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A good accounting program will help streamline your finances, so you can dedicate more time to your customers. Learn how to find the software that’s best for your business.

If you’re a small business owner, you’re no stranger to long hours of grueling work. You’re up against corporate big guys, and since only one-third of small business last more than 10 years, all your efforts and hard work go into running it.

That’s why streamlining your processes is so crucial, so you can focus your efforts where they matter most—on the customer. A good accounting software program means you can be more efficient about your finances and dedicate more time to your business.

But choosing the right accounting software can be overwhelming. There are so many to choose from, that looking through them all—not to mention, understanding how they work—could take an entire day’s work.

Fear not, small business owner, VII Capital Funds recommends these simple tips, choosing your accounting software will be a breeze. And best of all, you’ll feel confident that you’re choosing the very best, with timesaving features and automated options for an all-in-one solution to your company’s needs.


Depending on your business’ financial health, you might not have much to shell out here—or you might see the advanced features of more expensive software programs as a long-term investment.

Your business structure will also decide what level of accounting features you need. Is the basic and inexpensive program with limited options like invoicing and expense tracking enough for your company? 

Or do you need more advanced features like automated past-due invoicing, payroll capabilities, inventory tracking and purchase ordering? These will cost more, of course, but if they’ll help the efficiency of your business—or if you anticipate your business growing to that level—you can’t afford to do without them.

Thankfully, like our monthly gym memberships and Netflix binge subscriptions, most accounting software these days is also (monthly) subscription-based, a convenient switch from the software licenses of the past. Multiple pricing tiers run a range between $10 and $40 on average, but budget-minded business owners can save even more by paying on an annual basis for a discounted rate.


Are you a one-person accounting team, or will other employees need to access the software? Will you need to use it at home in addition to at the office? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Multi-user access: If other employees will need to use the system, make sure your accounting software allows this. Most will, but some will also charge an extra fee for this feature. You can control user roles and the amount of data access each user is allowed—for example, you might want to retain full access for yourself and your business partner, while allowing other employees only to log their hours or bill customers. 

If you own multiple businesses, look for accounting software that supports them all in one account, so that you can retain more control and convenience.

Cloud-based vs. desktop: The most basic programs might still be desktop-only, or even limited to use on one computer. This is fine if you’ll be the only one accessing financial data (and won’t need it away from the office), but otherwise, you’ll want to make sure your accounting software is cloud-based. 

The benefits of cloud-based are that your data will be saved, and safe, especially in the case of an emergency (make sure to ask if access will be restored immediately during an outage). 

Secondly, you’ll have the peace of mind that you can access your data at any time of day or night, from your phone, so you can run your business remotely no matter your location. It’s also easier, since all maintenance is done on the server end—this means no tech upkeep for you.

Features & Add-ons

This is the make-or-break decision. Besides the basic accounting functions, what are the most important features you’re looking for and what features can your business not live without? If you’re not sure, here are some of the most helpful and time-saving features you should look for:

Ease of use. Will you need an accounting degree to understand it, or is it easy enough to use for anyone who can read a simple tutorial? Make sure your chosen software has plenty of tutorials, especially of the video variety, as well as a reliable customer service team. 

Most programs will let you test out a free trial, and these should be easy enough to navigate after just a short time.

Time is money, and every small business can do with more. That’s where automation steps in. Certain software programs will automatically send recurring invoices and past-due notifications, so you’ll have less to remember. 

If you carry inventory, opt for a program that automatically reorders products via recurring purchase orders when your stock is low. You can even opt for features that notify you when a customer views an invoice, which is helpful when dealing with past-due accounts.

Tax prep. Features like automatic tax calculations, multiple tax rates, and tax reporting are a lifesaver for any small business owner.

Third-party integrations. Do you already have programs for payroll, inventory management, payment processing, or tax preparation? Or maybe a complex engineering program that needs to be integrated with your billing process? 

In this case, look for accounting software that’s compatible with these systems. You’ll be able to share data automatically in real time and ensure seamless transitions between programs.

Once you’ve got a few options, check out their free trials to get a feel for their format and general ease of use. Strike up a “live chat” or even call one of their customer service reps to know what kind of help you’ll be able to get should you ever have a problem.

User Reviews

What better way to understand the effectiveness of a particular accounting program than to read reviews left by actual users? Software review sites offer the ability for small business owners to gather honest insight about a certain program’s price, ease of use, onboarding process, and more. 

If you’re stuck between two accounting tools, such as QuickBooks Pro vs. Wave Accounting, you can use software review sites to get analysis about the pros and cons of each tool.

By outlining your budget, compiling a list of must-have features for your accounting software, and using the free review platforms available to you, you will undoubtedly be better prepared to choose an accounting software program that best serves your needs.