Accounting systems come in many forms for businesses in 2018. Some legacy companies are still using the big ledger book to keep track of their accounting. Some companies are using a mixture of paper records and Microsoft Excel to keeps tabs on their transactions. Many small businesses in 2018 are utilizing effective solutions such as Quickbooks or Xero. Larger companies are typically using enterprise level solutions such as Netsuite ERP and Intacct ERP.
The biggest trend in many platforms over the last few years has been the move to internet, cloud-based accounting products that usually charge its user a subscription fee (on a monthly or annual basis) instead of buying software licenses in a single purchase.
For startup companies, small businesses, and many mid-size businesses (depending on the complexity of their accounting needs), here are the best choices:
1) Intuit's Quickbooks Online - The full (Plus) system is going for $60/month currently (without promotional deals) and other versions are going for $20/month and $35/month. Quickbooks Online is the best accounting solution for most startups, small businesses, and mid-size businesses because of its flexibility, ease of use, deep functionality, and reporting functions. Not to mention most accounting professionals these companies may hire or work with will be usually most experienced with the Quickbooks interface because of its many years of leadership in the industry.
2) Xero - The cloud-based accounting system is a strong rival to Quickbooks in many ways and for some companies, may be a superior system. The pricing is similar but Xero is cheaper for those companies integrating their payroll processes with their accounting systems. For growing companies, Xero offers a significant advantage over Quickbooks in that it allows unlimited users at no extra cost whereas Quickbooks Online has user limits and additional costs for adding users over a certain number (over 5 users for their Plus version).
3) The Others - Our firm has yet to find a client that would benefit more from any other system, but the following are possibilities that small businesses may want to investigate for their selves: Sage 50, Freshbooks, Wave, and Zoho Books.
Our firm is readily available to help any start-up company, small business, or mid-size business assess their accounting system needs, set up a new accounting system, update an existing accounting system, or clean-up an accounting system that is not functioning as intended. Contact us to let us know how we can help.