We’re big proponents of finding the right solutions for your individual business needs. And that includes bookkeeping and accounting software. While we do offer training in QuickBooks and have done several blogs on the different programs QuickBooks offers, it may not be the best software for you to use. What other options are out there and how can they support your business needs?
What To Look For
When setting out to find a bookkeeping software for your company, it may seem daunting to know what to look for. There are an ever-growing number of accounting software options for you to chose from. Starting the search means diving into an unknown area.
You’ll want a software that you’ll enjoy using as much as one that’ll meet your needs. Some software options are geared towards specific industries offering fine tuned customizations to make inventory or billing streamlined. Others offer more generic features, allowing you to make the program work for your business’ specific needs. Before starting your search, it’s best to sit down with your accountant or financial consultant to determine what you should be looking for. Plus, your accountant may have some insights into what programs will best fit your needs- saving you a bit of time when it comes to comparing products on the market.
Also consider what data you what to get out of the software – reports and metrics generated for you. If you know what kinds of reports and data you use and need in your business, that can help you narrow your search as well to programs that offer those types of reports.
With all the options that are out there, it may be hard to pick the one best suited for you. A few questions to ask yourself as you compare programs are:
- How much does it cost?
- How many people are going to need access to the software?
- Do you need inventory tracking?
- What kind of customer support as a user do you like?
- Do you want a mobile option or is desktop/online only okay?
- Does it meet the needs of your business’ industry? This is a particularly good question to ask if inventory is part of what you need in a bookkeeping software.
There likely will be more questions you think of as you compare and look at the options available on the market. There are lots of articles on the web that make comparing the programs easy, laying out the programs and their options side by side including price to see the highlights in one place. If you’re unsure what to specifically look for you can reach out to your accountant for guidance.
Options That Are Out There
Below we’ll list just a few of the many alternatives to QuickBooks for you to look at. This is by no means a complete list but highlights a few that many use to meet their bookkeeping needs.
Xero is a cloud-based software and uses easy-to-use features allowing new users to the platform and bookkeeping in general to have a minimal learning curve. The features included with Xero are like those offered in QuickBooks – however they lay out the information in a different way along with a few minor adjustments to make the system more streamlined for use. Their pricing ranges depending on how many bills, invoices, and quotes you generate during a month, rather than scaling with features as QuickBooks and others on this list do.
Sage offers both a cloud-based and desktop version of their software. It converts between the two platforms seamlessly allowing you to access data wherever you need it. Like QuickBooks, Sage has a large selection of options to allow you to scale the software with your business. They offer two paid plans, depending on the size of your business. One unique feature of Sage, they have additional tools aside from just bookkeeping – HR tools, point of sales (POS) integrations, and more to help you run multiple aspects of your business.
FreshBooks is often touted as the best software for the self-employed. It started out as a simple invoicing software, allowing users to invoice and collect payments from their clients. FreshBooks has grown into a strong option for small self-employed folks who are looking to track expenses, collect payments and send invoices, and collect reports all in one place. It also works well with other external (non-FreshBooks) applications to create a customized suite of software to meet your needs. FreshBooks offers three different paid plan options, depending on the services you’re looking for.
There are plenty more options out there, and while it may seem overwhelming to start the process of comparing them to find what you need, besides our blog others have put together comprehensive lists. Business News Daily lists some of the programs available and breaks down their similar comparison points making it easy to compare them. Fundera is the most like a traditional breakdown list of the offerings – highlighting the pros of each offering and a few downsides as well depending on the business size you have. Fit Small Business offers write ups on each program they highlight but include a table to make it easy for a quick comparison of them all in one glance.
Looking for More?
Whatever program you decide on using, take the time to understand the ins and outs of how to use all the features. Compare products to see which meets the needs of your business and the amount of time you can dedicate to it. Remember, we’re here to help – be it by answering questions or assisting with your bookkeeping needs. Send us an email or give us a call at (703) 912-7862, or schedule a meeting here. We look forward to helping you grow your business!