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Accounting software???

Ecbntmkr's picture

Does anyone have any suggestions for an accounting software to track business expenses, customers, invoices, etc? I am a one man shop, but after getting my tax info together for my accountant this year I swore that I would find a better way than a folder for receipts and a folder for paid invoices. I have been looking at Quick books but would welcome anyones expert opinion on this.
Thanks,
Eric

GHR's picture

(post #118522, reply #1 of 11)

PeachTree or Quickbooks.

Ask your accountant which they prefer to help you with.

EdHarrow's picture

(post #118522, reply #2 of 11)

Per our accountants rec: Quicken Pemier Home and Business.  Do, as already suggested, ask your accountant. 


One suggestion that I would make is to have your accountant set it up before you start doing entries.  DAMHIKT.

SgianDubh's picture

(post #118522, reply #3 of 11)

Eric, Intuit's offerings in their QuickBooks range are powerful small business accounting tools. When I lived in the US I used QuickBooks Pro, and if you go with one of their products I'd happily recommend you get the same, as long as it's the sort of software that your accountant is happy to work with, as others have said.


Here in the UK I use a different version of Quickbooks suited to our European regulations, but it's essentially the same system.


The advantage of QB Pro over cheaper versions is the ability to watch and plan the finances of your business much more closely. It can produce estimates which QB Basic can't, and several other tools are available in this version that can be useful which aren't available in QB Basic.


As before, check with your accountant which accountancy programme they prefer to work with, but most accountants worth half a spit use all of the small business accounting programmes available.


If you know what you're doing there's no need for your accountant to set up a chart of accounts for you. You can do this yourself, but if you're not sure then by all means let them help you. Slainte.


JeffHeath's picture

(post #118522, reply #4 of 11)

EC


I have been using quickbooks Pro for about 8 years now, and am very happy.  The newest version is tailored towards contractors, with estimating, time tracking, etc... as well as all the accounting stuff you need.  I print my P & L statements categorized for my accountant and boom, I'm done.


I'm sure there is better software out there, but not for a couple hundred bucks.


Jeff

A distinguished graduate of the School of Hard Knocks
cowtown_eric's picture

(post #118522, reply #5 of 11)

We switched to quick books pro for my carpentry business several years ago, and there are no longer arguements between myself and the tax specialist (my wife) any more.

That piece of mind alone is well worth the cost.

She is also self employed, she uses it for her consulting business.

She is also on the board of directors for a coupla non-profits, and they use it.

It is understandable, and as far as I can see good stuff. It does have more power than I use currently, but still it's not like buying a mercedes to to a volkswagen job, although you do pay a bit extra for the additional power that you likley won't use at first. At least you can understand what "capabilities" are possible.

Good stuff.

Eric In Calgary.

Ecbntmkr's picture

(post #118522, reply #6 of 11)

Thanks to all that have replied. QuickBooks had been recommended to me but not by anyone in the industry, so I appreciate the feedback from actual application users. I have been playing with QuickBooks (they offer a full trial version for 30 days), and I think it will work, though I doubt that I will using their check writing feature. Thanks again,
Eric

HWG's picture

(post #118522, reply #7 of 11)

ECB,


I have used Quick Books and Peachtree, and loved both.  The best advice was given earlier -- check with your accountant and see if he uses or supports either.  He will be great support when you have questions, and you may even be able to give him data via files.


Woody


 

Woody

plainjames's picture

(post #118522, reply #10 of 11)

I also use the quickbooks pro (at my cpa's suggestion) I purchased directly from intuit for 255.00 right at the end of feb. Overall performance is good, some idosyncracies that you will find annoying, but a useable product. The software support is another thing. Most are very professional and are used to the "design concept" vrs the practicle approach to specific conditions that each small business seems to develope. Child support was one that they could not solve for me. My cpa was able in less than 5 min,  set it up to administor child support in 4 counties in two states, and it has worked flawlessly. the billing and invoice system work great. the check book is great with mistakes easily remedied. Quarterly/monthly payroll liabilities work great. I use the daily timesheet feature and put a copy with each paycheck...reduces payroll questions.


