Author Topic: Mac Accounting Software  (Read 3551 times)

spokey doke

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Mac Accounting Software
« on: December 24, 2015, 10:07:13 AM »
I'm in the initial planning stages for a small business and wanted some input on accounting software for my Macbook.

I know QuickBooks is popular and they have a discounted version for the self-employed, but I'm not real keen on paying a monthly fee.  I've read a few reviews of free accounting programs and none really seem to stand out (because I haven't played with them).

The business will most likely be an LLC, but I'm not sure what form yet (still need to get with a CPA to help make that decision), but it will be a one person show, probably run out of my garage.  Since I will be spending money on training and other things that are business related, I'd like to get an accounting process started sooner than later.

Thanks for any input you all have to offer...


  • Bristles
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Re: Mac Accounting Software
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2015, 07:25:06 PM »
There might be a monthly fee for Quick books online but you can purchase a version of QB that you install directly on your computer, might be cheaper.


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Re: Mac Accounting Software
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2015, 07:35:18 PM »
Would you be morally opposed to running Windows accounting software via virtualization software? It would open up your options.


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Re: Mac Accounting Software
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2015, 08:03:25 PM »
Have you looked into using Gnucash? I started using it for my personal finances (on a mac), but it could also be used for a small business. It is free.


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Re: Mac Accounting Software
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2015, 08:39:47 PM »
There's Sage 50 (formerly Peachtree) and Xero, but both of them want you to keep all your financials on a remote server out of your control, run it in your browser, and have things set up to bleed you financially for as long as you use it due to the same SaaS (Software as a Service) model that Intuit is using now with QuickBooks, and most of the accounting software for SMBs such as the ones mentioned are now pushing into full-on ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) suites.

If you want something cheap/free/system local, you either need to dig up an older copy of QuickBooks and pray it never breaks under any of the future annual OSX updates that you'll need to do to keep the system patched, look into Moneydance, or knuckle down with GnuCash.

If you'd rather lean towards one of the larger server suite ERP solutions that the big guns are slowly moving towards incorporating, there's always Odoo(OpenERP) or Openbravo which are both open source platforms. Both charge for managed servers doing a similar SaaS setup and price model as the competition, but offer the software for free if you're willing to manage your own rack and install. Of course, the other advantage of going open source with your ERP platform is not having a complete data lock-in to the software platform you're using like Intuit, Sage and Xero do.

Beyond that, it would be wise to consult with your CPA, especially if they're doing any bookkeeping and taxes for you. Whatever you use, be sure you can export any data they need in a format they can use.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2015, 08:41:47 PM by I.P. Daley »


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Re: Mac Accounting Software
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2015, 02:47:07 PM »
Just adding onto what JP said, there's also Sage One and Sage Live for entry level. Those work over a browser and don't care what OS you have.

Most CPAs will just tell you to get Quickbooks, cause that's what they probably use and if you use it as well it's easy for them to dump your data into their own - and massage it how they want. QB allows you to change past transactions which is horrible accounting controls but nice if you don't have employees to steal from you. If it's just you and the CPA it's no big deal.

You can also just use Excel to get started. My wife has a LLC and we use Excel and don't use a CPA. I categorize her expenses and use TaxAct for our taxes. Everything she buys for the business is expenses, there's no depreciation or anything like that. More work on my part to use Excel and do my own taxes but I don't have to pay for QB or a CPA. There's no sense in spending a bunch of money before you've made any yet.

Full disclosure I sell Sage Software for a living but I'm not an accountant or a CPA. My boss is a CPA however and I learned everything I know from him.

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spokey doke

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Re: Mac Accounting Software
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2015, 09:00:33 AM »
Thanks folks, just the kind of input I was looking for