Accounting is known as the universal language of business for a reason—without it, no company on earth would stay afloat for long.

Some small companies, especially those just getting off the ground, see accounting more as an afterthought, something to be implemented once business picks up and there’s a reason to start tracking revenue and expenses. However, this can be a grave mistake; no matter how much you’re spending or making, knowing the ins and outs of your finances is a critical element to success.

Online accounting software is essential to ensure your startup is on the right track. Here’s why your new business should get on board.

Easy-To-Use Software Options

If you’re intimidated by accounting, you’re not alone. The concept of credits and debits can be very overwhelming, especially for those who don’t have a strong background in the principles of accounting.

Luckily, online accounting software is exceptionally easy to use (much more so than that box of receipts you probably have under your desk). Programs such as QuickBooks Online offer a relatively simple user interface designed for those with only a baseline level of financial knowledge, ensuring any startup owner can handle the demands of day-to-day accounting tasks. With the ability to download and input bank and credit card statements automatically for fast and simple categorization, managing transactions couldn’t be easier. Online accounting software can also automatically generate financial reports such as income statements and cash flow statements, providing an instant snapshot of your financials.

Access from Anywhere

Many startup entrepreneurs are busy people, spending time contacting vendors, visiting potential clients, setting up storefront spaces, managing inventory, and networking in the community. Online accounting software provides business owners with a way to stay on top of their books while handling other day-to-day tasks, ensuring that no part of your business falls through the cracks.

Online accounting software isn’t a normal computer program that is saved to your hard drive and therefore only accessible from a single computer. Instead, it’s cloud-based, giving you access any place, any time. You can enter transactions or check records on your phone, tablet, desktop, or laptop from anywhere with an internet connection, both WiFi and LTE.

Fast and Simple Invoicing

If you’ve been writing invoices by hand or using a Word template to collect the cash you’re owed, you need to know there’s a better way. An online accounting program can help you automatically generate invoices based on entered transactions, taking much of the time demands out of invoicing. Most accounting programs also allow for integrations with applications such as Stripe, PayPal, Plooto, and other collection venues, as well as automated data entry tools such as Receipt-Bank, making it easy to track progress in revenue collection.

As your business grows, your invoicing needs will, too. With help from these automated tools, you can stay on top of your requirements without missing a beat.

Paperless Accounting Options

Do you think of paperwork as a critical part of accounting? This doesn’t have to be the case. With online accounting software, you can maintain completely virtual books, ensuring every aspect of your financial situation is at your fingertips.

Cutting out paper is an advantage for the environment, but it also can improve accuracy and reduce costs. With all of your data online, there’s no risk of losing important papers or misinterpreting handwritten notes; instead, accurate financial records will always be just a few clicks away. And, because it’s stored on the cloud, dropping a cup of coffee on your computer won’t fry all your data.

Plenty of Growth Potential

If your startup goes well, it likely won’t remain a small business for long. You’ll earn more revenue, increase your expenses, and scale your day-to-day operations. You will also have to hire employees, implement HR practices, and set up payroll processing. As this occurs, your accounting needs will grow too.

Online accounting software is designed to scale with you, accommodating your needs as they shift and change. With the ability to track your transactions as necessary, whether you have a few a employees or a few hundred, options such as WagePoint can serve you as you expand. Many software applications offer pricing based on how much you use it, the number of transactions, or clients you have.

Easy Outsourcing

If your accounting needs start outpacing your available time, outsourcing can be an easy way to right the ship. Just a few hours of assistance a week can help you stay on top of your books for a fraction of the cost of hiring an in-house bookkeeper.

With online accounting software, you can easily work with an outsourced bookkeeping service. A cloud-based program makes access from anywhere possible, allowing for use of a third party as a simple way to take over tasks, as required.

Whether your company is counting down to opening day or you’re already in the fray, it’s never too late to employ online accounting solutions. With programs such as QuickBooks Online, you’ll be fully prepared to keep your finger on the pulse of your financial future.

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