Best free/cheap small business software?

You might take a look at Quicken Home & Business - simpler & less expensive than Quickbooks, and probably does what you need.

I’m really sorry about the three posts. But it just won’t let me edit them after 5 minutes, and I’m going over to Amazon…

Okay, so I found Quickbooks 2012 on Amazon for $99.99 as a download. I THINK I can convince my brother to do this. Thoughts about this being a viable solution?

Quicken Home & Business can be a good solution for a simple service-based business. I only recommend it to people who already own and love Quicken, though. If you have to learn something new, you might as well go with a proper accounting package for business.

Intuit lives to upsell you on things. In the preferences, you’ll find an option to turn off popup messages for extra services - and yet they’ll still try to sell you checks, 1099 forms, online backup, merchant services, etc. and on into the night. Some of those extra features may be useful to you someday, but you’ll know when you need them. You can also avoid upgrading every year; I recommend upgrading every three years unless you see a new feature you just can’t live without.

PeachTree does not have the market penetration that QuickBooks has. Your accountant/tax person may not support it. (I don’t, even though I do support Excel, Quicken, MS Money and MYOB as alternatives to QuickBooks). Perhaps more importantly, I see lots of complaints about PeachTree being more difficult to learn - and that’s saying a lot because there’s a steep learning curve with QuickBooks.

Don’t worry too much about the proprietary format in QB. For one thing, QB is so dominant that any competitors are going to be able to read and convert those files. For another, you can run and export reports to preserve data in PDF/XLS formats even if you do decide to move on someday.

While QuickBooks has tons of features designed to make setup easy for you, I’d strongly recommend finding a local pro (perhaps a ProAdvisor) who can help to customize it for your needs. Some of the first decisions you make with QB are the ones that require the most skill and experience.

I think I’m going to go with the $99.99 download version of QB. :slight_smile: I have to work with the situation at hand, and with what my brother is willing to do… consulting an accountant would cost more than what both of our vehicles put together are currently worth. Please try to understand that I have to work with the reality as it is. Just doing this is a big step up from all those years of little pieces of paper floating around all over the place. Thanks so much for all the advice! It’s helped a lot with the decision.

I use Quickbooks Online Basic for a small non-profit (receipts of about $50K per year) - it runs about $10/month. The only thing I wish it did was download into a spreadsheet, but with a small business you might be able to get away without it for a long time. Also, if you ever do need to upgrade you can transfer the database and history with not much more than a click. Very safe, very easy to use. Lots of good reporting functions. You might find something cheaper, but it won’t be better. I have set up other small companies with QB and everyone loves it once they learn to use it.

FTR, i am an accountant with 25 years of experience working in many sizes and types of companies, and several jobs have invovled accounting software conversions, so I have a fair amount of background in this.

I thought so, CRM is the perfect match your needs. Because customer db track is an important process for every business. I suggest Apptivo. A lot of providers available. As per your rising questions, you need small business software thats why recommend Apptivo.