Recommend me some business accounting software

I’m a self-employed musician, and I also make patio furniture during the spring and summer. I’ve gone all my career just sorta keeping half-assed records, piles of receipts, scribbled ledgers and such. Come tax time, it’s a painful scramble to collate it all into what my tax preparer needs. Because it’s so messy, I usually procrastinate badly. I get my information in at the last minute. I’m not talking about April 15, I’m talking about October 15.

I’d like to get organized. Can you recommend any business accounting software that is easy and intuitive? Is QuickBooks any good? What else is there? I’d like to be able to make a good printout for my tax person or just access the numbers I need to fill out their worksheets.

My preference is to not have to buy something on a subscription basis. I HATE that marketing model and resist it every chance I get. I much prefer to buy something outright.

Thanks in advance, y’all.

I use QuickBooks. It is intuitive to me. It’s definitely full featured. There’s a subscription and non-subscription version.

Quickbooks is pretty standard for small business accounting. However, ask your accountant what they’d like you to use. If you use software that they recommend it’ll make life easier for both of you. If you have a question, be it about the software or taxes, they can walk you through what to do. Also, come tax time, all you have to do is email them a backup of the file. They’ll bring it up on their computer, pull the reports they need, make journal entries as necessary etc.
It’ll save everyone a lot of time.

Yup, I asked them, but they didn’t seem to have much of an opinion. They said QuickBooks is fine, so that’s probably the way I’ll go.

Um, I work for a little software company called Cougar Mountain Software, who calls their primary software Denali. It costs more than off-the-shelf stuff (I dunno how much more; not my department and I’m incurious) and is a buy once use forever kind of deal. And it’s apparently pretty well reviewed.

Its big perk over Quickbooks is that it’s a little harder to shoot yourself in the foot, and it keeps lots of records and history. Your accountant would probably like that. And we boast a really good in-house support staff. (Though that, you pay for. Support minutes and such.)

Anyway, enough of that. I’m a programmer, not a marketer.

Thanks, I’ll look into it.

GNU Cash will do the job if you’re not a huge business. There are some pre-defined templates for common situations; you could try “Business Accounts”.

There were a couple of small businesses who send us their a/r data, that used QuickBooks. They didn’t have customer numbers. The thing is, everything is based off the customer number! I had to write a program to make up numbers out of various fields so that we could use their data.

Anyway, be nice. If you use QuickBooks, turn on the customer numbers.

Quickbooks is great and I’ve been using it for 20 years for my small business.

Just note that if you want to use it to download your bank and credit card account data, you’ll be forced to buy the version upgrade every 3 or 4 years. The program will still work without the upgrade but it stops being able to download bank data.

Brilliant move on Intuit’s part. I wish I had their balls (and money).

Argh. Looks like QuickBooks is the 500 lb gorilla here. This upgrade/ subscription thing really burns my bacon. That sort of thing is why I got rid of my Apple products.

Thanks everyone.

You’ll have to update every 3 or 4 years if you use it for payroll as well…or really anything that it has to connect to the internet to do. We’ve been using, and upgrading QB Pro since the mid 90’s…three (sometimes four) copies of it. And that’s on top of their annual payroll service charge.

I use the online version. I love it because I can access it anywhere.

You can also assign access to your accountant, so they can pop in and work directly on your books without having the backup copies floating around.

Back in the day, with out old accountant, once a month or so we’d make a backup of the file, drive it over to him and then a few hours later we’d go get the new backup he made and load it back on to our system. The problem was that any changes made during that time on our side, would be lost. All the computers would have post-it notes saying not to use quickbooks.

Now, with our current account, I’ll send them a backup and a few days later they’ll just email me a list of journal entries to make. Much easier.

+1 to Quickbooks as long and you’re the only one using it. Easy to learn with lots of tutorials and books.

A major caveat, at least for the standalone version is that any entry can be easily undone, especially if you make a backup and restore without any trace whatsoever. Most other software requires you to do a reversing entry to correct an error and there’s a an uneraseable trail showing what was done. Not with Quickbooks.

Another vote for Quickbooks. For you as a solo person, the desktop version is probably better. Just be paranoid about backing up your data file on a regular basis.

If you restore a backup, yes, but you can’t turn off the audit trail. If someone deletes an entry, IIRC, the audit trail will still show it.

Even with a restored backup, however, you’ll have to re-enter everything that’s happened since the backup was made and the audit trail would show that.

But, having said all that, yes, you can simply delete most entries.