The “best” small business accounting software is going to be the package that is easiest for the small businessman to understand and use. That is a subjective decision and not one that a third party can determine for any individual. The “best” small business accounting software is going to be the product with the most features to one businessman, and the one with the simplest user interface will be best for the next guy.
The top two products in 2017, according to the magazine PC World, were Quickbooks and Simply Accounting. Simply Accounting is deemed easier to use, while Quickbooks has a load of tutorials that come with its software. They also have three versions of the product, ranging from basic to deluxe. Prices for the Simply Accounting range from $50 to $500; Quickbooks is priced from $200 to $500.
These two accounting software programs are not the only ones on the market that have a basic model with a couple of fancier iterations at higher prices. The shopping decision is going to be based, to some degree, on what features you need, which features you would like to have and which are overkill.
Several online reviews of small business accounting products show the same names popping up over and over. Quickbooks and Simply Accounting are two of them. MYOB Business Essentials is a title that appears often and is available in both Mac and PC version: it is described as a “double entry” system. Peachtree is also a product line that usually appears near the top of the charts. Microsoft has a couple of products that are included in the small business accounting software category: their Small Business Manager line and at the low end, under $100, Microsoft Money.
About.com is a website that is designed to provide consumer recommendations on products. There are many categories aimed at business software: for each they provide a top ten list. There are also articles there on how to go about choosing a small business accounting software program. The site makes it clear that its reviews have no relation to its sponsored links. Their top ten choices for small business accounting software are
: Peachtree Complete MYOB Business Essentials Pro Quickbooks Pro NetSuite Small Business Accounting Cougar Mountain Microsoft Small Business Manager Simply Accounting Pro CYMA IV Accounting DacEasy Microsoft Money 2017
This is one set of recommendations. ZDnet, another big tech website that rates all sort of products, produced a list of small business accounting software that basically contained the same major names and ignored the lesser known lines such as Cougar Mountain and DacEasy. The two major players in accounting software for small business are Microsoft and Intuit, which produces Quickbook and other Quicken products.
There are reasons to shop the major product lines. One of them is that most will link seamlessly to Word and Excel, two programs that every small business uses for multiple purposes. But understand that each has an assortment of business accounting packages. You need to study the features of each one in depth, and determine which one has the features that are right for your business.