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Thread: question for small business owners

  1. #1
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    question for small business owners

    what accounting software are you using?
    how much does it cost?
    why did you choose it?
    Yes I know my enemies
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  2. #2
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    You should probably say how small is small. If you are a truly small part-time hobby business then a spreadsheet with some thought put into it and some folders for sorting paperwork AS IT COMES IN (not at tax time!) should be fine and cost you nothing.

    Cool software that you never fill with data won't save you a lot of time/money. The software that I used a couple of decades ago was handy with canned reports/invoicing, but nothing that couldn't be duplicated with the spreadsheet and word processing software.

    cheers,
    Michael

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    XERO is what I use, recommended by my accountant. Cost will vary according to how much accounting guff you do yourself.

    MYOB does the same, no first hand experience of it though.

    Bit like bikes in a way, the info/backup provided by your accountant may be more important than the name of the accounting package.
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  4. #4
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    Small as in just me, no employees, turnover about $150k, about 50 invoices per month to maybe a dozen clients.

    Currently using a pretty poor open source accounting program just for the invoicing format. Everything else is done in a ledger.

    It turns out that the banks hate this, even though they operated this way themselves for centuries.
    I haven't seen the point of an accountant yet as I doubt one could save me any more than the cost of their fees per year.
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  5. #5
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    Xero seems to be really popular, and pushed hard by accountants. But I am not a big fan of the subscription format, $600+ per year to access my own data seems a bit scammy to me
    Yes I know my enemies
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  6. #6
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    I consulted back to my old company for a year immediately after retirement. An Excel template combined with Word was adequate for this. It was mainly charging out my time with relatively minor incidental expenses. My accountant was happy to receive the files in this format for tax preparation.

  7. #7
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    I am self employed, with a similar turnover.

    I have been using software called Cashbook Complete for well over ten years.

    Acclaim Software are a kiwi outfit and support the software really well. It's not the prettiest of interfaces, but it's not expensive and there are no ongoing costs.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A5000 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by johcar View Post
    I am self employed, with a similar turnover.

    I have been using software called Cashbook Complete for well over ten years.

    Acclaim Software are a kiwi outfit and support the software really well. It's not the prettiest of interfaces, but it's not expensive and there are no ongoing costs.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A5000 using Tapatalk
    That one did grab my attention. I like the one off upfront cost too. Does your accountant like it?
    Yes I know my enemies
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  9. #9
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    Although I don't run a small business myself, I have supported a number of products from an IT perspective

    Things to consider for Xero - yes it's a Cloud service, so runs on a subscription model - but consider some of the main benefits

    1: It's by default PCI compliant - not only is this good if you are processing payments, but from a practical point of View, it means you and your clients data is inherently secure

    2: Your data is backed up, by someone that knows what they are doing. If your work computer suffered a catastrophic failure RIGHT NOW - what is your backup/recovery strategy? Do you do regular backups to a separate HDD? Offsite backup?

    3: Accessible from anywhere, with any device - consider the above scenario, your PC goes tits up, you go out, buy a new one, login to Xero - everythings there - total downtime is the time it take you to go to PBTech or Harvey Norman or (insert computer shop here) and buy a new PC.

    4: As an industry standard and leader - there's a lot of free online help available

    MYOB: I personally don't like MYOB - but this is more from a technical PoV, I find that the location of the configuration settings to be un-intuitive and radically different between the various applications: Everything from the lowly MYOB Payroll all the way up to bespoke Exo deployments.

    That said, I was never a day-to-day user, and those people (mainly accounting types) seemed to like it, I just found that the process of backing up and restoring was tedious, the proprietary database format was prone to corruption. I don't think they ever did implement support for OpLocks on the cheaper versions (ostensibly because this was a multi-user 'feature', intended for use by larger organizations that would use a standard SQL backend - like Exo).

    Acclaim - I've heard okay things from the accountants that used it, I think I used to deal with one customer that had it (although memory says they moved to MYOB - make of that what you will).

    As others have pointed out, a correctly configured filing system and Excel spreadsheet, with a couple of Word templates will probably suffice for the Volume you are doing (although did I mention what is your Backup strategy? If not, let me mention: Backup strategy).

    If you intend to remain as a one man show or a lifestyle type business - then my recommendation would be stick with something like that, you are unlikely to gain any additional value to offset the cost of moving to a more 'professional' setup - however if you have delusions of Grandeur aspirations to grow - then it would be worth investing now, so that when you take on Employees etc. you don't have to change your internal business processes at the same time your trying to manage an employee.

    One final point on Xero - it works much the same if you are a one man band all the way up to a corporate with 1,000 employees.

