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Friday, July 28, 2006

QuickBooks 2006 - the right business management solution for you

QuickBooks 2006 is powerful accounting software for small and mid-size businesses. For 2006, Intuit updated the interface to offer quick access to routine data entry forms.

What clients using QuickBooks 2006 say

"In the new interface of QuickBooks 2006 the colors and layout are intuitive. The separate navigators for company, customer and vendor transactions are gone. Now there's just one super navigator, which QuickBooks calls 'Home'. Right on the 'Home' page, there are the account balances for checking, savings and credit card accounts. Just one click and open the check register".

"The audit trail function is always turned on and helps your accountant make troubleshooting easier".

"Customer Center shows you a list of clients, the outstanding balance they owe and contact information. From the Customer Center you can quickly review customer data or start entering new transactions. Also new are the Vendor Center, Employee Center and Report Center".

New Features in QuickBooks 2006

• Dramatically re-designed user interface.
• No more "navigators", instead, there's one super navigator called "Home".
• Allows printing "Bill of materials", and other enhancements to the inventory functions.
• Report Center offers a wide collection of reports and statements.
• Portable Company File is a compressed file format for sending files by email or removable media. This makes it easier to send and receive large QuickBooks files.
Quickbooks 2006 features
• Streamlined Easy Step Interview for setting up a new company file.
• However, the Portable Company File cannot be used as a substitute for the Accountant Review Company, or as a full-featured backup copy.

Product Versions

QuickBooks Simple Start
QuickBooks Pro

QuickBooks Premier
- QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition
- QuickBooks Premier Nonprofit Edition

QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions
- Enterprise - General
- Enterprise - 5 User
- Enterprise - 10 User
- Enterprise - 15 User

QuickBooks Online
QuickBooks Pro for Mac

Tell us about your experience with QuickBooks 2006 or ask your most burning questions! Leave your comments by clicking on the 'post a comment' (or 'comments') link below.

Compare QuickBooks 2006 Editions

Learn more about QuickBook from here.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Save time and money with QuickBooks

Year after year Intuit gets around 80% of new small business accounting program sales with QuickBooks. QuickBooks is one of the best Accounting Software for Small Business for many good reasons. This basically relates to ease of use (especially for non-accountants), speed, features, power and low price. Many outstanding 2006 improvements got them a 5 star PC Magazine rating.

save on quickbooks pro and quickbooks online

When comparing the QuickBooks to other Accounting Programs, the ease of use of QuickBooks is a critical factor for making decision which software should be chosen. The time saved in training, and simply entering information was well worth choosing QuickBooks. Quick Books has many special editions and guides long used in many accounting and bookkeeping courses. You can make Free QuickBooks trials and test drive on their webpage Your own education could begin with the free QuickBooks 2006 Learning Center lesson on Accounts, which should begin all accounting and bookkeeping courses.

quickbooks simple start
The entry-level version of QuickBooks is QuickBooks Simple Start, which makes simple, yet essential business tasks easy to perform. By using familiar QuickBooks forms you can track sales and expenses; keeping complete and accurate records for financial statements and taxes. And, as the business grows, more advanced functionality like payroll, inventory, accounts payable, or purchase orders are required. Data easily converts to QuickBooks Pro or Industry-Specific Editions.quickbooks pro

Your Benefits using QuickBooks

It's easy to learn - just 3 easy steps. Even the most reluctant to convert to financial software will find it easy to use. There's little or no learning curve.

- Instead of tedious manual methods, entering transactions into Simple Start can save your time - especially when getting organized for tax time.

- One-click reports make it simple to immediately view financials and monitor your business.

- You are in control of your complete records so nothing slips through the cracks. You know what money is coming in and going out and can measure profitability quickly.

- It's affordable with just the right basic features you need for the life stage of your business.

- When your business grows, the data converts easily into advanced editions of QuickBooks.

QuickBooks Learning Solutions 2006 specail offer - 20% off!

quickbooks training, interactive quickbooks tutorial

You are not sure if you are ready for accounting software?

