Software for Hard Numbers: QuickBooks and Small Business Accounting

Searching for the right financial software for your small business can be more than a tad overwhelming. There are so many choices on the market today spanning the price spectrum from thousands of dollars to free, and there’s a good chance your budget may fall closer to the “free” side then the “thousands of dollars” side. While a quick Google search of “financial software for small business” will yield a bumper crop of options, we’re going to give you a review on the tried and true, Intuit’s QuickBooks.

Year after year, QuickBooks (not to be confused with Intuit’s “Quicken, which is strictly for household accounting and not geared for running a business) has been recommended by a multitude of PC and business-related publications, and for good reason. Here’s a quick look at some of QuickBooks advantages:

1) It’s User-Friendly.

QuickBooks’ intuitive format has made it popular among small business owners who lack a huge amount of accounting acumen. For example, when you enter a check into QuickBooks, the form you use to do so looks exactly like a check. No need to be a wizard with numbers. And since QuickBooks was designed as the business answer the much more basic Quicken, it’s easy to navigate for those who do not have a financial background.

2) It’s Inexpensive.

Don’t expect to pay a ton of money on QuickBooks. Most versions will have everything you need for your small business and then some for around $200.

3) It Allows Multiple Users.

QuickBooks can increase your business’s productivity by allowing up to five people to access your company’s QuickBook profile at a time. Granted, you’ll need to purchase additional licenses for those people (the cost of an additional license will run you the same as the price of purchasing QuickBooks), but you may find that the benefit of having more than one person making entries will far outweigh the cost.

4) It Makes Tax Preparation Easier.

You can run a variety of reports on QuickBooks, including all of your business’s yearly expenses and income, and those reports can be exported to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that you can simply email to your accountant.

5) It Could Increase Your Profits.

The time you save by using financial software to manage your small business’s finances could free up more time for you to do what you do best: Work on selling your product, networking, and securing more customers.

QuickBooks is by no means perfect. Users have complained of issues with audit trails, and if you choose to use QuickBooks’ online version, you operate at the mercy of your Internet speed, as well as program outages and limited features. As for the full, non-Internet version, expect to pay to upgrade your QuickBooks, although a once-yearly upgrade should be enough to keep your software up-to-date. And if you want QuickBooks to manage your payroll, you’ll have to pay an additional fee for that, too.

Furthermore, your business may to grow to a size where QuickBooks might not be enough financial software for you. But we tend to think that is more of a good thing than a bad thing, don’t you?

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