Best Small Business Accounting Software: A Leading Small Business Accountant Examines QuickBooks

The best small business accounting software for you really depends a lot on what kind of business you’re running.  This week, we’re devoting several posts to this topic to help you make the most informed decision you can.

QuickBooks has long been the accounting software king, but it may be hard to decide whether to use QuickBooks Online or the desktop version.  To help you settle this, we’re sharing an accountant’s inside view on the best small business accounting software.

Andrew Schwartz, CPA, certainly knows a thing or two about accounting (to say the least).  A product of one of the best business schools in the world, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, he specializes in small business accounting.  He has helped his many clients choose the best small business accounting software for them.

Here’s Andrew’s take on QuickBooks: Online vs. “Offline:”

If you are looking to collaborate with multiple people on the accounting and bookkeeping functions for a business, the online version of QuickBooks is a great way to go.  Here’s why:

  1. ALL YOU NEED IS WEB: Internet access is all you need to be able to work on this web-based application.

  2. DIFFERENT USERS, DIFFERENT SETTINGS: You can limit the information that each user can access and/or manipulate.

  3. PERFECT FOR MULTI-USER ACCESS: When my wife and I took over as co-Treasurers of our kids’ elementary school PTO, we moved the bookkeeping to the online version of QuickBooks.  That way, multiple people could access the data.

When it comes to pure performance, however, the non-online version is superior:

  1. MORE UTILITY: The desktop version has much more utility.  And that’s based on my experience as a CPA working closely with more than 100 small business clients who use QuickBooks.

  2. WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY: You can open multiple windows within the desktop version, but can only have one window open with the online version.

  3. SHEER SPEED: It’s just quicker and easier to move around the program on the desktop version.

  4. REPORT LIKE A PRO: I find the reporting options to be better on this version as well.

BOTTOM LINE: I generally don’t recommend the online version to businesses that will only have one person handle all of their bookkeeping functions.  If you’re going to have a CPA or other specialist handle your books, give them remote access to your files via WebEx or some other remote-access service.

Thanks, Andrew, for this helpful review!  If you’d like to contact Andrew or his firm directly, please see below:Andrew D. Schwartz, CPASchwartz & Schwartz, P.C.www.mdtaxes.comWoburn, MA (800) 471-0045

Stay tuned: more best small business accounting software reviews coming your way.  And for an overview of the best small business accounting software, check this out!

And if you get stuck, don’t be afraid to hit the Panic Button.  It’s the only help desk for small businesses online.  No nonsense.  No kidding.

Don’t forget to watch our training videos.  Don’t know what a P&L is?  Don’t know how to prevent bankruptcy?  You can’t miss these videos, available to you 24/7.  Go to our Learn section to watch as often as you like.  Beyond finding the best small business accounting software, you’ll learn highly valuable tips you can’t afford NOT to watch!

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