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Bookkeeping software recommendations?
Old 08-30-2013, 08:19 AM   #1
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Bookkeeping software recommendations?

My brother has his own landscaping business, just him and his equipment (and dad's help). Mom's been doing the books for years by hand, or at most with a spreadsheet, and Bro really needs some good software for billing and taxes.

I know lots of folks here have had their own businesses, does anyone have a recommendation? Bro isn't intending on growing his business, so it doesn't need to be anything elaborate.

Thanks!
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:26 AM   #2
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For free, one can download Microsoft Money Home & Business. Not very sophisticated and no support available (it's a dead product), but may meet your needs.


Download Money Plus Sunset Home and Business from Official Microsoft Download Center
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:59 AM   #3
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Depending on what he needs, Quicken might meet his needs and he could use it for both personal and business. If he needs more, then Quickbooks is also popular.
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:01 AM   #4
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I use Quicken Home & Business.
It has direct downloads from most financial institutions.
The Business part is decent and definitely make it easy to fill schedule C at the end of the year. As a side bonus he can track his personal expenses too.

If you don't mind occasional quirk, some feature not working and upgrading every 3 years (to get direct download) it's cheap for what it provides.
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:15 AM   #5
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I vote QuickBooks.....

I don't know how good the ones are that are for home and business, but QuickBooks is designed for small business.... and not that expensive....

Our company uses the top of the line version, but there are really cheap ones that do everything... (if you are really running a business, a couple of hundred for a software package is cheap)...
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:21 AM   #6
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Quickbooks would be overkill for a 1 person company - go with Quicken Home & Business.
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:27 AM   #7
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I tend to agree, depending on what he needs for "billing", but I'm guessing that for a small landscaping business it is fairly simple.
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:33 AM   #8
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Was just looking at upgrading our 2006 Quicken until I read the reviews of it on Amazon. Pretty awful, and it (allegedly) now is filled with nag screens to buy extra Quicken goodies and won't download from banks without a fee and goes dead without regular updates. Anybody using Quicken 2013 that can speak to those concerns?

We've used Quicken for decades, but last night downloaded GnuCash, a free open source double-entry bookeeping program. GnuCash is not really holding my hand right now - lazy will probably keep me with the older Quicken. The free Microsoft Money RE2BOYS mentioned looks like a good plan.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
Was just looking at upgrading our 2006 Quicken until I read the reviews of it on Amazon. Pretty awful, and it (allegedly) now is filled with nag screens to buy extra Quicken goodies and won't download from banks without a fee and goes dead without regular updates. Anybody using Quicken 2013 that can speak to those concerns?
I did upgrade to 2013 four months months ago.
Nag screens occasionally pop up when starting Quicken, not too terribly annoying in the grand schema of things.
Fees are imposed by banks - and for the institutions which do impose fees on direct connect, you can go to their website and manually download quicken data without the fee (I use this for Wells Fargo checking account and Bank of America accounts and credit cards). Few banks offer manual download, but no direct connect - Capital One and Emigrant Direct come to mind.
All of my other accounts are on direct connect, including Citi, Amex, Chase, Schwab,Fidelity,Scottrade, and Georgia 529 accounts @TIAA-CREF.

The software does not go "dead" without updates, but after 3 years you can't download financial data from the financial institutions, so if you want this feature (and I do find it incredibly useful) you are on forced 3 years upgrade schedule.

I have two big complains about 2010->2013 Quicken upgrade.
  1. Budget process changed and the existing budgets & reports from previous versions can be useless - I have not found an elegant way to preserve ability to specify budget amounts on both category and subcategories and be intelligently reported on budget reports
  2. graphical reports have math errors in them (they do not match tabular reports from same data)
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:19 AM   #10
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Mt BIL has run his HVAC business on Quickbooks for many years.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:07 AM   #11
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Quickbooks by a long shot. Easy to use and learn, any bookkeeper will know how to use the software if looking to outsource, as CPA firms like it for its reporting.

I would stay away from quicken, money, etc. these systems are not true double entry accounting systems and can lend themselves to huge errors that will be costly to fix from a tax accountant.

Quickbooks online would be a good cloud based version. If you aren't carrying inventory, it will do just fine.

Disclosure. I do not work for quickbooks or intuit! I've used the program as a former accountant and work in accounting staffing and make recommendations for small businesses.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
I vote QuickBooks.....

I don't know how good the ones are that are for home and business, but QuickBooks is designed for small business.... and not that expensive....

Our company uses the top of the line version, but there are really cheap ones that do everything... (if you are really running a business, a couple of hundred for a software package is cheap)...
+1 QuickBooks is the way to go for the application you mention. There are umpteen consultants ready to help you set up, almost all small business bookkeepers and accountants use it, and it is a double entry system, which at least brings it up to the 15th century when the hugely better double-entry system was invented. Things must balance; if they don't, you can find the error.

Ha
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:53 AM   #13
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Plus... you can add other software on top of QuickBooks...


Here are some that I found with a quick look...

Landscaping Software - QXpress

Service Software Quickbooks | Landscape Software | Service Dispatch Software | Service Scheduling Software

Landscaping Software | QuickBooks Scheduling Dispatching & Routing


Found a 30 day free trial.... not sure if this is their cloud or not.... but at least you can check it out....

http://search2.quickbooks.com/quickb...00000618684529
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:04 PM   #14
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While I did mention MS Money, it depends on how sophisticated your needs are. Money will print invoices, keep track of supplies purchased, keep the checkbook current & balanced.

But as others have mentioned, Quickbooks is THE software for small businesses bookkeeping and accountants are very familiar with it.

I'm assuming your relative files a Schedule C with his taxes as a sole proprietorship. He should get familiar with the form so he keeps track of his expenses by the various line items. Also keep a good log on mileage/gas/repair of his truck and how much is business vs personal use. Biggest issue I've seen for small businesses is properly classifying equipment purchases as an asset subject to depreciation and items that are supplies. And once subject to depreciation (capitalized), keeping track of those items throughout their lifecycle.
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:23 PM   #15
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Wow, thanks everyone!
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