Home Based Business Accounting Software Options

by in Tax Issues

My boss at a national CPA firm once quipped, “When a client tells me he wants his wife to do his bookkeeping, I charge him double.” It took all my self-restraint to avoid strangling him.

I have found that he was right – only 1/3 of the time. Generally, women are easier to teach than men, bring better at minutiae and details.

You Need Help 

It doesn’t matter what accounting software you use if you don’t understand accounting. You needn’t return to college and take a full-blown accounting course. Instead, try this, easy charming course from the BeanCounter folks.  The course is free – or you can pay for it.

TaxMama’s Top Software Choices

There are lots of options available for accountants. You don’t need those complicated, expensive programs.

Here are tools you’ll like. Choose one, based on where you expect your business to be two years from now. Your accounting system won’t have to be changed as your business grows.

Online services provide the most flexibility, with access to your system from anywhere. They work with Mac or PC. Your software is always up-to-date and your data is backed up. Your tax pro can log in and make adjustments without coming to your office. All these tools have their own mobile apps allowing you to upload certain types of transactions instantly.

Single-Entry Systems

1) FreshBooks – This allows you to track your mileage, expenses, and send invoices to clients. Look professional and get paid more quickly. You can create estimates and proposals on projects. Complex time and project management tool. It integrates with mobile applications, as well a dozens of other apps. (Free with 3 clients, to max price of $39.95/month.)

2) Outright – Designed to make your life easy with minimal data entry. You can import information from thousands of bank accounts and other sources, including mobile transactions and FreshBooks. You can and export the data to your tax returns. (Free for 30 days, then $9.95 per month.)

Full Accounting System

Some of the little-known benefits of QuickBooks are that you use it to put your products directly online. Sales will be recorded in your QB software. You can attach copies of invoices or documents directly to the checks. Folks needing bank financing, investors, etc. should start with QB.

3) QuickBooks Online This is the familiar QuickBooks program, in the cloud. It’s a touch clunkier than the software, but quite versatile. This includes a full-blown accounting system, with a Balance Sheet and sophisticated financial statements.     (Free for 30 days, then $12.95 – 63.16 per month.)

4) QuickBooks  – Installing the software on your computer allows you to keep books and records for several companies. All the other options’ prices were ‘per business entity.’ So if you have more than one business, this may be the option for you. There are versions for both Mac and PC. (Discounted prices range from $183.16 – $480.00.)

And a little bonus for WAHMs who just can’t bear to sort out all the records, receipts, etc. Just send it all to Shoeboxed! They will input and format your materials to work with any of the above systems. You’ll be able to import their results into your accounting system effortlessly.

See, it's easy to get started!

Want to share this post?

About the Author - Eva Rosenberg

Eva Rosenberg, EA, founder of the popular tax advice site, TaxMama.com, is a nationally syndicated Dow Jones columnist at MarketWatch.com, an author and popular speaker and instructor. Please join the TaxMama family and get answers to your own tax questions.


See all 25 posts by:


Get Email Updates
(it's Free)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Loretta Oliver April 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Great tips! I recently switched to Freshbooks for my transcription business and I love it!!!! I had put it off for so long thinking everything was just fine the way it was, but Freshbooks has saved me so much time and so far my clients love it too!


Bobby Raines September 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Several years ago, Microsofy had a home business accounting program. Does it still exist and does anyone have any experience with that program?


Eva Rosenberg September 7, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Hi Bobby,

Yes, they had something several years ago.
I tested it and reviewed it about 20 years ago – and rejected it.
It allowed you make unbalanced entries.
So, as far as accounting goes, the software didn’t work.

It seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird.



Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: