As the name suggests, accounting software helps small businesses to keep track of their financial situation and employ streamlined methods for tax preparation and paying employees.
For example, it can help you find an expensive software that can monitor your account balance and ensure that your business is saving money. However, you must consider a number of factors before purchasing a small business accounting software.
If you fail to do so, you may end up choosing the wrong product. Below is a list of 7 tips to maximize your investment in small business accounting software.
What is accounting software?
Accounting software is a tool that helps you keep track of your business's finances. It can help you manage your inventory, keep track of sales and expenses, and generate reports for tax time.
Accounting software can be a great asset to small businesses.
By using accounting software to streamline your operations, you can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete financial tasks which frees up more time for growing your business or focusing on other areas.
The benefits of using accounting software include:
- Accounting software keeps track of your financial information, including sales, payables, receivables and inventory.
- Accounting software can be used to create billing statements, pay bills and generate reports.
- Accounting software can be installed on a server or accessed through the cloud.
- Accounting software comes in many different forms, from desktop accounting applications to mobile phone and tablet apps.
- There are many versions of accounting software tailored for both small businesses and large corporations.
- Depending on your needs, you may use an established solution or create a custom program to fit your needs.
- There are many options available for enterprises who need scalable accounting systems that integrate seamlessly with other business applications such as CRM and inventory systems.
- One of the benefits of accounting software is that it leaves a clear audit trail of numbers and back-up records that can help ensure you're compliant with regulations.
- Accounting software is computer software typically installed on a desktop, laptop or mobile device.
- It's designed to help with data entry and track business finances.
- This can be done by using the software itself or integrating it with other systems.
- Accounting software can automatically calculate figures, provide reporting and import banking data.
- Because this type of software is designed for accountants and bookkeepers, it generally has features that reflect the needs of these businesses.
- Common features include accounts payable, accounts receivable, invoicing, payment processing and payroll.
There are many different types of accounting software available today, so finding one that fits your needs can be difficult. You may want something simple and basic or something more robust with advanced features like invoicing and taxes included.
The best way to choose the right accounting software for your business is by reading reviews from other users who have already tried different programs out there on the market today!
How Does Accounting Software Work?
Accounting software is a kind of software that is used to manage data related to accounting. It provides the user with tools and features that help in the tracking and processing of financial information.
Accounting software is vital for small businesses because it helps them to manage their finances and ensure that all transactions are recorded accurately. Accounting software also helps in keeping track of expenses, generating reports and analyzing data.
There are many different types of accounting software available today, each with its own set of features and functions. The scope of accounting software also varies depending on whether it is being used by an individual or a large organization.
What Does Accounting Software For A Small Business Do?
Accounting software is a must for any small business. There are many options available, but the best accounting software for small business depends on what your needs are.
What does accounting software do?
Accounting software is a system that helps you manage your accounts, keep track of your business expenses and income, and pay your bills.
You can use accounting software to create invoices for your customers, calculate taxes, and keep track of payroll information. Most accounting software is cloud-based, which means you can access it from any computer with an internet connection.
Most small businesses will need some kind of accounting software to help them manage their finances. We've rounded up some great options below!
If you are looking for an accounting software that is inexpensive and easy to use, then QuickBooks Online is a good option.
It also offers you the ability to work on multiple devices and access your files from anywhere. Another good option is Wave Accounting, which is great if you want something that has more features than QuickBooks Online but does not cost as much money either.
If you need something offline so that no internet connection is required, then Sage 50cloud is a good choice since it allows you to sync your data with other devices later on once they are reconnected with each other again.
However, if you do not mind using an online-based solution then QuickBooks Online or Wave Accounting would probably be better options instead since they offer more features overall (especially if only one user will be using them), plus they're cheaper too!
Best Accounting Software For Freelancers And Small Businesses
|the best accounting software options|
Whether you're a freelancer or small business owner, here are the best accounting software options that are worth checking out:
QuickBooks Online: Best Accounting Software for Small Business
If you're looking for easy business management software, QuickBooks Online is the best option.
QuickBooks Online offers three subscription levels: QuickBooks Online Plus, QuickBooks Online Advanced, and Quickbooks Self-Employed.
