Accounting Software for Small Businesses
If you are a business owner or employee of a start up you may know just how many accounting software packages exist and that it can be borderline overwhelming when you are unsure about which one is best for your needs.
How do you choose?
Before being able to identify the best software choice for yourself you need to first establish a few things:
- What your needs are from the program
- Your budget
- The number of clients you have
- The number of accounting staff you have
- Your own accounting expertise level
Also make sure when selecting software that your company will not outgrow the program or service provided before you are ready to make the effort to switch to another program.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most popular brands in accounting software and examine the best use of each as well as some pros and cons.
First up is Xero, designed for people who do their business on the go. All of Xero’s features are accessible through your phone such as: sending custom invoices, tracking inventory, and creating purchase orders to attach to bills.
This also means that you can get financial performance reviews sent directly to your phone, keeping you in the loop even when you are out of the office. Another helpful feature is that it allows you to link your account in Xero with your bank account to provide a seamless experience. However, any company looking for payroll services may want to look at alternative accounting software. Xero does not currently payroll services and instead requires you to use a third party partner, Gusto. The low price of $9 a month and mobile capabilities make this program workable for a single freelance worker but may fall short of what is necessary for a company with offices and multiple employees.
Up next and fully loaded with features is the tried and true QuickBooks. QuickBooks comes with basic accounting services for a base price and then becomes more expensive with every feature you require. Features include:
- tracking income and expenses
- sending invoices and receiving payments
- running reports
- sending estimates
- tracking sales and taxes
- capturing and organizing receipts
With no shortage of features and a higher price point Quickbooks is best for a large corporation that requires a wide variety of services and can afford a high subscription cost.
Finally is FreshBooks which has recently become a favorite for their upgrades in features and ease of use with a clean new User Interface. FreshBooks is the absolute best for sending out recurring invoices, if you need time tracking capability, or if you are running a subscription model business because it allows you to access your books anywhere with cloud based service and has such features to make the previous tasks easier than ever.
For a low price of $15 a month you can manage up to five clients and can easily upgrade to more if your business is expanding and you find it necessary. FreshBooks even has a feature that lets you see the geographical location where a client opened their invoice so you can know for sure they have received it. Also, regular and secure backups occur with every plan and prevent the need to worry about your data being secured and backed up, gone are the days of lost files.
FreshBooks positions itself to be the best option for businesses that are getting started but want to keep careful log of their accounting without the high price of traditional programs.
Finding the best option for your business accounting needs
Every accounting software has something unique to offer and it is all about deciding which one is best for you and your needs. By being careful to examine each program as well as your own needs you can be sure to select the right choice the first time, saving time and money.