Author Topic: accounting software for a starting a small business  (Read 4992 times)

Fuzz

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accounting software for a starting a small business
« on: November 09, 2013, 01:57:23 PM »
Hi -

I'm starting a small professional services firm structured as an LLC. Eventually, assuming success and that I want to continue, I'll move to an s-corp.

Anyway, for the first year what are things I should keep in mind about accounting software?

I have a friend that tracks his expenses in excel and throws receipts in a bag that he gives to his accountant at the end of the year. That seems to work well for him.

I'd like to be able to (1) track cash flow; (2) track invoices; (3) track expenses; (4) have a guess about my expected taxes; (5) be able to track and measure the return of different business services; (6) have a solid set of books that I can show to outside investors/potential partners/banks show that they can understand how I make or don't make money. My overhead will be pretty low to start. I'm doing the home office thing, at least until I bill/collect $10K.

Anyway, since I don't know what I don't know (any book suggestions are appreciated), what kind of software, if any, does the mustachioed tribe suggest? I was thinking QuickBooks, mainly because I've heard of it, and also Mint since I use it for my personal accounts and I think it's useful for categorizing expenses. Any other thoughts?

Thanks in advance.


the fixer

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Re: accounting software for a starting a small business
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2013, 02:12:34 PM »
I just use gnucash for my personal finances and a separate set of books for my self employment. I think it works similar to QuickBooks but I've never used the latter. gnucash is free software.

twbird18

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Re: accounting software for a starting a small business
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2013, 02:16:32 PM »
I use outright to track things. It works for me because a significant amount of our business is through paypal.

gooki

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Re: accounting software for a starting a small business
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2013, 12:06:55 AM »
Xero.com

lysistrata

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Re: accounting software for a starting a small business
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2013, 01:17:22 AM »
I use Xero together with WorkflowMax (workflow management, reports, etc) and definitely recommend them both.

Snowboard junkie

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Re: accounting software for a starting a small business
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2013, 07:55:47 AM »
I recommend   https://hockeystick.co/   for #6. 

This depends a bit on your type of business, but the first 5 goals are fairly straightforward - it probably doesn't matter which option you choose other than personal preference.

#6 is really hard to do well, and if you find something that works better, please message me.

Fuzz

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Re: accounting software for a starting a small business
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2013, 04:31:21 PM »
Thanks everyone for the input. I'm intrigued by gnucash, which seems pretty robust.

Xero.com definitely looks beautiful and easier to use, but it appears to be $29/month for a small business account, whereas online quickbooks is $55/year.

I'll keep you posted Snowboard Junkie on #6 (btw, if you ever ski Jackson, PM me and we should compare notes).


feelingroovy

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Re: accounting software for a starting a small business
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2013, 09:00:31 PM »
I use Quickbooks in my business, mainly b/c my accountant said I needed it after using excel the first year.

If you're not trained in it, QB is NOT intuitive.  I had to hire someone to set me up with it and I currently pay a bookkeeper to keep up with it.  Over the years I have learned it basically well enough to use and to check the bookkeeper's work, but again, it's not intuitive (and I'm a math person). 

I have heard of FreshBooks as a simpler alternative.  It also does invoicing.

I've also heard there is a Quicken Home and Business version which may be a little simpler.

NMdeskjockey

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Re: accounting software for a starting a small business
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2013, 01:08:20 PM »
Or, you could use free software!  I personally like Express Accounts mostly because I work in accounting/bookeeping and it allows me more control/options than the oversimplified Quickbooks or Sage.  Express Accounts does offer the simplified user interface as well though and you can manage invoices and accounts receivables just like Quickbooks.  They also have links to bookkeeping tutorials to help you get started on the right foot.  Since it's free, you may want to check it out and see how it fits. 

If you decide you want more features, it's a whole lot cheaper than most programs (one time purchase, not subscription.)  On the downside though is that the free version doesn't offer any automatic interfacing with your banking or payment collections websites and, depending on how complicated your business model is, you may need someone with a wee bit of accounting experience to get you set up. 

http://www.nchsoftware.com/accounting/

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Re: accounting software for a starting a small business
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2014, 05:22:08 AM »
Just bumping this thread to see if anyone else has any suggestions.  My small LLC will be getting off the ground soon, and, since I'm already incurring expenses such as legal fees I want to start tracking stuff now.

TIA!

aj_yooper

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Re: accounting software for a starting a small business
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2014, 05:37:03 AM »
The founder of YNAB uses that program for his business and he suggests that it would be more than enough for a typical small business, rather than using QuickBooks. 

Cpa Cat

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Re: accounting software for a starting a small business
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2014, 09:51:41 AM »
The big advantage of Quickbooks is that it's very commonly used. If you end up hiring an accountant to do your taxes, you just export an accountant's copy to them and you're good to go. Ultimately, it will save you money on accountants' fees if you use it.

However - if you don't plan to use an accountant, go with something simpler. Feelingroovy is right - Quickbooks is not at all intuitive.

k-vette

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Re: accounting software for a starting a small business
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2014, 09:53:39 AM »
The founder of YNAB uses that program for his business and he suggests that it would be more than enough for a typical small business, rather than using QuickBooks.

+1

sarasteph

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Re: accounting software for a starting a small business
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2017, 05:10:13 AM »
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