What are the current best practices in book keeping and accounting? Book keeping schools will teach you that in order to determine what accounting software best suits your needs, you need to assess the what specific reports you will be running for your business. Most small businesses require focus on invoicing, an efficient method for writing checks, tracking your sales orders, and processing payroll.
Many people like the flexibility offered by the various QuickBooks options. You can utilize QuickBooks Online in order to have access to your records from any location, even your mobile device. Intuit, the manufacturer of this popular software utilized by many small business owners, offers all versions with a free download for 30 days.
Basic QuickBooks lets you create and pay invoices, keep track of your expenditures, and stay focused on your bottom line. The more advanced versions, such as Online Essentials and Online Plus with Payroll, let you manage inventory, create purchase orders, and-with the Payroll version-process payroll. Once you complete your free trial period, you will pay anywhere from $13 to $63 per month depending on the version you’ve chosen. Buying QuickBooks Pro as an alternative to the online version will cost you just under $200
.Many online bookkeeping schools can help you become an expert using QuickBooks, and it’s wise to undertake a learning program to achieve certification. Whether you study online or in a traditional classroom, you will come to understand even the most advanced features of this software. With the proper training, you can manage your own business or offer bookkeeping services to other businesses.
Microsoft Accounting Applications
If you’re searching for the right Microsoft Office bookkeeping applications, you really can’t go wrong with Excel. The traditional spreadsheet format is comfortable to use. You can maintain worksheets within workbooks, and information is easily imported or exported for use in creating reports.
You can download a free trial of Excel, or you can buy it as part of Microsoft Office 2010. A basic version with just Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote starts at $119. Buying just Excel actually costs more. An intermediate version also provides Outlook starting at $200, and the Office Professional version with Publisher comes in at $350. Microsoft also offers online collaborative bookkeeping capabilities in its 365 version, and if you have Office 2010 you can just upgrade with a simple download.
Both online and traditional bookkeeping schools offer full training in Excel, including use of formulas and filters as well as the creation of tables and charts. Whether you are maintaining the books for your own business or providing services to other businesses, Excel provides you with the templates for many business forms. You can download a template for a balance sheet, and there’s a payroll calculator log template that lets you record employee information, track time and calculate pay, and create pay stubs.
Most small business owners have Excel already installed on their computers; it’s just a matter of learning how to use it. Why pay for freestanding accounting software like QuickBooks when you can take full advantage of Microsoft Excel’s many features?
Consider Online Accounting Software
Both QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel offer excellent accounting software. While you can learn about either of them in any of today’s bookkeeping schools, Excel is readily available on most home and office computers. Microsoft offers a wide variety of how-to and help topics on its website, even if live support is not available.
Weighing the pros and cons of each software, the clear advantage lies with Microsoft Office Excel. However, if you are starting out in a career offering bookkeeping services, it’s a good idea to search for bookkeeping schools that can teach you several types of accounting software. As you begin your business you will discover that different clients have different accounting applications, and you need to be familiar with all of them.