If you’re a small business without an in-house accountant, it makes a lot of sense to use accounting software. With advances in technology these programs have become inexpensive and incredibly useful. In fact, used correctly, they can save you dozens or even hundreds of hours over the course of a year. Not to mention all the money you’ll save from not having to hire a year round bookkeeper to look after the finances. Of course, if you’re going to use one of these programs you’ll want to know which is the best. In this article we’ll start off with our favorite piece of software, and then talk about a few other programs which each have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Freshbooks regularly comes up as the number one choice on a number of different review sites, and there’s a reason for that. Plans start at just $9.99 a month, and go upwards as you add more features. Freshbooks allows you to snap a picture of a receipt in order to easily catalog expenses. It also gives you the power to easily bill clients and send them an invoice with just a single click.
On top of that, Freshbook is remarkably easy to use. It has an intuitive interface that’s easy to figure out, even if you normally don’t do well with technology. You can also use Freshbooks on your phone or tablet, which gives you the ultimate amount of flexibility when it comes to doing your accounting. Since everything is backed up on the cloud, you can work seamlessly between devices without worrying about transferring data. Even if you do run into a problem, Freshbooks has an excellent customer support system which will answer any questions that you have. Freshbooks is number one on our list for a reason, and with it’s low price and long list of features, we think it’s a great fit for any small business owner.
Sage Accounting Software
The benefit of Sage is that they give you several different packages to choose from, ensuring that you can get the software which works best for you. If you only want to work on your desktop, Sage offers a package for that. On the other hand, if you plan on doing everything on a mobile platform, Sage caters to that market as well. Their software is intuitive, easy to use, and can potentially save you a lot of time once you’ve gotten it set up.
Another feature of Sage software is the ability it gives small business owners to work seamlessly with their clients. This can increase productivity and make collaboration easier. However, unlike Freshbooks, Sage doesn’t offer a customizable dashboard. If you like to stay organized and create custom systems that work best for you, Sage may not be the best choice.
The main advantage of using FreeAgent is that unlike other accounting programs, it doesn’t limit transactions to a certain number in its cheaper packages. That means you can purchase an inexpensive version and still enjoy unlimited transaction. With its unlimited number of invoices, users, and expense reports, it’s a solid option for any small business owner or freelancer.
In addition to unlimited transactions, FreeAgent also makes it easy to file your taxes. The program keeps track of all your important records, which can significantly reduce the amount of time you need to figure out your taxes when it’s time to pay them. Finally, like Freshbooks, they also have a helpful, dedicated customer service team. However, one of the disadvantages of using FreeAgent is that they charge an initial price for the first six months of software usage, and then double that price after the introductory offer. Presumably they assume that after you’ve spent so much time customizing the software for your needs and entering your business data, you won’t want to take the time to redo all that effort on another program.
Quickbooks was one of the first accounting programs available to small business owners. Since its conception it’s sold well and many businesses continue to use it today. At $9.99 a month, Quickbooks is affordable, although that plan is limited to only a single user. One of Quickbook’s nicest features is its well laid out, easy to use dashboard. This dashboard is continually updated which ensures that you’ll always be able to achieve maximum productivity when you work with Quickbooks. Another nice feature of Quickbooks is that they offer a free thirty day trial that doesn’t even require a credit card. Quickbooks is also packed with features, which ensures that it will be a good choice regardless of whether you have simple or complex accounting problems to take care of.
Xero bills itself as an alternative to Quickbooks, and it does offer a similar set of services. With Xero you can pay employees, manage all of your bills and expenses, track your inventory, and create invoices and quotes. On top of that, one of its nicest features is its ability to integrate with twenty-six different e-commerce apps. That gives Xero lots of flexibility, and ensures that it will fit in seamlessly with your work flow. Like Freshbooks, Xero also works well on mobile platforms, giving you plenty of flexibility in how you manage your books, whether you like to use a mobile phone or tablet.
At just $9 per month, Xero is also an affordable option when it comes to accounting software. Even the upgraded options with additional features are still significantly cheaper than other programs like Quickbooks. One problem with Xero is that it’s still not widely used. That means that if you need to work with an accountant, and submit your business data to them, the process may be difficult if you work exclusively with Xero. However, Xero is aware of this problem and they’ve taken a series of steps to remedy it. They’ve created a list of accountants who work with Xero, and they’ve also made it easy to convert all of their native files into a more popular Quickbooks format.