Accounting Systems for Small Businesses

CS27510 Commercial Database Applications
Thanks to
Mathew Teague, Ian Matthews, Jack Jenkins, Lucy Wills and Sian Harper
 An
accounting system is any system in place
within a company that deals with the storage
and analysis of financial information. This
system can be either manual or
computerised but manual systems are
increasingly rare nowadays.
 Small
Accounting Systems
Small businesses can not afford high priced/high ended.
 Small business can also have a problem with affording sufficient
security software for their accounting systems
 Small business may even have problems with keeping sufficient audit
trails in their accounting systems.
 Large
Accounting Systems
Large businesses can afford high priced/high ended software to do
their accounting systems which will make a difference in making them
more efficient when dealing with customers.
 Large business have the fortune of being able to tailor software to suit
their exact business requirements.
 Large business accounting software is frequently part of a wide-range
suite of software that is often known as Enterprise Resource Planning
or ERP software.
A manual accounting or book keeping system is the traditional
way of maintaining control over a business’s financial accounts
and records. This system consists of various ledgers and files into
which information must be written by hand. Those who have used
this method of accounting in the past tend to prefer it to
computerised systems.
Though more common in the past manual accounting systems are
still in use in many small businesses as their primary source of
record keeping.
In some cases a manual system may be in place in addition to the
computerised system as a way to provide another form of
backups or to keep internal control over the information.
 Advantages
Keeping manual records means there is no risk or data
corruption or disk errors leading to loss of data.
Problems with duplicate copies of data don’t apply to
manual systems.
It is easy to erase or edit erroneous data.
Secure against electronic attack
Easy to learn
 Disadvantages
Difficult to make backups.
Books can be easily damaged by human error
Easy to physically steal
 Sage
 Kashflow
 Intacct
 Epicor
Financial management
 NetSuite
 Nolapro
 Merchants Mirror
 Oracle E-Business suite
 And many more!
Wide range of software!
 Proprietary
accounting systems
 There are Open Source accounting systems
 PC based accounting software
 Web based Accounting software
There is a very wide price range!
 Some are open source! (Free!)
 Can be both Monthly payments, Yearly payments
 Generally around £200 a year for small
 Goes into the Thousands with bigger businesses!
(e.g. Sage 50 Accounts Professional)
 Can be even more with very big businesses as the
companies will want the software tailored for
 6.2
million Customers worldwide
 Sage employs over 2000 people
 Mostly Accountants and entrepreneurs
 Well known specifically for payroll software
 Does general accounting software for small
to large businesses
 Contains
the following pieces of software:
 “Instant accounts” to manage finances,
Customers and suppliers. Cash flow, Invoicing
and VAT.
 “Instant payroll” For managing employee’s
 Costs £215 for a year
 Kashflow
is a web based accounting system,
designed for small UK businesses.
 With this in mind - it is simple, and easy to
use, but has some powerful features.
 Cost: £15.99 per month
 Good for small business as no annual
contract, and 2 month free trial available.
Easy to use:
Can be accessed from anywhere
You don't need to have any previous experience Basic descriptions, no complicated accounting
Intuitive interface, and lots of guidance available
in most of the modules
 Some
features of KashFlow:
Easily store and retrieve information about;
Customers, Sales, Suppliers, Purchases, Bank
balance and Quotes
Create custom invoice templates (or use those
Automatic creation of invoices (e.g. monthly or
Generate VAT returns
Paypal integration possible.
Sales record / invoice
An invoice can be auto-generated using sales information
Large customer base
 Good customer support
 General accounting for large and small
 Desktop based
Web based, no bulky software to store on the system
Accessible from anywhere with an internet connection
Designed for small businesses
Simple and Easy to use
Good customer support
Simple plain language used: No complicated jargon
Templates for Invoices and so on available
Option to link to other online accounts like PayPal
All accounting software has a Database running
in the background
 Kashflow uses MySQL
 Sage: also uses MySQL
 The whole point of the software is to store and
manage financial information for the businesses
There are several options out there for businesses of
varying sizes, and there is the software out there tailored
for this
Two of the main ones that we have covered are Sage, and
Both of these pieces of software are widely used, and have
large support bases
Sage can be used for large or small businesses
Kashflow is ideal for small businesses
The options are out there, and there is a system out there
for every system, the correct research just needs to be
done by the business to find the right software for them