What is the best accounting software for small business?
Well it’s January. Time to compile all of your business financial information needed to prepare your tax return. Most business owners are not exactly jumping for joy at the thought of adding up all those numbers.
And how do you arrange all of that information to look at the big picture of the past year? If you don’t have a bookkeeper who puts it all together and hands you a Profit & Loss statement then it’s up to you as the business owner to get those numbers.
Accounting software is designed to track all of that information and give you reports based on those numbers. There are a lot of choices out there. So what is the best accounting software for small business?
My opinion is based on 10 years of running my own bookkeeping business. I have done bookkeeping for a number of different types of business over the years. From caterers to farmers, QuickBooks works well for all of them.
Although most of my clients have me do their bookkeeping for them. Some business owners prefer to do their own bookkeeping and hire me to show them how. One of the very first things I have them do is purchase software. And the software I always recommend is QuickBooks.
Specifically QuickBooks Pro because it offers all of the features they would need without getting into anything to technical.
QuickBooks was designed with the “non-accountant” in mind. The home page shows you icons arranged in a way that makes it easier to see what you need to do.
Before you see this home screen you’ll set up a company in QuickBooks. It will take you through a question and answer interview which will set your company file up based on your specific information such as name, address, EIN, and so on. Then based on the type of company you are in and what information you want to track.
Bookkeeping in a nutshell, is tracking all of the money that comes into and goes out of your business. You’ll be entering all of that information in in a way that is familiar to you such as writing checks and creating invoices. QuickBooks will take that information and keep it in the accounts you tell it to. Then with a few clicks of the mouse you can retrieve it all arranged neatly into professional looking financial reports.
There are many other features you’ll come to appreciate and depend on including
- Create invoices or sales receipts with as little or as much detail as you want. You can even email them to the customer without ever leaving QuickBooks
- Show payments on those invoices
- Post your bills along with the due date and let QuickBooks remind you when they are due
- Keep contact and account information for all of your customers and vendors
- Reconcile your checking and credit card accounts
- Track your assets
- Optional add on payroll means you can process all of your payroll and print paychecks or send direct deposit right from within the software
One of my favorite features is the ability to download information from financial institutions right into the software saving you tons of time keying in multiple transactions.
Intuit does have an online version as well and although I don’t use that service myself I know a lot of business do. It’s set up a little different than the desktop software and it’s important to note the two do not play well together. You’ll need to pick one or the other.
QuickBooks Pro is software that you download on your computer and all of your data is kept there as well. You pay for it once and you own it.
QuickBooks Online is cloud based software. Nothing to download, always up to date, and available from anywhere you can get online. This is a subscription service that you will renew yearly.
Whether you prefer a cloud based subscription or a software you own, QuickBooks is the best accounting software for small business.
Keep watching for more information about QuickBooks to come as I’ll be posting how-to’s, tips, and tricks using QuickBooks software.
Got something specific you want to know how to do? Leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help you!
Thanks for your time,