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Ask an Accountant: What Software Works Better Than Quickbooks for Small Businesses?

Deborah Gallant
July 14, 2023

We wanted an objective analysis of whether Quickbooks or another tool is better for small businesses. So we asked Mary Jo Watson, owner of Balancing Act Accounting and a CPA, what she thought: do all small businesses need to pay for Quickbooks?

Her answer: No, your small business may not need to shell out the monthly fee for Quickbooks, which currently starts at around $50 per month for sole proprietors and increases from there.

Specifically, which businesses shouldn't spend money on Quickbooks? 

  • Solo-preneurs, sole proprietors, 1-person businesses. Solo service providers — consultants, coaches, trainers, etc. — may not need a dedicated accounting software at all. Watson’s advice is to stick to spreadsheets and connect electronic payments from clients to your bank account. This way, your bank statements will help you monitor your business’s financial wellness.
  • Businesses with very few clients and products. If you only have one or two clients and one or two products, Watson says Quickbooks can be overkill. Finances get more complicated when you work with multiple clients, clients who pay in installments, or whenever you need invoicing features, reminders, and coordination of payments. But if your business isn’t there yet, save your cash.
  • Businesses with limited and predictable expenses. Are all of your expenses recurring (rent, Internet, phone, website hosting) and your “Cost of Goods Sold” equal to “not much at all”? Your bank statement is probably enough.

Want more info? 

Entrepreneurs Forever members are encouraged to discuss small business accounting, Quickbooks, and other solutions with their peer group and facilitator. 

Not a member? View this free Forever Forward video with Mary Jo Watson of Balancing Act Accounting for her take on which businesses really need Quickbooks, how it works, why it can make a difference, and which businesses should look for alternatives.

Learn more about becoming a member of Entrepreneurs Forever.

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