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Old 29th December 2005, 05:09 AM   #1
codeplacidly
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Question Advice on Business Software Recommendations

Last time I fell into business, I didn't really keep a good track of everything I needed to. I ended up with various spreadsheets, documents, comma separated outputs from places like nochex and paypal, and a very big headache.

I've explored a variety of project management type things, looked at some invoicing packages, looked into open sources packages, and I can feel that headache coming on again.

I wondered if anyone would feel like sharing their solutions, and the sort of thing that they feel is useful for tracking above and beyond the legal/ accounting necessities (although I'd very much like to hear how ppl keep track of that kind of thing too )

Looking forward to lots of helpful discussion here.

Jax

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Old 29th December 2005, 02:34 PM   #2
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Many people find a product like QuickBooks to be quite useful in keeping track of invoices and such. That type of program has the ability to interface with various bank accounts and automatically update financial information as transactions occur.

For my (very low volume) needs, I use OpenOffice.org's suite of programs, which are very similar to the MS Office suite of programs.

I keep a 'database' of vendor information, and a 'database' of inventory items. I also use a 'spreadsheet' with several 'worksheets' for keeping track of my transactions.

For budgeting, there's a fine set of spreadsheets developed by one of our forum members, jmjj215, available at http://www.youneedabudget.com. I've been using the system since Jesse was beta-testing it, and have found it to be very useful. The spreadsheets work equally well with the MS suite and the OpenOffice.org suite, in both Windows and Linux.

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Old 3rd January 2006, 01:54 PM   #3
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Hey thanks for the plug

I should mention that the system I designed was geared for personal budgeting use. Although it could have excellent business application if used there as well.

One trick to keeping things organized is to operate from one account only - and don't intermingle your personal expenses with business expenses. Get a separate paypal account, email address, checking account, etc. I actually use paypal exclusively for the business and have a debit card from them so that I can run all expenses from there as well.

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Old 22nd January 2006, 06:13 PM   #4
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I've been recommended to use Quickbooks for small business accounting. Not only is it supposed to be pretty good, but if you can find a CPA who uses quickbooks also, it can make your taxes cheaper and faster (if you decide not to do them yourself).

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Old 22nd January 2006, 07:22 PM   #5
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I like the oline version of quickbooks

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Old 22nd January 2006, 08:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitdaddy
I've been recommended to use Quickbooks for small business accounting. Not only is it supposed to be pretty good, but if you can find a CPA who uses quickbooks also, it can make your taxes cheaper and faster (if you decide not to do them yourself).
I've been using QuickBooks for a number of years and though there are some limitations, they are usually easily worked around. I've used QB for an online shoe store, a travel agency, my web business and the retail version for an appliance store.

Another advantage I truly enjoy about QB is how it synchronizes with accounts. Currently, I interface with American Express and MasterCard as well as my business checking accounts (USBank). It's likely the biggest time saver I have ever seen. A list of charges, deposits or cleared checks is displayed in QB and you simply tick each one to match which account it is associated with. (Expense, taxable, etc) The payee information is stored and it makes quick reporting of each dollar spent a breeze.

I'm sounding like a commercial... sorry. I'm currently evaluating QB for POS, retail accounting and even multi warehouse inventory management though the latter will require a plug in/module offered by a third party.

If your business involves selling retail products online, be careful of the shopping carts that claim to be QB compatible. Some are not as compatible as others so your time spent in due diligence is worth more than I can express in words.

Good luck!

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Old 24th January 2006, 09:18 AM   #7
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how about quickbooks online? We're considering using that since we have a distributed partnership (seattle and chicago). I just want to make sure i'm not giving up too much functionality going for the online one.

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Old 24th January 2006, 08:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitdaddy
how about quickbooks online?
I've heard great things about QuickBooks online. The only negative that I saw was the fact that you can't import PayPal information directly to it. Manually entering each item would be a huge headache for me. I think there is a third party that has developed a tool to make it a bit easier but I've been hoping QB online would add this feature.

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Old 24th January 2006, 10:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert
I've heard great things about QuickBooks online. The only negative that I saw was the fact that you can't import PayPal information directly to it. Manually entering each item would be a huge headache for me. I think there is a third party that has developed a tool to make it a bit easier but I've been hoping QB online would add this feature.
There are a number of limitations when comparing the online version vs the boxed version. We did try the online version for the travel agency but we wanted more control over the invoicing/job tickets and quickly abandoned it.

If you have a broadband connection, it's it great (cheap) way to give QB a try though.

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Old 28th January 2006, 11:12 AM   #10
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ok thanks! i think we'll at least try it out then.

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