[Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Anthony Alexander. He is a freelance writer, journalist, author, and an organizer of words and thoughts (aren’t we all?). He is a diverse writer who is passionate about technology, finances, and life. In these rough economic times Anthony enjoys sharing his experiences about finances and technology in order to help others (man after my own heart).]
So, you’ve decided to start a new business? These days that can be an extremely high-risk endeavor, but you’ve jumped in feet first. You’ve developed your product, invested in an inventory, rented a space, and hired a staff. Now what? Managing what comes next with a budding business can be pretty overwhelming to any business owner, whether a seasoned veteran or a first-timer.
Thankfully there is a huge range of top quality online accounting software out there people like you. They’ve thought of everything from free software options for basic needs, to powerful accountancy solutions like Workday’s payroll solution for more complex loads.
Online accountancy software is ideal for small businesses because it offers a low-cost option that can be much easier to understand and maintain than large software packages. The information is also stored on safe external servers, which is an additional bonus, adding an extra layer of security to your system. Here are a few of the best online accounting software options of 2013:
Less Accounting claims to be able to reduce your need for accountancy work down to just one day per month, and whilst this may not be entirely true, the package does have some great features to make life a whole lot easier. It allows for information integration with various other programs to save you time inputting customer information and account details, and it is integrated with your bank which also saves time and energy.
QuickBooks is one of the most widely used accounting programs used in the United States today. All QuickBooks packages include unlimited invoicing options, online and mobile access, unlimited phone support, and automatic data backup. Its most popular plan allows you to manage and pay bills, run advanced reports, and access for multiple users. You can also choose to enroll in added features like payroll and bookkeeping services. Once you’re up and running, you’ll probably want to utilize its point of sale (POS) option to make accepting credit card payments easy.
Free Agent is an award winning suite which offers a very comprehensive package at an extremely competitive price. The layout and usability have received a lot of praise from users, and it also has the capability to conduct some very specific reports once you learn how to use it. It’s not necessary to have an online accounting degree to operate this software. However, anyone with an online accounting degree from an accredited college with have all the knowledge required to easily and successfully operate this program as well as the other programs mentioned.
While many packages offer a free trial, Wave Accounting offers a completely free package to users, and it’s perfectly adequate for independent traders and small businesses that work with a limited number of clients. With the free package you are able to conduct a range of double entry accounting operations such as balance sheets, journal entries, income statements, and a general ledger. One downside of the program is that it does not include an audit trail, which means you might have to do some extra work if you are expecting an audit.
Kashoo is one of the most popular online accountancy programs, and is currently used in over 56 countries. It has a wide range of functionality and is especially useful for those dealing in multiple currencies as it can deal with more than 100 different currencies. The package also allows bank reconciliations and a check printing option.
For many small businesses, online accounting is the perfect solution, offering ease of use, regular software upgrades, online tech support, and added server security. The most difficult part of the process is deciding which package to opt for. Once you’ve managed to make sense of all the financial ins and outs of your new business, you can enjoy the freedom that comes with being your own boss.