6 min read
You can't run a business without a sound back office.
Attempting to carry out your company's bookkeeping and accounting tasks with completely manual processes, however, is not a good idea. It leaves your business vulnerable to human error, fraud, and financial reports that are inaccurate and irrelevant because they take too long to generate.
In today's world, it's nearly impossible to run a business without a bookkeeping and accounting software system that automates data collection, expense tracking and categorization, revenue tracking, account management, and more to handle your back-office processes for you.
Why Some Businesses Consider Building Their Own Accounting Systems
A wide variety of ready-made accounting software systems are available for purchase or with a subscription. However, the process of selecting accounting software and using it in your business can be challenging because every business is different and requires different features from its accounting software. Many businesses find that these software systems cannot meet their unique back-office needs because using an inflexible, one-size-fits-all software solution has the potential to result in problems with the back-office workflow.
As a result, business leaders might decide to invest in the creation bookkeeping and accounting software system that is custom-designed to meet the business's individual set of needs and desired functions. With this type of system, business leaders can get the exact system and features they desire while avoiding paying a software company for features they do not need.
How Much Does It Cost to Create Your Own Accounting Software?
As you might imagine, (bespoke bookkeeping and accounting software (that actually works) comes at a premium price. Most back-office software systems consist of various features, functions, and capabilities.
At a minimum, an accounting system's features include value-added tax (VAT) calculations, payroll processing, reports, invoice processing, electronic payments, credit monitoring, expense tracking, bank account linking, multiple access levels, potential remote access features, integration with other systems, and graphic design. Additionally, a bespoke accounting system must have security features and ongoing updates to ensure the system remains secure.
Each of these features and any others that a business requires must be built from the ground up. This requires an enormous amount of work performed by a variety of very specialized, highly educated, and experienced IT professionals.
One estimate from the software development company, Cleveroad accounts for just under 2,000 hours of work performed by a team consisting of front-end developers, back-end developers, a UI/UX designer, a business analyst, a QA engineer, a DevOps Engineer, a project manager, and a team leader. The estimated cost of this project rings in at $165,900, and this dollar amount only accounts for the initial software development; it does not include fees for ongoing maintenance, security updates, and future added features or changes .
When considering that software development isn't the only cost in your back office and that bespoke software will continue to have ongoing expenses, as it needs to be updated, this is quite a hefty price tag.
Is Custom-Accounting Software Necessary for Your SMB?
While an investment of this size into custom-designed accounting software might make sense for a large corporation, for most small and medium-sized businesses, the price of bespoke accounting software is too costly to be affordable. Thankfully, there are plenty of powerful, prepackaged bookkeeping and accounting software systems available for SMBs to use in their businesses, and they are much more affordable than custom-designed solutions.
While these systems might not exactly meet your company's specific needs, they offer a wide array of features and capabilities that can be integrated with powerful tools and apps and adapted to automate, streamline, and strengthen your back office. These products are designed for small and medium-sized businesses, which means that they're going to meet most of your needs straight out of the box, helping you maintain compliance, keep your back office secure, and provide you with valuable financial insights that will help you run your business.
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A Powerful Accounting Software Solution: The Advantages of QuickBooks® Online
With its variety of Intuit QuickBooks® products, Intuit offers powerful, versatile, and scalable accounting software solutions for businesses of all sizes that are suitable for use during the different lifecycle stages of business growth.
With regular and advanced software levels, QuickBooks® Online (QBO), in particular, is designed to be highly flexible to meet the changing back-office needs of businesses as they grow. These solutions are designed to quickly expand functionality, features, and total transaction/client load in order to continuously meet a fast-growing business's shifting needs. Additionally, QuickBooks® has countless integrations with valuable applications.
Since QBO is designed to be a one-size-fits-all solution, Intuit developed it with flexibility and customization in mind. This means it offers powerful features that can be readily adapted to your business's unique back-office demands. Additionally, QuickBooks® offers powerful support teams and various levels of customer management that you can select and purchase based on your level of comfort working with their software. If you need more support, you can request it. If you're comfortable using QuickBooks®, then there's no need to pay for the additional assistance .
Pairing QuickBooks Online With Outsourced Accounting Services
In SMBs, keeping overhead costs low is essential. In addition to using a ready-made accounting software solution that can meet your business's needs, you can also keep these costs low by outsourcing your back-office function entirely. This will free up your time so that you can focus on managing your business while creating enormous savings on labor costs. (Educated and experienced bookkeepers, accountants, controllers, and CFOs come at a premium.)
Teamed up with an outsourced accounting services provider, you can rely on an entire back-office team to help you establish and use a sound, secure, and high-functioning bookkeeping and accounting system. From getting you started with QuickBooks® Online to helping you select the integrated applications that can automate manual processes in your business like time-tracking, data entry, expense approvals, cost categorization, invoicing, and more. Additionally, you'll have access to a team of experienced professionals who can help you learn to read and interpret your financial reports so that you can gain valuable insights into your business drivers and learn how to use your back office to manage and grow your business.