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.
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.
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.
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
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
By Kathy Yakal, PCMag.com, 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
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.