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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot Jason_Therrien's Avatar
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    How do you keep your books?

    Howdy!

    This question is for all you small business owners out there. How do you keep your accounting straight?

    Do you use a software program, hire someone to do it, do it yourself, etc?

    Interested in seeing how you all keep track of your finances...

    Thanks!

    Jason
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  2. #2
    ********* Addict jaiem's Avatar
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    Quickbooks is good.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast malleron's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jaiem
    Quickbooks is good.
    Actually, Quickbooks is excellent!

    I just started freelancing myself about 2 months ago and wanted something that would grow with me as my business grew.

    Anyway, the things I like best about Quickbooks is that it helps me keep track of my time, helps me make good estimates, and makes billing and receivables quite painless. Before, I was doing all of this by hand and the time it was taking was keeping me from paying work.

    What's also cool is that, if you live in the US, it will calculate your payroll taxes for you so you can stay clear of IRS trouble later on. They also have an add-on service that will submit your taxes to the federal/state government via EFT.

    Big caveat: Quickbooks is expensive. The standard version is about $150 and the Pro version is about $250. If your business is part-time or a hobby (i.e., you don't expect to make more than $600/year from it) then you could probably get away with the home-and-business versions of Quicken or MS Money. Both are a bit less than Quickbooks (about $50-$90 each I think).

    Good luck,
    Jenny

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  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot drumminlogan's Avatar
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    quickbooks

    Whats the difference between the standard version and pro version? Is it worth the extra $100 for the pro version? Also, where is the cheapest place to buy software? I haven't bought much software online so I am curious about that. Thanks

  5. #5
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    beley's Avatar
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    I use Quicken Home & Business... upgrading to quickbooks soon

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast malleron's Avatar
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    Re: quickbooks

    Originally posted by drumminlogan
    Whats the difference between the standard version and pro version? Is it worth the extra $100 for the pro version? Also, where is the cheapest place to buy software? I haven't bought much software online so I am curious about that. Thanks
    Whether you get the standard or pro versions depends on how you do business. If you need to create estimates, track your time and related expenses, invoice as the project progresses (as opposed to at the beginning or end) and bill at different price levels for the same work, then you should probably spring for the Pro version. Otherwise, the standard version should be more than enough. The Quickbooks site site has a feature comparison, as well, which might help you make a better decision.

    Of course, the big attraction for me with Quickbooks is that it takes care of all my business functions in one place. Before, I was using about 5 different programs to keep on top of everything and it was getting to be a pain. So, for me the extra $100 was worth it.

    As for the cheapest place, from what I've been able to find, the cheapest place to get the latest version (2001) and still be legal would be the Quickbooks site. Every other software place online sells it for $10 - $100 more than standard retail.

    If you can get by with the previous version (2000), ZDNet.com lists places that price the Pro version anywhere from $150 up to $210. Check it out here.

    Another alternative is to use the Quickbooks web-based service. It's about $15/month, and it's got most of the stuff that comes with the standard desktop version. So, if you don't need *all* the standard version bells & whistles and the web-based access would make things easier for you, then you might give that a shot.
    Jenny

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    ...living the backstory...

  7. #7
    ALT.NET - because we need it silver trophybronze trophy dhtmlgod's Avatar
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    I dunno actually, I just do all to work.

    Sunny, how do we keep our books? Actually... I think we need to make money first...

  8. #8
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    prospection/administration/accounting

    Yes you have to make the money first and within the same segment is doing the prospection, administrative and the production/real aspect of the job.

    The accounting, that implies billing and receiving the payment i give it to another firm/agency to handle on my behalf. And that makes it less suspicious/less trouble for fiscal and other reasons.
    fash

  9. #9
    SitePoint Guru prequel's Avatar
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    anyone use MYOB Accounting ??

    i'm deciding between MYOB Accounting V11 versus Quicken QuickBooks v8 ?

    i like how you can email clients from within MYOB Accounting from their contact details.. can Quickbooks do that ?

  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot Jason_Therrien's Avatar
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    Howdy!

    Thanks for all the info, guys!
    It's appreciated greatly as usual!
    Jason
    www.SmartWebBusiness.com
    Where "smart" businesses learn about the Web.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Guru
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    Originally posted by prequel
    anyone use MYOB Accounting ??

    i'm deciding between MYOB Accounting V11 versus Quicken QuickBooks v8 ?

    i like how you can email clients from within MYOB Accounting from their contact details.. can Quickbooks do that ?

    Prequel, would you like to tell where I can download it from? And whether is it free or not ?



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  12. #12
    Don't eat yellow snow spaceman's Avatar
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    I use MYOB First Accounts. I'm not a massive fan of it, but it does the job I suppose. I don't know if it's any better or worse than competitive products.

    Right now my issues with it are:
    1. Full support for the product is only available if you pay an annual fee.
    2. When I close one financial year and begin a new one, the old year is deleted from the current data file (after I've backed it up, of course). This means that if I want to reference a transaction from the previous financial year or earlier, then I have to either load up my backup copy, or refer to hard copy. This is annoying. I wonder if other accounting packages do this?
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Guru prequel's Avatar
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    Originally posted by spaceman
    I use MYOB First Accounts. I'm not a massive fan of it, but it does the job I suppose. I don't know if it's any better or worse than competitive products.

    Right now my issues with it are:
    1. Full support for the product is only available if you pay an annual fee.
    2. When I close one financial year and begin a new one, the old year is deleted from the current data file (after I've backed it up, of course). This means that if I want to reference a transaction from the previous financial year or earlier, then I have to either load up my backup copy, or refer to hard copy. This is annoying. I wonder if other accounting packages do this?
    thanks for that... hmmm that rules MYOB first accounts out - what about MYOB Accounting v11 ?

  14. #14
    Don't eat yellow snow spaceman's Avatar
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    I guess what we both need is an impartial review of accounting software - I mean, seeing as accountancy is not my business (just a necessary part of it), I haven't got the time, money, or knowledge to know a good package from a not so good one.
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  15. #15
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    First thing I did was attend a free IRS workshop on business taxes.

    2nd thing I did was find an excellent CPA.

    Then I asked them to help me set up a system that they can use and that would keep my costs down to a minimum!

    They use Quickbooks Pro.. so do I <g>

    Maria


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