I also purchased an iomega external zip drive 250mb (79.95). usb supported and the whole unit is about 1"x 4 1/2"x 7"long and sits atop my computer. I must confess that I'am not a computer whiz...and I do not utilize 95% of the sophistication of the program. this little part that i have learned to use , works well. When I need to use a different billing system or an estimation quote... I'll have to get out the book... good luck


 

rx's picture

(post #118522, reply #8 of 11)

QuickBooks is an excellent choice. Check out Quicken, most newer computers come with it. It is a home version of QuickBooks. Depending on the size and growth of your company, they have a version specifically for manufacturing. Our company has used it for 10+ years. Whatever software you use, have an accountant or your tax person help you set up a proper "chart of accounts" firstIt is critical to get that right from day one.  

cowtown's picture

(post #118522, reply #11 of 11)

I'd vote for quickbooks pro. In a second.


I just went through 5 months of receipts this afternnoon, did my (canadian) GST return(overdue of course) , was able to check for double entries, ascertain if certain "problem areas" were correctly entered, and did it all in 5 hours.


 


If I wonder if a bill for 130.56 was ever entered, I can check through several years of data within 30 seconds.


My taxes get done by my everloving wife, who is quite a whizz at that aspect, and ever since we got quickbooks pro the "family squabbling" over "why did you do that, or why is there a 99$ error in yer spreadsheet kinda stuff  at tax time has been reduced to intelligent discussions.


 


The story about how we got involved with doing our own taxes involved finding out that in many Canadian, and probably American jurisdictions, just because someone has a shingle outside their office that says "accountant", there may be  no legal requirement  (provincial/stae/federal) that they have met any test or exhibit any competence in their advertised trade, nor indeed have any competence whatsoeve..  We could call our cats accountants, and we would have to answer to no-one for their obvious lack of capability, knowledge, or ability to perform as accountants. We were "lucky" enuf to get almost burned in year one, and learned of the shortcomings in the accounting trade long before Enron.


Ever since opting for the QB pro option, not only I, but SWMBO's corp has utilized it and it has been incorporated into at least three of the volunteer organizations she's involved with.


It can generate"reports" out yer ying yang, and do it within a minute, over several years of data.


I run it on a 386 pawn shop computer that cost me 100bucks or so, a cheap investment cause it's only connected to the web when absolutely needed to get upgrades. So no need to worry about spyware, virii etc. It's a cheapo stand alone accounting computer.


I been involved with home computers since the altair, and had to do accounting with spreadsheets in a coupla different applications for years, and this is just one of the best software packages I have ever seen.


I appreciate that the price may seem somewhat daunting for someone trying to pay for tools and do enuf work to be profitable at the same time, but find yerself a way to purchase this package. In the long run, and Intuit has been in it for the long run, in the long run you will find it frees up more time to make money.


 


I obviously appreciate the ease of use of the package, but one of the biggest plusses has been the absence of domestic taxational disputes.....With a years worth of receipts, just how long would it take you to find out if that reciept was for 146.89 or 149.86 manually? or when yer going through yer receipts, and you find an old one ion the floor of the truck, are you gonna check through the last two or three  years to find out if you did or didn't enter it? (and what if that receipt is for close to 1000 bucks?- either you admit yer laziness and decide that if you didn't claim it you will gladly pay the 300 bucks of income tax that yer laziness will cost ya, or, in the case of quickbooks pro, you just enter the amount, it searches yer data and advises you that it was in fact entered, or not)


anyone who has any expereience with accounting for a small business will find the QB pro package easy enuf to handle, although it might get easier if you set up yer accounts at the outset to match the requirements of the tax authority.


we've been using it for years now, with nary a problem, and without taxing it's abilities. And I am aware that there are capabilities in this software that I have yet to employ to utilize to optimize my profitability.


My vote...QB pro is well worth whatever it costs. Simply iin domestic tranquility, if not for cost effectiveness.


Life is all about maintaining balance, and this is one way to get to that goal.


Eric in Cowtown

bones's picture

(post #118522, reply #9 of 11)

What ever you end up using, please invest in a good back up software, or at least an exteral drive to keep a second copy on and keep it off site! I'm in the Information technology field and, I know of many a horror story of a fire/flood  destroying data and there being no backup or a backup that was beside the computer and went with the original.  Good luck!

...For that old machine lovers:  http://vintagemachinery.org/home.aspx