Simple Start Special Edition is a risk-free way for you to get started with QuickBooks. It is not a "demo". There's no expiration date and you can track up to 20 customers and vendors for as long as you wish, at absolutely no cost to you. Take advantage of everything the regular version of Simple Start has to offer. Track income, monitor expenses, keep better tax records, generate business reports, print business checks right from the program, and much, much more. When the limit of maximum 20 customers and vendors is reached, simply upgrade to a full version of Simple Start with no limitations.

QuickBooks Simple Start Edition is the simplest way to track sales and expenses so you really know how much money you are making and are organized for tax time. Getting started takes less than 30 minutes. Familiar forms make it easy to manage money coming in and going out of your business.
Simple Start 2006 can integrate and exchange information with 3rd-party applications (sold separately) designed for particular business needs. Simple Start Edition can automatically transfer data to QuickBooks Online Edition or QuickBooks Pro and Premier Editions 2006.

Tell us about your experience with QuickBooks or ask your most burning questions! Leave your comments by clicking on the 'post a comment' (or 'comments') link below.

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Compare QuickBooks 2006 Simple Start with Simply Accounting Basic 2006

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bookkeeper 2006 - The Easiest Way to Manage Your Business Finances

Bookkeeper enables you to manage all of your daily financial tasks from one screen. Write checks and pay bills in record time. Invoice the fast and easy way. Track receivables until they're paid. Bookkeeper gives you all the accounting functionality you'll ever need at a fraction of the cost.
• NEW! Easy Start-up Wizard
• Payroll & Timesheets
• Payroll Tax Tables (additional fee required)
• General Ledger
• Check Writing
• Billing & Invoicing
• Payables
• ReceivablesBookkeeper 2006
• Budgeting
• Job Tracking
• 95 Reports
• POs & Inventory
• NEW! Process Credit Card Payments
• NEW! Import Product, Customer and Vendor Information

Any Small Business can afford to buy Bookkeeper 2006, which, for $29.95 offers a passable subset of QuickBooks' features. Bookkeeper 2006 processes accounts receivable and payable, tracks inventory and payroll, prints checks, and issues reports. It may serve you well and it wouldn’t break your budget. Bookkeeper 2006 import databases of customer, vendor, and inventory item text files, and it does at least walk you through the most basic company background. Data-record templates and forms (invoices, estimates, and purchase orders) are adequate, though not exceptional. You can add custom fields, too. Another feature in Bookkeeper 2006 is its support for merchant accounts. Reports are critical to the usefulness of an accounting application, and Bookkeeper 2006 offers plenty, all very customizable. You can even print forms such as 1099s and W-2s.


Manage your Banking

- Easily create bank accounts
- Reconcile bank accounts
- Schedule payments and get reminders when they are due
- Split checks against multiple jobs and accounts
- Search by date range, memo and more

Manage Billing & Invoicing

- Track invoices and bills until paid
- Choose from 3 types of invoices: Professional, Service or Product
- Create estimates and turn them into invoices in one click
- Add shipping information and custom messages to your invoices
- Apply single or partial payment across multiple invoices

Process Payroll in Minutes

- Use flexible pay periods: weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly or monthly
- Easily handle salary and hourly employees
- Automatically calculate FICA, federal state and local taxes
- Print W-2\'s, 940s and 941 quarterly information
- Link employee records to specific wage expense accounts
- Track vacation and sick time
* Some local tax rates must be entered manually

Job & Project Tracking

- Manage multiple jobs simultaneously
- View jobs & projects quickly and easily
- Choose from 4 types of status levels: proposed, in progress, completed,closed

Manage POs & Inventory

- Purchase goods and supplies and track their inventory levels
- Receive goods against open purchase orders
- Choose from 4 types of status levels: proposed, in progress, completed, closed

Detailed Reporting

- Choose from 95 reports
- Customize reports by date range and more
- Export reports to CSV and txt formats


Write Checks

Select the bills you want to pay - individually or in batches. Bookkeeper 2006 will automatically fill out the checks for you. Even make partial payments. Consolidate multiple bills on one check. Your account balance, payment discounts and totals are automatically calculated. Reconcile your bank statement with the easy-to-use reconciliation wizard.

