April is financial literacy month, and it’s no coincidence that it’s also tax month. Many small business owners struggle with keeping accurate records of their income and expenses, so tax time can be particularly frustrating. Using accounting or financial management software to organize the financial side of your business can give you more time to focus on running and growing that business.
Make a resolution to better manage your business finances so tax time next year will be easier. Here are four financial management software programs that can help you stay organized and reduce the tax time stress.
QuickBooks is the program many small business owners think of when they think of accounting software. QuickBooks can help you with income, expenses, payroll, taxes, invoicing, reconciling accounts and creating financial statements like balance sheets and income statements. It’s modular, so you can buy the functionality you need and upgrade when you need to.
Just about any type of business can use QuickBooks, but a sole proprietorship or consultant with no employees may find it’s more robust than they need. If you have inventory, extend credit to customers or have more than one or two employees, take a look at QuickBooks for your accounting software.
Square is best known for its mobile point of sale system that lets companies process credit card transactions on a smartphone or tablet. The company also provides the technology to accept prepaid orders and gift cards, manage inventory, invoice customers and analyze your transactions. The company’s web site suggests that it is most appropriate for service businesses such as restaurants, retail stores, beauty professionals, professional services, health and fitness, home and repair services, leisure and entertainment, and transportation.
GnuCash is a free, open source software program that lets you record transactions in a familiar way—the interface looks like a checkbook register. You can record your business income and expenses and manage your bank account. It also has the ability to track investments like stocks and mutual funds. Because it’s free, support is limited to message boards where you can communicate with other users.
Wave is another free program that accesses your business checking account in order to track your income and expenses. You can create accounting reports, generate invoices, scan receipts and do some personal financial management with the free version. Email support is included. If you need more features, like payroll or the ability to accept credit cards, you can pay to upgrade. Paid products include email, phone and chat support.
When you find the right financial management software for your business, you’ll be able to identify the most profitable products and services and see how expenses can be better controlled. Having better control over the financial aspects of your business will give you more time to do what you love.