Managing your small business finance 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 kind of business you’re running, there is accounting software to keep you on top of what you need. These free (and sometimes open source) systems have been built with passion and for the user’s needs.
Focusing on how you use the system day in and day out.
Number 1: GnuCash
Designed and developed for the individuals and small businesses, this is an open source alternative to its bigger brother applications such as Quicken.
This is one of my favorite systems because it has great integration into banks, and it handles a large variety of functionality which includes invoices, credit notes, accounts payable, receivables, employee expenses, payroll as well as the ability to handle multiple currencies. It really is a beast of open source accounting systems and provides the flexibility to grow with your business.
Number 2: 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, fully featured accounting system, equipped for most users’ needs, and provides the capability to do forecasting and other money management functions.
Number 3: TurboCash
TurboCash is a bit of a supercharged system, designed as a high level accounting system 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, such as multiple companies, 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.
Number 4: 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, so this is also a plus.
Although if you want technical support or are looking to do payroll, then there will be some additional fees.
Number 5: Quickfile
This system is again a cloud-based solution, so it is ready to roll when you’re ready. If you have never had any experience in accounting, and you feel pretty much at a loss to the whole process, this tool is a great start.
It has some great features 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 your tool, you need to consider what are the most common activities that you will perform, what integration you need with other systems like your bank and PayPal, as well as 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 follow any online education. This will give you a good head start.