Over the years, the computerised bookkeeping software has become more accessible and much easier to use for the novice bookkeeper. All computerised bookkeeping software is based on the principles of double entry bookkeeping and it would be wise to undertake at the very minimum some free bookkeeping training so you understand the principles of double-entry bookkeeping.
If you maintain your accounts on a regular and frequent basis you will find the processing of transactions much quicker. The transactions will be fresh in your mind so you will not have many puzzling moments when you forget details about transactions that you will inevitably have if you only do your accounts every three months when your VAT returns are due also you will not have such a big pile of invoices to process so it will not feel as daunting to you.
You need to carefully consider what software you need for your requirements, some software companies offer free cash book software and this might be suitable for a small retail business. You can then look for more complex software that will allow you to enter journals, raise invoices and manage debtors control accounts and creditors control accounts. Please don’t fall into the mistake that so many businesses do which, is they purchase the most expensive software thinking its the best for the job, there are many cheap packages that will suit most small businesses and indeed some of the cheaper packages are easier to use for the novice bookkeeper. It is worth the research time to have a look around the internet and bookkeeping forums to see what package will suit your needs.
The easiest time to commence computerised bookkeeping is from the day the business starts to trade, or if it is already trading from the first day of the businesses financial year, this is because you will have all the opening balances from your accounts and your accountant should be able to help with the opening balances needed for your new bookkeeping system.
There is plenty of support and forums on the internet that can help you become competent with processing your own bookkeeping and thereby putting you more in financial control of your business and at the same time reducing your accountancy fees.
The first thing to look at in your software is the chart of accounts, most packages are based on a chart of accounts, this will detail the structure of your profit and loss account that the software will produce. This is where you can personalise the accounts so the reflect your businesses needs and the accounts will be easy to read. The standard chart of accounts is normally adequate for most businesses needs, but its well worth the effort to have a look before you start entering your transactions.