Advantages of Computerized Accounting Software
Bookkeeping software helps you prepare financial reports, many in real-time. Computers transfer the right numbers to the right accounts and make sure those numbers get put on the proper side of the account, the debit side, or the credit side. This can be a lifeline for small-business owners who need to make quick financial decisions based on the immediate health of their business.
Regardless of whether you use a computer system, cloud-based computing, or a combination of the two, you will need to think about business software to help keep your records. When choosing software, it is a good idea to determine your particular business needs. If you are just starting out a free alternative to commercial accounting software is GnuCash.
GnuCash is a free open-source finance application, anyone can use to manage their personal and small business finances. It’s designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible.
The business features in GnuCash are quite extensive; particularly for a free product and include double-entry accounting functionality, a checkbook-style register for tracking both income and expenses, reconcile bank accounts, and it can handle transactions in a variety of currencies. The really great thing about GnuCash is it is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports.
It is an excellent option for startups and small businesses with limited budgets. The product offers some very specific advanced accounting features that are designed to be used by businesses.
The accounting needs of a business are quite different from that of a person. Businesses have customers that owe money, vendors which are owed money, employee payroll, more complex tax laws, etc. GnuCash offers business-oriented features to facilitate these needs such as:
- Accounts Payable (A/P)
- Accounts Receivable (A/R)
- Customer and Vendor Tracking
Automatic statement reconciliation is also available in GnuCash, with banking transactions automatically downloaded and matched with system transactions.
There is also a bill payment reminder in GnuCash which will notify you when bills are due to be paid, and most importantly, will also notify you when a customer’s payment is late.
Automatic File Backups and Crash Recovery
GnuCash makes a backup copy of your data each time your data file is saved. Program preferences let you set how many in a series of backup files are saved. Keeping multiple backups never hurts, and definitely helps if you need to restore a file going back weeks. GnuCash saves log files to document changes made to data so it is possible to recover work in the event of a power outage or system crash.
A Mobile APP is available for Gnucash, GnuCash for Android allows you to keep track of all of your financial transactions, and later import those transactions into GnuCash.