Managing your small business finances is a pain, especially when you have never done it before. Most people will start off with pen and paper, but as the business grows, they realize very quickly that this is unmanageable.

So depending on what business you’re running, there is an accounting software to keep you on top of what you need. These open source systems or free systems have been built with passion and to fit the user’s needs, focusing on how you use the system day in and day out.

  1.  GnuCash

This application was designed and developed for individuals and small businesses, being an open source alternative to its bigger brother applications such as Quicken.

This is one of our favorite systems because it has great integration into banks, and it handles a large variety of functionality – which includes invoices, credit notes, account payables, receivables, employee expenses, payroll. It also has the ability to handle multiple currencies. It really is a beast of an open source accounting system and provides the flexibility you need to grow your business.

  1. Money Manager EX

Money Manager is a great tool as well. It is lightweight and lacks a few features – such as automatic downloading of bank statements.  But on the other hand, it is a powerful accounting system, full featured for most users’ needs, and it provides the capability to do forecasting and other money management functions.

  1. TurboCash

TurboCash is a bit of a supercharged system, designed at a high-level for accounting systems. This one is for Small to Medium businesses, so it might be a bit overwhelming for a one-man band. So if you have a bit more of a complex structure, multiple companies, and are handling  VAT, debtors and creditors, and purchase orders, this might be the right fit for you.  They describe their system as double entry and IFRS.

Their new version is now available on the Cloud. So you’re ready to roll in seconds when you want to get started as well.

  1. Wave

Wave is an online accounting system, which is ready to roll. You just need to sign up, and you’re ready to go. It has some great billing, invoicing, and reporting tools to really help you get along. It is accessible from anywhere, which is also a plus.

Although if you want technical support or looking to do payroll, then there will be some additional fees.

  1. Quickfile

This system is again a cloud-based solution, so it is ready to roll when you’re ready. And if you have never had any experience in accounting, and you feel pretty much lost to the whole process, this tool is a great start.

It has some great features, especially when it comes to automatic invoicing, purchase receipts, quotations, multiple currencies, and more.

Although there are many others we can mention, these are a great set to have a look at to get you started with your business.

When selecting what tool, you may need to consider what the most common activities that you need to perform are, what integration you need with systems – like your bank, Paypal – and the level of automation such as repeat invoices, etc.

From here, download or login and have a play with the system. Get used to the navigation and any online education. This will give you a good head start.

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