- Account balance updated in real time as checks are processed
- Include a memo line for your transaction
- Write one check for multiple jobs and accounts
- Choose the transaction category to generate useful reports

NEW! Process Credit Card Payments

Accept credit card payments and significantly increase your business. With Bookkeeper 2006, you can process any sale, at any time, with any payment, including credit card, ATM/debit cards checks and more.
*ATM/debit payments accepted only if they can be processed as credit.

Generate Purchase Orders

Purchase goods and supplies to run your business more efficiently.

- Add goods and supplies from your inventory list
- Insert messages or shipping instructions
- Receive goods against open purchase orders
- Received quantity is automatically added to your inventory

Manage Product Inventory

Manage inventory levels or products, goods and supplies.

- Track quantity on hand, supplier of item and more
- Each time an invoice is created the item quantity is automatically subtracted from your inventory
- Set minimum inventory reorder levels and receive a notification when item reaches that inventory level

Create Professional Invoices & Estimates

Impress your clients and collect money faster with professional invoices and estimates. Improve your company image and customer communication. Choose from estimate and invoice formats for every type of business: professional, service and product.

- Quickly insert product or service information
- Create text messages to include with your invoice
- Sales tax and totals are automatically calculated
- Add shipping information, including tracking number and freight costs

Manage Contact Information

Keep track of all customer, employer and vendor information including tax information and account balances. Now, Bookkeeper 2006 lets you import product, customer and vendor data. You can even store unique information including email addresses, cellular phone numbers, birth dates, meeting dates, office hours and more with custom fields.

Compatible Check Stock

Use pre-printed check stock from Deluxe or Nebs to print checks from Bookkeeper. Bookkeeper supports the following check forms from Deluxe or Nebs:

Deluxe Business Checks & Solutions:

- Deluxe 080929
- Deluxe 080931
- Deluxe 081004
- Deluxe 081013
- Deluxe 081064
- Deluxe 081175


- 10321
- 13403
- 9011
- 9039
- 9085
- 9209

Reviews from customers:

Worth the money for Small business
I have had this program just over one month and fine the program. It is very easy to use and operate. No it won’t do any online backing, but for the record a lot of companies still cut checks. I deal with them every day. You can record payments and take care of them on your own banks site if you wish.

This program gives a very big bang for the buck...IT WORKS...

I’ve had to work with Quicken and the layout was never all that clear as to be to go. I find Bookkeeper’s tab layout very helpful. Everything is easy to read and understand I was printing Invoices and Estimates within the first 30 min of setting things up. You can also use it for more that one company!!
July 18, 2006, J.Walker, Hickory NC

Very Solid Product for the Price
Very solid product especially if you are running a professional services business. Provides all of the usual "bells and whistles" and makes the G/L accounting part seemless. I've not encountered any SQL errors and it is quite easy to enter miscellaneous adjustments (VISA Card Transactions) to your bank account and payables using the Bank Adjustments tab. It takes a little time to understand the details behind payroll, but once you've worked through it, it is a breeze.
Bookkeeper 2006 is Great product for $30- especially for a small company.
August 4, 2005, James Murphy

Great Product
I bought this product more than 3 months ago. I have a small business and needed something to help me deal with my finances. This product does just that with nice, easy screens. I have not had any issues, and recommend this product to anyone.
May 3, 2006, Rockaway, NJ

Tell us about your experience with Bookkeeper 2006 or ask your most burning questions! Leave your comments by clicking on the 'post a comment' (or 'comments') link below.

You can purchase Bookkeeper 2006 here.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Accounting Help for the Cost of a Cup of Coffee

Warrington Web Works (WWW) has launched a "pay as you go" accounting software support service where questions can be answered for the cost of a cup of coffee.Warrington Web Works ( WWW) provide Sage accounts software training for businesses globally and through their experience and research, have come up with a low cost "pay as you go" way of providing accounting support to staff in the small business sector.

Accounting software producers have stated for many years how easy it is for non-accountants to use their packages and that holds true so long as the buyer is prepared to invest in training and support. Anyone with a desire to learn can be trained how to input data but it’s nigh on impossible to encompass within that training everything the user will experience over a 12 month accounting period and that’s where support comes in.

