What are the top four pieces of finance software you should use in 2019?
There are a whole host of finance software packages out there these days, and it can be hard to know which one is best to use. The short answer is that there’s no need to restrict yourself to one piece of software, or even one type of software package. Instead, there are lots of different types that can be used together for maximum benefit. This article will explore the main categories of finance software you should be using.
A shareable, data-based solution
The first aspect to consider when on the hunt for a software package is to choose a package that has a rigorous data collection function – and the capacity for team members across the organisation to access it. The advantages of doing this are numerous.
Say one of your strategic goals for 2019 is to apply for and secure a further round of investment: having a piece of kit that allows both finance and the C-Suite to access accurate profit data for 2018 at a glance will make the pitch-writing process much easier, no matter who is in charge of it. And it’s clear that as time goes on and 2019 approaches, this requirement for organised big data is only going to get more and more pressing.
However, 2019 also heralds a significant change in the way that those who are VAT-registered go about filing their tax returns – and this is something that everybody in the finance software space needs to think about.
Digitalised VAT tax returns, as opposed to paper ones, are about to become compulsory – and the software that you or your accountant uses will need to be able to be fully integrated with HMRC’s, like Access Digital Tax. Beyond 2019, income tax and corporation taxpayers are also likely to be brought into the fold – so it’s worth preparing now. Almost a million businesses are believed to be at risk of not being ready, so taking action is vital.
The categories outlined above have clear advantages, and these tend to lie in their useful applications for the modern world. However, this doesn’t mean that the older software tools commonly used in finance should be discarded altogether.
Microsoft Excel remains one of the most common – and while it may not enjoy cross-department benefits or a simple compliance pathway with the Making Tax Digital rules, it’s still a handy tool to have around. Quick calculations of totals, averages and more, for example, can be completed in seconds, while rough graph sketches are also possible with this package.
Automation is a word on everyone’s lips at the moment. For finance directors, it’s something that’s vital to implement as 2019 approaches. From tools which can issue regular, repeatable invoices to synchronised virtual payment cards which draw information from across your systems, there are lots of different ways to automate key finance processes.
The benefits of these sorts of tools are immense. Not only can they cut down on the risks of duplication and manual processing errors, the logical and organised nature of many automation tools mean they often fit seamlessly with other business-wide systems.
What’s clear, then, is that there are plenty of finance software routes from which to choose. Complex but highly valuable software packages that allow all team members to access one single version of the truth are handy for many purposes – and with 2019 heralding everything from the next frontier in big data to the arrival of the Making Tax Digital regulations, something up to date is also important.
Are you concerned about the impact of Making Tax Digital? Our resource hub is on hand to help you find out more.