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What software should I use to track finances?

916 512MB
Hello Bytes Community,

About 4 months ago I started a website/graphic design business. It has been going well, but as of yet I have not started to track any of my finances (personal or business). I am 19, so until recently I didn't have to worry about it because I wasn't paying taxes or even making that much income. But now my business is growing very fast, and I have thousands of dollars coming in monthly. I need software to track my business AND personal finances.

The accountant in my father's office suggested Quickbooks, but I went to Amazon and it was getting generally terrible reviews (which really scared me... I don't want to spend 200+ USD on something that isn't working well). Quicken is another option I guess.

I would love to get suggestions from folks who have to do this in their own lives/businesses.

Bytes has a strict no-advertising policy, so please don't try to sell me on anything. I am not asking for a sales pitch, but I do not want to spend money on expensive software that is not going to help me.

Kind regards,
Nov 4 '10 #1
6 8548
7,435 Expert 4TB
We've used Quicken, and now QuickBooks, for over 10 years. My wife is the bookkeeper and my accountant both use it. It's easy for her to transfer the records back and forth, especially on tax day. One big help is it keeps track of payroll taxes in our state.

For just yourself, Quicken may be good enough. We have 28 employees and contractors plus vendors so QuickBooks may be overkill.

Haven't a clue why Amazon people would give it such a bad review.
Nov 4 '10 #2
9,208 Expert Mod 8TB
Ditto for me. My accounting firm runs on QuickBooks.

I can only suggest that QuickBooks is an accounting tool and that means you may need accounting training in order to use it. It is far more than a checkbook balancer.

For lightweight home use Quicken is much friendlier. Here you will find a retirement planner which you will not find in QuickBooks since accountants don't need that function on a day-to-day basis.
Nov 4 '10 #3
916 512MB
Thanks for the feedback. I wanted to hear from some community members who use the software. I didn't know why the reviews were so awful either, but after a second look at them it appeared as if they were complaining about problems with older versions that support got dropped for (which is not at all a reflection of the most current version).

Amazon reviews are not the end-all decision makers for me, which is why I posted here in the Bytes community. Thanks for the help.

Nov 4 '10 #4
32,311 Expert Mod 16PB
We are still using an old DOS version of Quicken and it has been handling our household finances for many years now.

When I'm self-employed, I also use an account for my business transactions, and it works fine and produces info in a format my accountant is quite happy to work with.

I'm just about to get back into all that and set up a new account for new business (having been made redundent at the end of September).

I expect it would be more than adequate for your needs Tim, but certainly keep the business and personal accounts separated - probably use different ledger files as I do.

PS. I'm really pleased to hear your business is doing so well, especially in these somewhat lean times. May that trend continue :-)
Nov 4 '10 #5
2,449 Expert Mod 2GB
Quickbooks is the staple for lots of smaller businesses. Most accountants are trained to use so it's easier to handle problems. I'd certainly suggest it.
Nov 8 '10 #6
916 512MB
Thanks NeoPa! I am glad I am making it through this recession with a little pocket money. I'm glad to see that so many businesses still want a web presence even when there isn't that much room in the budget.

Thank you for the input Niheel.
Nov 8 '10 #7

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