2. Unlocking Financial Efficiency:
The Accounting Technology Tools
Every SMB Needs
Softwares are responsible for streamlining many business operations, from project
management to time tracking and more. These tools can save businesses time, reduce
complex processes, provide premium business insights and cut operational costs as a
result. Accounting softwares and the additional accounting technology tools that work
alongside them are no exception.
With the right business accounting tools, your business can get better financial
insights, quickly manage cash flow, improve payroll processes, expedite tax filing,
and more. But, with so many options available, narrowing down the accounting tools
capable of protecting your financial information while providing the accounting features
you need can be challenging.
This guide will provide an overview of the important accounting technology tools that
every small business can utilize and benefit from to unlock the ultimate system of
financial efficiency for their business. In it, we will discuss the importance and need for
accounting technology tools, and recommend the tools that are essential to running
your business at maximum efficiency and profitability.
3. WHY YOU SHOULD USE ACCOUNTING
While many businesses go overboard on the technology they use, there is of course
the opposite end of the spectrum, where a business fails to utilize accounting
technology tools that would expedite and improve their business processes. According
to a survey conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
(AICPA), 76 percent of firms use time and billing software. This means roughly 24
percent of businesses fail to use software to aid them in financial data management.
With the relatively low costs and high value these tools provide, it makes little to no
sense for a business not to adopt some form of technological accounting aids in order
to make their financial data more accurate, more organized, more manageable and
more readily available. Accounting tools can also help businesses increase efficiency
Helping your bottom line: While accounting technology tools do require
some initial time investment as you learn the software, in addition to software costs,
they save businesses time and money in the long-run. By advancing the ability of
an accountant, supervisor, or business owner to interpret data both efficiently and
effectively, money is saved and made through better use of resources and more
accurate financial filing. Most of the softwares also have a relatively low buy-in, ranging
from about $12 to $40/month or about $200/year for a software download. While your
business’s software costs may increase as a result, these softwares make up for the
costs with their time-saving features and ability to minimize accounting errors.
Improving data accessibility: When accounting technology tools are
included in your accounting process, they can make your data more readily available
and decrease the probability of data loss by utilizing off-site cloud storage. Cloud
storage and cloud backup allow users to access the data they need anytime, from
anywhere with an internet connection. This around-the-clock access is important to
maintain current business insights and stay up to date on all of your financial data.
In addition, cloud storage and backup features reduce (and sometimes even eliminate)
the risk of data loss. By incorporating a cloud solution in your accounting software
mix, your accounting data won’t be vulnerable to the typical causes of data loss that
4. occur on location and via physical storage devices -- threats like viruses, hardware
damage, deleted files, flood, fire, human error and more. This data loss prevention
tactic is especially important given the financial data storage requirements businesses
must comply with in order to protect themselves during IRS audits and other financial
inquiries and discrepancies. Some accounting softwares have off-site cloud storage
built-in to address short-term accounting storage needs. It’s recommended that
businesses also incorporate a long-term cloud backup software in addition to this to
improve their financial data storage, safety, and availability in the long run.
Mitigating accounting errors: While the potential for human error and
inaccurate entries will always exist, many accounting softwares have the ability to
detect errors and notify their users to these errors as they arise. Some accounting
softwares can also automate a handful of accounting tasks -- eliminating the need
for some manual entries, and thereby minimizing the potential for human error. For
example, Quickbooks can remember your business’s non-variable expenses (such
as office rental costs) and factor those in month after month, so you don’t have to.
To further reduce the possibility of accounting errors, make sure your accountant or
financial supervisor have some form of technological training or familiarity with the
softwares so they’ll best know how to use them. Many softwares offer user guides and
demos that will get your staff up to speed on utilizing the accounting softwares as well
as backing up financial data so that it’s always available and retrievable.
ESSENTIAL ACCOUNTING TECHNOLOGY TOOLS
When it comes to efficiently
running your small business,
even the smallest of accounting
technology tools could mean a
world of difference for efficiency
and organization. The quicker your
business is able to securely process
its data or even access previously
recorded data, the more time you’ll
be able to devote to growing your
business and conducting your day-
5. From cloud backup and accounting to benchmarking your business against the
industry averages, tools like the ones listed below can change the way you run your
business entirely. Here are a few tools you should consider adding to your business’s
Accounting applications like QuickBooks, SageOne and Peachtree, and MicroSoft
Money provide low-margin accounting support to small businesses. These apps, and
others like them, provide necessary tools for accounting, such as invoicing, balance
sheets, payroll, company snapshots and more.
