If you know what you want out of a cloud accounting system, if that is clearly defined, then it is clear what needs to be done to set it up and what needs to be entered in from the outset.

For example, if your organisation has 3 offices or branches and you want to be able to see a profit & loss for each along with a budget comparison, one way of achieving this would be to create 3 cost centres/departments. A budget would be entered for each cost centre and then when transactions are entered into the system they would be assigned to the relevant cost centre. At the end of the period, the system can then produce the desired reports.

Same goes for other things too…if you know you want to send invoices using ‘send and track’ (a feature that allows you to see when your customer received your invoice), it is important that a contact with their e-mail address is created in the customer account and the default method for sending an invoice is set.

If you want to split out your debtors between those attending event ‘A’ and those on event ‘B’, each customer account will need a ‘Classification’ code.

If you want to be able to analyse who bought what and how many, it’s important to create the item/product codes and use them when sending invoices.

Thinking about the information you want from an accounting system or document management system or any system prior to starting to use it will save you time later.