Keeping detailed records of your financial affairs is a vital part of running your business. Unfortunately, it can also be a complex and daunting chore. If you’re running a small-scale business, you probably don’t have the resources that would make hiring an accountant a realistic or justifiable option; it may seem that you have little alternative but to take care of your books yourself, even if that means spending time away from the tasks that are the core of your business.
The answer may be to invest in a financial software package. QuickBooks gives you a comprehensive set of accounting and finance tools. It can handle everything from balance sheets to payroll, inventory control to printing checks. QuickBooks makes it much easier to keep detailed, reliable records, making life significantly easier during tax time. Makers Intuit offer a guarantee, stating that if QuickBooks doesn’t pay for itself within 60 days, you’ll get your money back.
QuickBooks boasts a number of desirable features; the versatile payroll function is particularly popular, as it allows employers to track staff vacation days and sick days as well as automatically printing paychecks and tax forms.
QuickBooks comes in a wide range of different versions. If you opt for the Pro or Premier edition, you can add up to five simultaneous users. For larger organizations, the Enterprise Solutions edition permits up to 30 people to use the software; while QuickBooks Online has a generous 25-user maximum. For many businesses, QuickBooks Pro or Premier will be an ideal fit — each has the capacity to handle a billion distinct transactions in a single file. If your needs are more extensive than this, you could consider QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions. You can upgrade freely between the different versions.
QuickBooks Online will be of particular interest to small businesspeople who need to travel widely or who share the responsibility of book-keeping with a partner in a distant location. QuickBooks Online has most of the features of other QuickBooks versions but “lives” on a server instead of on your computer. The package allows you to securely access your books from anywhere with an Internet connection. It can help reduce paperwork by virtualizing tasks such as invoicing and expense tracking. For every online version, Intuit offer free upgrades and technical support.
QuickBooks is compatible with numerous widely-used operating systems. The latest versions, QuickBooks Pro and Premier 2012 and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 12.0 can run under many versions of Windows, including the following:
- All editions of Windows 7, including 64-bit.
- Windows Vista (Service Pack 2 or later); all editions including 64-bit.
- Windows XP (Service Pack 2 or later); all editions including 64-bit.
- Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
- Small Business Server 2008 and 2011.
- Windows Server 2003, including 64-bit.
(In each of the above systems, QuickBooks must be natively installed.)
Mac users aren’t left out, either. QuickBooks for Macs isn’t simply a port — it was built specifically for the Mac OS, so you don’t have to worry about any annoying compatibility issues. QuickBooks for Macs works with many popular Mac applications, including Address Book, iCal and iChat.
QSoftware offers Quickbooks Add-ons