A great entry point for do-it-yourself taxes.
Very easy software to use. Allows you to utilize real people to help with your business needs. Multiple different tiers allow you to get the right package for your needs. Remembers taxes and other info from years prior. Tracks refund while in use.
The software is not designed for day-to-day accounting use.
Works well for personal and business use alike.
Identifies tax deductions when they happen to make taxes easier as they come. Download bank account statements directly for both personal and business transactions. See how your returns compare to other companies.
The subscription model becomes expensive over time.
The best option if you are self-employed or are a small business owner. Variety of options and features to choose from.
While it works well for filers with basic returns, it also accommodates those claiming Earned Income Credit, self-employment, and healthcare-related forms and deductions. Easy to import forms and past taxes if filed through an Intuit entity.
Some users felt overwhelmed by the amount of options upfront.
Allows you to file your taxes quickly and easily.
Updated every year to reflect potential new deductions for users. Great for personal, small business, or freelancing use. Includes up to 5 free files of federal taxes. Free 24-hour support is available every day. Easy step-by-step process for new and old users.
This is strictly tax software and won't handle daily usage.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
If you run a small business, you want to be as successful as possible as quickly as possible. Sounds like a great plan. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy. There are sure to be bumps along the way, forcing you to make course corrections. To make those adjustments successfully, you need data, and the more accurate data the better. That’s where accounting software for small businesses enters the picture.
With accounting software, you can determine things like cash flow, expenses, profits, and trends for your business. Finding just the right accounting software requires that you first figure out the financial tracking needs you have for your business and then seek the software that has strengths in those areas.
We’re here to help with that search. Our buying guide has the information you need to find the right accounting software for your business. We’ve included some recommendations to get you started, too.
Small business accounting software can give you a variety of benefits, making it easier to operate your business smoothly. The basic components include basic accounting, data entry, invoicing, and payroll.
To give you a better level of performance versus tracking your finances in a spreadsheet, accounting software must give you several basic accounting features. With all of this information, and the various reports the software generates, you should be able to see the performance of your business in real time. Some of these features include the following:
If you struggle to enter your financial data accurately into your spreadsheets, accounting software can help. It can pull data from places like your bank accounts and point-of-sale software, automatically transferring it to the accounting software and eliminating most data entry errors. It also saves time versus entering data by hand at the end of each business day.
It’s difficult to run a small business successfully if you struggle to generate bills and invoices in a timely manner. Accounting software excels in this area, ensuring that all transactions appear on each bill that you send to your clients so you don’t miss any payments. Many accounting software packages generate invoices automatically at certain intervals, such as every week, every month, or on a customized schedule.
With invoice generation and tracking in the software, you can generate reports to see who has paid you and who hasn’t. At tax time, all of your income information is at your fingertips.
Some accounting software includes payroll generation, making it easier to track your payroll expenses when creating reports to see how your business is doing. Like invoicing, the data is all in one place.
Tracking taxes should also be easier with all of the payroll information in the accounting software. You may be able to customize the software to follow tax laws and regulations in your location.
If you choose an accounting software package that does not include payroll capabilities, you will save some money. If you use a payroll company to handle this aspect of your business, it might be able to connect with your accounting software to pull the data it needs to generate the payroll.
With the basics in hand, you can focus on the features that will enable the accounting software to precisely meet your needs. Keep in mind that some of these features generate an extra fee for you as you use the software, so you’ll only want to add those features to your software package that you know you’ll use.
If multiple people in your organization need access to the accounting software, you might want the ability to restrict the type of data certain people can see or restrict the changes they can make in the software. You also may want to be able to give some third-party software packages the ability to send and receive data to and from your accounting software.
If your business has pieces of equipment that it considers assets for tax purposes, your accounting software should be able to track your ownership and use of this equipment. It may be able to track depreciation costs, too, which simplifies the process of calculating your taxes.
If your employees must fill out a timesheet or punch a time clock every day, you can simplify this process with accounting software. Employees can sign in to the software when they arrive in the morning. The software serves as a digital time clock that it uses to generate payroll. Some software packages allow employees to sign in on their smartphones through an app.
Many types of accounting software have tools that help you create a budget for your business. You can set goals for revenue and limitations on how much you want to spend on various aspects of the business. You then can track your progress toward meeting your budget through the software’s various reporting functions.
Along with budgeting, you can use the data you’ve collected in past months and years to create accurate forecasts about what you can expect in the months and years to come.
If your small business has multiple departments or groups, you can use the accounting software to assign profits and expenses to each department. This simplifies the process of determining what kind of return you’re receiving from each department, helping you identify areas where you can make improvements. Should you run marketing campaigns within certain departments, you also can track their financial success.
With accounting software, you may be able to purchase the software outright with a one-time fee, or you can purchase it as a monthly subscription. On top of the basic fees, you may have extra fees for help with installation, tech support, customized features, extra storage space, or extra user access.
Monthly: These accounting software services are growing in popularity. You may need to commit to purchasing the software for a year, but some programs operate on a month-to-month basis. You can expect to pay from $10 to $50 per month for small business accounting software. For more advanced versions for larger businesses, you could pay $50 to $100 per month per user. You may receive a discount of 5% to 20% if you pay for the entire year up front.
Purchase: The cost of purchasing accounting software depends on the complexity of the version you select. Basic software costs $100 to $250 for a single purchase. More complex software costs from $250 to several thousand dollars.
Here are some questions you should answer as you look for the best accounting software for your needs.
Q. How do I know if I need accounting software for my business?
A. If you find yourself making errors in data entry while trying to track your business finances on a spreadsheet, accounting software makes it easier to track the data accurately. The software can give you a clearer picture of your financial situation, so it can help you find areas where you need to make changes.
Q. Will accounting software protect my data from hackers?
A. A cloud-based software package can protect your data by employing high-level encryption security. Should you have the data stored at your business address, it probably won’t have the same level of security applied to it.
Q. Do I need to hire an accountant instead of using this software?
A. If you don’t feel comfortable tracking your own financial data or you don’t have the time, hiring an accountant is an option. However, you will save money by doing this work yourself with accounting software.
Q. Should I consider a free accounting software package?
A. Free software is available, but most of its features won’t give you much more than you can probably do on your own with a spreadsheet. Think about the primary issues you’re having with tracking your accounting now. If you only need a couple of minor upgrades, a free package may work for you, but if you need help in multiple areas, you’ll probably need a paid version.
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