Anthony Fallon, head of WWW accounting support said "When we look at all the accounting staff trained by us over a twelve month period, ninety percent of the people in charge of the accounting function of a small business had no accounting qualifications or background."He continued "There are a lot of people out there in Accounts departments using Sage Line 50 and other software programs that have no day to day accounting support because small business owners and indeed, some larger businesses fail to see the value of annual and monthly support contracts."It’s usually a family member, such as the wife, husband, daughter or someone close that ends up with the task of recording the company accounts and the decision is always based on cost. Qualified accounting staff will always go for the money offered by larger companies. This leaves the small business sector without the skill base required to keep accurate company records for the banks, government and their own business management."

With a "pay as you go" support service, anyone can get the answer to any accounting question they need at the time when they need it without being tied into long term support contracts. It really is a case of asking the question and getting the answer for a small payment and it’s a win-win situation for the accounting staff that gets the support they need and the business owner doesn’t have to fork out hundreds of pounds or dollars for a service they may never use.Anthony Fallon added, "We’ve been testing a pre-launch service through our existing client base and the feedback has been very positive; we will either e-mail the answer through or telephone the client depending on the complexity of the question

The company will initially target the support at users of Sage Line 50 accounting software but Warrington Web Works intends to expand the service by partnering with experts in other small business accounting software packages such as Quick Books, TAS Books and Mind Your Own Business (MYOB).

The Service will be launched on July 17th and is available 24/7 for Sage Line 50 users globally through a dedicated support website The Sage Training Posts.

PRWEB, July 7,2006

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Friday, July 14, 2006

The heart of your accounting system

Reconciling your accounts

Your bank account is your most liquid asset and the account that is most susceptible to errors or fraud. There aren’t accounting systems that can prevent errors or fraud, but a detailed review of the bank statement and the reconciliation report each month is one of the best ways of finding errors-both innocent and intentional.
If done regularly, reconciling your bank account is a quick and easy task that tells you more about the state of your accounting system than any other single task you perform. However, because it is often thought of as an onerous task, it may be put off or delegated to the bookkeeper. If the owner of the business is not the person reconciling the bank account, the owner should be reviewing the printed reconciliation report since it is the quickest way to get an overview of your accounting system’s accuracy.

The heart of your accounting system

The bank account is the heart of your accounting system. If there is an error in posting to the accounts receivable account, it may often be discovered in reconciling the bank account. Conversely, errors found by customers on their accounts receivable statements may uncover errors in the bank account. The same is true for cash disbursements: payments to vendors and employees should be made out of the bank account- as opposed to the owner’s personal account, or cash payments out of pocket- and all vendor statements should be verified to the accounts payable register. Reconciling vendor statements to your accounts payable register may also uncover errors in the bank account.
When this principles of reconciling are followed, bank statement to the books verifies that all transactions have been recorded, and in the proper amount. Note that the reconciliation does not verify that all transactions have been properly coded to the correct accounts, only that the amounts recorded in the check register match the amounts that cleared the bank. Reviewing and reconciling the remaining general ledger accounts will then verify the accuracy of the account coding.

The reconciliation process

The reconciliation process, while often involving a lot of detail, is in concept quite simple.

1. Verify that all deposits appearing on the bank statement agree with the deposits recorded in the check register, and that there are no deposits in the check register that have not cleared the bank, with the exception of deposits in transit at the end of the month.

2. Verify that all disbursements on the bank statement agree to what has been entered in the check register. This is often the area where discrepancies appear, due to transactions that were not known about until the bank statement was received, like bank service charges or electronic funds transfers.

Editing transactions and entering adjustments

When a variance is found between the company’s register and the bank statement, it may require either a change to an existing transaction or an adjustment in the form of a new transaction. The difference between the two depends on what type of transaction you are correcting.
If the transaction was coded to an expense account, it is a simple matter to edit the transaction by changing the amount to the correct number. However, if this transaction paid a bill in the accounts payable register, the correction will be a bit more complex; the original bill must be corrected as well. Correcting payroll transactions becomes even more complex, since payroll transactions affect several liability accounts, and the effect on all of these accounts must be considered.
The other way to correct for a legitimate variance is to create a new transaction that records new information to reflect what actually happened. This is called an adjustment. An example of an adjustment is a bank charge for credit card processing fees. Until the bank statement is received, the amount of the processing fees is unknown; once the statement is received, you need to enter an adjustment to reflect the expense, and to adjust the check register to the correct balance.

