Top five accounting tools for small businesses

Accounting and budgeting are the most essential parts of any small businesses setup. Business owners and entrepreneurs are always looking for easy-to-use tools that helps them manage their day-to-day accounting, financing, invoicing and budgeting tasks. With emerging new technologies and the introduction of cloud based computing, it is important to choose a robust tool that helps you with basic tasks and gives you that extra value and ease.

There are a growing number of online services dedicated to helping users manage their finances. Here is a list of the top five most popular and user friendly accounting and financing tools:

QuickBooks: One of the most popular accounting and financing tools available in the market, QuickBooks has been developed by Intuit. After its initial release, the software became instantly popular among small business owners who had no formal accounting training. The software is currently offered through a hard drive version and also online. The software provides a comprehensive menu of functions, including a ledger, accounts and payable, payroll and inventory.

Freshbooks – It is a complete cloud based accounting tool designed for small business owners. Founded in Canada by Mike McDerment and Joe Sawada in 2003, FreshBooks is a complete solution that can be used online. This program allows you to upload documents for members to use and send invoices via mail or e-mail. You can track the status of your invoices, as well as all of your expense and income reports.

Sage 50 or Peachtree Accounting: A business management cum accounting software, this product was published by the Sage Group and is sold primarily in the USA and Canada. Popularly known as Peachtree, however as of the 2013 edition, the software is now called Sage 50. In addition to the standard accounting functions of inventory tracking, reports and analysis, this tool also provides customer contact records and transaction histories. This software also makes it easy for you to manage cash flow, customer payments, track inventory and plan purchases. This tool is apt for any medium sized business.

Xero: This online software gives you the option to manage your business and your personal financing. The solution is sold by a monthly subscription and the charge is proportionate to the number (and type) of company entities managed by the subscriber. The key features of Xero include automatic bank account feeds, invoicing, accounts payable, expense claims, fixed asset depreciation, and standard business and management reporting. Xero is an online cloud based tool, so you can also partner Xero with numerous add-ons, including programs for performance reports and online signatures.

Outright: Primarily a US based solution, Outright is an accounting and bookkeeping application that assists small businesses and sole proprietors with managing their business income and expenses. This online software covers the basic functions of income, expense and tax reports. The Outright website is focused on “a single word – simplicity.”

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