By now, you have probably heard the most efficient way to manage your business’s finances is with cloud accounting software. Online accounting platforms help you keep track of, and update, your bank accounts in real time. Some also use bank-level encryption to keep your data secure and let you monitor your information from any internet-connected device, regardless of where you are in the world. Cloud accounting software allows you to spend less time bookkeeping and more time focusing on other aspects of your business.
While the software comes with a lot of great features to help you track your finances more accurately and efficiently, you might not need all of them at your disposal. Any feature that will directly affect the management of the company’s finances, cash flow tracking, invoice reminders, etc. is worth having.
Outside of those features, however, additional ones could make navigating and managing your cloud accounting software more difficult, not to mention slow it down. Accounting software is supposed to make bookkeeping easier. Clogging up your system with features that the typical small business doesn’t need will do the opposite.
Here are a few cloud accounting software features that are unnecessary for most small businesses:
1. Multi-Currency Accounting
Unless your company does a lot of international business and accepts all different types of currencies, you can probably avoid this feature. Multi-currency accounting allows you to send invoices and price quotes. It also allows you to be paid in a variety of different currencies. The feature also lets you set a default currency for each client so when you invoice them, the price will be converted to their currency automatically.
Most small businesses are not doing business internationally. If you’re predominately working with customers in the United States and working with USD, there’s little need for having multi-currency be a part of your cloud accounting software platform. If you do eventually get to the point where you’re working internationally on a larger-scale basis, it’s a feature you can revisit when the time comes.
2. Fixed Assets Management
Fixed assets are items that your business purchased for long-term use; think office space, furniture, vehicles, computers, office equipment, etc. A fixed assets management software feature would monitor such assets for your accounting purposes and manage the depreciation of any business assets you have.
While it’s important to have an idea of what your fixed assets are worth as time goes by, it’s not something that needs to be tracked on a day-to-day basis, like cash flow. Many fixed assets are hard to turn into cash right away anyway, so a daily report on how much they have depreciated since purchase isn’t something you’ll need at a moment’s notice. If you’re in a pinch and need cash right away, it would be nice to know how much you could get for some of your fixed assets, but you can easily get those figures with a little research. The time you’d save having this feature as a part of your cloud accounting platform probably isn’t worth the space the feature would consume every day.
3. Receipt Upload
Tracking expenses is one of the most important parts of sound bookkeeping, and that includes keeping track of receipts. Receipts help you see how much money your company is spending and what it’s being spent on. And if there’s ever a dispute when you’re doing your taxes, you can point to a receipt as proof of why you considered a purchase a business expense.
If you’re making business purchases with credit and check cards that are connected to your business’s accounting system, they will be tracked. This is one reason that receipt upload can be an unnecessary feature in cloud accounting software. The feature can be cumbersome and ineffective because its primary function is already being accomplished by another technology. More important, however, is the fact that receipt uploads are oftentimes ineffective at their primary job. Although it allows you to scan receipts into the platform, the technology has not advanced enough to read the receipts properly and thus the data does not necessarily get entered into the system. Instead, it just stores the scan of the receipt itself. When technology advances to a point where the data itself will store, then this may become a more relevant and useful feature.
4. CRM Systems Within Accounting Software
Customer relationship management (CRM) is an excellent tool for tracking and maintaining business relationships with your customers — current and future. A CRM system keeps track of contact data for your customers and prospects as well as other pertinent information, including the last time you contacted them, recent purchases, birthdays, etc. A CRM system isn’t just a high-tech Rolodex; it’s a method to keep you connected to all of your prospects and customer simultaneously, regardless of how large your client base is.
One of the main goals of cloud accounting software is to keep all your financial information in one place. The CRM system is designed to perform completely different tasks. As a result, you’ll likely find that it’s better to keep the systems separate. Save your accounting platform for accounting: expense tracking, calculating profits, generating invoices, etc. and the CRM systems for maintaining customer data and tracking leads.
5. Shipment Tracking
If your business sends packages to customers, prompt delivery is one way to increase the chances of getting repeat business. You can make sure packages are going to where they are supposed to and when, but like with CRM, your cloud accounting system probably isn’t the best place to do this.
Think about how many shipments your business is making on any given day. Is tracking technology really the best use of your cloud accounting software’s capabilities? Sure, it could be useful every once in a while, but the platform is better served to manage your finances. The best way to track your shipments is through the site of the company you use to ship items.
The beauty of cloud accounting software is that it streamlines your financial and bookkeeping systems. Platforms that are loaded with extraneous features just makes the system more encumbered and less simple to use. When choosing cloud accounting software, look for that which performs your essential tasks.