When to edit a transaction vs. entering an adjustment

A general rule of thumb is to edit transactions that have been entered incorrectly and use adjustments to enter new information, however, with more complex transactions — such as payroll checks and accounts payable checks — it may be simpler to enter an adjustment rather than a correction. This requires an examination of the original entry to determine which financial accounts were affected and an adjustment that corrects the proper accounts. When correcting payroll transaction errors, it is often easier to correct minor errors with an adjustment rather than editing the original transaction.

If the bank made a mistake

When bank errors are discovered, record the error in your check register. If the error is small, that may be all that is required. However, if a significant error is uncovered, it is still important to record it in your register, even if your banker promises to fix the error immediately.
When the bank discovers an error, they don’t just erase the error; they make an offsetting entry to correct the error. You should make an entry to record the error and a separate entry to record the error correction. The guiding principle is to record everything that happened to your account in your check register. Your register will then show your correct current balance and when the bank makes the correction to your account, you will have a corresponding entry to make your reconciliation come out properly.

Review the reconciliation report

The reconciliation report is a very useful tool. It shows :
- the beginning balance per the bank statement
- the beginning balance per the bank statement
- all deposits that cleared the bank
- all checks that cleared the bank
- the ending balance per the bank statement
It also shows what the bank doesn’t know about yet: the outstanding checks, any deposits in transit at the end of the month and the true ending balance of the bank account once all outstanding transactions have cleared the bank.
Review the outstanding checks and any deposits in transit carefully. There should not be any uncleared deposits older than 2-3 days before the bank cut-off date. Any older deposits represent a mistake, either by the bank or in the check register. Deposits to the bank account should take no more than 24 hours to clear the bank, with the exception of weekends and holidays. If there are uncleared deposits in the register with an older date, they may have been deposited to the wrong bank account, entered in the register with an incorrect date or perhaps lost in transit. In any case, they need to be investigated and corrected.
Outstanding checks that have not cleared the bank pose the same, if somewhat less serious, problem as uncleared deposits. Often checks are not cashed or deposited immediately. They may be delayed in the mail, or by a negligent bookkeeper. Having outstanding checks is not a cause for alarm, unless they represent old outstanding balances with a key supplier, or the balance of taxes due to federal or state authorities. These may also need follow-up investigation to keep vendors happy and avoid penalties and interest on tax payments.

At this point:
- all deposits on the bank statement match the deposits in the register
- disbursements per the bank statement match the disbursements in the register
- the ending balance per the bank statement matches the reconciled balance

Now, print a copy of the reconciliation report as a permanent record of the details you have reviewed. Once they are reconciled, cleared transaction amounts should never change. If they do change, it will be very useful to have a printed reconciliation report showing transactions as they were at the time of the reconciliation to compare to the transactions in your register.
Once you discover the benefits of reconciling your bank accounts on a regular schedule, you may be motivated to reconcile all of your balance sheet accounts on a monthly basis - which is also a good accounting practice.

by Stan Snyder, CPA
March 14, 2006

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

How to set up Accounting Software - Step 5 and 6

Recall Step 1 , Step 2 , Step 3 and Step 4

Step 5 - Verify account balances

So, you have entered all transactions through the current date. Now you should verify that all of the account balances reflect real-world amounts by comparing them to external sources. Reconcile the bank account to your bank statement and do this every month. Verify the credit card liability to your credit card statement. Notes payable compare to a loan history or loan statement from your bank. Accounts payable should be verified to vendor statements, and sending accounts receivable statements to customers will help to verify receivable balances.

Reconciling the balance sheet accounts — assets, liabilities and equity — on a monthly basis will make year-end reconciliations easier and will make assembling information for your tax accountant quick and easy.

