If you’ve ever purchased a business app, migrated your data, tried to use it, and realized it didn’t work—you’re not alone. We hear about this a lot. Business owners tell us that they tried to use accounting software or an accounting app to automate a particular process, and it was a big flop.
We’re going to let you in on a little industry secret: there are almost no accounting apps that are designed to be all things to all people (we admit the possibility that there may be one out there somewhere, which is why we say almost no apps). Unfortunately, customers tend to look at apps as one-size-fits-all solutions. If you’re chatting with a friend about a particular business process that’s bogging you down and your friend starts raving about an app that will solve all your problems, you’re pretty likely to go try said app. In reality, what worked for your friend’s business may not be the best fit for yours.
Before you decide all business accounting apps are terrible and go back to a paper-based business, ask yourself five questions:
- Was the app I used appropriate for the problem I wanted it to solve?
- Did I configure the app properly?
- Did the right people have the right level of access to make it work?
- Did my people understand how to use the app and what I wanted to accomplish when I purchased it?
- Did the app integrate back into a central system so I didn’t have to enter the same data point in multiple places?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, take a step back. Your tech stack of business accounting apps is only going to be effective if it’s matched to the unique needs of your business.
Because there is no app as vital to your business as your basic accounting understanding – Check out our online bookkeeping for small business course, 5 Weeks to Better Bookkeeping. It’s totally free to small business owners and designed to help you understand accountant-speak.
Check out the apps we recommend to all of our small and start-up business clients.
Going forward, as you research potential apps, you can use another version of the questions above to help you screen options:
- Is this app designed to solve the problem I want to solve?
- Is the app tailored for the size and type of business I’m running?
- Can we configure the app appropriately using our current technology?
- Will I be able to give appropriate levels of access to staff?
- Does the app integrate back into a central system (such as your cloud accounting software) to streamline data entry?
Apps can be fantastic tools to help you grow your business—regardless of the function of each individual app, the bottom line is saving you time and money. Ultimately, becoming more efficient is the ultimate opportunity to grow your business. But you need to choose wisely. Keep your goals in mind, do your research, and you’ll be much more likely to make a wise choice. Alternatively, talk to us! We’re experts in cloud accounting technology and specialize in helping businesses choose the right apps.
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Our online bookkeeping course includes a series of videos covering the basics of bookkeeping, as well as a variety of topics that are common struggles for small business owners. It goes into much more detail than we can in a blog post to help you address bookkeeping mistakes, and it’s totally free for small business owners. Sign up today and start your better bookkeeping journey.