Check out Part 1 of this post for a few other great options!

If your business has reached the point of $50,000-$100,000 in gross revenue and it’s growing, one of these two options will likely be the best bet for you.

4) Freshbooks

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Freshbooks has been out for a few years now, but in terms of small business accounting software it hasn’t been around very long.  That honor goes to #5, below.  Freshbooks is a cloud-based accounting software, with dedicated apps for iOS and Android.   It was really the first major player to establish itself in the cloud accounting area, as it didn’t exist beforehand as a desktop software.

Freshbooks really excels on the invoicing and client management side of things, as all of their paid plans (ranging from $19.95-$39.95/month) include all of their invoicing features.  These include quick invoicing, recurring invoicing, automatic late payment reminders, and automatic late fees among other things.  It can also hook in directly with PayPal, Authorize.net, or any of 12 other payment gateways that you may have set up to receive electronic payment.

You may feel that the subscription model is a negative, and I understand that.  The upside of the subscription model is that you always have the latest version of the software.  Couple that with a web-interface, and they can add features to your software without you having to do any manual upgrade.  The long-term cost is the potential downside of the subscription model.  If I bought a desktop software for $200 and used it for two years, the cost for that is less than half of a Freshbooks subscription over the same time period.

But the real advantage of this is that it’s all in the cloud.  You don’t have to worry about backups, updates, new versions, or accessing info on the go, because it’s all available wherever you may be.  Furthermore, Freshbooks may be more user-friendly than the last option.

5) Quickbooks

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Quickbooks (and it’s parent company Intuit) is the grandaddy of the accounting software world.  That’s not to say Quickbooks is not up-to-date; it’s just been around for a very long time and is certainly the accounting industry standard for accounting.

Quickbooks is by far the most detailed and full-featured of all the options here, because it is excellent accounting software.  It really is.  It has invoicing, payroll, time tracking, complex accounting, sales tax, budgeting, income and expense tracking, graphs and charts, and anything else you could ask for in an accounting software.  The challenge with that comes for inexperienced users: it has a pretty significant learning curve.  All the features are great, but if you don’t know how to utilize them it can be frustrating .

Quickbooks existed before cloud accounting, so it still offers desktop versions of its latest software at great prices. You can currently pick up Quickbooks 2014 Pro for $139.99 and Quickbooks 2014 for Mac for $179.53 from Amazon.  You could easily use the current desktop version for two years, a cost of $70 or $90/year.  Compare that to $240/year for the basic Freshbooks subscription, and it’s a no-brainer from a cost perspective.

But Quickbooks desktop versions do give up the online accessibility that Freshbooks offers.  Also if you don’t want to or don’t have the time to learn an accounting software, Freshbooks has the edge in the user interface.  Intuit does offer Quickbooks Online, with pricing ranging from $12.95-$39.95/month, with additional fees for payment processing and payroll.  Based on how many companies are moving to subscription-based models for software (read: Adobe) I would be surprised if they continued to offer a desktop solution.  I see them moving to online-only for small businesses in the next 2 years, maybe sooner.

Just like anything, the best solution for you will depend on your business size and needs, your aptitudes and strengths, and what you value most in an accounting software.  Hopefully these posts will point you in the right direction, because managing the money in your business is a vital key to success and growth over the long run!

What experiences have you had with accounting solutions for your business?  Which one is your favorite?  Do you use something not mentioned here?

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