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6 Accounting Software Programs for Small Businesses

A small business owner enjoys many exciting milestones over the course of a career – opening their company, recording that first big sale and hiring employees as the company becomes too big for one person to handle. Accounting duties don’t fall on this list.

Keeping the books, in fact, can be simultaneously boring as watching paint dry and difficult enough to cause a few gray hairs. However, while we have no answer for the lack of excitement in accounting, there is a solution for taking some sting out of the process: software.

Accounting software programs take a complex, time-consuming task and turns it into a much simpler, much quicker process that helps cut down on errors while providing you with clean, organized reporting. The following are some of the perks and drawbacks of a number of accounting programs for small businesses.

Accounting Programs for Small Business

  1. QuickBooks: Intuit’s QuickBooks is one of the top names in business accounting software, boasting 4.3 million customers who enjoy features such as expense organization, bill management, one-click reporting and payments, and even 1099 preparation. This is a flexible and inherent program, though it is lacking in areas such as inventory management, and users complain about double entry errors. You can buy QuickBooks Online in plans between $20/month and $50/month (less during certain promotions), or purchase QuickBooks Desktop for $299.95.
  2. FreshBooks: FreshBooks is an easy-to-use business accounting software platform that includes features such as invoicing, time tracking, project management and reporting. The service includes apps for both iOS and Android that allow you to record receipts via photos and create invoices on the road. FreshBooks is regarded as one of the best programs out there, with few major flaws, though it does have some compatibility issues – thus, you may not necessarily be able to have invoices transfer automatically from other programs (like QuickBooks). This software starts at $15 per month for the “Lite” version.
  3. Xero: Xero is a more complex accounting suite, though it does offer some hand-holding while you get acquainted, such as how-to videos and written guides, along with tutorial guides. In addition to usual basic features such as invoicing, payroll and dashboards, Xero also allows users to track inventory, track gains and losses across multiple currencies, and easily convert QuickBooks files if you’re moving over from Intuit’s program. This software does have a few small issues, such as simply so-so mobile apps, but the biggest hang-up might be its lack of phone support – it’s email-only. Xero’s pricing options range from $9 to $70, though the low end is extremely limited at just five invoices and 20 bank transaction reconciliations, not to mention no payroll and other features.
  4. Sage: Sage offers a pair of cloud solutions – the simpler Sage One that offers a couple features including managing invoices and cash flow, and the more powerful Sage Live that allows users to create customizable reports, manage inventory and even connect accounting with Salesforce. While Sage does offer some accounting features, it’s much stronger on the project management front. And while you can get into the most basic Sage package for just $10/month, the full-featured Sage Live costs $300/month.
  5. Zoho Books: Zoho Books is a Business News Daily pick as the top accounting software for “for really small businesses, such as sole proprietors, freelancers, consultants, artists, and e-commerce and home-based businesses.” Its offerings include invoice creation and sending, reports, accounting and numerous other tools, accessible both on desktop and mobile. This is an easy-to-set-up and easy-to-use program, and its $24/month price tag gives you all of Zoho’s features, for an unlimited number of users.
  6. Wave Review: Wave is a personal and business account management cloud service that allows you to create unlimited invoices and estimates, track payments and monitor expenses. The app includes reports and dashboards, and allows you to pay co-workers from anywhere. Wave is another solid offering, though it is missing features such as project and time tracking. The software is free, though pay-as-you-go plans are used for features such as credit card processing ($15 base fee, $4 per employee).

Not sure about what accounting software to choose, or how to implement it? Talk to the experts at McManamon & Co., where our accounting services include training your accounting staff on how to implement and use numerous accounting software programs.

Get your books in order without all the hassle. Call McManamon & Co. at 440.892.9088 or contact us online to get a better grip on your small business’ accounting duties!

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