Most online accounting software uses double-entry accounting to maximize accuracy. In addition, they offer accounts receivable, accounts payable, banking, and reporting features. However, the features offered by the best cloud accounting software aren’t limited to core accounting operations. They also offer features that ease inventory management, project management, time tracking, and payroll management. However, these features are generally offered in higher-tier subscriptions or as add-ons that cost extra.
Let’s take a look at some of the features that every great cloud accounting software must have.
1. Invoicing Features
Implementing cloud accounting software allows you to significantly streamline the invoicing and billing processes which results in increased cash flow and enhanced business productivity. Here are a few specific invoicing features that the best accounting software has:
- Accounts Receivable: Manage your accounts receivable seamlessly by keeping track of what customers owe you and the payments you receive. The best accounting software systems ensure errorless and streamlined management of accounts receivable which goes a long way in making the billing process more seamless.
- Invoice Processing: Invoice processing is one of the core features that every accounting solution must-have. This includes the management of invoices and payments according to the accounts receivable. Naturally, your system needs to store basic customer data, such as names, addresses, account numbers, and standard terms to offer this function.
- Automated Invoicing: Automatic invoicing makes ensures consistency and reduces the chances of delayed invoices and payments. Most accounting systems also offer automated notifications with automated invoicing. With automated notifications, your accounting solution acts as your collection department and reminds your customers to pay their bills. This also helps in late payment and missed payment reminders.
- Recurring Invoicing: The best cloud accounting software also allows you to enable recurring invoicing for regular clients. This streamlines a major process of the billing operations and saves a lot of time and resources.
- Invoice Customization: The best cloud accounting software also allows you to customize your invoices and add the design elements related to your brand to it. By adding your company’s logo, color, and font to the invoice, you establish a strong brand identity and also form a professional image among your clients.
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2. Payment Processing
A great cloud accounting software will definitely allow your customers to pay their bills online. Many systems allow you to integrate the payment option within the invoice and pay directly by clicking on it. By offering a seamless and quick way of collecting customer payments, you not only enhance customer experience but also increase cash flow and business productivity.
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The best bookkeeping software out there also allows you to offer payments through various payment channels. These direct payments made by the customers are then also recorded automatically in the account books. Thus, it also goes a long way in reducing administration issues and human errors.
3. Accounts Payable
When it comes to the best cloud accounting software, it doesn’t just manage accounts receivable efficiently and seamlessly but also streamlines the management of accounts payable and outgoing payments. Keeping track of what you owe to your suppliers is also essential to your business. Here are some of the most essential accounts payable (A/P) features that manage the outflow side of your funds:
- Purchase Orders: Managing your accounts payable and payments for your purchase orders is one of the primary tasks for cloud accounting software. Different accounting systems offer this feature in different ways. Some just produce simple purchase orders whereas some offer purchase order management from quotes and estimates all the way through to purchase and payment.
- Credit memos: Handling vendor credit memos is all about keeping track of all those credits that vendors often hand out, as rewards, returns, or refunds. These credit memos are as valuable as cash. A cloud accounting software that also keeps track of credit memos gives you an all-inclusive approach for accounts payable management.
- Automated Payments: The best accounting systems allow you to set up automated payments to your vendors and suppliers. These systems do everything from scheduling bank payments and direct deposits to printing checks. This ensures that you don’t fall behind or miss any of your payments.
- Tax forms: The best accounting software also help you pay your taxes electronically and files your tax forms which avoids penalties and late fees.
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4. Payroll Management
Sophisticated cloud accounting software systems offer lucrative features when it comes to payroll management. They offer full payroll services from calculating time and processing wages to paying payroll taxes. Some advanced systems also offer features like training management, project management, time and job tracking, taxation, and other compliances.
Furthermore, attendance and leave management are also offered by some of the more advanced accounting systems under payroll management. The best cloud accounting software systems offer you one-stop management for variable wage schedules, expense reimbursement, and deductions as well.
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5. Banking Support
Cloud accounting software solutions provide your various features that provide banking support by facilitating deposits, reconciliation, and account management. It allows you to integrate and link your bank accounts to the software which enables direct payments and access to real-time data.
- Account Reconciliation: Most businesses have more than one bank accounts that call for account reconciliation features. The best cloud accounting software allows you to keep track of all your bank accounts and reconcile them. This also includes the general ledger function and checkbook reconciliation. Make sure that the accounting software that you go for offers electronic bank deposits as well.
- Check Handling: Another important feature that is important for seamless banking and account management is check handling. The best cloud accounting software systems allow you to print and process your checks. This will especially be useful for your business if you make a lot of payments by check. Other features like check voiding and duplicate check alerts are also essential for seamless check handling.
In conclusion, the best cloud accounting software out there offers lucrative features that take care of every little aspect of accounting operations for your business. They make every step of the way quick, automated, and seamless. This goes a long way in increasing cash flow, saving time and resources, enhancing business productivity, and reducing various business risks.