As a small business owner, you know that tax time is coming up. Maybe you are prepared and maybe you aren’t. If you aren’t, it’s something that should not be overlooked for this year, going into next.

A mistake on your taxes isn’t going to land you in jail, unless of course your errors are purposeful and tip heavily in your favor, but you still don’t want to have to pay interest and penalties. Having good accounting software is the first step in ensuring that Uncle Sam isn’t breathing down your neck.

When looking for business accounting software to help you prep for tax season, you want one that gives you the most bang for your buck. You want a piece of software that can help you pay your bills, pull expense reports, invoice clients and more. We have taken a look at what is being offered on the market today and the pros and cons of each. If you are still looking for accounting software, here are some of the best choices.

1. QuickBooks Online

Intuit QuickBooks has basic features, and some that are more advanced. This makes it a good choice both for people who are just starting out in business and those who have been successful for years. Different levels of the software offer different things and have different costs. For example, the self-employed plan for freelancers allows you to create invoices and accept payments. The essentials plan allows you to track sales, send estimates, and manage bills.

Intuit has good customer service, but it also negates your ability to sign up for 6 months at a 50 percent discount if you use the free 30-day trial. If you have different employees that you want to give access to the program, you may have to buy the highest tier, and if you need to track mileage, you can only use the self-employed version.

 

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2. Xero

If you have a Mac, you may find that you often have to try to use some sort of stripped down Windows software to get your work done. That isn’t true of Xero. With business accounting software available for both Mac and Windows, you can choose the right one for you and your company.

Xero works well if you are looking to save time with automated tasks. They have great customer service, available through live chat, email and phone assistance. The software is cost effective and there are no lengthy contracts.

You will find yourself limited if you also use an outside accounting firm, because not all accountants use Xero. If you want to customize the software in any way, you will run into troubles, and many small business owners find the starter plan to be too limited.

3. Wave Accounting

You may not need all the bells and whistles that come with other accounting software. If you are looking for a simple, basic software for your small business to prep for tax season, this one could be it. One of the best things about Wave is that it is free. It’s a great fit if you are self employed or have a very small business.

Customer service is also free, but is ticket based, meaning you may have to wait a day or two for an answer. Wave is fairly easy to use and does provide advanced features that aren’t commonly found with other free softwares.

It’s not to say that Wave isn’t without its limitations. You can’t track billable hours or attach expenses to invoices. You can’t track inventory and there are no asset-management tools. There is no phone support, and some find customer service to be more of a self-help setup. This can be problematic if you aren’t comfortable troubleshooting your own issues.

4. FreshBooks

FreshBooks is our pick for the best small business accounting software, and we think it will be yours once you try it. There are several pricing plans available and you can pay monthly or receive a discount if you purchase annually. It’s a cloud-based software that is both easy to access and easy to use. Signing up takes moments, and the layout is clean.

With FreshBooks, you can create invoices, connect your Stripe account, accept credit card payments and more. Customer service is offered by phone and email. There is no live chat support option, but you can reach customer service well into the evening. There are over 60 apps that you can integrate with the software, allowing you to tailor it to your needs.

Like any other software, there are limitations with FreshBooks. You can’t manage inventory or view reports with the app. If it’s a big deal to you, the app isn’t available for smartwatches, and there are only two templates to choose from. All of this aside, we believe that FreshBooks offers what most small business owners need for a great price. If you want to check it out, sign up for the free 30-day trial before you commit.

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No small business owner wants to headache of having to deal with federal or state authorities because they didn’t keep accurate accounting records. These pieces of software will eliminate that worry by allowing you to quickly track your income and expenses.

If you haven’t chosen a business accounting software yet, check out those above and pay close attention to FreshBooks. We know how well it works, and we think you’ll love it, too!

If you would like more information about account software for your small business and other software that can assist you in running things more smoothly, reach out to our team. We are small business owners ourselves, and we understand your needs. Contact us today to learn more, or to register for a risk-free account.