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Top 6 Accounting Software for Small Business

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Every small business needs to know where the money went - and is going. These top selling accounting software programs simplify your small business accounting tasks, and provide all the reports and tools you need to effectively use your financial data. Here is the best accounting software for Canadian small businesses. Unless otherwise noted, the small business accounting software programs linked below are single use versions; multi-use versions of these programs are also available.

1. Intuit QuickBooks Accounting Software

QuickBooks Accounting Pro 2013
Intuit Canada

QuickBooks is one of the best small business accounting programs around. Available in Basic, Online, Pro, and Premier editions, Intuit really knows its audience and caters to it. Features of the 2013 Pro version of this small business accounting software I really like include the Company Snapshot, the customizable Customer, Vendor and Employee Centers and the ability to quickly locate any account, report, or invoice with just a keyword in QuickBooks Search.

2. Sage 50 Accounting

Sage 50 Accounting Premium
Sage

Sage 50 Accounting is the new name for Simply Accounting, a tried and true small business accounting solution. It does everything Canadian businesses need to do (including calculating and paying GST/HST and PST/QST, and preparing government T4's, ROE's or RL-1's through print or efile) and is bilingual, letting you switch from French to English on the fly. While a First Step version is available, I recommend stepping up to the Pro edition, which lets you do things that you can’t do with the “beginner” edition such as create sales quotes and orders and work with multiple currencies.

3. AccountEdge Accounting Software

This is the accounting software that used to be MYOB Accounting Plus. AccountEdge is the Swiss army knife of small business accounting software. If you need flexibility, this is the accounting software for you. For instance, AccountEdge’s Inventory command centre allows for inventory control that includes multiple pricing levels, kit-building and negative inventory. When time billing, you can use multiple billing rates and easily track chargeable and non-chargeable time. It also offers over 200 customizable financial reports, and has the ability to sync with Enstore, a hosted web store application that lets you sell online. There’s also an app for iPhones and iPads: AccountEdge Mobile.

4. Connected Core Accounting Software for Mac and Windows

A full featured accounting and business management system designed for small to mid-sized companies, the unique selling proposition of this accounting software is that it’s a “true cross-platform solution” – meaning that Mac and PC users can work on a single data file at the same time and that either a Mac or PC server can be used to host the data file. The program is integrated with Microsoft Office, is quite customizable and does proper GST/HST accounting. It’s not for you if you need inventory management or job costing, but can be the perfect solution for businesses that are outgrowing their entry-level accounting programs.

5. Sage BusinessVision Accounting

Sage BusinessVision Accounting
Sage

If you need to manage your inventory and sales process, take a look at Sage BusinessVision; its module design makes it highly customizable and scalable and with five editions available, including specific Small Business and Retail Editions, it’s easy to get exactly the accounting and management capabilities your business needs. Involved in online selling? There’s a Sage e-BusinessVision add-on that provides a website and ecommerce solution integrated with your accounting system. Sage BusinessVision Accounting is ideal for retail, wholesale, and light manufacturing companies. It’s pricier than some of the others listed here but you’re buying a “true business management solution”, not just an accounting system.

6. Microsoft Dynamics GP

Like Sage BusinessVision Accounting, Microsoft Dynamics GP is a business management (a.k.a. enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, not just an accounting program. Besides accounting, it offers financial management, supply chain management, business intelligence and reporting, human resources and payroll management, sales, service and project management. It is, as you would expect, highly integrated with other Microsoft products such as Microsoft Office. The system offers a lot of flexibility, letting you deploy Microsoft Dynamics GP on site, in the cloud or as a customized hybrid solution. The 2013 version offers a Business Analyzer dashboard accessible over the web that makes it even easier to keep on top of your business. The price will vary depending on which modules or “packs” you want to include and what type of license you buy, but will range in the thousands of dollars rather than the hundreds. Best suited for retail management, construction, health care and businesses involved in consumer-packaged goods distribution.

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