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Using and finding accountancy software

small business expense

Written by Luke Murphy

As freelancers work for themselves they are responsible for their own accounts and submitting them on time. Lots of freelancers do use and employ accountants to look after their books, but this can be very costly especially if they have had a bad year, and any small business expenses can make a dent in a pocketbook.

Many, including myself, use accounting software to keep track of sales, income and outgoing’s, this means I submit my own books every year and I can quite safely say the accounting software has been a god send to me for both my books and for cash management.

There are two types of software that I know of and they are Quickbooks and Sage, though there are many others that I have not researched but these are the two best known ones used today.

What is the difference between the two?

This question has been asked many times on the business forums and many will say it depends on your needs, a lot of people say Quickbooks is more for businesses doing things on their own and sage is more for businesses who employ and payout salaries. It is all swings and round abouts really when it comes to deciding which software is better for you.

Quickbooks generally has more customisation especially in the pro version where you can customise your invoices to whatever you need such as your company header / logo on the top. Quickbooks also has handy popup tips and a forum just incase you get stuck. Another great thing about Quickbooks is the drill down functions it has so you can give you insights over your accounts with a click of a button.

There is really only one pitfall with Quickbooks and it’s the fact of being a little complicated to use, for the computer literate this could be a problem. There is also the problem of when they bring out newer version and having to transfer all of your data and accounts onto the new updated version which can be a headache.

Sage I really don’t have much to say on as its a pretty basic interface and really easy to use, I think this would be more suited to the computer literate. A lot of people on the business forums will agree that all of the other accounting software will give sage a run for its money.

The bad points are no drill down functions, very restrictive, poor layout and poor shoddy documentation and support.

Clearly you can see which one wins here, especially for freelancing Quickbooks would be your best bet. Don’t forget there is still a lot of other software on the market to choose from so do your research first. If you are from the UK most banks do a great deal on software, such as mine at Barclays. They give you Quickbooks for free when you signup for a business bank account.

Luke Murphy is a blogger and writes for many websites on finance and accounting subjects. He also works for a Birmingham Accountants team in his spare time.
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Photo credit: Images_of_Money via Flickr cc

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About Greg Dillon

Greg is the founder of strategy consultancy GD | Inspires and spends his days strategising for various design agencies and clients around the world - see more at http://gdinspires.com. He is also a prolific entrepreneur having launched Strat-Talking.com - a website aimed at giving advice and insight to new, existing and veteran freelancers as well as commenting on all things strategic as well as acquiring CreativeAgencyFreelancing.com for designers. Feel free to email him at: greg@gdinspires.com or follow on Twitter @CAFreelancing.

One comment

  1. Only know of Quickbooks and Sage?

    *shudder*

    Give http://www.crunch.co.uk a try!

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