The three main questions to ask when you begin to compare accounting software for your business needs are:
1). Is it easy for you to use?
2). Is the accounting software program one your accountant can work with?
3). Do you have any specific business needs that require specialized software or software add on options?
The easiest way to answer these questions is to download a free trial of the accounting software package you are considering. Most manufacturers offer free trials of fully functioning accounting software for 30 days so you can decide which accounting software package is best for your small business needs.
Ask your accountant about special features your business may need, and test-drive the accounting software package during the free trial period before committing to the full purchase price.
When considering the best accounting software for your business needs, the best accounting software packages each offer powerful reporting features and options to analyze your business. Though the details may differ, the standard and customizable reports offered in each of the best small business accounting software packages provide businesses with powerful reporting and analysis tools and are therefore a wash when considering the best accounting software.
Additionally, each of the best accounting software packages below are highly customizable to your business needs, each offering excellent set-up procedures for your specific business and industry.
The main difference is in the features listed below, and which ones are the most important for your business.
If you have substantial amounts of inventory, consider Peachtree or AccountEdge (MYOB) accounting software, which received the highest inventory management marks in our accounting software reviews.
Overall, Peachtree has the most complete inventory management and tracking tools, and is a standout feature in the below accounting software reviews.
Fixed Asset Management
Peachtree offers the most complete fixed asset management module. If you have many fixed assets to manage, consider Peachtree Premium ($499) that can track 200 assets with various depreciation methods.
If you have few to no fixed assets to manage in your business, then this module is not necessary and is in fact not offered in some the best accounting software packages listed below.
AccountEdge (MYOB Business Essentials) does not offer a fixed asset module.
QuickBooks offers limited fixed asset tracking, from which you can record when the asset was purchased, and other asset details. This information can be forwarded to your accountant to create depreciation schedules, but is not part of the standard QuickBooks accounting software packages for business (only QuickBooks Premier Accountant offers detailed depreciation schedules, which is used by accountants).Best Accounting SoftwareStrengthsWeaknessesPriceOverall RatingPeachtree Complete Accounting SoftwareExceptional inventory management and tracking tools.Exceptional time-billing module with billing details.Comprehensive payroll support and options.Full service online banking options, providing online bill payment to anyone.More expensive than other accounting software packages.More features require more time to learn navigation and the interface.Video tutorials, QuickBooks Coach, and live community all provide solid support and help.Accepts all major credit card and debit card payments directly into the program.Easy navigation.Versatile add on payroll options provide complete payroll solutions.Company snapshot feature that gives you an overview of key financial data.Limited fixed asset tracking.Does not offer estimated shipping costs for items ordered from inventory.AccountEdge
(Formerly MYOB Business Essentials)Clean, intuitive, well organized interface and command center.Easily customize professional forms.Offers complete payroll support and solutions.Strong inventory management and tracking tools.Excellent time-billing features.No option to estimate shipping costs or track packages.Does not offer inventory drop shipment options.Does not have fixed asset module.
When you know the needs of your business, you can make the most of small business accounting software reviews by identifying the most important accounting software features for your specific business needs, while not paying a premium for features you may not use or rarely need.
You can also spend wisely on those features that will save you the most time and money, such as payroll tax filing options and other cost-effective features offered in today’s best small business accounting software.