There are scores of accounting systems, with varying degrees of complexity, functionality, and price. If you’re just starting out you probably wouldn’t want a system that’s too complex or too difficult to learn because, hey, you’d rather spend your time building your business. This was Nathan Castillo’s dilemma.
“I swallowed the hype about entrepreneurship and striking out on your own hook, line, and sinker. The reason why I feel like I’ve been baited into this is because no one over told my about paperwork. I’m an excellent web designer, I think, with a solid feel for the nuances of user experience. Unlike many designers out there, I’m also very good with code so I can pretty much do everything that needs to be done to give my clients a classy product. Well, almost all. I know next to nothing about bookkeeping or accounting. That’s the one side of business that I really never thought about. I know there are lots of accounting software systems out there, and I really need one. I just have one requirement. It needs to be free accounting software online. If not free, then at least cheap. What should I be looking out for?” – Nathan
Welcome to the real world, Nathan.
Entrepreneurs starting out on their own will soon find out that, whether they like it or not, they need to keep the books. They will need accounting software because no one will stay sane while running a business and organizing pieces of paper daily. Read this quick comparison of the best accounting softwarefor small businesses available today. Some of the the systems listed on this page are discussed in greater detail below. Another page on the same site also provides helpful tips on what to look for in accounting software and how to find one that best suits your needs.
Most of the time, if the business is small enough, top popular systems have too many things small businesses don’t really need. They’re not simple to use, and halfway up the steep learning curving many entrepreneurs give up on the system.
What you really need is a system that will help you bill your clients and stay on top of your revenue stream so that you’ll know if you’re making more than you’re spending. Perhaps you will also need some assistance with taxes, because it’s the only certain thing in this world and you don’t want the slow death inflicted by constant oppression from the IRS.
If you really need free accounting software online, try FreshBooks. Compared to other free systems such as Wave Accounting, it has a bit more power. You can set up late payment reminders so that your delinquent clients are reminded by email automatically. You can tasks around projects and use this to log the time you’ve worked for each client. Your billable time automatically reflects in the invoices.
Most of the free accounting software online will only charge a fee if you add more clients or features. Most of them are easy to use so you can go on with the more important task of growing your business instead of fiddling around with paperwork.
P.S. For further reading I recommend the following posts about: home business accounting software online, accounting software for small business comparisons, and easy accounting software available online.
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