When I was searching for easy invoicing software, I asked a few entrepreneurial friends of mine what they used and they all came back with the same answer. QuickBooks! At first, I was frustrated, because the few tutorials I had seen seemed for more robust than what I needed as a start-up. As I grew, however, I became grateful that I followed their advice. It’s easy to overlook future necessities when just starting out, but if you are fortunate enough to scale up, you will be relieved that your software is also scalable without having to learn a new system.
It might be more appropriate to call this article “Why To” use QuickBooks because it feels unnecessary to reinvent the wheel. The very best source on the web for learning QuickBooks is the extensive collection at QuickBook Learning Tutorials. Let’s just look a bit at why QuickBooks is the most readily used invoicing, tracking and accounting software available today.
There are, of course, the die-hard Excel users, but in my experience, anyone can open up QuickBooks and have a general idea how to use it with their easy point-and-click interface. If one can run Windows, he or she can navigate QuickBooks with only the occasional need for their reference tutorials. Excel, on the other hand, requires many hours of learning if you are customizing your spreadsheets rather than using any template system. Additional considerations:
- Working with Excel formulas is complex and prone to error. Accounting software handles all the calculations for you, and does it properly.
- Excel spreadsheets are susceptible to fraud because it’s easy to change information and hard to keep track of who’s making the changes, whereas accounting software maintains an audit trail.
- Spreadsheet errors are easier to make (copy/paste errors, moving content out of cells that other formulas base their calculations on, etc.), and are much harder to track down.
- Each income stream requires a different spreadsheet to track our earnings … this means that as we start offering more services, the number of spreadsheets will increase, and this can become confusing.
QuickBooks offers a thirty day free introduction period. Take the time to use the tools available to you and you’ll likely come to the same conclusion. It will simplify your business process and make tax season much easier as you stay organized and compliant within tax laws.
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