What is the Most Commonly Used Accounting Software?
From the time companies and corporations first started, accounting was a fundamental part of how a business would stay afloat and on top of their finances. Accounting has changed throughout the years, taking leaps alongside technology. Before the internet, accountants were required to keep exact records of thousands of transactions on a daily basis and then to summarize these transactions in reports. It was expected that the accountant had the most accurate and precise information and a great responsibility was placed on that role because of it. The workload could be quite staggering which would require high staffing costs or lower quality work meaning inaccurate numbers on the companies books.
Modern accounting solutions
This all changed with computers and the internet. Now there are hundreds of accounting programs online and any one of them can replace an entire team of people in the office, extremely simplifying the entire process while also saving the company money. Another benefit of an accounting program is you can be sure of its accuracy in terms of math and equations. With so many new programs popping up all the time to try and help you with your accounting software needs we took a look at the most commonly used in a few different settings.
One of the very first accounting software programs to enter the industry and also the most common is QuickBooks by Intuit. The program was initially released in 1998 but has gone through many changes to be the tool it is today. One of these recent additions to the program is to offer cloud based services at an additional cost. QuickBooks has a long reputation of being a go to program and for that reason you find it being used by many large companies. For those companies that can afford the higher cost of QuickBooks and who have the staff to master the intricacies of using the program, it is usually the best choice because of its ability to handle large quantities of clients and users all within the same system.
On the other side of the spectrum is a newer accounting software named Xero, designed in 2006 to fix some of the flaws in the traditional accounting software. These updates included:
- automatic bank and credit card account feeds
- accounts payable
- expense claims
- fixed asset depreciation
- purchase orders
- standard business and management reporting
It is more common to see Xero being used by brand new start up companies or an individual just getting started with accounting work. The low price makes it attractive to businesses low on cash but they will find themselves quickly needing to upgrade to a premium account of Xero or another service altogether due to the limitations on the number of invoices and bills that can be generated at the lowest price point.
An accounting software that’s more in the middle ground and is most likely to be used by small businesses and freelance workers is FreshBooks. FreshBooks is another novel software created originally in 2003 and being refined further in the following years. FreshBooks is great for a small business because it is easy to approach and can be managed by anyone, not just an accounting expert. It also comes loaded with services without the high cost of QuickBooks. Much like QuickBooks and Xero, FreshBooks also has a cloud based mobile app that allows you to access your books from anywhere at anytime (but without the additional charges of QuickBooks). Also FreshBooks comes standard with features such as: cloud invoicing, reporting, and payment processing. All of these features make for a perfect tool for freelancers who work in the field or anyone who needs to manage their business on the go.
Finding the right one for you and your business
As you can see, each business benefits from a different kind of accounting software. This stresses the importance of doing the research and exploring options before making a decision. There is plenty of software out there the best one just depends on your individual needs and budget. We recommend starting with FreshBooks as your first option. It is affordable, easy to access, and easy to use.