Accurate accounting and an effective bookkeeping process are two concerns no small business can afford to take lightly. The latest range of software, programs and applications can provide business owners with the tools they need to ensure financial management efforts are as effective and successful as possible. From full-featured software suites to shareware programs and mobile apps, knowing more about the options available can make it much easier to find and select the right resources. Small businesses that may lack the finances needed to hire or staff an accountant would do well to select programs better suited to their specific needs.
Quick books is a dependable feature-rich accounting system designed with small business owners in mind. Quickbooks, which has long been the industry standard for accounting software, comes with both basic and advanced features to meet a variety of needs. With the right configuration and setup, Quickbooks can provide accounting and financial management support for any of the following:
- Freelance professionals
- Online merchants and retailers
- Service providers and store or restaurant owners
Basic Quickbook packages provide support for a single user and limited accounting and financial management services. More advanced packages support multiple users as well as inventory management tools and time-tracking resources.
Investing in quality accounting software may be an additional expense that business owners may not be able to afford. Wave offers full-featured accounting and business support features that can be utilized free of cost. Wave Accounting is designed with new startups and businesses that only expect to experience limited growth in the future. This program provides a number of quality features including:
- Invoice creation
- Inventory and payroll tracking
- Integration of other financial services like PayPal or Etsy
Ideal for micro-businesses, Zoho Books offers a limited range of versatile accounting tools sufficient for dealing with core business needs. More sophisticated programs that have too many features and applications can actually become a distraction when it comes to tracking and managing the accounts and assets of a micro-business. New users are offered a free two week trail of Zoho Books as well as a number of instructional videos and live webinars detailing the programs more sophisticated features and abilities.
Available for both iOS and Android mobile devices, FreshBooks is a powerful application that allows for financial management on the go. This simple and intuitive cloud-based accounting application syncs data across multiple devices and provides a number of financial reporting features to ensure accounts can be more effectively managed at a glance. Perfect for freelance professionals and smaller home-based businesses, FreshBooks combines the same level of performance you might expect from a conventional program with the added flexibility of a mobile application.
Selecting the Right Accounting Software
Every small business has different needs. Selecting an accounting program better suited to your circumstances, needs and style of bookkeeping will ensure that effective financial management efforts do not become an issue. Whether your business is interested in a low cost program that can help reduce overhead expenses or a full-features accounting suite that offers the full range of tools and resources growing business may require, there are plenty of options available.
Steve Breitman trained as a CPA and has over 30 years of accounting, financial and operational management experience. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Texas at Austin, with his BBA degree in Accounting. He is the founder of Mindful Business Solutions, Inc. and helps a multitude of businesses with their finances.