Accounting Program Software
For Home Business

The accounting program software that I have direct experience using is QuickBooks and Peachtree (now Sage).  We operated a commercial engraving business for half a dozen years and found QuickBooks able to do all we needed.  This was 2005 through 2011. At that time QuickBooks was a download.  We selected QuickBooks partly because our accountant used this software. At that time this accounting software was the most widely used program and had a good reputation for small business.

Now the accounting program software for home business is mostly online.  QuickBooks is still available both as a download and online.

Do you really need accounting program software
for your business? 

A friend of mine, who is a Certified Public Accountant, operates several web sites that sell specialized online publications.  He does his accounting on a spreadsheet and doesn’t use an accounting program at all.  If you have little or no inventory and simple accounts, you may be able to do this too.  It does take a working understanding of accounting, however.

Home businesses are sometimes able to start operations just using a checkbook for their records.  But in this day of complex tax forms and the need for documentation, it may be absolutely necessary to operate with an accounting program. 

Most home business people are not accountants, and one advantage of using an accounting program is that it helps you enter all the necessary information. You can produce management reports to help you operate the business.  But, much of the output of accounting programs in home businesses is used in filling out and filing tax forms.

Your accountant, or an accountant you consult, can help with your decisions of whether or not to use an accounting program, and how to choose one. We hope to present you with an introduction and sources to follow so you can select the best accounting software for your home business.

The top accounting program software

Here are summaries and references to several recent surveys of small business accounting software.  These articles show the names of the programs that were included in the authors’ evaluations.  These articles have valuable details.

Keep in mind that the accounting software that you select needs to be sufficient now and for the future of your growing home business. 

Also notice whether the software you are interested in is compatible with your business computer operating system. If you have an Apple computer, for example, your accounting program has to be compatible.

Photo credit: HerryLawford via DIYlovin / CC BY            

Best Accounting Software for Small Business 2016

By Sara Angeles, Business News Daily Staff Writer, January 4, 2016

This author has gone to great lengths to evaluate 20 accounting software programs. She shows her detailed selection methodology, which includes interviews with business owners, testing of the accounting programs, evaluation of customer service and user reviews, and final selection criteria.


Intuit QuickBooks Online – best for small business overall

Xero – affordable alternative to QuickBooks Online

FreshBooks – best for mobile devices, user-friendly, cloud-based

Wave Accounting – best free accounting program, cloud-based

Zoho Books – best for really small businesses

Next-best Rated:

AccountEdge Pro – has payroll features, inventory management

FreeAgent – good for really small businesses in consulting, freelancing

GnuCash Free Accounting Software – free and Linux-based

Harvest – easy-to-use platform for billing clients and getting paid

Hivage – pick and choose features to suit your business

Intacct – big picture financial reports to manage business

Intuit Quicken Home & Business – lets you manage personal and business finances in one place

Kashoo – online accounting software works across your platforms

Less Accounting – automates your accounting

Outright (formerly GoDaddy Bookkeeping) – helps with tax form preparation

Paychex Accounting Online – cloud and mobile based software

Sage One – invoicing to full-service accounting

Simple Invoices – free and simple for tracking sales and getting paid

Working Point – online and mobile all-inclusive software

Yendo – both accounting and customer relations software, works with multiple businesses

The Best Online Accounting Services for 2016

By Kathy Yakal,, January 26, 2016

This article has a concise spreadsheet that links to details of each accounting program software covered. A detailed evaluation is given for each software program.

Xero – exceptionally good accounting program all around, but weakness in report format and state payroll

FreshBooks – Editor’s Choice, no accounting jargon, great user interface and other features

Zoho Books – Editor’s Choice, superior to QuickBooks or Xero, but lacks integrated payroll

Intuit QuickBooks Online Plus – Editor’s Choice, easy to use, numerous add-ons, most features

AccountEdge Pro – strong small business accounting for desktop, much depth and customizability

GoDaddy Bookkeeping – integration with Amazon, eBay & Etsy, shallow accounting features

FreeAgent – excellent dashboard and contact features, good for freelancers, and very small businesses

One Up – strong retail business features such as inventory and pricing management

Wave – free for basic program, good selection of features for very small businesses

Kashoo – simple and clean user interface, good at income and expense management and mobile apps

Best Accounting Software in 2016

By Saundra Latham, The Simple Dollar, updated April 30, 2016

In addition to a discussion of each accounting program software listed, this author discusses traditional versus cloud-based accounting, security, and shopping for the best accounting software.

QuickBooks Pro – best traditional accounting software

Sage 50 – runner-up traditional accounting software

Xero – best cloud-based

QuickBooks Online – runner-up cloud-based

FreshBooks – runner-up cloud based

Wave – best free accounting software

NolaPro – runner-up free

GnuCash – runner-up free

Services related to accounting program software for home business

In addition to accounting software, you will probably need to make arrangements for accepting payments, possibly mobile payments.

One place to find this is the forward-looking company, Square, Inc. This company offers several payment products, such as Square Register and Square Reader. It also offers financing.

The Square Reader is the tiny magstripe reader for credit cards that you may have seen attached to smartphones.

Square transactions interface with accounting software such as QuickBooks, Xero, and Kashoo.


For another aspect of operating a new business see Web Site Marketing Solution.