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LeoLeo LeoLeo is offline
Starting Out
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 19
Accounting Software for Small Business


Can someone recommend any software for Accounting/Book-keeping for the small business.
Ideally I don't want to spend much (if anything).
I as going to set up Book-Keeping spreadsheets on Excel, but before I do this I wondered if there was a better way.
Any advice would be appreciated.


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Widgey's Avatar Widgey Widgey is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,867
Well I would recommend Sage Instant Accounts.

It is fairly cheap at about 100 and does everything that you will need. However it is fairly difficult to learn.

Depending on your business and how many transactions you think you will have, it may just be worth keeping it in Excel to begin with.

More info on business might give me a better picture.

Like myself, there are many other bookkeepers on this forum and we all prefer different packages

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LeoLeo LeoLeo is offline
Starting Out
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 19
Thanks Widgey
That's extremely useful.
The main part of the business is online retail, selling through a number of different channels.
The number of transactions are small at the moment but will grow up to about 50 per day within the next 3 -4 months.
Most frequent transactions are typically purchases, sales, and the obvious costs of sales such as postage, merchant account fees, web hosting fees etc etc.

If Excel is a good solution for us to use in the short term, would anyone know of where I can get templates for the worksheets?
Also, can anyone recommend a good book of book-keeping?

Thanks again

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openmind's Avatar openmind openmind is offline
Join Date: May 2004
Location: In front of my computer
Posts: 3,476
I would have recommended Quick Books as the learning curve isn't as steep. If you prefer an online bookkeeping service then you might want to take a look at
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James Smith's Avatar James Smith James Smith is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Posts: 2,043
If you want to do it on excel I could of course try and shamlessly flog you one of my e-books:

This will give you a head start and some basic templates to get you going. It also covers how to deal with your accounts and think about what you need as things get a bit bigger.

The real trick with retail is using daybooks (ie summary totals per day) rather than recording every transaction line by line which is normally not required.

If you want a package I personally would pick QuickBooks over SAGE as it is a little easier to pick up for the non-accountant but if you do go for a package I would strongly recommend you have a bookkeeper or your accountant set it up for you so you dont end up having to re-do it all when you get some help later on. Probably overkill for the first 6-12 months however unless the business does really well from the off.

Just helping someone this week to re-do 2 years of records for a chap who has made a bit of hash of their books trying to do it all without help. Two years of DIY tax returns will also need to be re-submitted as they are really a nonsense. Not much fun for the client, especially as he says he spent hours and hours on the records and tax returns the first time around. (Is actually a poster on here *waves* and knows who they are!)

Hope this helps,

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downoutdoorstore downoutdoorstore is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: In the office or on the Beach Usually
Posts: 144
You could use the following:

Sage Accounting
Mind Your Own Business -

I love kitesurfing
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RichardJohn RichardJohn is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bridgend
Posts: 693
I'd like to know this too, but whatever you do - stay away from MYOB!

It's pretty awful. It's buggy, and you have to do everything in a round about way.
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brighton_belle brighton_belle is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Brighton...of course!
Posts: 247
I'd go for Quickbooks or Sage Instant.

Sage is my first love but for a small business doing their own books I would have to recommend QB out of the two as it is by far the easiest to understand from the off.
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DuaneJackson DuaneJackson is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: London
Posts: 48
I'd suggest KashFlow too, but I'm biased!

If you try it and you like it (60 day free trial, with no obligation), ask the support team for a shell livewire discount - it'll save you a few quid.
Easy to use Bookkeeping Software - KashFlow
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yazminbarajas yazminbarajas is offline
Starting Out
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 17
Not to be biased here but i suggest QuickBooks, its easy to use and the functions are user friendly. It is also good especially for small businesses because of its functions. If you have a QuickBooks Pro, it has a feature that is designed to support and assist small businesses money management etc.

Yazmin B.
OBP Accounting for Small Business Provider
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