Account Edge 1
Every business relies on up to date financial information. To achieve this, financial-specific software must be employed. The king of the mountain in small business finances is Intuit's QuickBooks. But not every small business can afford to keep up to date with that particular software title, nor does every SMB need software with every feature offered in QuickBooks.
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Thankfully there are tons of cheap (or free) options available. Some of these options offer a near feature-for-feature comparison to the mighty QuickBooks. Some are much more simple minded and offer only a fraction of the features found in QuickBooks. But regardless of how feature-rich you need your financial software to be, there are options. In fact, I've uncovered five such options you've probably never heard of. Let's take a look at each and see if one (or more) of them will satisfy your small business financial needs.
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All of these, even "Free" programs cost more than Quickbooks online with payroll. If people can't do that simple a math equation, they won't be in business very long. Another drawback of these programs- none say you can import a QB data file. So, once one factors in the time (and possible errors) of re-creating client lists, sold goods/services lists, expense categories, open accts rec. and payable, where is the benefit? Intuit was brilliant in causing the dependency that they did. If you are just starting a company, you have options. Although you should ask your accountant how much easier for them (less expensive for you) it will be to do your taxes and year-end reconciliations if you use QB. I give my acct what QB calls "accountant copy"-she makes General Journal entries and fixes any errors, then I import her fixes back into the data file. I never even have to stop using QB (so there is no downtime). Before anyone accuses me of being a fanboy of QB- I assure you I am not. I clicked on this story because I would LOVE a viable alternative. They can charge what they want and I feel it borders on customer abuse. Read carefully the comments I made above about possible complications. WHICHEVER option you choose, it is a marriage, choose wisely! Divorce will be messy. Especially once you are with a program for many years (like I have been).
As an accountant I can't go past Xero, plus clients love it. Cloud based, Apple, Android, PC, Linux everything with an internet connection friendly. Plus it is extremely advanced and forward thinking. www.xero.com
Need your suggestions: One of my clients is a very small jewelry designer and maker (producing and importing from abroad and selling in the US at wholesale level, almost never retail) and needs a small business accounting system that's good for her. Many of her deliveries to retailers are consignment (not immediate sales), so the system must include easy-to-use consignment-oriented inventory AND the ability to generate tags with individual item-level bar codes for each piece of jewelry she sends out. And this system would generate invoices, keep track of revenue and expenses, print reports for each consignee-retailer-customer, etc., and the inventory function would naturally first track the new inventory received in. Ideally, this could also have a cost-of-goods function, but that's maybe more advanced for later. And there should be a few users, ideally with ability to communicate from different computers in different countries, possibly via cloud. Also, the output and even the internal data files should be Excel or Access or other non-monopoly database so she would not be trapped by QB. WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR A SMALL BUSINESS LIKE THIS WITH ONLY A FEW USERS? Thanks.
I see a few significan omissions, like: * WaveAccounting.com cloud accounting = FREE, surpassing QB in many features, although lacking in some * NolaPro.com cloud accounting = Free (if hosted on private cloud) or $9.99 per month * RHINOaccounting.com = Free. Lacking in many features but has a has a unique twin RHINOdonations.com which is unique
There's also HomeBank: http://homebank.free.fr/ Free personal accounting software. Has limitations but works well for home accounting or very small offices.
MYOB is extremely popular in the UK and Aus etc. simple and features based on differing versions.. great for small businesses..
Free - Works in Linux, ported to Windows. What more could a SMB need? http://www.gnucash.org/