Now, after that you are ready to begin using your accounting system. Data entry will be easier-and make more sense. Accounts payable will reflect the correct amounts owed to vendors, and accounts receivable will show correct customer balances. Financial reports will show correct balances for all balance sheet accounts and will reflect the true results of operations. The account balances will also agree with your tax returns for the previous period.

Step 6 - Take a rest

After all this work – take a rest, have a cocktail and relax.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

How to set up Accounting Software - Step 4

Recall Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3

Step 4 — Enter transactions between the start date and the current date

The process of entering transactions is centered on the bank account, since virtually all transactions eventually affect the bank account. Since you've carefully calculated your beginning balances this should be easy.

Enter transactions month-by-month, taking time to reconcile your accounts at the end of each month. After that you should create invoices and record payments received against those invoices or beginning customer balances, then make the deposits to the bank accounts. Enter bills, payments made on accounts payable, and record checks written out of the bank account. Use your vendor statements to enter finance charges and verify that your balances agree with your vendors' balances.
As you complete each month, reconcile your bank statement, credit card. and vendor account balances to verify that all amounts have been recorded accurately.

Go to Step 5 and Step 6

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Monday, July 10, 2006

How to set up Accounting Software - Step 3

Recall Step 1 and Step 2

Step 3 - Set up your financial accounts

All businesses have general ledger accounts and now you need to determine which accounts you want to have as part of your accounting system. These are listed in your chart of accounts. Most software programs will recommend a standard chart of accounts. You may then add to the chart of accounts to accommodate special requirements for your business, such as separate revenue and cost of sales accounts for labor and materials.

The Small Business Accounting Startup Wizard walks you through the process of creating financial accounts - read the article “Set up your company”. You should select a business type in the Startup Wizard, Small Business Accounting recommends a standard chart of accounts based on your business type, which is an excellent starting point. You can add or delete accounts to suit your specific needs. After you choose which accounts will be part of your system, you'll enter opening balances for each of them. Remember, account balances for an existing business need to be calculated as of a specific point in time, usually the close-of-business on the last day of a fiscal period. After you select your accounts, review the following list to see if any of these accounts apply to your business:

Assets – fixed assets like furniture, equipment and vehicles, and other assets – patents, trademarka, software.
Inventory of goods held for sale to customers.
Business credit card accounts.
Payroll taxes payable
Sales taxes payable
Payroll taxes payable.
Notes payable to banks or other creditors.

When placing a value on inventory, fixed assets or other assets you should use the actual costs for them. If the asset has depreciated, the lesser of cost or current market value should be used, but appreciation on assets is not recognized until the asset is sold. Liabilities are valued at the amount owed as of the start date.
Equity accounts - entering accurate asset account balances will increase your equity, and entering accurate liability accounts will decrease your equity.Small Business Accounting uses the equity account Opening Balance Equity to track changes in equity as the asset and liability accounts are created. You can be confident that if your asset and liability accounts are accurate, your equity balance will be correct. Your accountant may want to reclassify the opening balance equity into accounts like Paid in Capital or Retained Earnings, but total equity will be left unchanged.

Go to Step 4

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

How to set up Accounting Software - Step 2

First- recall Step 1

Step 2 — Fit your business records

Calculating and entering the bank balances, accounts receivable, and accounts payable constitute the majority of the work for most businesses. Setting up these accounts depends upon your situation – how old is your business, how you have kept your records.

Setting up a new business

It's easiest to set up an Accounting System for a new business. New businesses begin with zero balances in all financial accounts. For a new business, the start date is the date of the first transaction, which is usually a deposit made to open a new bank account. Accounts may be created on the fly, as the need for them arises.

Converting from an existing system

If you have an Existing Business, and are converting from a manual system, your existing accounting system is a good source for beginning balances. With an existing business, you need to decide what date should be used to enter beginning balances and begin recording transactions.
Choose a date, usually month-end, and enter the balances from your old system as beginning balances in Small Business Accounting. If you choose a recent date, you can reduce the volume of transactions to be entered between the start date and the current date. From the start date forward, all transactions must be entered in Accounting System. No transaction detail or financial reports will be available in Accounting System before the start date, however that information may be found in your old system.

