Microsoft Excel has become a widely used tool for handling small business accounting tasks. However, while the benefits of spreadsheets can be useful for a start-up, they can be inevitably inefficient and potentially harmful when managing important financial data for a growing business. At the point where you have a handful of clients and transactions, it becomes essential that you move to a more sophisticated and efficient way of handling data. It’s time to move to accounting software. As experts in the field of cloud accounting, we have put together a few tips on how to make the transition!
Why should you make the switch?
Reporting requires you to enter specific formulas manually to get the information you want. This process becomes time-consuming when handling large amounts of data. Spreadsheets are also only as accurate as the person who is entering the information!
Unlike spreadsheets, accounting software can pull real-time data from your financial institution saving you both time on data entry and checking that your records are accurate. It also makes it easier to manage multiple users, this means that you can restrict access to certain data, see details about each transaction and easily track and rectify any errors. Additional perks of cloud accounting software includes anytime and anywhere access to financial information and syncing with other business applications.
How should you prepare your data?
The majority of accounting programs can readily import Excel files. However, they don’t automatically know where each bit of information goes. This might mean that you will have to reformat your data. For example, if your customer’s data is formatted with the company’s email before the phone number, but your accounting software wants it after, you will have to edit this in your spreadsheet data accordingly.
You should check any other discrepancies with your data and reorder the data before importing it into your accounting software. You should also take this time to clean up any data entry errors if you haven’t already!
When’s the best time to switch?
The most obvious time to switch over from an Excel-based system to your new accounting software is at the end of you business’ fiscal year. The reason for this is because it will most likely be a smooth transition as all your accounts are reconciled, the year-end reports are done, and any final adjustments have been made. However, you can make the transition whenever you like. It might be beneficial to pick a time that’s not your busiest period for your industry, and at the end of a month or clear-cut accounting period.
You’re bound to hit some bumps along the transition process. However, give yourself time to adjust to the new workflow and resist the urge to attribute every problem to the software. Don’t hesitate to use your programs support options. Our accounting software provides free online support to guide you through each process! Check it out here.