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Accounting Software Reviews

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  • QuickBooks Online Review

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    QuickBooks Online offers true double-entry accounting with ample reports and a strong chart of accounts, as well as customizable invoices, inventory capabilities, payroll support, multiple currencies, and over 200 integrations. Since its inception, QuickBooks Online has grown to 2.2 million users and the software has seen some significant changes and advancements, with one of the most recent being a long-awaited project management feature.

  • QuickBooks Desktop Pro Review

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    Pros Advanced features Ample accounting reports Excellent tax support On-premise Numerous integrations Double-entry accounting Cons Steep learning curve Limited users PC-only Overview QuickBooks is one of the most popular names in accounting — and for good reason. The software offers strong accounting, an incredible number of features, and tons of reports and integrations. The first […]

  • Zoho Books Review

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    Pros Competitive pricing plans Easy to use Good mobile apps Advanced invoicing features International invoicing Excellent customer support Cons Unsuited for large businesses No payroll Overview Zoho Books is like the knock-off brand of accounting — it does nearly everything that the popular, “designer” brands do but at half the cost. In the accounting world, […]

  • Xero Review

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    Pros Unlimited users Numerous integrations Suited for large businesses Advanced features Double-entry accounting Cons Learning curve Poor customer support Overview In the race to the top of the accounting software industry, QuickBooks has taken the lead for years, running laps around its competitors—that is, until now. Xero is a cloud-based accounting software based out of […]

  • QuickBooks Enterprise Review

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    Pros Numerous features Numerous integrations Decent invoice customizations Double-entry accountingyout Good customer support Strong permissions Cons Expensive yearly cost Unsuited for small businesses Learning curve PC-only Overview QuickBooks Enterprise. Their mission? To go where no accounting software has gone before. Reaching for a final frontier, this powerful iteration of QuickBooks is said to deliver “6x […]

  • QuickBooks Desktop Premier Review

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    Pros Advanced features Robust accounting reports Excellent tax support On-premise Numerous integrations Double-entry accounting Cons Steep learning curve Limited payment gateway integrations PC-only Overview Have you outgrown QuickBooks Pro (see our review) but aren’t quite ready for the feature set and steep price of QuickBooks Enterprise (see our review)? Enter QuickBooks Desktop Premier. QuickBooks Premier […]

  • QuickBooks Mac Review

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    Pros Well-designed UI Advanced features Ample accounting reports Double-entry accounting Mac-based Cash-basis and accrual accounting Cons No integrations Poor support materials Limited users Mac-only Overview As far as accounting software goes, QuickBooks Mac is a fresh pick from the Apple orchard. Like any good apple, QuickBooks Mac is clean, attractive, tasty, and nutritious. Okay, so, […]

  • Quicken Review

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    Pros Advanced features Well-designed UI Fair mobile apps Ample financial reports Strong budgeting Cons Moderate learning curve Limited automations Overview Quicken is a personal accounting software that allows individuals to take control of their finances; this software has been one of the biggest names in personal financing for decades. Quicken was created back in 1982. […]

  • Wave Review (Formerly Wave Accounting)

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    Pros Free Easy to use Numerous features Attractive invoice templates Cloud-based Good support materials Cons Limited mobile apps Unsuited for large businesses Poor customer support Overview Have you heard of the free accounting software that is making waves in the accounting industry? In the five or so years that we’ve been following Wave, the software […]

  • FreshBooks Review

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    Pros Easy to use Excellent customer service Good mobile apps Well-designed UI Attractive invoice templates Numerous integrations Cons No double-entry accounting Limited features Expensive monthly cost Overview FreshBooks, one of the biggest names in the invoicing and accounting scene, was created by Mike McDerment after he became frustrated with Word and Excel. The software has […]

What is Accounting Software?

Accounting software allows business owners to manage their finances and balance the books. These tools often eliminate the need for a human accountant by giving business owners the ability to track their income, manage expenses, and run accounting reports themselves.

Web-hosted vs. Locally Installed

There are two types of accounting software: web-hosted software and locally installed software.

Web-hosted

Web-hosted accounting software is software that operates on the cloud. This type of accounting software offers mobility and access for multiple businesses in various locations. It is generally easier to use.

Locally-Installed

Locally-installed software is downloaded directly onto your computer via a disk or link. This type of program works offline and can potentially be more secure; however, you’ll lose the mobility and ease-of-use of web-hosted software.

Cash-basis vs. Accrual Accounting

As you begin researching accounting software, you will likely come across two terms: cash-basis accounting and accrual accounting. Cash-basis and accrual accounting refer to the way you record your business’s income.

Cash-basis

Cash-basis accounting records income when a product or service is actually paid for.

Accrual

Accrual accounting records income when products or services are agreed upon (rather than when paid for).

Cash-basis accounting can work for small business, but we recommend accrual accounting as it uses full double-entry accounting.

How Can Accounting Software Benefit My Business?

Accounting software allows business owners to record their income, track expenses, send invoices to make sales, pay bills, manage contacts, track inventory, and pay their taxes correctly. Accounting software doesn’t just benefit your business. It is integral to your business and the success of your company. In short, accounting software keeps your finances organized and ensures that your company is on good terms with the IRS.

Common Features to Look For in an Accounting Software

The features of accounting software vary depending on the type and size of business the software is designed for. However, there are some common features that most (good) software offers:

  • Invoices
  • Recurring invoices
  • Estimates
  • Expense tracking
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Live bank feeds
  • Contact management
  • Items management
  • Basic time tracking
  • Basic project management
  • Reports
  • Unlimited sales tax rates
  • Import/export capabilities
  • Multiple currencies
  • Mobile apps
  • Some integrations

Higher-level accounting software companies will often offer the following features as well:

  • Chart of accounts
  • Ability to separate personal and business expenses
  • Full inventory tracking
  • Developed time tracking
  • Job costing
  • Large selection of reports
  • Budgeting
  • Payroll
  • Tax support
  • Track deductions
  • Class tracking
  • Mulitple languages
  • Ample integrations

How Much Will It Cost?

The price of accounting software will vary depending on your business size and needs.

A good, full featured accounting software for small businesses will cost anywhere from $20-$35/mo. Accounting software for medium businesses who need payroll and have multiple users will cost around $35-$50/mo. Larger businesses can expect to pay $50+.

Freelancers, independent contractors, micro businesses, and smaller businesses are in luck because there are a lot of free software options out there as well.

Do I Need Integrations?

While accounting software offers a large array of features, there is one type of integration you won’t be able to live without–payment gateways. Payments gateways allow you to accept payments for invoices online, which is a must for a successful invoice-sending business.

Beyond this, integrations are optional, but we highly recommend choosing a software that offers ample integrations. You may be able to get by with only your accounting software’s features for now, but most programs won’t meet all of your needs, or at least not to the depth that you need.

Choosing Specific Accounting Software

Now that you have a basic understanding of accounting software (what to expect in terms of price, which features to look for, etc.), it’s time to pick one. At Merchant Maverick, we’ve spent countless hours researching and testing the best accounting software programs on the market. Read our comprehensive reviews for more information, compare our highest rated software options, or check out Merchant Maverick’s best accounting software winners.

If you need more help picking a software solution, take a look at our Complete Guide to Choosing Online Accounting Software.

And before you commit to a software, be sure to take advantage of any free trials the company offers. Most accounting software companies offer a 14-day or 30-day free trial of their software, no credit card required.

Have fun shopping!

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