Small business software.

I know some of you on here run a small business.  I'm thinking of starting up a part time business it's not an Ebay business.  I've done costings on the equipment I need. I would like to know what software you use?  It will be sole trader only me. I've looked at Quickbooks, Sage, Xero etc.
What would you recommend?
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Replies

  • RFWRFW Forumite
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    I know some of you on here run a small business.  I'm thinking of starting up a part time business it's not an Ebay business.  I've done costings on the equipment I need. I would like to know what software you use?  It will be sole trader only me. I've looked at Quickbooks, Sage, Xero etc.
    What would you recommend?
    Quickbooks is about the easiest and user friendliest of those. Although unless you're getting lots of paperwork/dealing with a lot of companies then you don't really need much more than a regular spreadsheet.

    .
  • in_the_Cotswoldsin_the_Cotswolds Forumite
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    Thank you for your reply. I would like to able to send estimates and invoices so I can keep on top of all payments etc.
  • soolinsoolin Forumite, Board Guide
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    I’m old fashioned and in a previous career was an accountant - I still use old fashioned paper handwritten books, money in, money out etc. If we go to the quarterly returns (and I’m not sure what has happened about that) then I will look at some sort of electronic system. For invoices I use PayPal , although for those buyers who prefer bank transfer I have a cut and paste pro forma that I use .
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
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  • theonlywayisuptheonlywayisup Forumite
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    I prefer SAGE, I find Quickbooks is like maths for a 3 year old.  It isn't accountancy led and unless you have no experience of 'books' then you will find it clunky and poor in it's COA presentation.  But as above, you cannot beat a ledger and pen. 
  • RFWRFW Forumite
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    I prefer SAGE, I find Quickbooks is like maths for a 3 year old.  It isn't accountancy led and unless you have no experience of 'books' then you will find it clunky and poor in it's COA presentation.  But as above, you cannot beat a ledger and pen. 

    I actually agree on presentation. The bits I found useful were the mobile app that allowed me to input invoices from a photo and the connection with bank accounts. So it will depend on what you use it for.
    Quotes and invoices aren't something I used so can't recommend it for that anyway.
    .
  • in_the_Cotswoldsin_the_Cotswolds Forumite
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    Thanks to everyone for your input. It is going to be for a lawn mowing, hedge trimming, fence and shed painting. I just want to start off as I mean to carry on all legal etc.
  • martindowmartindow Forumite
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    You need to keep on top of the record keeping noting down all the odd bits and pieces of mileage and other small expenses as they occur.  I find that if I leave it weeks or months it is impossible to remember and my expenses end up lower than they should be.
    I just use Excel spread sheets for each month, but like soolin I don't trust computer records too much, so I print them out at the end of the month.  I use one for expenses with headings for stock, postage, phone, bank charges, etc., one to list mileage with the monthly total transferred to the expenses sheet and a third for money received.

  • theonlywayisuptheonlywayisup Forumite
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    I agree, for this type of business Excel will more than cut it.  
  • in_the_Cotswoldsin_the_Cotswolds Forumite
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    martindow said:
    You need to keep on top of the record keeping noting down all the odd bits and pieces of mileage and other small expenses as they occur.  I find that if I leave it weeks or months it is impossible to remember and my expenses end up lower than they should be.
    I just use Excel spread sheets for each month, but like soolin I don't trust computer records too much, so I print them out at the end of the month.  I use one for expenses with headings for stock, postage, phone, bank charges, etc., one to list mileage with the monthly total transferred to the expenses sheet and a third for money received.

    This is why I'm thinking of Quickbooks so I can track mileage and photograph invoices etc. For me the easier the better!!
  • martindowmartindow Forumite
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    martindow said:
    You need to keep on top of the record keeping noting down all the odd bits and pieces of mileage and other small expenses as they occur.  I find that if I leave it weeks or months it is impossible to remember and my expenses end up lower than they should be.
    I just use Excel spread sheets for each month, but like soolin I don't trust computer records too much, so I print them out at the end of the month.  I use one for expenses with headings for stock, postage, phone, bank charges, etc., one to list mileage with the monthly total transferred to the expenses sheet and a third for money received.

    This is why I'm thinking of Quickbooks so I can track mileage and photograph invoices etc. For me the easier the better!!
    Are you sure it's easier?  Spreadsheets or keeping records on paper are fairly simple things and cheap.  If you do decide to go for something electronic it is essential that you have it backed up preferably in more than one place.  Trying to recreate it if anything happened to your data would be impossible.

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