These days, it seems like there’s a software solution for everything. From your core accounting platform to your payroll, time tracking, inventory management, funding, tax tools, expense management and more (much, much more), you literally have hundreds of options to help you get your work done.
But the bookkeeping and accounting ecosystem keeps getting more and more crowded. According to Accountex, it has exploded to more than 700 solutions across 30 different categories.
As a startup, though, you don’t need 30 categories of products and services to run your financials. You need just the most helpful few that’ll go the distance.
So how do you cut through the noise and find the paperless setup you need – one that’s cost-efficient and boosts your productivity?
Get to know the baseline setup
First, the mandatory disclaimer: every business is different, so what works for you might not work for the next company. Still, there are some standard (yet important!) kinds of software that cover the majority of our clients’ bookkeeping and accounting needs.
1. Cloud-based accounting
This is the backbone of your entire setup. Your core accounting platform is where you create invoices, check your real-time cashflow or prepare your quarterly reports. Ideally, it’ll integrate with the other apps you use to manage your business to make your financials easier and give you more time back.
We recommend: Xero
2. Paperless bookkeeping
Where does your money go? The answer is easy to find when you have software that automatically pulls data from every bill, invoice and receipt you receive – and makes it instantly searchable. Did we mention automatic? Because AI-enabled scanning means you don’t have to enter any information at all. A great combination for everyday bookkeeping, when you need to pull out old receipts, or if you’re ever audited.
We recommend: Receipt Bank
You have employees and contractors to pay. You also have regulations to follow. If you aren’t an expert in payroll – and even if you are – it’s far easier to leave this regular task up to specially built software that makes even the most complicated paycheques, remittances and tax forms a breeze.
We recommend: Wagepoint
4. Expense management
The expense management process should be easy, from the moment an employee gets a receipt to the moment they’re reimbursed. It should also fit your approval process, no matter your company policy. Good thing there’s software out there that makes all of the above as easy as a single click. Plus, the best options come with robust scanning and reporting that give you extra visibility into your company’s numbers.
We recommend: Expensify
5. Subscription management
Want to make it easy for customers to subscribe to your service and pay the way they want? Want to upsell free trial users to paid customers? Want to offer discounts and deals for your top leads? If your business runs on a SaaS platform, a subscription management platform can take care of all of this while remaining flexible enough to meet your business’ needs – and those of your customers as well.
We recommend: Recurly
Get advice customized for your business
It’s not enough to purchase these standalone apps. After all, on their own, they can only provide so much benefit – and can actually result in more mess and bookkeeping errors, especially if they aren’t correctly configured for your business. Where these apps really shine? When they’re integrated into one ecosystem where data flows seamlessly between each other and your core accounting platform.
If you ask your accountant or bookkeeper for help, you’re off to a good start. They tackle questions like this every day. In fact, 83 percent reported they’ve handled client tech requests on topics ranging from accounting software and training to needs analysis and data security.
Here at Element CPA, we go a step further. After all, this stuff feeds into our passion for innovation and technology. Not only do we love to tinker with the latest software and services, but we absolutely love seeing our clients save time and effort as a result.
That’s why we offer app advisory services where we:
- Get to know your specific business and the pain points you’re dealing with
- Recommend software that meets your needs and fits into your ecosystem
- Offer training so you can make your processes more efficient
- Help you through the implementation process as you bring each solution onboard
- Provide ongoing support on your favourite channel in case you ever have questions
So what tech’s right for you? Let’s talk. Because finding the right apps for your business is easier than you think.
About Element CPA
Element CPA is an innovative accounting partner that’s 100% focused on helping Canadian startups and small businesses get their books in order, operate more efficiently and plan for the future. We handle the day-to-day financial operations that make your business run, tell the story behind your numbers and provide advice as you grow.