Over-the-Counter Accounting Software – What to Use??

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April 30, 2012
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May 9, 2012

Over-the-Counter Accounting Software – What to Use??


By Alice Williams

With the disappearance of green ledger pads comes the age of inexpensive accounting software.  There has been a huge boom in over-the-counter programs in the last few years.  QuickBooks (Intuit) is the most widely known, but there are other less known options like Peachtree (Sage).  There are also industry-specific packages such as PCLaw for attorney practices.  Whether you want to use it for home or office, it’s readily available at almost any store or online site.  And the banks are even catching onto the craze and offering use of the software packages through their websites.  So with all the choices out there, which one is right for you?  Well that depends on who you ask and on your needs (and hopefully the latter is taken into the equation when you ask).

QuickBooks is the most widely recognized software on the market. It’s owned by Intuit which also sells Quicken software. Peachtree is not as well known. Both have the capability to provide most of your accounting needs. If you’re familiar with computer software, you know that most software packages come in a variety of versions ranging in price from the affordable to the outrageously expensive. Don’t be sucked in by the salesperson or the advertising.

Bottom line – do your homework before you buy.  Whatever choice you make needs to be a benefit to your business and not a burden.  It would behoove you to discuss your options with your accountant to find out the best product to help you deal with your day-to-day accounting activity.  Taking your specific needs into account, they can suggest the most useful tool for you, not the most popular or most expensive.  And used properly, any of the choices out there will save you time and money in the office so that you can apply your time to making more money in your business.

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