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Accounting Software for a Small Business

As a small business you need to be able to have receipts readily available. Even if you have an accountant you need to be able to print a receipt. I had been using Quickbooks for all my needs, it calculates everything and is pretty standard. I was happy with it, but I like durability, I am a very small business and need my money to go to gear, not accounting. So when I upgraded one last computer to Windows 7 and lost my ability to install my Quickbooks I was pretty displeased. It has been a weird year without accounting software and I finally resurrected an old XP machine just so I could do my taxes. I guess I have one major problem with rebuying $200+ in software every time I decide to upgrade my OS. You see it is so simple, math does not change, the way I keep books does not change. I get it Intuit, I really do. You need to keep the money coming in so you build in planned obsolescence. But that doesn’t keep me as your customer. I’m not going to update accounting software every year or every two years, or even every three years. Now if it were more like my tax software I would really feel the need. But honestly, Intuit, we’re all poor right now, even the rich people are not as rich as they would like to be. So I looked for an alternative; a free alternative. GnuCash, everyone was raving about GnuCash. I found paying out the bills to be very clunky and forget linking them in a way that makes sense. I did like the ability to include tax in my total so that the software calculated for me and my end number was nice and even. That did not make me happy enough though. There are several blogs on the subject of free alternatives to Quickbooks. I tried a few and skipped others. I really shy away from keeping my financial data on my phone or the cloud; I don’t think I need to explain why. I tried a few that I deleted right away and fail to recall their names or why I disliked them so much. I was about to settle for something like Quicken or paying for Quickbooks; I also don’t like that there is not a demo – I like to try stuff and if I can’t break it in before I buy it then I am reluctant to take a risk even with a satisfaction guarantee. I found Manager. I can list the things that I don’t like about it, but it works. I enter amounts and mark them paid. I can make quotes as invoices and then delete them if they fall through. Sorry, no estimates or quotes at this time. It will calculate your tax on your total. I have it loaded on a network drive and can access the same file from any computer that has the software. So what are the downfalls? Well the lack of quotes. It will not calculate your items; example: I have 5 DVDs at $2 each and I have to input the $10. I don’t see using a calculator or my math skills as a big deal. It calculates each line as well as tax and that is what matters. I can add my logo and make it look custom. The only thing about invoicing that completely irks me is when there’s taxable items. At the top it says “Tax Invoice”. Well it is not a “tax” invoice and I wish I could change that. Right now I just print to PDF and redact the word tax. Someday I will try to hack the code and change that one word, but for now I am happy that I have invoicing software. I even took 5 hours to transfer all of my invoices to Manager so that I had everything in one place. Yeah Quickbooks, I am over you.

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