Accounting Articles

9 Benefits of Online Accounting Software for Small Businesses

Published on 16 December 2011

Most small business owners have a number of tasks on their plate each day in order to help the company stay successful. And I'd bet that accounting and bookkeeping is nowhere near the top of this list in terms of enjoyment factor.

A solution that many small businesses are starting to use is online accounting software, which includes the likes of Freshbooks, Xero, Zoho Books, and FinancialForce Accounting. These applications make the process of calculating revenue, cash flow, and payroll easy and accurate. Your company's financial information will be secure, but you can access it from anywhere with the correct security code. Simply put, online accounting software is a great investment for any small business.

Here are some of the benefits a business can discover through online accounting software:

1. User Friendly

Online accounting software is generally easy to learn and use in day-to-day business operations. Once it is set up, you can keep your accounts up to date with a few regular data entries - information from bank statements and invoices can be automatically uploaded and processed into the correct categories. This means that you and your employees don't have to worry about advanced accounting details - you can do what you need efficiently with a few clicks.

2. Security

Since online accounting software stores data online, some business owners might be worried about security. However, security is a top priority for online business software companies. In addition, the online connection makes it easy to invoice clients, link up with bank information, and assess your business' financial health wherever you are.

3. Payroll

Instead of all that paperwork, online accounting software makes it easy to fill out employer forms accurately and on time.

4. Cash Flow

Effectively managing your cash flow can help your business save money. Online accounting software makes it simple to determine incentives for employees and discounts for creditors or customers. In addition, the manager or business owner can view profits and losses in a comprehensible way.

5. Invoicing

One of the most important aspects of any business is invoicing, because it brings revenue to the company. Creating invoices with online accounting software saves you time and prevents losses caused by human error. You can even send invoices directly to clients through email to save paper and stamps.

6. Accuracy

For all types of business computations, accuracy is essential. Mistakes made in calculations can possibly lead to significant losses or other issues. Online accounting software keeps you from making these mistakes.

7. Cost

One of the greatest benefits of online accounting software is the cost savings. For small businesses running on tight budgets, hiring an accountant can be expensive. Even running software on an in-house server can end up costing a lot with all the upgrades and system tools. When a business buys online accounting software, it only has to worry about paying for the software and training employees to use it. And since many online software companies run on subscriptions, you'll only have a small fee each month instead of a large one-time purchase.

8. Productivity

Paperwork can be tedious and tiring, causing employees to get distracted and become less productive. Online accounting software is much more efficient than filling out paperwork because half the work is already done. This helps employees be much more productive than they were before.

9. Opportunities

Many types of online accounting software help businesses track trends, losses and profits far better than they could in the past. This may help the business discover new opportunities to improve revenue.

You can find and compare online accounting software on, and be sure to check out our independent ranking of the top accounting apps, GetRank, too.

Apps mentioned in this article

  • · Online Invoicing
  • · Time Tracking
  • · Recurring Invoices & Auto Payment
  • · Team Timesheets
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FreshBooksFinance & Accounting
  • · Bank Rec - Automatically import and code transactions
  • · Invoicing - Create and send invoices automatically
  • · Add-ons - Pick from a wide range of powerful add-ons
  • · Dashboard - Instantly see your bank balances, sales & bills
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XeroFinance & Accounting
Zoho Books
  • · Financial Reports: Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss,...
  • · Expense Tracking
  • · Multi Currency & Multi Country
  • · Purchase Orders & Sales Order
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Zoho BooksFinance & Accounting
FinancialForce Accounting
  • · Role and user based dashboards
  • · 1-click invoicing from Salesforce
  • · Flexible chart of accounts and multi-dimensional analysis
  • · Multicompany, multicurrency, global tax, multicultural
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FinancialForce AccountingFinance & Accounting