Cheap and Free Accounting Software for Small Businesses

When starting a business it’s important to keep control of startup costs. Cheap or even free accounting software is often highly desirable as a new business seeks to minimise expenditure on office software.

There are a number of possibilities for keeping down the costs of accountancy software:

  • Outsourcing the accounts to a bookkeeper or other financial specialist can be an alternative to buying any form of accounting software. Bookkeepers usually charge by the hour and work from home so it can be an economical way to keep business finance costs low when it comes to running your business and accounting.
  • There are a large number of online accounting software providers. This software is often economical as it can be accessed over the Internet so there is no software to buy. More importantly you never need to upgrade the software or install updates so it can save a considerable amount of time. Accounting software available via a web browser is an attractive choice for a startup business as the software is normally paid for on a monthly basis, so if your business has to close you don’t lose the initial outlay on buying the financial software. Many web based accounts software providers also allow your account to be scaled up should your business grow to the point where you need other services such as a payroll service.

Choosing a Cheap Accounting Software Package

When choosing the best cheap accountancy software for your business, it is essential to choose software that is easy to use. Some free or open source software is often a false economy as it takes ages to install and may not have the user friendly screens we expect from professionally produced software packages.

An important factor specific to accounts software is that it has to be tailored to an individual country’s financial regulations. Consequently US focused software may not be of much value in countries such as the United Kingdom or Australia.

For small businesses, the major players in the accountant software scene are QuickBooks, Peachtree Accounting, Microsoft and Intuit. There are also regional players, such as Sage in the UK.

Freeware accounts packages are available, but the quality varies tremendously. A popular free accounts package is AdminSoft. The basic software is free but is supported by browser based advertising. There are also additional modules that need to be paid for.

Before installing free accounting software make sure it complies with accounting regulations in your own country or region. Also remember that it can be difficult to change an accounts package once your business grows. If you intend to employ an accountant or bookkeeper at some point then bear in mind that they normally only know industry standard accounting software such as that supplied by Intuit, Microsoft or Sage.

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