13 Dec 2012
By Mark Evans
There was a time when doing small business accounting meant a large ledger book and a whole lot of math. In the digital age, you just need your receipts, time and a high-speed connection to do basic small biz books, thanks to online accounting software.
There are a few of the leading online services that make keeping your books a straightforward task for even the most accounting challenged:
This free service lets you do sales tax, receivables and the like. The company only charges a fee if you use its new payroll service: which is just $5 a month. You can have your accountant join in and access your secure accounting info as well. Wave has partnered with and synchs up with Shoeboxed, a paid service that will organize your messy shoebox of receipts.
This super-smart program does your basic accounting tasks and it can link with your bank and credit cards to keep track of your statements and fees. Its add-ons can convert receipts into electronic documents and do inventory tracking. Xero offers more functionality, and charges $19 to $39 a month.
This familiar accounting brand offers an online service that sticks to its core brand: an easy product that can be customized for more advanced functions, but is really for the non-math-loving business owner. The services features an array of videos and has live chat with company representatives. Pricing is very custom: you can start out for free, get a basic service for $12.95 a month, and go all the way up to $63.13 monthly for a Cadillac service that includes payroll.
This straight-shooting program is aimed squarely at entrepreneurs who do not like accounting and all its lingo. The service keeps everything in plain language and generates reports “you can actually understand.” It also lets you keep tabs on things via an iPhone app. However, it is heavily geared towards the U.S. income tax system. The service is free or $9.95 for a premium edition.
CRM system Zoho offers an accounting suite that has all the functions of other accounting programs but synchs up nicely if you already use Zoho in other ways. After a free trial, the fee is $24/month or $240/year.