The QuickBooks Online Plus (or QBO+) offers the most features for your money. It includes invoicing and credit card processing, bill payment services, inventory management and other business essentials. You can also connect to your bank accounts and track sales tax.
The QuickBooks Online Advanced (or QBOA) is the next step up in terms of features and price.
This plan allows you to set budgets for expenses and sales targets for income, as well as create custom reports on your business performance over time so that you can see how your company is doing against the plan you set up at the beginning of the year.
The QuickBooks Self-Employed (or QBSE) is an upgrade from the basic version of QuickBooks Online with a few extra features such as mileage tracking and expense tracking tools specifically designed for freelancers who need to keep track of their mileage when driving between clients' locations or who want better support for their small businesses than......
- QuickBooks Online Advanced Review: Accounting Software for More-Complex Businesses.
- QuickBooks Online Plus Review: Better for Your Small Business Than QuickBooks Self-Employed.
- QuickBooks Online Essentials Review: A Good Starter Point for Small Businesses.
- QuickBooks Online Simple Start Review: Basic Accounting Software for New and Growing Businesses.
- QuickBooks Self-Employed Review: A Tax-Preparation Tool for Contractors and Freelancers.
Quickbooks Online has many levels of plans that can be customized to a business's individual needs.
- QuickBooks Online has the capability to convert invoices into estimates.
- Intuit has worked on the software so that it is scalable and can accommodate small businesses as they grow.
- QuickBooks lets you link your bank account and upload banking transactions automatically.
- Intuit offers several payment integration options, including Square, Stripe, PayPal, and more.
- The software offers excellent payroll processing.
- QuickBooks is one of the most popular accounting software programs on the market.
- Easy to use.
- Entering transactions is simple, as QuickBooks incorporates drop-down menus and memorizes frequently used information.
- Transfers can be made between accounts with a few simple clicks.
- QuickBooks lets you assign names to forms or checks and enter them into the system quickly.
- You can easily transfer data from Excel or other spreadsheets.
- Available support options.
- The accounting software comes with a 13-,000-article online database for help with software issues.
- You can reach an expert by phone or live chat if needed.
- Additional training resources are available on the Intuit site.
There’s even a QuickBooks Community where you can find answers from other users and post questions if you need help with something not covered in official support documentation.
- Potential errors in invoices.
- Adding employees is complicated.
- Lack of in-depth tutorials and guides.
- No integration with Google Docs or Drive.
- Mobile app isn't user-friendly.
Xero: Integrate your Xero invoices
Xero is one of the best small business accounting software options out there.
Xero accounting allows you to manage your business finances from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. You can also connect it with other apps like Shopify or PayPal so that all your transactions are seamlessly integrated into one place.
Bookkeeping has never been easier than with this cloud-based platform—and it doesn't require any special training or certification (or even a bookkeeper!).
It's perfect for micro-business owners who want to keep their accounting simple and streamlined, without having to pay for a lot of unnecessary bells and whistles. It's also great for those who have a lot of different types of transactions, like sales, purchases, payroll or expenses.
The price varies depending on your needs and how many users you need, but you can get started with it for free!
Xero is easy to use and intuitive—you won't have any problem getting started on your first day. You'll be able to easily set up new customers and vendors, create invoices and track payments right away.
And you can even export your data into Excel if you need more advanced features!
- Xero is an online-only accounting software package meant for small and medium-sized businesses.
- Xero has a good range of features for any business.
- It’s especially good for its invoicing, reporting and bank reconciliation features.
- You can easily connect your bank account to it, as well as other payment systems such as PayPal.
- Xero also offers comprehensive project management tools that allows you to track the progress of individual jobs from start to finish.
- If you are looking for an accounting software package, take a look at our full comparison of some top accounting solutions.
Xero is cloud based so there is no need to download the software.
- You can keep on top of your financial transactions and bank statements.
- You can collaborate with clients, business partners and colleagues.
- Xero’s mobile app provides a full suite of functions.
- You can manage many aspects of your business from one location.
- It’s easy to import reports and records into Xero.
- It has a very active online community to help businesses succeed.
- Xero has a clean, easy-to-use interface.
