Free Online Accounting Software: Does Using It Makes Sense For Your Company?

Category: Accounting Software

“Like many other people affected by the financial crisis, I had difficulty looking for a job to replace the one I lost. And like some of those that were laid off, my response was be an entrepreneur because I don’t think I’ll survive being fired again. It’s just too stressful. But having my own business also means doing my own accounting. Obviously, I don’t have the money to pay for expensive accounting software. Not yet, anyway. I want free online accounting software as much as possible. What options do I have?”

— Natalie

qnaIf you are a small business owner, there is nothing more important than knowing whether you’re making more than you’re spending. Unless you have that information, you won’t be in you won’t be in business for long. Most businesses, even the tiniest ones, use some kind of computerized accounting software to keep their financial records in order.

If you’re not in a position to shell out cash, worry not. There really are free online accounting software, they exist, and they’re good – easy to use, simple, and free or cheap if you choose to upgrade. But first you’ll need to check these out.

You need to know about paid accounting software available in the market todaybefore you can really say that you want a free solution. You might also want to take a quick look at how the best accounting software stack up against each other. Online articles, such as this one by  US Small Business Authority offers these pointers for selecting the right software accounting system.

All of these resources, discuss some common points:

Price is always the primary concern of small businesses. When looking at the price, always take note of these points:

  • Is the price fixed? Is your recurring monthly subscription safe from price increase?
  • Are the add-ons priced reasonably? You might want to do more than just basic bookkeeping.
  • Does it have a free trial period? This is important if you want to check whether the systems is simple and easy to use.

You will then want to make a quick check of the features.

  • Does it have all the basic bookkeeping functions and reports? Can you create journals, general ledgers and profit-loss statements with just a few clicks?
  • Does it allow quick and easy creation of estimates and invoices?
  • Can you track payments of due customer invoices?
  • How easy is expense tracking and mileage claims?

You will also want to check for compatibility and integration.

  • Does the online accounting system support mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets?
  • Will it work with the software that you currently use? You might want to make sure you can do extra work on your data in spreadsheets.
  • Can you import your banking transactions into the system?
  • Is it possible to back up your online data into a device that you own (your laptop, for example)?
  • Should you decided to cancel your subscription, is it possible download your data from the online servers?
Read more:  Personal Bookkeeping Software: What Tools Can Increase Your Company’s Efficiency?

Here are some of the best choices for free online accounting software.

FreshBooks is your most cost-effective choice if you run a small business. It allows small business owners to be up and running with invoices and estimates in just a few hours. You can set up late payment reminders so that your delinquent clients are reminded by email automatically. You can build tasks around projects and use this to log the time you’ve worked. This is very handy if you want to organize your activities around projects, and assign a cost to the time you’re spending on this project. And yes, FreshBooks is has a free trial period of 30 days, which is enough to let your explore all its functions. And it remains free forever for up to three clients. You only need to pay if your business grows and you need to add more clients.

Outright helps you tracks income and expenses, create reports, and it uses that data to give you an estimate of what you might owe in taxes. Outright does things for free, with a clean and uncluttered user interface that’s a joy to navigate.

GNUCash is an absolutely free program that’s great if you don’t mind importing some numbers into MS Excel to get the proper reports. Of course you will need some knowledge of spreadsheets to do this.

P.S. For further reading I recommend the following posts about: is best free bookkeeping software for you? bookkeeping software for small business, and free online bookkeeping software works!

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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