Hi, my name is Adam with Adam Lowe Creative. I help small businesses just like yours overcome the challenges and obstacles that we all face. Today I’m going to talk about a scary subject. I’m going to talk about accounting software.
Too many times I see small businesses that don’t have any accounting software or they’re not using it properly. I see small businesses, even medium-sized businesses doing all of their accounting inside of Excel, or using something like Quicken. They’re just using the wrong tools for the job. They may not even be using an accounting software. They might just be using whatever the bank provides them, or their bank statements. That doesn’t give you the whole picture, and it certainly isn’t going to be sustainable in the long run.
Everybody knows about Intuit’s QuickBooks. Everybody’s pretty much heard of this package, and it really is the gold standard, especially here in the US. QuickBooks comes in two different flavors. One of them installs on your desktop and it’s really great for manufacturing companies and anybody that has to track inventory. They also have QuickBooks online, which is good for I’d say 80-90% of the other small businesses out there that don’t have heavy inventory needs.
Especially professional services companies. I personally use QuickBooks online. I think it’s a great package. It’s as good as an accounting package can get, it does everything that I need it to do and it’s relatively inexpensive at $50 a month.
There is also a company out there called Xero, that’s X-E-R-O. They are probably QuickBooks’ main competitor. They offer almost all the features, and in some cases more features than QuickBooks offers. The thing is they were created in Australia, so how QuickBooks dominates the US market, that’s what Xero does, they dominate the European market. Now, they both work perfectly fine no matter where your company is based, so if for one reason or another you don’t like one, give the other one a try. You might find that it works better for you. Although chances are if you’re in the US, your accountant or bookkeeper is probably going to require that you use QuickBooks because that’s what most accountants and bookkeeper here in the US know.
Now, if you feel like you can’t afford an accounting package, there is something out there called Wave Apps, and it is completely 100% free accounting software that works online and it’s ad-supported. It has most of the features that you’re going to need as a small business. It lets you do your invoicing, let’s you keep track of accounts payable, accounts receivable. Let’s you keep track of all of your bank accounts, but like I said, it’s ad-supported so when you go in there you’re going to see ads, and when you send out invoices your customers are also going to see ads.
It’s not the worst thing in the world, and it definitely gets you started, but it’s probably not what you want to use long term. Whatever route you choose, make sure that you get your information in there, that you’re consistent and that you get some sort of accounting package under your belt. When it comes time to do your taxes or even when you’re looking at your business from a quarterly or monthly viewpoint, you’re really going to thank me.
The information that you see inside of an accounting package is so much more than what you see by just looking at your bank statement. It gives you so much more information about how your business is doing, and the things that you may need to change.
So, if you don’t have one already, get one and thank me later. Until next time, take care.