Choose the Right Small Business Accounting Software

With any good luck and a good amount of hard work, you're having the same problem many business owners today are facing. Your business is growing rapidly and you're having problems controlling your finances. Time and time again, that Microsoft Excel spreadsheet you've been using just isn't getting the job done for you.

So, you’ve decided that you’re ready to take the next step, and buy a full-featured accounting software program. Many options are available to choose from, but I believe the best solutions to be Quicken Premier Home and Business by Intuit, QuickBooks Pro also by Intuit, and Peachtree Accounting by Sage. In order to decide on the right package for you, you need define the type of business that you operate.

With the rise of self-employment (businesses with one or more owners but no paid employees) a need has arisen to manage business and personal finances on one platform. Intuit has released Quicken 2005 Premier Home and Business to fill this need. This software is perfect for the small business owner who receives income from investments, real estate, and/or internet marketing. Also, Quicken 2005 Premier Home and Business is well priced at only $89.95.

For more typical brick-and-mortar business owners, you will usually need a more robust solution like QuickBooks Pro or Peachtree Accounting for functions like payroll reporting and check producing. Each piece of software has its advantages, but don't forget that QuickBooks has been the standard in business accounting software for many years now. As for features and basic operations, both applications will provide you the same functionality and convenience for your business.

One additional factor to consider in your decision is that Peachtree Accounting is less expensive than QuickBooks. Both starter versions of Peachtree and QuickBooks are priced at $99.95 each, but the full-featured version of Peachtree is priced at only $199.95 while the full-featured QuickBooks Pro is priced at $299.95.

At the end of the day, the biggest advantage QuickBooks offers over Peachtree is compatibility with other applications. For example, most commercial banks (Bank of America, SunTrust, etc...) provide you with files designed to work directly with QuickBooks, so that you can read, study, and decipher transaction details. Also, some banks will allow you to update account information in real-time with QuickBooks. Check with your bank to see what accounting software their online services support, and you should be able to make your decision.

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