What Accounting Software to Use for Your Startup

A startup business needs reliable accounting software to streamline business transactions. It can be an overwhelming process of trying to choose the best accounting software package for a business. A small business owner may have difficulty deciding how to find the right small business accounting software, particularly if they have an understanding of accounting practices. There are several options in the market, each with its own set of unique features.

Finding accounting software for a startup needs to be broken down into your basic financial software requirements. There’s plenty to choose from, so you should select the best one that best suits your company’s needs. Good accounting software needs to cover basic features from financial statement creation, accounts payable, accounts receivable to payroll, account reconciliation, and tax reporting.


QuickBooks is an easy-to-learn accounting program and has been around since 1984. It’s proven to be one of the more popular accounting packages for small business startups. It has the standard double-entry, along with audit trail capabilities, but its simple interface doesn’t allow for a lot of customization. You’ll be able to print standard reports and invoices, but as your business grows, you may find it difficult trying to create more detailed reports that your accountant requires.

Sage 50 First Step Accounting

Sage 50 First Step Accounting offers similar features to QuickBooks, and is a simpler form of Sage 50 Premium Accounting. As with QuickBooks or FreshBooks, there are few customization options, those requiring an upgrade to the premium edition. Sage 50 First Step Accounting can be purchased for a one-time fee, and updates must be done regularly.


Freshbooks is a bit different from Sage 50 Accounting or QuickBooks Desktop in that it is web-based, and you must set up an online account to log into. There is a free limited version, or you can choose the full-featured system for a monthly fee. The added benefit of a web-based accounting program is that you won’t waste time with software updates to be installed. Those are all done on the website. The downfall is that Freshbooks will only do expense reports, whereas QuickBooks will tackle the whole picture by tracking expenses and income together. Freshbooks does offer time tracking and invoicing, which is great for one-person shops. Another neat feature is that offering customers a credit card payment solution is included in the package, not a monthly paid add-on like Quickbooks. If you do most of your business online, this can be a time-saving feature,that may just encourage more sales.

An entry-level accounting system can have limitations. Once your business is expanding, it’ll be worth looking into purchasing a more advanced accounting software that can give you more insight into your business operations. There may also be a lack of sophisticated reporting methods that will impact how you will make your decisions to grow your business.

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