The Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses
When looking for accounting software for your small business, all the available choices out there can be confusing and make it difficult to find the best product for your particular needs. This article, from Leslie at Gilmour & Co, will list the best software programs in four different categories…
1. Best Overall
2. Best Mobile
3. Best Free
4. Best for Very Small Businesses
Best Overall Software
Starting off with the best overall business software, I have to say that I feel like you cannot go wrong with QuickBooks Online. This excellent software allows you to choose from three different plans, starting at just $9.99 per month, so you can choose the plan best suited to your particular business needs. QuickBooks Online allows you to have a significant amount of time with workflow automation features and easy to use navigation. The software is used by accountants worldwide with more than 150 business apps. The software is perfect for all kinds of small businesses, including consultants, store and restaurant owners, online merchants, freelances, service providers and many more. It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out, or if you already have a well established business, QuickBooks Online is loaded with so many basic and advanced features to meet your accounting needs, that you won’t need to look anywhere else. Also included with Quickbooks Online is full access to their superb customer service. Quickbooks offers phone and chat support, which you can access right from the QuickBooks website.
Best Mobile Software
Similar to QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks offers a great value for your money, with plans starting out at just $9.95 per month. Freshbooks is geared more towards the mobile market, with features and an easy to use interface built specifically for ease of use on mobile devices. The software has a very simple and intuitive user interface, and hosts a large array of tools for on-the-go accounting. Freshbooks is a cloud-based accounting software that is easily accessible from all of your devices, so there are no messy software installation steps to go through. In most cases, users can get set up in just minutes by simply entering their company name, first name, last name, email address, and creating a password. Once your account is created, you will see the home screen, which has a very clean layout with everything you need on one screen, including buttons for key functions such as client records, expenses, time-tracking, invoices, and project management. FreshBooks has a lot to offer, but there are some drawbacks too. There are more than twenty types of reports the software can create, including profits and losses, tax summary, and expense reports. To view these reports, however, you will need to choose whether you would like to receive them by email and view them on your computer, or launch them from your web browser to access them, where they normally do not look nearly as good as on a computer. Another drawback is that the software is currently only available on the iOS and Android platforms, so if you have a Windows or Blackberry phone, you are out of luck for the time being.
Best Free Software
There are lots of great free accounting software programs out there, but the one I would most highly recommend is Wave Accounting. Although it comes with ads, you can’t beat the price. Wave Accounting is a cloud-based software with all of your basic accounting functions, but not many advanced features available unless you purchase the paid service. It’s a good place to get started, but for more advanced accounting tasks you’ll want to either upgrade to the paid service or use another paid software. Wave Accounting is best for very small businesses with ten or less employees, or the self employed. The software is extremely easy to use and get started with. All you need to do is create an account, which can be done in seconds by simply entering your email address and your desired password. You can even register using your Google or Yahoo account if you so choose. Once signed up, you can customize your account by filling in your company name and type of business. After login you will be greeted with a simple and easy to use dashboard, with menus divided into categories such as Invoices, Bills, Transactions, and Receipts and Reports, so you can find what you need quickly and without difficulty.
Best Very Small Business Software
For the final category, Zoho Books is our winner. For just a straight, flat rate of $24 you get access to all of the features. Other accounting software programs that start at a cheaper price usually only give you access to a limited number of features, and require you to upgrade to meet your expanded needed. Upgrading often costs over $30 per months. Zoho Books on the other hand gives you access to EVERYTHING for just $24 a month. The software offers a very clean layout with a clutter free dashboard, and has the ability to connect with the most popular online payment gateways out there, which means you can get paid faster. Zoho Books can save you time by automating your workflow. The program is able to automatically perform tasks such as setting up recurring billing, sending invoices, tracking expenses, and notifying you with payment reminders. When you are able to automate your most common accounting tasks, it frees you up to spend more time running you business and less time worrying about repetitive tasks that can take hours and hours away from your day if done manually.
The customer service at Zoho is excellent as well. The company offers email and 24 hour phone support on the weekdays in the U.S., U.K., India, and Australia. They also offer a large knowledgebase and customer forums to help answer any questions you might have.