Selecting from a range of free UK accounting software can be a task. But it is just the first step. Once you have picked and installed the software, the time comes to align it with your routine. As you would know, free UK accounting software comes with a wide variety of functions. It is crucial to understand how to properly use them to make the most out of the software.
How to get started?
The primary step is to set up the organisation’s details. As any standard procedure, it comes with basic questions like the name and email of your organisation. Further, it asks you about the registration details of the organisation. This comprises the registration number and official address. More information to personalise the software includes the logo, website, and description of your business. Adding these details is fairly straightforward. It pushes you a step closer to efficiently using the free UK accounting software.
How to set up financial details?
Now comes the main focus of using the software. To begin with, enter the dates for your accounting period. The year-end reports are scheduled for when the accounting period ends. While the majority of firms follow the April to March cycle, some also choose to use the calendar year. This data will ensure prompt preparation of all your future reports.
Further, different organisations have different accounting practices. You can maintain your account on a cash or an accrual basis. There are five major heads under which different accounts are opened. However, you can name individual accounts as per your understanding. For example, under revenue, you can choose to differentiate your sales accounts by dividing them as per the geographical location. You can also name your expense accounts as per the main reasons for your outflows. This method of charting helps you get a clearer picture of transactions.
How to link your bank account?
The best free UK accounting software gives you the option to link your bank accounts with them. This proves to be beneficial in everyday practice. Having a bank account linked makes payments quicker. It also gives a direct feed from your bank over a secure network. More than anything, this eases the process of reconciling your bank statements.
Reconciliation means matching the transactions in your bank account with what you have entered in your books. Undertaking this process once a week is a must. Proper reconciliation ensures that there are no mistakes or overlooked transactions in your books of accounts. The free UK accounting software reduces payment errors or any resulting fraud. The software can pull out information from your bank statement, and you just have to vouch for the transaction. In most cases, the software remembers how you treat an entry, so it comes up with suitable suggestions. It can also extract data from point-of-sale systems so nothing is missed. This process is reliable, as it reduces the chance of human error.
Managing bills and invoices
In technical jargon, this is called receivables management. When you bill your customers, you can either receive instant payment or get it at a future date. For the latter, an invoice is issued in the name of the customer. It is important to keep track of the number of invoices issued and how soon you getting are paid. Setting up payment services, such as PayPal, also gives the customer a direct option to pay. This can be integrated into the invoice itself. When you get paid, you get a notification. This avoids unnecessarily asking customers for payment who have already done the needful. You can also set up automatic payment reminders for customers. Here, an email is sent to them as the due date approaches.
Setting up payment reminders
The free accounting software in the UK comes with the ability to extract information from bills. You can also feed this information into the software. Once you approve the uploaded invoice, it schedules the payment. The amount is paid instantly or on the mentioned due date. You can enable notifications for updates on payments, so you never miss a deadline. This creates a better image and goodwill for the business.
Managing payroll settings
Employees are what make any organisation successful. Remuneration to them should be accurately calculated and distributed on time. Accounting software automates the task of payroll management. Starting with the gross amount, it determines the number of deductions and pays the resulting net amount to the employee. It also ensures all provisions are met and complied with.
How to create reports?
Your monthly reports include the balance sheet, statement of profit and loss, and cash flow statement. These reports determine your financial position and how much cash you are generating. With help of accounting software, you can prepare these with just a click. These reports are visible on your dashboard. Many accounting software also gives the option of customising the dashboard. You can make changes to view forecasts and graphs of the entered information.
The best free accounting software in the UK provides a common portal for financial management. You can add multiple users to it so information is accessible to all. This aids in a better understanding of the business and the financial position. Upgrading to a new software opens up a large window for growth. Sold yet? Click here for the best accounting software.