That is because these two software packages are powerful and can be tailored to your exact needs and preferences. As a matter of fact, they even offer different software packages according to the complexities of your company. Then when you download the software it runs you through a series of questions to better understand what aspects of the software you will be utilizing. For example, the way a retail company would set up in QuickBooks is different than the way a wholesale company would go through the set up process. This precision tailoring is a plus.
On the other hand, because accounting is extremely complicated and tax laws are constantly changing, many people are confused on the terminology, concepts and categories used in accounting. I know many determined clients that have learned to use these accounting softwares, but I have never had a client that didn’t make a mistake, misuse or misunderstand the software. This is a huge problem. Many, many, many times I have had to go in and correct, or give guidance on accounting questions derived from trying to use these programs. It is highly advisable that if you are determined to do it yourself, that you pay the extra money and subscribe to the help desk that comes with the purchase of the software. This optional paid help that you can buy with the purchase of the product is another plus for buying from such large companies. The negative is the learning curve involved in mastering the software. After all it takes a college degree and extensive training and work experience to become a Certified Public Accountant.
So, if you can afford to hire a bookkeeper and an accountant, that is by far the best thing to do. But if you are a small business owner that cannot afford to hire a bookkeeper or external accounting firm, then the do-it-yourself accounting software is the way to go. Just keep in mind that just because you cannot afford to hire the help does not make you an accountant or tax expert. These functions are best left to professionals. If you are still determined to do it yourself, remember to sign up during your initial learning process to receive some type of help or training. Once your books are messed up it will cost you a lot more money to fix the problems created.
Fortunately, there are other alternatives. These other alternatives are in conjunction with an accountant. There are firms that provide simple software that comes with their services. These are well worth while to check into. One such accounting practice is Padgett Business Services and their software is called Padgett Connect. The benefits include its simplicity, customization, and free customer support. However, this software is not for everyone precisely because of its simplicity. Padgett offers a free trial of the software.
So do your homework and ask different accounting firms if they include any accounting software programs with their service. You can also do a Google search for accounting software to check out a variety of accounting software programs.
Espen F. Jansen, CPA, CVA, MBA
Padgett Business Services of Colorado Springs