Perhaps, you’ve decided that the best small business accounting software for you is QuickBooks, but which version is best? There are many options and that’s why we’ve been asking veteran small business owners to weigh in.
Today’s recommendations come from Greg McVey, co-founder and President of Infinitoy, Inc., a Northern California toy company. One of the company’s original products is the ZOOB Building System, which is carried by over 2500 retailers in the US and in 98 countries abroad. Greg grew his company from startup phase to the success it is today.
Here’s what Greg has to say about finding the best small business accounting software for you:
START-UP PHASE: If your business is a simple start-up, with just yourself, or an employee or two, consider staying at the “QuickBooks Pro” level. You will pay less (around $200 or so) and it may be fine for years with the exception of upgrade considerations. Even then, you may be able to last 1-2 extra years without buying the upgrade.
WHEN IS IT TIME TO UPGRADE? If you hit around 1,000 customers and 5,000 invoices a year, it may be getting time to upgrade. At this level, I would avoid the “Online” version, because there is little need for the online access if you are just a single user, and you’ll be less bothered with prompts for upgrades.
MOVIN’ ON UP: If your company has significant existing QuickBooks data, the need for simultaneous multi-users, and/or over 1,000 customers and 5,000 invoices a year, then it is time to consider “QuickBooks Premiere.” As far as I know, the Accountant Version of this software will cover any specific needs you may have (including contractor, nonprofit, wholesale, and retail).
WHAT’S IT GONNA COST ME? The advantages of QuickBooks Premier come with a cost, of course. You’ll be paying a flat fee annually, plus additional per-user licenses and server/hosting costs. A key decision is whether you will host your multi-user Premier on your own server, use a third-party cloud, or opt for the QuickBooks Online version.
OUR (TOY) STORY: The short story for us is that we outgrew the single-user QuickBooks version and now use QuickBooks Premier on a third-party cloud system. Other than some awkwardness with the online interface, my business partner and I are running fast and smoothly from our laptops, with nearly an 800 MB file size!
RESISTANCE IS FUTILE: “QuickBooks Enterprise” is the ultimate QuickBooks software out there. And, once your file is converted to Enterprise, there is no going back. But, while there’s no doubt that QuickBooks Enterprise has more horsepower, don’t pay for a racehorse if you are selling pony rides. However, if you have over 5 employees who need to be interfacing at the same time, this is the right move.
To summarize, we spent 8 years handing back and forth a single-user version of QuickBooks for Mac until it just wouldn’t function due to file size. It would be hard to imagine most start-up businesses needing much more than what we require now: the QuickBooks Premier Accountant’s version on a third-party cloud.
Thanks, Greg, for a detailed review of all the QuickBooks products! If you’d like to contact Greg or Infinitoy, please see below:
Greg McVey INFINITOY, Inc. (650) 558-0933
And for more on the ins and outs of QuickBooks, be sure to check out our overview of the best small business accounting software!
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.
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