Feel frustrated about what you want in an Accounting Software? Sick of hearing the preferences of different accounting professionals around you and still being confused? Perhaps we can help! Many Accounting Professionals can, but please be assured, we’re always going to give you our opinion based on our preferences for software. But although you should consider what others are saying, the decision is still yours.
An Accounting Professional should in theory be able to use a variety of different software and should base their consultative services on what best suits for the client, their preference and what the client is looking for. So for that reason, I want to take you through a few different software programs and give you a brief explanation of their best use and why they may be good for you.
Some small business has not reached an income level to necessitate major bookkeeping or professional bookkeeping. You’re looking to keep track of simply your income and expenses, not the balance sheet detail.
You are simply looking for basic categorization and a synopsis of your numbers. For this reason, an excel spreadsheet could be your answer. In fact, we have come up with an excel spreadsheet with built in formulas to give the totals for the easy income tax preparation at the end of the year. We also give a spot to keep track of your at home use of business expenses as well as a listing of major assets (anything over the $500.00 mark that your accountant will need to depreciate in your taxes).
I have found this works super well for some basic start up business that are writing simple receipts for their services in the first few years of operation.
FreshBooks & Wave Accounting
Freshbooks and Wave Accounting is definitely a step up from the excel spreadsheet, which in turn allows you to produce and collect invoices with greater ease and clarity. It also simply to put it looks more professional. It also allows you to keep track of your expenses with simple allocation, but it does not produce balance sheets or fancy reporting that would be in the more sophisticated software. Neither program reconciles so if you were to use this, you’re looking at a manual reconciliation.
With more sophisticated companies, I do not recommend not reconciling. You can have your books manually reconciled and then change (by accident or on purpose) something in your accounting software and now your balance is off the mark. Not an easy process to find out where that mistake is hiding. If you go this route, please make sure you run regular backups and keep that reconciliation so you can find the mistake faster.
Freshbooks will flow into QuickBooks if you would like to use it simultaneously with a bookkeeper to allow for monthly reconciliation, but it does not perform all of the reporting functions that QuickBooks and Simply Accounting will. It does this by posting what we call general journal entries into QuickBooks which will not allow your bookkeeper see the detail transaction which allows for easy mistake finding.
You also cannot get the detail of customized reporting or a great customized GL’s from this software. We’ll stay tuned to see if this is improved upon in future. I would love for FreshBooks & Wave to have reconciliation, it would make this a fantastic product for smaller businesses.
You can use both of these programs online, produce a customized invoice immediately and while still present with the client and get paid for it. A great Accounts Receivable Management Software. For this reason it is a great startup software that is more sophisticated than an excel spreadsheet.
QuickBooks & Simply Accounting
Bring in the customization, bring in the bigger options, bring in the budgets, forecasting and all of those amazing fancy things that Accounting can do for you and here you are. QuickBooks & Simply Accounting is the next level up. With different versions from basic to handling multimillion dollar companies, these software programs are where it’s at for analytics, budget and forecasting analysis, job costing management, profitability, employee management, inventory management, you name it, it can do it.
You aren’t quite there yet, but you are above FreshBooks & Wave? You don’t have to buy the most expensive version of this and can upgrade at any time without having to restart from scratch. You can access modules or set them up as you go along (add in as you expand so to speak).
You can also buy the online version of this to share with your bookkeeper if you would like to pay that expense. However, you can also carefully send and restore backups if you do not need it daily to allow you to keep those monthly costs down.
You are also able to allow employees onto these systems with their own access names and restrictions. Just want them to invoice for you? Not a problem! They don’t need to see everything else. Your privacy is protected and your business runs more efficiently.
My Preference: I’m a QuickBooks girl. I personally find it more user friendly than Simply Accounting although Simply Accounting is where I held my background… I switched over as I found I had greater options including a software that was more user friendly for clients who needed to use this program on their own, but I cannot say that Simply Accounting is gone, it’s simply this, my preference.
Accounting is not going to change. Debit will ALWAYS equal CREDIT and I’m positive in my lifetime that software will come and go, but if you need a little help on this one right now, I’m happy to help. There are also a variety of other softwares out there… need to know more? Call us!