Post about "services"

Choosing a Small Business Accounting Software – Three Things to Consider Before Purchasing One

One of the key software that every small business owner should consider buying is an accounting software. Not only does it decrease cost and time in preparing financial information, it can also be used by businesses to instantly generate reports for decision making.Choosing an accounting software is an important decision for small businesses since choosing the wrong one would mean losing a substantial amount of money, and losing productive time and other business opportunities due to time spent learning and implementing the system. Here are some guidelines to follow when evaluating different accounting software packages in the market:1. CostMost accounting software can be had for a one-time fee while some charge recurring yearly or monthly payments. There are free accounting software but these packages usually lack support and various updates that paid programs provide. Similarly, open source accounting software, like any other open source programs, must be programmed to fit the specific needs of a business; which translates to hiring computer programmers or specialists to modify the program and in some cases, maintain it for the company.Remember that you shouldn’t base your purchasing decision on cost alone. We all want to get the most value out of our money but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the cheapest software will give you more value. It might make sense to pay a premium for an accounting software that better suits your needs.2. Ease of UseAn easy to use system is ideal for small business owners since every bit of time spent on accounting is time that could have been spent running or growing the business.Simpler systems will most likely have a low learning curve associated with them, and the faster you learn how to use a software package, the faster you gain the benefits from using it. Complicated systems are also prone to user mistakes and if they’re not corrected, any reports and documents generated from it would not be accurate.A simple single-entry system (as opposed to double-entry or full general ledger) will suffice for the vast majority of small businesses. This will allow you to do your bookkeeping in-house and hire a CPA or accounting firm to produce your end of year financial statements.3. Other Features and Reporting CapabilitiesDepending on your needs, advanced features and reporting capabilities can save you countless hours. Some accounting software may offer advance features such as automatic payroll calculations, invoicing and stock management features. Reports produced by the system allow you to quickly assess your accounts and give you financial insights into your business to help you in decision making.These features maybe bundled in, sold as an upgrade or provided as add-on modules to the original system. A modularized system is ideal for businesses that doesn’t need a particular feature now, but may do so as their company grows. Having all available features may seem nice but these things will most likely cost more. You must determine your needs before hand so that you don’t end up paying for features or add-ons that you won’t use.4. Support and Program UpdatesComputer and software error can happen when you least expect it so it’s a good thing to know that you can contact someone to resolve your issue. Personal and timely support provided by people skilled in the particular software package can be invaluable and save time, money and stress. Ideally support offered will be more than simply knowledge-base and email. Knowing you can pick up the phone and talk to someone can be important. Some companies even provides webinars and in-person training sessions to help you master their software.Program updates are important to fix unforeseen bugs, provide software improvements and even new features to the software. Updates are also released whenever there’s a change in accounting law (most specially the tax rate). Support and updates are generally considered as a premium service by the industry. Most companies usually offer per-year or per-month subscriptions to support and update programs while others may also utilize a pay-as-you go model.ConclusionAs you embark on your search for the right accounting software, remember to spend some time to determine your business needs. Take advantage of the various ‘free trial’ offers. Ask questions of the software provider, get a feel for the extent of their support. This will allow you to effectively evaluate different software first hand before you commit your business’ money and time to a particular product.

What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.