Generating beginning balances from last year's tax records

Your previous year's tax records are a good source for beginning balances, if your accountant prepared what is known as a "trial balance." Your accountant will have examined the accounts on the trial balance and will have adjusted for items such as depreciation and amortization.
Using these balances is a good starting point for your accounting system, but there is a trade-off if the current date is not close to the beginning of the year: most small businesses use a calendar year for tax reporting, and all transactions between the start date and the current date must be entered before the accounting system can be used.
If the current date is late in the year, there may be a lot of data entry that needs to be completed before accounts reflect current balances. The best way to summarize data is in a database — which is exactly what an accounting software program is.

Calculating balances from scratch

If you have no Accounting System, you still need to determine a start date and calculate balances as of that date from whatever records you have. Begin with the balance per the bank, add deposits in transit (those not shown on the bank statement) and subtract outstanding checks (checks issued but not cleared). Review amounts due from customers as of the start date. Include customer balances that were due on the start date but have since been paid. As you create each customer record you will have the opportunity to enter their beginning balance as of the start date. Similarly, accumulate all of the bills due to vendors as of the start date, even if they have been paid. You will enter these bills when you create vendor records. Checks written after the start date that pay bills outstanding on the start date will be applied to the vendor's balance rather than to an expense account.

Go to Step 3

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Friday, July 07, 2006

How to set up Accounting Software - Step 1

So, you have just started using a computerized accounting program. First you need to create a company file with accurate vendor and customer balances, a complete list of products and services sold, and all the necessary financial account balances. Once you set up your accounting system, you can then realize all the benefits of Accounting Software: increased efficiency, ability to track, analyze and improve your financial health, and the opportunity to add services such as payroll and credit card processing. Before you enter information into the software, you will need to assemble some data about your company. This article explains the basic information you need and how to best assemble it.

The five step process:

1. Determine your start date.
2. Assemble your business records.
3. Set up your financial accounts.
4. Enter transactions.
5. Verify account balances.

Today I'll show you the first step to set up your Accounting Software

Step 1 - Determine your start date

The start date is a specific point in time that you choose. This should be a point in time that all of the financial account balances can be readily calculated. No reports or detail of transactions will be available in the Accounting System before the start date. After the beginning balances are entered, all transactions between the start date and the current date must be entered. The combination of these beginning balances and the subsequent transactions will accumulate to true, accurate current balances for all of your accounts -accounts receivable from customers, accounts payable due to vendors, bank accounts, credit card liabilities, as well as income and expense accounts.

Entering beginning balances as of the start date.

When you calculate the beginning balances of accounts, you need to calculate balances at a specific point in time - the start date. You should ignore payments received from customers after the close of business on that date and include amounts due to vendors as of the close of business on that date. This means that all transactions - checks written, payments received, invoices created, and so on, summarized by financial accounts - up to and through the close-of-business on the start date are reflected in the balances entered as of the start date.
To calculate the balance of an account as of the start date, begin with a statement from a bank, vendor, or credit card company that summarizes a period prior to the start date. Add any transactions incurred before the start date that are not reflected on the statement, and subtract any payments made but not posted on the statement. For accounts receivable, summarize the charges and payments for each customer, up to and including the start date, to determine the balance outstanding as of that date.
Beginning balances must be calculated for each account in the chart of accounts: bank accounts, accounts receivable, inventory, fixed assets, accounts payable, credit card liabilities, notes payable, and equity accounts. If the start date is the beginning of a new fiscal year, income and expense accounts will be zero, but if the start date is in the middle of a fiscal year, income and expense account balances must be calculated as well.

Go to Step 2

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Top Accounting Software for Small Business

Here are top selling Accounting Software programs for Small Businesses. Simply Accounting and QuickBooks are favorites and they are available for Windows and Mac platforms.


