these sites work similarly.
Accounting services also pay special attention to your Kiwi company’s expenses—not bills that you enter and pay (though many support this), but rather other purchases you make. This is an area of your finances that can easily get out of control if it’s not monitored. So, small business accounting sites tell you about them, dividing them into expense types and comparing them with your income using totals and colorful charts.
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