Day 287: Cloud Computing

There are a lot of bookkeeping packages available for small businesses. So many that to try and write about them all at once would be deadly – for both of us. So, today, we’ll go over two systems that you’ve likely heard about and one you maybe haven’t.

This isn’t meant to be a full fledged review or an endorsement of any of these systems. Consider your own unique situation before making a decision.

The Big One

QuickBooks – we’ve all heard of it. I even wrote a post about the question.  It’s been around in some form for almost as long as we’ve been using computers.

QuickBooks is available as both a desktop package and an online version. All versions come with a money back guarantee. The online versions all offer a free trial then a monthly fee with no contract starting at $12.95 per month and going up depending on the features you choose.

Good Things

  • Depth of expertise
  • Full Features
  • Solid Accounting

Not so Good Things

  • Complexity
  • Layered Software Platform
  • Feature Overload

The Contender

Outright is a newer arrival on the small business bookkeeping scene but is quickly becoming an attractive alternative. Coming from the ease of use angle, it’s got a different feel altogether. It’s available for a free trial then a monthly fee of $9.95 per month.

Good Things

  • User friendly
  • Sleek user interface
  • Easy Data Import/Export

Not so Good Things

  • Online Only
  • Only available for sole proprietors/individuals
  • Limited support for countries other than US

The Wild Card

BookkeepingMagic is a quirky package developed in the UK but designed to produce financial records in accordance with international standards. The package is available only by download from their site for a yearly license fee starting at $15.

Good Things

  • Simple and Visually Appealing
  • Available in Business and Personal versions
  • Based on Microsoft Excel

(Bonus Good Thing: The company name is Magic Beans – how cute is that?)

Not so Good Things

  • Limited Availability and History
  • Only available for sole proprietors/individuals
  • Based on Microsoft Excel

The Winner!

There isn’t one – at least not an obvious one. The choice of record keeping systems is both personal and business. It’s personal in finding the one that feels right and you’re most likely to use and it’s business in choosing one that actually helps you manage your business instead of getting in the way. The winner is the one that works for you.

Yeah, I know it would’ve been easier if I just told you the “right” answer but it doesn’t work that way. What systems have you tried and how did they work? Tell us about it in the comments or drop a private note – I answer every message and would love to hear from you!

PS My warmest thanks and appreciation to all of you who come by to read and be a part of TheArtfulBusiness whether you leave tracks or not – I’m so glad to have you here!

Creative Commons License photo credit: quinn.anya