To be truly successful, you have to treat your business like a business, and good accounting practices are a big part of that. Yet only twenty percent of the twenty million small and home-based businesses in the U.S. use accounting software to track their business finances. Many home-based business owners’ “bookkeeping systems” still consist of pens, paper, and boxes stacked in closets. Worse, many more don’t keep records at all. They have no idea where, or if, they’re making or losing money.
There are two main reasons business owners cite for not automating their finances and getting their businesses in order: price and complexity. However, according to Eric Gilmore, Product Manager for Microsoft Office Accounting, Microsoft’s latest edition to their Office line-up eliminates both those excuses. Says Gilmore, “Office Accounting Express is available for FREE, no strings attached, no training required, at http://IdeaWins.com.” Designed to be simple and user-friendly, the software necessitates no training manuals or courses and can be downloaded for free.
What does automating your finances do for your home business? It does several things, actually:
•It saves you a tremendous amount of time. You no longer have to manually enter and re-enter data again and again—you can enter it once, and re-use it across different applications. Many tasks that had to be performed manually also become quicker and easier. With automated accounting, you can create quotes and invoices that you can export to other programs and customize for your business.
•It helps you organize your finances. Utilizing accounting software lets you track your expenses, your profits, even your employees’ hours. When you can clearly see where money is coming in and where it’s going out, you can see what areas are profitable for you and where you need to make adjustments. You also know you’re not paying too much in taxes; and should you ever be audited, you have good records to back you up.
•It simplifies your online business transactions, accepting credit cards and PayPal payments. With Office Accounting Express, you can use Microsoft’s merchant account provider or your own merchant account, integrating that account with your software. Through Equifax, you can monitor your customers’ credit reports, right in the application itself. With a few simple clicks, you can convert a quote to an invoice, email it to a customer, and accept their payment online.
Employing accounting software helps you run your business more efficiently and streamline your processes. You can save a great deal of time and you’ll be better equipped to handle your company’s growth, because you’ll be in control. Says Gilmore, “This new software is free and incredibly simple to use—so whatever excuse you’ve been using for not getting your business organized, it’s no longer valid.”