QuickBooks is the most popular full featured accounting program designed for small businesses. Actually QuickBooks made a series of products for Small Business including Payroll Program. It is available in Basic, Online, Pro, and Premier Editions; the Pro Edition of this accounting program includes management tools such as a Vehicle Mileage Tracker.
Learn more about QuickBooks from here:
QuickBooks Simple Start
QuickBooks 2006

Simply Accounting

Another popular Accounting Software /my favorite/. This is full featured accounting and payroll package with all the reports any Small Business needs, including Internet and e-commerce features. The screen tips drag and drop functionality makes the accounting program easy to learn. Professional versions include a time and billing module. Simply Accounting is available for multi-users and has great help section. The most suitable for Small Business is Simply Accounting Pro.
Sage Software Simply Accounting 2006 Basic


This Small Business Accounting Software possesses user-friendly interface and over 100 financial and management reports. The program includes an Office link feature allows direct one click access to MS Word and Excel a Professional and a time billing module. Comes multi-user ready but you should purchase an additional workstation license for each additional accounting program user
Myob Us MYOB FirstEdge

Account Edge

This is the MYOB Small Business Accounting Software especially designed for the Macintosh platform. There are the same features as MYOB plus for Windows. With its user-friendly interface the program is easy to set up and use. With one click you can access MS Word and Excel. It comes ready for multi-users.

Peachtree Complete

The Complete version of this Small Business Accounting Software includes over 125 reports and features such as in-depth inventory, time and billing and job costing. It is ready for multi-users. "Value packs" for 3 or more users are available. Peachtree is also available in Premium and First Accounting versions.
Peachtree Premium Accounting 2007

Bookkeeper 2006

Any Small Business can afford to buy Bookkeeper 2006, which, for $29.95 offers a passable subset of QuickBooks' features. Bookkeeper 2006 processes accounts receivable and payable, tracks inventory and payroll, prints checks, and issues reports. It may serve you well and it wouldn’t break your budget. Bookkeeper 2006 import databases of customer, vendor, and inventory item text files, and it does at least walk you through the most basic company background. Data-record templates and forms (invoices, estimates, and purchase orders) are adequate, though not exceptional. You can add custom fields, too. Another feature in Bookkeeper 2006 is its support for merchant accounts. Reports are critical to the usefulness of an accounting application, and Bookkeeper 2006 offers plenty, all very customizable.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Small Business Accounting Software - Before you buy

Before You Buy Accounting Software for Your Small Business

Buying the right Accounting Software for your business is very important. Because you will be using your Accounting Software frequently, it’s urgent to ensure that you pick the right software for your business and your needs.
Accounting Software can be a great tool for your small business, allowing you to keep track of all your financial data, and easily produce reports for effective planning.
Here are some things you should think about, before buying your Accounting Software:

Accounting Software Suitability for Your Business

For small and medium-sized businesses that have standard accounting needs Out-of-the-box accounting software is most suitable. If the business needs unique data reports, make sure the Accounting Software offers customizable reports. If you run a service-related business, check to be sure the accounting software includes features such as a time and billing module.

Accounting Software should be easy to learn

Take a close look at the Accounting Software before you buy it. The user interface should be comfortable and intuitive. Will you (and your employees) be able to sit down and start to work with it or you will need a further investment in training?

Accounting Software Ease of Use Features

Your Accounting Software should allow you to print or electronically send cheques, purchase orders, and invoices. It’s important to have 'Net connectivity so you can bank online. Check if it is integrated with other software that you often use and can be able to convert data from other accounting programs or databases.

Accounting Software Scalability

Accounting Software should be net-workable; it means how easy or expensive it to move from one user to multi-users is. With some Accounting Software, adding new users is just a matter of buying the appropriate number of user licenses; with others, you have to purchase multiple copies of the Accounting Software program, which is much more expensive.

Support for your Accounting Software

Take a look at Help section - sometimes online help makes the program. Does the Accounting Software have features such as screen tips, a searchable help index, demos, and example accounts to get you started? Print and online manuals should be available. Very important is accessibility of company's support.

In other words the Accounting Software should be able to meet all of your needs, now and in the future.

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Welcome to Small Business Accounting Software blog

Welcome to Small Business Accounting Software Blog. Here you can find everything about Accounting Software – the most popular versions of Accounting Software, which is the right Accounting Software for your small business, etc. With my strong academic background in accounting, combined with over ten years work experience in accounting and bookkeeping, I can provide professional advice on how to choose your accounting software, and I will show you the benefits of different Accounting Software programs.