Running a company successful is naturally a complicated process since there are often numerous finite details that need considering to measure just how well the business is doing, and what to change to improve things. One such way of measuring this is through understanding key performance indicators (KPI), metrics that reveal how healthy a business is from a financial standpoint. Unfortunately, KPIs are often tricky to interpret without an accountant, but SMBs and startups simply cannot afford to waste time on waiting for a proper explanation.
Thankfully, by opting for an online accounting solution, business owners don’t have to worry about incomprehensible KPIs since these services provide fully understandable business metrics to help users make better decisions and therefore tweak the business’s processes to become even more effective.
For those hoping to delve into such data, online accounting software is a huge boon thanks to their dashboards dedicated to the most important financial information of the business. Even better is that the information is often displayed in the form of colorful infographics, which allows business owners to check the company’s health with a single glance at the dashboard. Granted, the data displayed here is usually limited to only the most essential things – such as invoices, bills, cashflow, the linked bank account’s feed, and a quick profit and loss overview – but in the vast majority of cases it’s more than enough to get the necessary financial status of the business.
Interestingly, certain accounting solutions like Xero can display more information on its dashboard than just the usual graphs. In fact, there is an entire page dedicated to business performance graphs, all of which can be pinned to the dashboard to provide an even more detailed snapshot of the business’s current standing.
No matter how useful it is, this dashboard only details the most basic information, which is far from enough when you need to take a closer look at specific KPIs. However, such software also contains different sections within the accounting software where users can find related, detailed summary pages, each of which contains valuable data such as any due, overdue or paid invoices, current stock in the inventory, or a comprehensive list of expenses.
When it comes to business reports, online accounting software is a juggernaut as it’s capable of generating virtually every kind of report without any human intervention whatsoever, whether that report is a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet, a general ledger, or a trial balance. Any created reports even can be shared with the company’s accountant, who can correct or even tailor them according to the business’s specific needs.
Speaking of which, while these reports are created automatically there is the option to generate customized reports. Sometimes the only way of doing so is by applying various settings to the report and then command the program to create a new report based on the new set of criteria. However, in the case of more advanced solutions like QuickBooks Online, customization is a significant in-built part of the software as they allow users to eliminate unnecessary elements from the report or, conversely, add even more lines of data to make them even more detailed.
Most online accounting solutions are a great asset when it comes to learning about the current state of the business, but there are many programs that lack the proper quality to their reporting features, whether that is a subpar dashboard that lacks the necessary information or the absence of versatility and customization to their business reports. Thankfully, there is no need to rely solely on the built-in reporting features of cloud accounting programs, as many can integrate with various other third-party solutions, including professional reporting tools like Fathom, Qvinci, and Microsoft’s Power BI.
Whether these solutions are used to substitute missing features or are complementary additions to make use of, these reporting tools can really enhance any online accounting program thanks to their ability to provide advanced KPI features that give insight into the business’s health in a better, more comprehensible way.
Best Online Accounting Software of 2019