Accounting software for others of us

Written by Vladimir on February 24, 2011 – 4:15 pm -

Micro-businesses require somewhat different things from accounting (or money management, if you wish) software than other types of businesses. What are our current options?

Heavy artillery

Lot of people choose a “safe route” and use tools that are recommended by others (often by their accountants), not even considering the other possibilities. First of all, we don’t need all bells and whistles that some of existing solutions offer. Even those which are intended for small businesses are too much for us, by both features and price. Well, that’s not really surprising, as small companies by definitions are those who have fewer than 50 employees in EU or 500 employees in USA. Our needs are simply different.

But let’s disregard these points for a moment. Let’s say that we don’t mind if software is more powerful that we need, we are ready to learn how it works, and we don’t care if it costs more. One of the most popular solutions doesn’t sell their software to outside a few of countries. They simply don’t care as they are probably satisfied with sales level as it is, which leaves other of us once again out of luck.

Sticks and stones

As micro-business ourselves, all these years, while waiting for a better solution, we used a combination of several applications. For example, we set up bill reminders in personal finance software, print invoices from a spreadsheet and use a simple internal tool that automates the process at least a bit. This tool lets us enter basic data more easily (client, description, amount), and it connects to a MS Excel to fill data into a template that we prepared in advance.

This system works, but it’s far from perfect. Data is scattered, there’s too much steps involved, it’s error-prone and we can forget about most reporting and analysis.

Good idea, but not my cup of tea

Lately other software developers noticed this gap too and decided to fill it. Unfortunately, probably because of the all Web 2.0 buzz, they decided that it should be best to make it as a web based application. Some of these tools are actually pretty nice, but to keep this kind of data on the web could be a great deal-breaker. Besides, some tasks are more easily and comfortably done with an old-fashioned desktop application. You mileage may vary, though.

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If you belong to a group not satisfied with any of three options, you might want to subscribe to our feed or mailing list and receive news about our development progress. As always, you are welcomed to tell us that we are either wrong or right, by commenting here or by sending us an email. So, what do you currently use? What’s a deal-breaker for you? What would you like to see in this kind of software?

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