    Also - have you thought about your Backup plan and business continuity plan?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemonLord View Post
    Although I don't run a small business myself, I have supported a number of products from an IT perspective

    Things to consider for Xero - yes it's a Cloud service, so runs on a subscription model - but consider some of the main benefits

    1: It's by default PCI compliant - not only is this good if you are processing payments, but from a practical point of View, it means you and your clients data is inherently secure

    2: Your data is backed up, by someone that knows what they are doing. If your work computer suffered a catastrophic failure RIGHT NOW - what is your backup/recovery strategy? Do you do regular backups to a separate HDD? Offsite backup?

    3: Accessible from anywhere, with any device - consider the above scenario, your PC goes tits up, you go out, buy a new one, login to Xero - everythings there - total downtime is the time it take you to go to PBTech or Harvey Norman or (insert computer shop here) and buy a new PC.

    4: As an industry standard and leader - there's a lot of free online help available

    MYOB: I personally don't like MYOB - but this is more from a technical PoV, I find that the location of the configuration settings to be un-intuitive and radically different between the various applications: Everything from the lowly MYOB Payroll all the way up to bespoke Exo deployments.

    That said, I was never a day-to-day user, and those people (mainly accounting types) seemed to like it, I just found that the process of backing up and restoring was tedious, the proprietary database format was prone to corruption. I don't think they ever did implement support for OpLocks on the cheaper versions (ostensibly because this was a multi-user 'feature', intended for use by larger organizations that would use a standard SQL backend - like Exo).

    Acclaim - I've heard okay things from the accountants that used it, I think I used to deal with one customer that had it (although memory says they moved to MYOB - make of that what you will).

    As others have pointed out, a correctly configured filing system and Excel spreadsheet, with a couple of Word templates will probably suffice for the Volume you are doing (although did I mention what is your Backup strategy? If not, let me mention: Backup strategy).

    If you intend to remain as a one man show or a lifestyle type business - then my recommendation would be stick with something like that, you are unlikely to gain any additional value to offset the cost of moving to a more 'professional' setup - however if you have delusions of Grandeur aspirations to grow - then it would be worth investing now, so that when you take on Employees etc. you don't have to change your internal business processes at the same time your trying to manage an employee.

    One final point on Xero - it works much the same if you are a one man band all the way up to a corporate with 1,000 employees.

    Also - have you thought about your Backup plan and business continuity plan?
    As far as data backups go. I have that covered. Weekly backups to separate HDD and cloud.

    I want a simple program with the ability to email invoices, and customers statements, and debtor reporting. Stock control is not necessary as I carry very little and mostly work labour only.

    My backup plan is to fall back on my previous trade experience and work for wages (that is a really good incentive to not fail)

    As far as business continuity goes, I am always looking for alternative income streams, and I am currently researching the viability of running an advocacy service to drum up some more ongoing work (exploiting the customers fear of the unknown)

    So that's where I am at, after just over a year as a company, and following 4 years as a sole trader. I am currently dealing with the bank and they seemed genuinely horrified that I was using something as archaic and 3rd world as a manual cashbook written in actual pencil for my accounts.
    Yes I know my enemies
    They're the teachers who taught me to fight me....

  11. #11
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    https://www.waveapps.com/

    free for the most part.

    Has great looking invoicing templates, and scheduled auto invoices (for recurring invoices)

  12. #12
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    Another vote for Cashbook Complete. It is a bit clunky and the invoice templates are 'basic', but is a great package for a small business.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lb99 View Post
    As far as data backups go. I have that covered. Weekly backups to separate HDD and cloud.

    I want a simple program with the ability to email invoices, and customers statements, and debtor reporting. Stock control is not necessary as I carry very little and mostly work labour only.

    My backup plan is to fall back on my previous trade experience and work for wages (that is a really good incentive to not fail)

    As far as business continuity goes, I am always looking for alternative income streams, and I am currently researching the viability of running an advocacy service to drum up some more ongoing work (exploiting the customers fear of the unknown)

    So that's where I am at, after just over a year as a company, and following 4 years as a sole trader. I am currently dealing with the bank and they seemed genuinely horrified that I was using something as archaic and 3rd world as a manual cashbook written in actual pencil for my accounts.
    Good to hear that you've got BCP covered - Since it's primarily the Bank that's got an issue - probably need a more Accountant-centric PoV. Good luck with your research
    Physics; Thou art a cruel, heartless Bitch-of-a-Mistress

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lb99 View Post
    That one did grab my attention. I like the one off upfront cost too. Does your accountant like it?
    He hasn't complained...

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  15. #15
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    Have a look at MYOB. It can grow with you in the future.

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