Running and growing a small business is pretty fun. Paying taxes for that business is not. Thankfully, accounting software can help make the process a little less painful by tracking your accounts payable and receivable, your payroll, your inventory and all of your banking activity for you. However, with so many different types of software available on the market, it can be difficult to choose which accounting platform is best for your business. To help you make an informed decision, here’s an overview of three of the top financial management software available on the market today.
QuickBooks is currently the most popular business management software on the market, and for good reason. The platform is easy to use and features advanced invoicing, billing and expense and payment tracking functions that can be customized to fit any unique needs your business might have. It can also grow with you, saving you the trouble of upgrading to a more complex platform as you add more employees and inventory. QuickBooks also has excellent support for mobile devices like Android and iOS smart phones.
There are a few cons, though. For one, the Pro version of QuickBooks doesn’t include project or time tracking, which means that you’ll have to add a third party app to enjoy those features. Additionally, the inventory feature of QuickBooks is somewhat lacking compared to other accounting platforms. And at a price point of $189, it could be overkill for artisans and other very-small businesses.
Good For: Growing companies with a variety of unique needs.
Bookkeeper is exemplary in its ability to simplify finance management for small businesses. Everything about this accounting platform from Avanquest is easy to use and –best of all – affordable. For $29.95, you get a lot of functionality, including a great expense tracking and an awesome general ledger feature.
However, that low price also comes with pitfalls. Additional features are sparse on Bookkeeper. Most notably, you can’t direct deposit funds into employee accounts, which makes managing payroll kind of a pain. You also don’t get remote access to the software, which can make it a non-starter for growing businesses who need to use Bookkeeper on more than once PC.
Good For: Small businesses who want the basics at a good price.
FreshBooks is a new cloud-based accounting platform that’s quickly becoming popular among small business owners. Since it’s based online, FreshBooks makes it easy to manage projects, accept payments over the Internet and open up client portals. The management features themselves aren’t bad either – the billing management system is awesome and the general ledger function works great. There’s also an app you can download to access your account from an iPhone or iPad.
As far as cons are concerned, FreshBooks’ biggest problem is that it doesn’t inherently support Android devices. You need to get a third-party app to make the platform compatible. Also, you need to sync the app to other services like Basecamp and Toggl to make the most of FreshBooks, which can be overwhelming for non- Internet-friendly users. Additionally, FreshBooks doesn’t allow the addition of new users for free, which will make it more expensive to use as your company grows.
Good For: Internet-savvy business owners who want to break free of traditional accounting software.
These are just a few of the great business management platforms available to small business owners today. So before you make your decision to sign up for business management software, take some time to do your research and try out a variety of financial platforms. That way, you can be sure that you’ve picked the perfect system to manage your needs.