which business bookkeeping software should You choose?
All this information is great, but you might still be sitting there thinking “yeah, how does this all help me to choose just one”!! Read on for more help deciding.
What business bookkeeping software does your business require?
Make a list of what your business needs out of a bookkeeping package. Below is a basic list to help you.
Tick the ones that apply to you and then compare with each software brand to see which brand is a good fit and a price that your business can afford.
Below are some suggestions of which software to consider.
Requirements and Suggestions
Do you need to issue sales invoices and track customer payments?
- Use QB Simple Start / Essentials or
- Xero Standard or
- Sage Starter
Do you want to enter and track your bills and payments? (plus sales mentioned above)
- Use QB Essentials, or
- Xero Starter or
- Sage One Accounting
Income and Expenses
Do you just want a simple income and expense tracking option without the first two mentioned above?
- Use QB Simple Start or
- Xero Standard or
- Sage Starter
Inventory or Point of Sale
Do you sell stock and want to track your inventory purchased, sold and stock on hand?
- Use QB Plus, with Cin7 or
- Xero Standard / Premium plus Add-Ons like Unleashed or Vend or
- Sage One plus EposNow or
Do you have employees that you need to run payroll for?
- QB Essentials plus QB Payroll or
- Xero Standard / Premium or
- Sage Payroll Essentials
Is your business very tiny with very few banking transactions, or requirement of sales invoicing, or do you work on the side and need help with tax calculations?
- Use Xero Starter or
- QB Self-Employed
Final tips for choosing the best business bookkeeping software
These are all very good, well established, award winning, international software options so you won’t be making a bad decision no matter which one you choose.
You could sign up for the free 30 days trial on the two you like the most and use that time to explore them all, practice entering data on their demo/dummy companies if they have one, check out their help and support pages and videos, and generally see which one you get a good feel for.
If you have an accountant, you could get their advice, but you need to know that if they are partnered with just one of these brands, they may only promote that one brand to you. Which is fine because it means they will (or should) know the software inside and out and may be able to provide you with a Partner price (meaning you could get that software cheaper than what you would get it yourself) and good support – but this will depend on the type of Accountant you have.
If you don’t want to pay for bookkeeping software, go check out the free options available, the link is down below (I only recommend the best ones I can find) or if you want to work within Microsoft Excel to do all your bookkeeping, check out my Excel spreadsheets.
why to choose paid Business bookkeeping software over free software?
The only reason would be that you get a software that is specifically tailored to your country which is helpful when you have to for example track sales tax and want to use a software that produces a report that matches the one required by your local government for you to file with them.
It's also good if you have payroll to process alongside your normal day to day bookkeeping and want the payroll data to be automatically updated within the accounts.
Free business bookkeeping software
These are genuine, free programs that any small business, sole trader, or student can use.
Click on graphic below which will take you to our page of free software downloads
Simple Business Bookkeeping Software
If your business is simple and has a low number of business
transactions then you could manage your bookkeeping in spreadsheet
software, avoiding the need to purchase an actual bookkeeping programme.
Click the thumbnail below to go to a downloadable excel cash book.
Your bookkeeping system can be a simple cash book which is easy
to set up in software like Excel or OpenOffice.
If you own a computer
then the chances are you already have Excel.
If you do not have Excel
you can download OpenOffice. It's free and is an excellent spreadsheet
What constitutes a small business with few
transactions? One example is a rental property owner with a handful of
houses or less who needs to record things like:-
- Rental payments received
- Repairs and maintenance expenses
- Mortgage payments
General Ledger Accounting Software
If you know anything about the double entry bookkeeping system and debits and credits then you may like to try a general ledger program.
General ledger accounting software makes it obvious that you are using a double entry method because you have to enter the debits and credits yourself.
It is an excellent way to learn the double entry system.
Standard business bookkeeping software programs use the double entry system but because it operates as part of the 'background' calculations many bookkeepers and administrators do not know it's there or even what double entry bookkeeping is even though they use it every day!
Our free software page details a general ledger program.
Web Accounting Software
Another term for this is 'cloud accounting' or 'cloud computing'.
simply means you log into an online bookkeeping program from your web
browser and maintain the company records there.
Most of the major business bookkeeping software providers such as Quickbooks, Xero, MYOB, FreshBooks - offer a cloud version of their software.
Benefits of keeping it online are:-
- There is no
need to download bookkeeping software onto your hard drive.
- No need to
worry about constant backups in case your hard drive crashes.
- No need to
worry about having to update your record every time the
developers send out a new release.
- Everything is kept online,
backed up on the providers servers, automatically updated with
improvements and if your computer crashes you know your information is
safe, because it's online.
- You can access your records from any computer, making it easy to access when you are traveling.
Check out more information about bookkeeping in the cloud.
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