- It's easy to set up and use.
- Xero has excellent bank reconciliation and reporting.
- You get unlimited invoices, quotes, bills and expense claims.
- Xero makes it easy to communicate with employees.
These are the main advantages of using Xero for small business accounting.
- You can only scan receipts in certain regions.
- There are no global financial reports.
- No forecasting capabilities.
- Some customization is not possible.
- It takes some time to set up Xero with your bank account and credit cards.
- The payroll functionality is relatively simple.
FreshBooks - Accounting Software for Small Businesses
If you're a service-based business, FreshBooks is the best invoicing and accounting software for you.
It's easy to set up and use, it's free for up to three clients and it's perfect for small businesses that need to invoice clients, manage their payroll and track their expenses.
You can also track customer payments, get reminders when bills are due and see how your invoices are performing so you can make smart decisions about your marketing strategy or talk with your clients about increasing their spend with you.
- FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting tool designed specifically with service-based businesses in mind, including freelancers, small business owners and consultants.
- FreshBooks offers all the important features you'd expect, plus quite a few more.
- FreshBooks is the only accounting app on our list to offer the ability to create invoices that accept credit card payments.
- FreshBooks has a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices, so you can perform most of the same functions from your phone.
The detailed reports and customizable invoices are what give FreshBooks an edge over its competitors.
- FreshBooks can automatically send your client invoices for you.
- You can send recurring invoices with FreshBooks.
- FreshBooks lets you accept credit card payments.
- You can keep an eye on your business finances by using FreshBooks' reporting tools.
- FreshBooks offers a mobile app so you can access the software on the go.
- Best for Service-Based Businesses.
- The most popular accounting tool for freelancers, contractors and one-person businesses.
- A top choice among small business owners using online accounting software.
- FreshBooks is best for businesses that need to bill clients on a regular basis by the hour or by the project.
- Not suitable for complex businesses that require inventory management, advanced invoicing features, or business planning features beyond basic forecasting.
FreshBooks is one of the best accounting software options for service-based businesses.
- Not the best option for non-service-based businesses.
- No double entry accounting.
- Few features for advanced reporting needs.
- Lacks a payroll and payment processing function.
Are you a self-employed freelancer? QuickBooks Self-Employed can help you track your income, expenses, and mileage. It's easy to use, and it's totally free.
With QuickBooks Self-Employed, you can:
- Track your income (even if it's not an invoice).
- Keep track of all your expenses.
- Get mileage reports so you can deduct them later on your taxes.
- Manage multiple clients at once with client accounts.
- Connect with other apps like Google Drive for easy invoicing and expense tracking.
If you're looking for a way to make sure every dollar counts when it comes time to file tax returns, look no further than QuickBooks Self-Employed. It's easy to set up and even easier to use!
- QuickBooks Online is a subscription-based accounting software with ample features for small businesses in any industry to manage all of their financial operations.
- QuickBooks pricing revolves around the number of employees you have, which adds payroll services and other productivity tools to QuickBooks Online.
- The ability to import and reconcile bank transactions, create invoices and purchase orders and track your sales tax is solid.
- The setup process was straightforward and fast and the product was easy to navigate.
- We recommend QuickBooks Online as a solid accounting software that integrates with other apps to help you run your business.
There are a few minor drawbacks to using QuickBooks Online but it is very affordable, easy-to-use software for small businesses in any industry....
- It’s a great choice for basic bookkeeping and accounting tasks.
- Quickbooks helps you manage your cash flow.
- Generating invoices is simple.
- Quickbooks gives you real-time visibility of your finances.
- The inventory management system integrates well with other major accounting functions.
- Quickbooks enables you to track employee costs against budgeted amounts.
- You can get an overview of your business with built-in reports.
- Multi-user functionality allows for working together on the same file, but with different levels of access.
- The best for self-employed or service businesses.
- Learning curve is not too steep.
- Customer support is great.
- There is no payroll tax filing fee.
- Modern and intuitive interface.
- Unlimited accountant access.
- Dashboard has lots of data in one spot.
- Easy to use bank-level encryption.
- Industry specific versions.
- QuickBooks allows you to choose from various plans.
