Whether you love it or loathe it, accounting is a huge part of your small business - especially when you're just starting out and you're wearing multiple hats, including one with Chief Financial Officer written on it.
Although accounting can be a drag, it really doesn't have to be. With the huge range of powerful cloud-based apps that do the accounting heavy lifting for you, it's never been easier to focus on the areas of your business where you have the most impact.
To free up even more time, the most effective small business owners sync their cloud-based accounting software to the rest of their software stack using integrations.
Here's our guide to getting the most out of your accounting software with a great tool and integrations with the rest of your software stack.
Choosing accounting software for your small business
It all starts with choosing the best accounting software for your small business. There are so many systems on the market: FreshBooks, QuickBooks, FreeAgent, Zoho Books... so which one should you choose?
You'll likely be comparing accounting systems on some of the following criteria, depending on what matters most to your business:
- Expenses and bills
- Bank reconciliation
- Multi-currency support
- Tax return support
- Time tracking
Early in your software testing process, form an idea of what you really need from your accounting tool.
If you invoice businesses in different currencies, multi-currency support might matter to you, which FreeAgent is a great solution for – especially if you're in the UK or Europe.
To help you on your search for the best software, we've created in-depth comparison posts of the most popular accounting software on the market:
- FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks: which is the best accounting tool?
- Comparing Xero vs. QuickBooks Online: what’s the best cloud accounting tool for your business?
- Wave vs. QuickBooks: which is the best accounting tool?
How to get the most out of your small business accounting software
If you've chosen one of the accounting tools mentioned in this list (or any other popular choice), you'll have a cloud-based accounting system that's accessible on any device and instantly updated by the provider when a new release rolls around.
Another great benefit of cloud-based tools is the possibility to quickly integrate your other favorite business tools. While you should choose tools for your business that are individually strong, they'll be even stronger together.
There are three main ways you can integrate your accounting software with your other apps:
- With a native integration, such as those in Xero's App Marketplace
- With a custom integration built by your own team, but this is very costly and time-consuming
- With an iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) solution, like PieSync
If available for the apps you want to connect, native integrations can be a great solution. You can share many types of data from your accounting software with your other business tools, such as invoices, inventory, reports and customer details.
However, several businesses find themselves needing a more thorough sync that updates data in real time and bidirectionally between apps, since many native integrations don't really provide a two-way sync. This is especially the case for customer data. For this, iPaaS steps in.
Using an iPaaS solution keeps your data perfectly up-to-date and synchronized across your tech stack.
This is the ideal solution for syncing your accounting software to your other apps. After all, there's no use connecting your customer information from one app if it's outdated. That will cause more harm than good!
With bidirectional contact syncing, your data flows two-ways between your small business's tools. Whenever you add or update contact information in one app, like your accounting software, it's instantly updated in another app, like your CRM. You can quickly achieve this with PieSync.
To start getting your software stack connected, here are some of the best tools to sync with your accounting software:
Get started with a PieSync free trial to make the most of your small business accounting software by integrating your other favorite apps.