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Best Free Accounting Software?


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#1 pcpunk

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 02:16 PM

The title says it all...I hope?

 

I'm running Windows 7 Pro.  I'm just trying to keep track of my personal income, so the easiest software to keep track of all Income and expenses would be great!  I took a look at some options of course but am clueless at this point.

Here is one site I looked at:

http://www.techradar.com/news/software/applications/best-free-accounting-software-8-programs-we-recommend-1136684

 

It should also be Local, and not web based.

 

I have a partner that I work with, and splitting customer payments by percentages depending on the job.  Sometimes balancing one job with another if an earlier payment was not correct.  So it would be nice to be able to keep a Spreadsheet type of Ledger that has customer names and running balances etc.  Hope this makes sense.

 

I've tried to use Excel but I guess I'm not smart enough to figure it out!?

 

Thanks, pcpunk


Edited by pcpunk, 21 September 2017 - 02:28 PM.

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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 03:44 PM

I don't know if this is what you are looking for. GnuCash is open source and was ported to Windows. I have no experience with it though.

 

http://www.gnucash.org/features.phtml



#3 hamluis

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 04:55 PM

As a 1-time accountant...I don't think that I could have any confidence in "free" or open-source accounting software.  For a business to use such software would certainly elevate the element of risk for any type of enterprise, IMO.  Accounting software...with all the credit/financial implications inherent in using such...lacks the secuirity and confidence that one might have by maintaining the proverbial general ledger and financial data formerly enjoyed by companies maintaining their own books...since the user is reliant upon a 3d-party with unknown credentials and capabilities...to prepare/compile software to safeguard/account for business transactions, IMO.

 

Accounting data includes (among other things) records re bank accounts, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and various other assets and liabilities.  I would like to think that such would not be maintained by software which may or may not pass the "integrity test" thrown at it or expected of it.

 

The potential for errors or deception...would be too great for my tastes.

 

Windows O/S errors...can be tolerated, explored, overcome...errors in accounting software would carry a greater liability for negatively impacting any business entity, IMO.

 

FWIW:  http://www.techradar.com/news/software/applications/best-free-accounting-software-8-programs-we-recommend-1136684

 

Louis


Edited by hamluis, 21 September 2017 - 05:12 PM.


#4 pcpunk

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 05:29 PM

I don't know if this is what you are looking for. GnuCash is open source and was ported to Windows. I have no experience with it though.

 

http://www.gnucash.org/features.phtml

Yes John, I was looking at all of those at that link.  The Second one is Portable, don't know if that matters or not as far as Security goes, but sure like the idea of it not being installed.  I only need minimal Functions, so this may work fine.  If I don't install something then there is no junk left behind when it is Uninstalled.

 

As a 1-time accountant...I don't think that I could have any confidence in "free" or open-source accounting software.  

Louis

I have the same concern hamluis, just don't know how to fix my accounting issues at this time.  I keep receipts of everything, deposits, payouts to my partner, but still have issues with it all.  Using a Word Document as my Excel Replacement, but this no good.  I suppose I will need to re-evaluate learning Excel, but every Tutorial I try just don't replicate what I want to do?  Basically just keep tabs on all incoming and outgoing funds, with customer names, dates etc, I think all this could be done in Excel.  I am really Small time with what I'm doing because of my poor health, so a payed version of something is out of the question.  I only do let's say 3-6 jobs a week, but it somehow gets to be a lot of work keeping it all straight, mostly because of working with a partner.  Officially not even a partner, I am basically my own entity as far as Taxes are concerned.  He does more of the Technical Work and I do all the hands on stuff.  Installing printers, OS's, fixing laptops and desktops etc.  Sometimes we are paid separately, and sometimes by the same check, it's not an optimum situation that we are trying to fix, without stressing our customers.


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#5 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 06:27 PM

There is also the question of what systems your income tax authorities will accept. I cannot speak for the IRS but HMRC will accept accounts in Excel from Sole Traders and small Partnerships. Any bigger than that and you have to use formal accounting software like Sage. I think you are going to have to look at Excel, or the Libre office equivalent, again.

 

I use Excel for the accounts of a small Club and I have never had a problem with it and using things like links you can automate much of it. Yes, setting up a set of accounts in Excel is a PITA but you only do it once a year and, once you have done it once, you can copy/paste a lot of the structure and formatting into next year's.

 

If you do decide to go the Excel or Open/Libre Office route, one suggestion. Think hard about what you want it to do and show before you start. Once you have set it up making major changes can get painful !

 

Chris Cosgrove



#6 britechguy

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 07:22 PM

Don't forget MS-Access (or equivalent).  See:  https://duckduckgo.com/?q=ms+access+accounting+database+template&t=h_&atb=v33-7__&ia=web

 

The same exist for Excel.

 

I used an MS-Access database to run a small retail operation for almost 4 years.


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#7 hamluis

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 08:47 PM

A sole proprietorship or partnership...those are the two easiest to manage.  Corporate structures have varying requirements which are more stringent, both to the IRS and to shareholders/lending institutions.

 

If I had to suggest business/accounting software...the first words out of my mouth would be "QuickBooks".  There's a model that wiull suit just about any business person or enterprise in their repertoire.  As others have pointed out...sole proprietorships and partnerships are different in that the individuals bear the responsibility for the accuracy of financial data...if it were coming out of my pocket, I would want to be sure that whatever method of accounting I used...that it was accurate and could be depended upon for not placing me in jeapordy unnecessarily.

 

There are advantages to a partnership...there are advantages to being a employee.  If the two of you are acting as partners...I hope that you are meeting filing requirements in a timely manner at all levels of government :).

 

The main thing to remember...is that businesses are ultimately bound to accurately account for operations/income/revenues/expenses.  If Excel or some other easy tool allows you to do that...then use that tool.  The burden of proof for any business...lies with the principals...and tax authorities are not known for being sympathetic to erroneious data reported :).

 

If the two of you are really partners...I would ensure that some type of partnership agreement is drawn up.  There are a zillion services online that will do such.  Worth Reviewing, IMO.

 

Louis



#8 TPJones491

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 05:25 PM

I like using ZipBooks! It's a free online app, it's pretty simple to use, and I like it. :) 

 

https://zipbooks.com/



#9 pcpunk

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:08 PM

Thanks TPJones491, I will look into that!

 

Is there a free version, I'm a cheapskate.


Edited by pcpunk, 08 December 2017 - 06:09 PM.

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