- There is an app for this that allows remote use.
- It can help you manage your business’s financials and accounting.
- It has a user-friendly interface.
- It integrates with other solutions like payroll and POS systems.
- You can access customer data across devices.
- It has customer support.
QuickBooks is a great place to start when you are looking for bookkeeping software for your business.
- It Caters More to Larger Companies Than Small Businesses.
- It Can Be Expensive.
- If You Go With QuickBooks Online, You Need a Reliable Internet Connection.
- It Can Be Difficult to Get Help and Troubleshooting Can Be Frustrating.
- It's Not the Most Intuitive Software.
Wave - Accounting Software
Wave is the world's first accounting software designed for the modern small business. It’s simple, intuitive and easy to use, with a clean interface that makes creating an invoice or recording a customer payment a breeze.
Get Wave for free on your mobile device and desktop computer, then connect your bank accounts and Wave will automatically import all your transactions. You can also manage your expenses, pay staff and add new customers with just a few taps.
- Wave is a free cloud accounting software, with apps for iOS and Android devices, that helps you do your invoicing, cash flow management, accounting and payroll, all in one place.
- As a free software, Wave can only be used with small businesses and individuals who have a straightforward tax situation.
- The Wave app is easy to use and set up takes less than 10 minutes.
- The best thing about the Wave app is its simplicity.
- Wave is a good choice if you're just starting out in business.
- It's usefulness is limited because of its lack of features, such as being unable to connect to bank accounts or an inability to track inventory effectively.
- While the Wave app is relatively easy to use, the level of customer support available could be improved upon.
The Wave app is a useful tool for sole traders and freelancers with straightforward tax requirements who are just starting out in business.
- Wave is free for its most basic features, which include invoicing, accounting, and receipt scanning.
- Wave uses bank level security (SSL and 128-bit encryption), so you don't have to worry about your data getting into the wrong hands.
- Wave Accounting syncs automatically with all of your financial accounts, making it easy for you to stay on top of your finances.
- Wave Accounting can also be used to handle payroll and accept payments from clients.
- Wave Accounting offers free support through email, as well as a large knowledge base with articles and video tutorials that can guide you through using their software.
- In addition to the mobile app, available on both iOS and Android devices, you can use the mobile version of their website in any mobile browser to access your account information or create invoices on the go.
Wave is flexible and feature rich accounting software that can scale with your business...
- Limited features
- No offline working
- Limitations on bank connections
- Tax calculation errors
7 Tips for Small Business Accounting Software
|Small Business Accounting Software|
It's challenging to find the best small business accounting software. There are a lot of options and often it feels like one size doesn't fit all. One of the most important aspects of running a small business is managing the money.
You don't have the big budget or resources of larger companies, so you have to get the best solution for your particular needs:
Keep employee hours accurate & up to date
Keeping your employee hours accurate and up to date is an important part of being a small business owner.
It's also a big part of keeping the peace with your employees, as well as making sure you're following the law.
If you want to keep track of your employees' hours, there are a few different ways to do it.
The first option is through Excel or Google Sheets. This way is best if you already use these programs for other tasks or just need something quick and easy. Simply set up a spreadsheet with columns for each day, then add rows for each employee you have.
In each row, write down what time they came in, what time they left, and any notes about how productive/unproductive their day was.
This can be done manually or automatically by setting up reminders on your phone or computer to remind you at certain times throughout the day when someone should be clocking into their shift and out again (e.g., when they start and end).
If not, you'll want to make sure that the software you choose has a mobile app that allows employees to keep up with their hours from anywhere. You'll also want to ensure that the software supports both iOS and Android devices.
Next, determine what kind of pay system your company uses for overtime hours or other types of pay (like bonuses or incentives). If you don't already have a system in place for calculating these things, it might be worth taking some time before deciding on which program will work best for keeping track of employee hours.
Run automatic reports at the end of the pay period
- For business owners who don't have payroll services, the end of the pay period can be a hectic time.
- You need to run reports, calculate hours and wages, and prepare checks and direct deposit instructions.
- Zenefits' automatic payroll reports can help you keep track of your payroll after the fact.
- Instead of running reports on your own, set up these automated reports in Zenefits to have information sent to you directly.
