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Small business accounting tools can be a lifesaver for all entrepreneurs. Let’s be honest: accounting and bookkeeping are not only the most tedious task for owners, but it’s also your least favorite task. So, if you can automate some of the processes and spend less time engaging in such a daunting task, why not?
Small business bookkeeping is a cumbersome task, as there is a lot of data recording and reconciliation that goes into keeping your books up to date. You have to track business expenses such as payroll and rent. Keep your accounts receivable current and chase down any that are outstanding. Let’s not forget the balance sheet and cash flow statement that should be reconciled monthly.
Most importantly, everything needs to be accurate. Unless of course, you want a knock on your door from Uncle Sam and his friends at the IRS.
Staying organized is critical when pulling in all the data needed for proper and accurate accounting. Therefore, we’ve put together this list of budget-friendly startup solutions to help ease your bookkeeping pains.
Let’s dive in.
Accounting Software: QuickBooks Online
You can’t talk about accounting tools without mentioning one of the most qualified solutions in the market, QuickBooks. Since it’s debut in 1983, Intuit, the company that develops QuickBooks accounting software, has catered to the needs of entrepreneurs. From expense tracking to invoicing, controlling cash flow, and everything in between, they’ve got you covered.
Since they are the most senior solution on our roster, they offer the largest catalog of solutions. From self-employed sole proprietors to corporations, partnerships and LLCs, they’ve got your business covered from startup to enterprise. It’s no wonder QuickBooks Online has quickly become one of their signature products among small businesses, reaching over 2 million subscribers worldwide.
For as little as $7 a month, you can get started with Quickbooks. Features like tracking income and expenses, sending invoices, maximizing tax deductions, reporting, monitoring sales and sales tax are all included.
If you need more advanced features like the ability to manage bills, time tracking or others, you can upgrade to an enhanced version without breaking the bank. Accounting packages top out at $25 per month.
Free Accounting Software: Wave
Free accounting tools are always a welcome option for cash-strapped entrepreneurs. Wave is a great alternative to QuickBooks. Since 2010, Wave has evolved from simple online accounting software to a suite of financial services and software solutions for small businesses.
Wave provides automatic profit and loss (P&L) reports, balance sheets, sales tax and more. You can also easily share access to your books with your accountant, bookkeeper and business partners. And if you are using an accountant, they will appreciate that Wave is double-entry accounting software. It makes their job much easier when every transaction is recorded as a credit and debit in the corresponding accounts.
Like we mentioned before, it’s free to use for things like invoicing, reports and journal transactions, but there are fees for payment services. If you send an invoice to your customer, the customer pays it electronically with a credit card or debit card, and you will be charged credit card processing fees for collecting and receiving payments.
The fees are 2.9 percent plus 30 cents per transaction. So, if your customer pays a $100 invoice, Wave will deduct the 2.9 percent ($2.90) and an additional 30 cents and deposit $96.80 into your accounts receivable.
HR and Payroll Software: Gusto
If you have employees and you need an efficient way to maintain your HR-related responsibilities, Gusto is a great solution. Since 2011, Gusto has provided payroll, benefits and HR services to modern businesses.
Gusto provides full-service payroll from direct deposits to wage garnishments, to tax filing and multiple pay rates and schedules, and all the other necessities. They also offer employee self-service elements like pay stubs and tax forms so your staff can quickly retrieve their information anytime they need it.
On the human resources side, if you plan to provide health care coverage, Gusto can give you access to licensed brokers who help you select a plan that works best for your business.
These core features and services are offered for $39 per month, plus $6 per employee. As your business grows and needs more HR tools such as paid-time-off requests, you can always upgrade to a more comprehensive package with the top tier maxing out at $149 per month plus $12 per employee.
Point of Sale Accounting Software
Lastly, if you have a brick and mortar storefront like a retail store or cafe, opting for an integrated POS and accounting solution is an ideal solution that saves you both time and money. Many modern POS systems offer basic bookkeeping tools that are built in to the software. However, as your business expands, it’s essential to invest in a service that specializes in accounting.
Finding smarter, more efficient ways to manage the financial side of your startup is always an added bonus. Don’t spend time on processing payroll or reconciling your daily sales receipts by hand when there are small business accounting tools that can automatically do it for you. Your time is better spent running your business, not playing accountant.