How Accounting Software Can Simplify Your Life

    There comes a point in every successful small business when the owner looks around and realizes the small business isn’t quite so small anymore and the day-to-day business affairs are becoming just a little bit too much for one person to handle. Congratulations—this means you’re running a successful business! Now, it’s time to take a close look at how you’re managing your time and think about ways to streamline anywhere you can.

    Image courtesy of Alexander Baxevanis. Some rights reserved.

    One great way to do this is to invest in an accounting software program that can help you stay organized and manage your finances. But not all accounting software is created equal. Without doing the proper research and becoming familiar with your options, you won’t have the information you need to make an educated decision. But where do you start gathering that information (and, for that matter, how do you know what information you’re looking for)?

    PeachTree vs. QuickBooks: Both valid accounting software for small businesses

    David Matthew, ERP Analyst for Software Advice, has done that research for you. In his article, Peachtree vs. QuickBooks, Matthew has broken down the differences between both versions of software (single-user and multi-user) offered by the two major accounting software companies. He points out that while Quickbooks is widely touted as the user-friendly option for those of us lacking a background in accounting, PeachTree has caught up by offering a sort of Help wizard to assist users and suggest appropriate tools.

    Single-User Versions

    With Peachtree Pro and QuickBooks Pro, the single-user versions of the software, each cost $299, but the user features themselves are slightly different—in addition to the standard bare-bones accounting features, Peachtree offers job costing/forecasting and the ability to customize multiple databases, while QuickBooks includes a helpful automatic check-signing feature. Depending on the level of complexity of your business or your staff, either can be a valuable contribution to your accounting department. (If you are the accounting department, the automatic check-signing feature may not be of great value to you, but if you have an accountant pestering you every day to sign a pile of checks, QuickBooks will likely save both of you time. And if your business model is quite basic, you may not need multiple databases—but as your business grows more and more complex, you may wish you had started with Peachtree.)

    Multi-User Versions

    Once you move into multi-user software, both QuickBooks and Peachtree begin offering more precise tools, such as fixed asset management and industry-specific features. I strongly suggest that if you’re considering any version of either of these two products, you head over to Software Advice to read Matthew’s article, which provides a side-by-side comparison of each version to help you narrow down your choices and get started.

    But what if you’re still not sure where to start? The good people over at Software Advice offer a step-by-step checklist to help you get started, available as a free download. Still lost? Schedule a meeting with an advisor, who can help you narrow down your options and choose the accounting software program that’s best for your industry and your specific business.

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      6 comments on “How Accounting Software Can Simplify Your Life
      1. Great post. I am a regular visitor of your web site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I’ll be a regular visitor for a long time.

      2. Sarah says:

        Marissa, thank you so much — we’re happy to have you! I’m looking forward to checking out your Squidoo writing as well 🙂

      3. Troy Keiper says:

        I totally concur with this post but we have to mention just one issue. Regardless of how very easy its to because of your taxes i think that a CPA/ Accountant should always be used. They’re exceptionally low-priced and clearly definitely worth the expenses you probably have an error in you taxes which could set you back 1000’s.

      4. Sarah says:

        This is a great point, Troy — there’s a reason they’re the pros and you’re not! It’s always a good idea to ask for professional help in these areas if you’re not sure how to go about it yourself, and a human will pick up on some inaccuracies better than even the best software will!

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