- irst, click on your name (or picture) in the top right corner next to the Help button and select Settings from the drop down menu.
- On the left navigation bar, click Calendar.
- This opens up the Calendar Settings tab.
- To create a new report, click +Add Report.
- From here you can select to receive a report for completed events (like processing payroll), missed events (like missing a deadline), or recurring events (like paydays).
- Once you've selected one of those three options, enter how often you would like to receive this report (daily, weekly, or monthly).
Track and manage time off requests
- Recently, we’ve added new time off functionality for our payroll customers in the United States and the United Kingdom.
- The time off functionality lets you keep track of employees’ paid time off (PTO) hours accrued, taken and remaining. You’ll also be able to check an employee’s PTO history at a glance.
- The new time off functionality is available on both the QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop Pro 2019 editions (or higher).
- Let’s take a look at how the new time off functionality works:
- How to set up your employees’ time off in QuickBooks Online Payroll.
- How to set up your employees’ time off in QuickBooks Desktop Pro Payroll.
- How to run your first payroll with the new time off accrual feature in QuickBooks Online Payroll (US only).
Work less and get more done with new paid time off tracking feature in QuickBooks Payroll.
Estimate costs before you start a project
Project cost estimation is the process of determining how much a project will cost. This can be done by estimating the time and resources required to complete the project, or by estimating the cost of individual tasks in the project.
Project cost estimation is an important part of planning for any business, because it helps you to decide whether you can afford a project or not. It also helps you to set a budget and stay within it when working on a project.
When estimating costs, there are several different methods that can be used:
- Analogous cost estimation: Using historical data of previous projects to establish the costs.
- Parametric cost estimation: Using a statistical relationship between project costs and collective deliverables.
- Top-down estimate: A rough estimate used when planning a project before more information is available.
- Bottom-up estimate: An accurate estimate that takes a lot of time and resources.
- Unit cost estimation: Dividing a larger project into smaller homogeneous parts and then estimating their individual costs.
- Vendor bid analysis (VBA): Enlist experienced vendors to help provide accurate estimates.
These methods can be implemented in your small business to provide rough or accurate estimates of future expenses.
Use timesheets to organize projects and tasks
The purpose of timesheet management in the context of project management software is to help business owners keep track of their employees' hours worked.
This can be done by logging the number of hours worked each day, and then adding up those hours at the end of each week or month. This process helps ensure that no overtime is being paid without authorization from an employer's representative.
Timesheets are a crucial element of project management. They help you organize projects and tasks, track your team's productivity, and keep everyone on the same page.
Time tracking software can be used to track time spent on projects and tasks. For example, if you're working on an Excel spreadsheet that contains a list of tasks and need to know how much time each task will take to complete, you can use the clockify timesheet template to do so.
This template allows you to enter in all of your team members' names and their hourly rates, as well as what they're working on (their assignments). After entering all of this information into the template, it will automatically calculate how much time each person has spent working on each assignment within each hour period they've worked on it.
This makes it easy for managers or supervisors to monitor employee productivity without having to manually calculate hours worked by hand each week/month/quarter/year.
There are many different types of project management software available today:
- Hubstaff Tasks
Export data for payroll or invoicing
If you're a small business owner, you're probably already familiar with the importance of good record keeping. But it can be difficult to keep track of all the data from your various financial transactions, especially when some of those transactions are happening in different places.
To make sure that your records are always up-to-date and accurate, you should use accounting software that allows you to export data from one place to another.
For example, if you want to export payroll data from your accounting software into Excel, you can do so with just a few clicks of the mouse.
The same goes for exporting bank transactions or invoices; once they're exported into Excel, you'll be able to summarize them and send them off wherever they need to go (like your CPA).
Find the right accounting software for your business
- Consider your business.
- Think about which features you need.
- Decide if you’ll go cloud or desktop-based.
- Consider automation and integration.
- Don’t forget to look at reports.
There are lots of software options. You just have to find the right one for you.
As small businesses build their software tools, they'll want to keep the above items in mind. Whether they're simply utilizing existing software or building their own, these are some items that most small business owners will look for as they evaluate their software options.