While small business owners recognize that bookkeeping is one painful task and requires specific skills and knowledge, many starting new businesses attempt the do-it-yourself approach to business bookkeeping.
And many fail.
What small business owners miss to realize is the importance of making sure that their bookkeeping is properly set-up at the beginning of their business operations to save greater expenses and headache in the future. When you are overwhelmed by the workload that your small business requires, you are likely to fail.
There is no better way to start a small business with lesser stress than to automate.
The greater opportunity for better productivity is in simplifying your business bookkeeping process. When you start a new business, make sure to choose the right business bookkeeping software right at the beginning.
But with a roster of products out in the market, it is no easy job to decide which one best fits your small business that saves you time, money, and heavy pain in the neck.
FAS gathered the leading bookkeeping software brands in 2017 popularly used by small business owners to get you started.
The biggest highlight for using QuickBooks is that this business bookkeeping software is approved and used by financial advisors. You can find a financial advisor nearest you using QuickBooks ProAdvisor search.
QuickBooks Online offers extensive features, basic and advance, that are useful for freelancers, consultants, retail store owners, service providers and practically anyone from any industry.
It is rated number one by the Top Consumer Reviews website tagged as the “reigning leader in bookkeeping software.”
You can nearly do anything and everything in QuickBooks that helps you run a business with ease. The helpful add-ons and its ability to generate the necessary bookkeeping reports you need, to track your financials better and perform a comprehensive analysis empowers you to make sound management decisions driving positive business growth.
QuickBooks regularly releases software updates almost yearly. While this sounds a great idea, it can be an additional cost for small businesses. You can opt to skip the updates but it should always depend based on your business needs.
Xero Bookkeeping Software
Xero promises small businesses to keep connected and access their data “anytime, anywhere, on any device.” This cloud-based is a new player in the US business bookkeeping software market; yet, Forbes names it as the World’s Most Innovative Growth Company for two consecutive years, 2014 and 2015.
Whether you are a Mac or PC user, you can use this software without any issues on its feature performance.
What does Xero bookkeeping software offer? With a robust feature and an affordable pricing scheme, it makes it another great choice for small businesses. Its automation made easy and risk-free comes with a 30-day free trial offer that does not require a credit card sign up. You can integrate with over 500 business applications that can help you run your business with speed.
The biggest highlight that Xero bookkeeping software has to offer is its mobile accessibility defeating QuickBooks on this feature. It allows you to manage your business bookkeeping on the go. With mobile access, you can generate real-time data on your cash flow using just your tablet or your smart mobile phone.
It also provides excellent customer support through multiple channels including a free 27/7 phone, email and also live chat support.
There is this one important restriction on using Xero bookkeeping software — requesting for customer support is addressed through built-in communication tools on the website. There is no direct line to call for urgent requests. And then there is the concern that not all financial advisors use Xero and therefore, will make it difficult for you to hire a bookkeeping firm that uses this software.
Wave Bookkeeping Software
If you are looking for a free bookkeeping tool, Wave is probably your choice for a cloud-based bookkeeping software. It is beginner-friendly and built with simple and easy interface, great for start-up small businesses and for those with no immediate plan to scale up. If you are a growing a business, this may not be an ideal choice for you. And if you are a financial advisor, this software was not designed for you.
The dashboard offers easy navigation with a sidebar menu that enables you to find your way around easily and execute bookkeeping tasks such as creating invoice and tracking finances.
The free program that Wave offers to small businesses comes with special perks such as discounts for other products and services offered by Wave partners.
What does Wave bookkeeping software offer? Wave is completely at no cost to use. It’s great for small businesses with less than ten employees or for those owner-operator. The Wave bookkeeping software is designed for the smallest of small businesses and may not support the need of all types of businesses. While you can perform basic bookkeeping tasks on Wave, when you are growing a business and requires more flexible functionalities, you can quickly outgrow this software.
You must know that free offers come with several limitations. For example, this bookkeeping software does not include payroll services in its free program and if you are looking for customer support, there is none. The payroll feature can be added for a cost. But Wave has its own payroll tools that means the only payroll solution you can use is the tool that Wave provides for you.
One way that helps Wave sustain its operations with free offer is to have advertisements. You will see ads posted while you are using the software and Wave branding is embedded on every communication you send out such as invoice.
Freshbooks Bookkeeping Software
This cloud-based bookkeeping software is designed to support service oriented businesses. When you are always on the go and requires a mobile-friendly bookkeeping software, Freshbooks could be for you.
As this product is focused in supporting small businesses in the service industry, the software provides important features such as time tracking tool that can be used to log in and out without having to be physically present in the office location. It is definitely built for business people with a more active itinerary.
What does Freshbooks bookkeeping software offer? There are two important things that Freshbooks offers to small business owners: ease and speed.
The get paid faster feature that Freshbooks proudly promotes makes it quick and and easy for small businesses to receive early payments from buyers.
It also offers a mobile application that users can download on their phones. Its seamless integration with mobile devices saves a lot of time to complete tasks on the go. The app also performs automated calculation for project rates linking billable hours to each project with it time tracking feature.
There are however, a few drawbacks for using Freshbooks bookkeeping software. If you are a blackberry user or your phone operates on windows, then the mobile application will not be available for you to download on your phone. The Freshbooks mobile app is only compatible with iOs and Android. On top of this, viewing reports on your mobile takes you to launch the Safari browser with an option to send the report to your email, which completely defeats the idea of having the app on your mobile device.
Sage Bookkeeping Software
The Sage bookkeeping software was designed to with e-commerce, point of sale (POS) and customer relationship management in mind. These are the three focus that makes this software among the best in its line.
This bookkeeping software is in disk format with two types of plans to choose from:
Full service bookkeeping
What does Sage bookkeeping software offer? The multi-functionality that this business bookkeeping software offers best fits small to medium sized businesses that requires multiple features. It is great for businesses with approximately 25 to 200 employees.
The biggest downside of this offer includes higher cost and its lack of flexibility to adjust to the needs of the business considering the changes in the nature and behavior of business consumers. It also does not provide an online version for data accessibility anywhere, anytime.
It also seems that any additional feature or service may require additional cost such as when downloading updated tax tables, users may need to spend additional cost. Users are also prompted to pay for subscription to get customer support.