Likely the most useful of any accounting technology tool in regards to properly
tracking and managing your business finances, much of this software allows even
financial novices to properly account for monetary data in an efficient and accurate
way. Whether you choose a desktop based accounting software, or a cloud-based
one, be sure to pay particular attention to how your data is being stored and for how
long so that you can take steps to backup your data as needed. Read on to see which
accounting software providers and cloud backup solutions providers we recommend.
Lost information can halt a business in its tracks and cause further issues down the line
when it comes to proper filing and being able to account for financial accuracy. Still,
many businesses don’t backup their data regularly enough -- a mistake that can have
extreme consequences when data is lost or cannot be located in time for an IRS tax
audit, or other need.
It’s essential to always maintain access to your business’s financial records, especially
during important instances, like being audited by the IRS. Whether your software
stores data in the cloud, or on your computer itself, you should always maintain at
least 7 years of your financial records, such as accounts payable/receivable, invoices
and expense reports, for audit purposes. In addition, CPAs will often recommend that
businesses keep their journal entries, profit and loss statements, financial statements,
check registers and general business ledgers permanently. If your cloud software
does not support these retention time lengths, you will need to implement a secondary
backup option that is reliable and dependable.
6. Data experts agree that it’s wise to keep three backups of crucial data so that you
can be sure your data is safe and secure should a crash or disaster ever happen; and
whilst many people use local, physical storage options to hold their accounting data,
cloud storage and data backup services offer greater coverage, more failsafe features,
and more robust backup options.
Rather than only storing your business’s financial data locally, where it’s vulnerable
to hardware failures and natural disasters, like floods or fires, you should aim to
store your data in at least 2 other off-site locations to keep it safe from local threats.
Cloud backup is a commonly recommended way to give your data the extra layer of
protection it needs to prevent permanent data loss. When considering a cloud backup
provider, make sure you choose a reliable provider like Nordic Backup that supports
backing up your accounting software as well.
With cloud backup, your nominated data is uploaded to an off-site secure data center
via an internet connection. These data centers employ multiple failsafe mechanisms to
store your backed up data and keep it both accessible and retrievable at all times. This
provides an ongoing method of protecting your QuickBooks or other accounting files,
along with any other data you elect to backup.
Nordic Backup offers unlimited and flexible storage capacities, and a range of security,
data recovery, and syncing features that will keep your accounting data intact and
retrievable no matter what.
When choosing any cloud backup provider to backup your accounting and other
business data, make sure they offer:
• End-to-end encryption so that your data can’t be read or compromised, even during
transit to the cloud
• Choice of 256-bit encryption, AES encryption, Twofish, or Triple DES encryption
— all commonly used by militaries, governments, financial institutions and other
trusted internet service providers worldwide
• Data centers backed by multiple levels of access control (alarms, armed guards,
video surveillance, etc)
• Data centers outfitted with uninterruptible power supplies, redundant cooling and
7. multiple redundant gigabit internet connections so that your data will always be
available when you need it, without downtime
• NAS and network share backup
• Annual SSAE 16 Type 2 audit of its data centers
• Redundant server storage for your data
Nordic Backup offers all of these features, and more, and supports the most popular
accounting softwares so your data will always be available when you need it, no matter
what data catastrophes strike your business and it’s on-site data.
Paperless Document Manager
Instead of having files full of printed
documents or having to keep track of
and manually transport each of these
items and risk losing them or having
them destroyed, there are paperless
document manager tools. All of your
documents are stored and organized
using technology so that they can
be easily accessible. While even
technological data can be lost, if the
proper backup is used, your information
will always be available and protected.
This also allows more than one department to look at content at once and to
communicate in real time, saving your business time and subsequently money. After
all, the loss of physical copies of files (assuming they are not digitally backed up or
stored) could mean the loss of essential financial data necessary for processes such
as tax returns, or could even result in legal issues should your company be incapable
of returning to past financial records with a strong degree of accuracy.
Although it may not seem like it directly connects to accounting technology at first,
workflow tools are essential for keeping track of financial transactions taking place
8. in your small business and allows for open, immediate and accurate communication
between employees. Applications like BaseCamp and Workamajig provide tools for
document sharing and management, billing receipts, active task management, and
many other options for increasing the efficiency of your business and the clarity of
communication between departments and employees, and even clients.
The time it takes to get signatures of approval either from other employees or even
from clients can delay your transactions and ability to carry on business. You can
even apply automatic signatures in order to streamline certain processes. Tools like
RightSignature from Citrix among others provide this kind of business support.
When trying to keep finances in order, make sure everything is handled appropriately
and legally, and expedite business transactions, even something as small as an
e-signature tool can make a world of difference.
ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE COMPARISON:
QUICKBOOKS VS SAGE 50
Quickbooks and Sage 50 are two of the most popularly used accounting softwares
for small businesses. These programs are easy to use and provide a multitude of
features that makes financial management easy and painless for anyone trying to run a
When selecting a software
package that is right for you, make
a list of your criteria and check
it against this review of today’s
leading products. Your prioritized
list may look different from that of
another business, but reliability
and continuous access will always
be found written at the top. So
whether you invest in Quickbooks,
Sage 50, or any other accounting
software, make sure you also have
9. a secure cloud backup software in place to ensure round-the-clock retrievability of your
This accounting software is the most reasonably priced option on the market
and provides a multitude of useful features for invoicing, processing credit card
transactions, running payroll, and more. QuickBooks can be useful for small to medium
sized businesses as well as freelancers and online merchants. This software also wins
points for ease of use, as everything is setup on a dashboard and is easy to navigate.
QuickBooks can also be integrated with more than 150 third-party apps, letting several
processes be streamlined into this single service.
• Tons of features
• Low Price
• Good for freelancers/online merchants/etc.
• App Integration Capabilities
• Purchasing QuickBooks is affordable, especially when comparing to the cost of
hiring an accountant or bookkeeper.
• The interface is also extremely user friendly, making the training process easy while
promoting higher data entry accuracy.
• QuickBooks’s positive reputation wasn’t earned overnight. It has consistently
earned praise for the high quality product that it is and it’s reliability. At the same
time, the folks at Intuit continue to develop its functionality to meet the growing
needs of their customers.
• The high quality and intuitive nature of QuickBooks is a major plus. However, when
full responsibility is placed in the hands of a software product errors occur and
disasters strike. Therefore, it should ultimately be the responsibility of the user not
10. only to ensure the precision of their files, but the security of their data. In doing so it
is smart to invest in a backup plan.
Sage 50 Premium
Designed for small businesses and having three levels of software for different needs,
Sage 50 satisfies almost every aspect of what one might want in their accounting
software. It produces professional-looking paperwork, is extremely efficient, and makes
itself easily understood so that even non-accountants can operate it. Its strengths
reside in cash flow management and it even breaks down spending by department,
which can come in handy if you’re managing a larger team with multiple departments.
However, the software is a bit less intuitive than Quickbooks, so it may take time before
you know how to utilize the software to its fullest.
• Ideal for Any Variety of Small Business
• Sage 50 is known for it’s strong features especially when it comes to finance
reports and transaction breakdowns. The structure clearly displays where dollars
are coming and going which saves time and effort when evaluating cash flow.
• Sage 50 assists in telling a comprehensive story about your numbers by providing
industry benchmarks for comparison.
• The more complex features of Sage 50 are outstanding if you’re already skilled in
the software. However, it can be harder for new users to grasp.
• The cost of purchasing the software is also higher than other competitors. If you
are willing to invest in purchasing the software and in the training to get your team
on board, you may also want to consider investing in an online backup system to
ensure your data is secured against risk of human error.
11. WHAT TO TAKE AWAY
When using accounting technology tools for your small business, it is important
to consider which tools include features that will provide the most benefit to your
business. In order to navigate selecting a tool, you’ll first need to decide which features
are most important to you as you manage your business accounting.
While all of these tools can be useful in handling financial information, some items may
be more valuable to expedite processes in your company where excess time is being
However, even if all of your
financial data is more organized
and efficiently managed by utilizing
an accounting software, that
doesn’t mean that it is properly
protected against data loss. While
accounting softwares provide a
way to keep your financial data
accurate and gathered, it is
necessary to have a reliable cloud
backup solution in place should
something crash or cause your
data to be lost.
Backing up this data is a crucial step that protects data tied to your clients, customers
and your business investment. Protect your important business data from loss and
deletion now with a reliable cloud backup provider, like Nordic Backup. Nordic Backup
offers all of the data backup features a business needs to keep their accounting data
secure and retrievable at all times.
Try Nordic Backup free for 30 days and experience the peace of mind in knowing your
data is always in good hands and only ever a click away.
12. 888-668-0447 • email@example.com
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Lake Mary, FL 32746
About Nordic Backup
Affordable plans, rapid data disaster recovery and secure online backup
you can rely on — that’s the Nordic Backup promise.
Many years ago, long before people started calling it “the cloud,” we had
a passion for secure online storage and making our backup solutions
affordable and available around the world.
For more than a decade, our passion for innovation has driven us to
create software solutions that not only keep pace with the changing digital
space, but also do so affordably and comprehensively. As a result, we’ve
created a robust line of consumer and enterprise online backup solutions,
built to backup any kind of data anywhere in the world.
We know that your data is critical to you. With Nordic Backup, you’ll never
be without it.
Visit www.nordic-backup.com to learn more.