Now this is a boring, but important topic that we seldom talk about yet need to. Nobody likes the serious part of life like paying taxes, taking out the rubbish, mowing your lawn or more importantly managing your books.
To be fair there is an exception to everything in life, so let’s say the above statement applies to the most of us. There are fortunately some really cool solutions out there to help poor souls like me that not only find it boring but so laborious.
I’ve also made it general due to having readers in every corner of the globe. I went and did my research on the latest ways to manage your personal accounts and was astounded at how much is out there. I really hope this helps someone out there.
One of the major mistakes I made was not keeping on top of my accounts, you know the books. It always went in the ‘later’ box and I ended up paying fines and getting in a heap of trouble with the tax department, not to mention the accounting and legal fees to fix it.
This Useful Stuff #5 is to get an accounting package that does the work for you. Trust me you don’t want to repeat my mistakes, hence why I thought it imperative to share some useful tips on accounting packages out there that might be easier to use than you think.
At the top end, at least for small business is Xero. It’s a fully functional cloud-based accounting suite, full of features, does everything, automates lots of stuff, works everywhere (I believe), but it’s a bit pricey at $60/month.
I’ve used it for 5 years or so and I can really attest to its capabilities. I once had my laptop stolen and if it wasn’t for Xero being completely online, I would have lost all my data and find myself in a huge heap of trouble.
In the middle, and assuming you’re not using Double Entry Accounting (Google it if you don’t know what it means), then Freshbooks is my pick. I used this for a good 3 years, and it’s totally different when compared to Xero but its super easy to use, and a bit cheaper.
The mobile app is excellent (unlike Xero) and it’s around $20/month. I find it an honest buy and something to consider if you are a bit strapped.
At the lower end of the spectrum, and by no means the basic corner, there is something called Wave Apps. I concede it’s a terrible name for accounting software but it’s AWESOME for simple businesses or for personal accounts. It syncs with all the major banks (which saves time and most of us like that), plus it’s absolutely free to use! How they make money is getting you to use their inbuilt credit card facility to get your clients to pay you.
It’s pretty genius because they’ve made it oh so simple, its double entry (which your accountant wants) and it works everywhere. The only downside is it can be a bit slow but considering that its free we will allow for some lack of thrust.
I’ve used it for 12 months and find it reasonable, although not my first choice if I can afford Xero.
I know this isn’t something that puts a smile on every dial but it’s a part of life none of us can avoid. My advice to you is that you must just remember to schedule some time to do it.
I like to try and set aside about 15 minutes every day so that I’m always on top of it. By doing a little every day I avoid the fines, avoid the stress and add to my overall happiness when I realize the savings at the end of the day.
Just remember to schedule some time to do it, I like 15 minutes every day and then I’m always on top of it, no more fines, no more dollars wasted. Happy.
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