Small Business Accounting Software &
Setting Up a Simple Bookkeeping System
How to Set Up a Bookkeeping System
You Can Manage Yourself
Accounting software may not be the first thing that enters your mind when starting a company. However, after
you've gotten started, and your finances are completely unorganized - you may think again.
You can hire an accountant or bookkeeper to handle the accounting tasks for you, but if you are on a budget,
there are software programs that help you easily manage business accounting yourself.
If you are new to business accounting, you may not have any idea of what to do or what software to get. I
was in this situation myself, thinking excel spreadsheets were doing just fine. Little did I know what I was
I ended up meeting with a tax accountant who turned me on to Quickbooks Pro, and his assistant took an hour
to help me set up my business and learn the software on my computer. It took me a couple of weeks to feel fully
comfortable with it - simply because there are so many things you can do with it (checks, payroll, multiple
repost, etc.) that is was easy to get distracted.
In the end, I am extremely happy with my decision. The software has saved me a lot of time, I feel much more
organized financially, and when tax time comes I can quickly print out the annual profit-loss statement and
other reports to give me the numbers I need to enter into my business tax returns.
The Downside of Quickbooks Pro:
Quickbooks Pro comes with so many features and capabilities, it is easy to become overwhelmed. My suggestion
is to stick with the basics. Keep it simple and carry out only the tasks you need to (ie. inputting income and
expenses and running year-end reports). I'm sure you could spend weeks learning all of the crazy cool stuff the
software does, but don't scare yourself with it.
Quickbooks Pro is a great piece of software for small businesses, and you don't need to invest in the latest
version. Save yourself some money and get a version that is a year or two old. It's not that different. Here
are some more guidelines below:
Small Business Accounting Software:
Doing your own accounting? We use and recommend Quickbooks products. You can purchase the latest
version for the most features, or you can get last year's program and save money. Other Notes:
- If you just need basic accounting features, Quickbooks Simple Start can handle the job. If your
business handles inventory, you're better off with Quickbooks Pro.
- If you need your software to handle payroll, get Quickbooks Pro or Quickbooks Simple Start 2010
(previous years of Simple Start do not include the payroll feature).
- If you want more in-depth capabilities like accounts payable, being able to customize forms,
create budget reports, track mileage, create packing slips, save forms in PDF format - or you need
multi-user capacity (simultaneous use), go with Quickbooks Pro.
More Accounting Tips: