alex
alex SuperDork
2/21/11 5:46 p.m.

I need to get a handle on bookkeeping for my new business quickly, while it's still simple and I half-way understand it.

My needs are modest - I mainly need something to invoice accounts (I have 5; 6 if you count the restaurant I'm trading space for product, and I do intend to keep track of it just to know what I'm spending), and to track expenses. Basic stuff.

I've used Quickbooks. I think it's more than I need, and I don't really like the back end. And it's expensive. Lean and mean. Streamlined.

I wish Google had something like this, because based on the rest of their Docs programs, it seems they'd be making just what I'm looking for.

I'm thinking of Open Office, but I have no experience. Thoughts?

Any suggestions welcome.

JoeyM
JoeyM SuperDork
2/21/11 5:56 p.m.

Never used any, but for all my other open source needs I visit http://sourceforge.net They may have exactly what you need

Grtechguy
Grtechguy SuperDork
2/21/11 5:56 p.m.

http://www.gnucash.org/features.phtml?

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
2/21/11 5:58 p.m.

I have a genuine copy of M.Y.O.B. (Mind Your Own Business) for the cost of shipping for you if you want it A (or a little dough).

(I hope you see what I did there ;) )

alex
alex SuperDork
2/21/11 6:01 p.m.

Seen. Respected. Always reliable.

Toyman01
Toyman01 SuperDork
2/21/11 6:09 p.m.

Someone is going to say it at some point. Quickbooks.

I started out with an open source software and after the first tax season changed to quickbooks. Getting the open source software to do anything other than invoicing was a pain. It also didn't want to do multiple sales taxes. The change over was a royal pain it the posterior because everything had to be entered from scratch. You can buy their basic version for around a $100 and it will expand as you do.

mrwillie
mrwillie Reader
2/21/11 6:36 p.m.

I hope this isn't the wrong place for this, but pm me. I know someone that may be able to help you.

internetautomart
internetautomart SuperDork
2/21/11 10:59 p.m.

dang it, quickbooks dropped their simple start program. It used to be a free basic version of quickbooks. You WILL end up needing quickbooks for your business. I suggest dropping the $100 on it when it is on sale.

cwh
cwh SuperDork
2/22/11 9:44 a.m.

We use Quickbooks Pro for our business. It can be a royal pain at times, but it does the job, and our accountant just needs an e-mail to take care of things. Our bookkeeper in a Quickbooks trainer, that helps a lot. But still, wifey occasionally goes into a tirade sounding like a pissed off sailor.

Kendall_Jones
Kendall_Jones Reader
2/22/11 10:16 a.m.

I had quickbooks for my business but still used MS excel for doing my balance sheet & Invoices. If its just the minimal book keeping stuff then you might be able to get by with excel. QB is nice & has a lot of features but I think I only used about 10% of its capability.

Kendall recovering small business owner

alex
alex SuperDork
2/22/11 2:15 p.m.

Good point about Excel. I have a bookkeeper friend who's a spreadsheet ninja (and she's a cutie, to boot), so maybe she can set me up with something basic for the time being.

I hear you on QB, though. I have a feeling I'll have to bite the bullet eventually, but I'm hoping I can stave it off for a little while while I have such a small number of accounts. When I get big enough to need it, I'll be able to justify the cost - both in terms of money and time.

Type Q
Type Q HalfDork
2/22/11 4:23 p.m.

I think your instincts are great to conserve cash as the business launches. However, there is something to be said for having the books stored in a tool and format that is widely used and just about any book keeper navigate.

Capt Slow
Capt Slow Dork
2/22/11 4:52 p.m.

for tracking personal expenses I use mint.com its really pretty and its pretty good for setting up budgets and spending/savings goals. But it is really oriented towards personal fiance and not business finance. I don't know that it would have all the features you need for your business.

Kendall_Jones
Kendall_Jones Reader
2/22/11 4:56 p.m.
Type Q wrote: I think your instincts are great to conserve cash as the business launches. However, there is something to be said for having the books stored in a tool and format that is widely used and just about any book keeper navigate.

If an accountant cant read a balance sheet in excel then you probably dont want them doing your books. Just because QB is the gold standard does not mean you need it right away. Got 10+ employees & 3000 parts in inventory, then maybe yes.

another question - are you planning on dealing with an accountant to do things like a balance sheet or just once a year @ tax time? Its much cheaper to DIY the books & then send it off @ tax time. However, you should have a basic understanding of how a balance sheet works (that is the core of good accounting). Its very simple but tricky to think about if your not a financial guy.

So, to everyone else (the QB fanbois), why is it necessary to have QB right away? Does it dumb down the accounting side of things? Just dump in every transaction & let it take care of it? I know it does payroll / inventory / write checks / emails invoices / etc but for the average super small startup business - you just need a way to track your money (balance sheet) & send invoices.

Kendall

internetautomart
internetautomart SuperDork
2/22/11 7:07 p.m.

I am NOT a QB fanboi. It is however the defacto standard for business accounting. I do not like it, but the IRS, banks, accountants do.

Back in the day I did create a spreadsheet for the repair shop to use for business tracking. once they got a real accountant they had to switch to quickbooks because it saved them money. a spreadsheet the accountant has to spend time reading and putting the numbers where they really belong. time = money. with quickbooks its already done for them so they don't have to bill out more hours on it which saves money for you.
that and switching to it later from a spreadsheet for me was a royal pain.

Toyman01
Toyman01 SuperDork
2/22/11 7:53 p.m.
internetautomart wrote: ...once they got a real accountant they had to switch to quickbooks because it saved them money. a spreadsheet the accountant has to spend time reading and putting the numbers where they really belong. time = money. with quickbooks its already done for them so they don't have to bill out more hours on it which saves money for you. that and switching to it later from a spreadsheet for me was a royal pain...

This.

The easier the accountant's job the cheaper they will be.

Type Q
Type Q SuperDork
5/7/16 8:41 a.m.

In reply to Soni2016:

If I were building a Canoe business I am might consider it.

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
5/7/16 8:58 a.m.

Canoe deleted

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
5/7/16 1:39 p.m.

Spend the $$$ go quick books now. It will cost you 10x this down the road to either change over and or the cost at tax time for a cpa to sort out your spreadsheet.

I just started a new business this week and the first purchase the company made was a clean copy of quick books pro. I have done this three or four times in the last twenty years and trust me being cheep when I comes to handling your accounting will in the end cost you.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
5/7/16 3:44 p.m.

Another thing.

The argument that you don't use all the functionality of a program is one I here all the time. My answer is so what. It does not matter what you don't use what matters I how well it does the part that you do use. I don't use half of the stuff QB can do and I don't care. What it does do for me it does perfect for me.

Again I can not stress enough how important it is to do everything with an eye on tax time.

Quick books makes that part painless compared to other software. Two hours you don't have to pay a cpa more than paid for a copy of QB.

asoduk
asoduk Reader
5/7/16 7:54 p.m.

The company I work for has an accounting package... I have no idea if it is good or not, but since Intuit is our competitor I would say give it a look: PatriotSoftware.com.

I will state again that I know nothing about it other than I occasionally hear the developers talking about it.

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