How To Setup Your Accounting Software

How to Setup Your Accounting Software Establishing accounting software programs are like baking a cake. A lot of cakes appear in the world—chocolate, caramel, lemon drizzle Bundt cake, layered cake, cupcake. Each one has another style along with a different recipe. However, there’s still a fundamental formula that lays the building blocks for those cakes. You could be prepared to use flour, sugar, eggs, and some kind of tasty flavoring, mix things up together, and throw in to the oven. How to Setup Your Accounting Software In the same manner, you will find a large number of different accounting software options available. Each one has a unique style and hang of features, and every requires specific steps to put together the program properly. But after reviewing a large number of different accounting software packages, I’ve found that accounting software packages as well as their setup processes aren’t as different because they appear  In this publish, I’ll share my sure-fire recipe for establishing a cpa computer software. It’s not necessary to become Mary Berry to bake a cake, its not necessary to become a CPA to follow along with miracle traffic bot setup recipe. We’ve damaged the procedure lower into five easy steps that anybody can follow.

Ready, set, bake!

Table of Contents

The Simple Accounting Software Setup Recipe:

Prep Time: 10 – fifteen minutes

Baking Time: 2 -3 hrs


  • Company Information
  • Worker Information
  • Florida Sales Tax Rates
  • Contacts List
  • Vendors List
  • Products/Inventory List
  • Chart of Accounts

Step One: Begin with Settings

Whenever I’m using a new accounting software, I usually come from Settings. Exactly like you must always read a recipe through before you begin baking, I suggest hanging out exploring and comprehending the different settings preferences your accounting program requires before you begin your setup process. Frequently, it’s important to add more contact details and financial information in Settings to start. Then you need to set any appropriate default preferences (like what you would like your invoice templates to appear like or which florida sales tax rates you need to experience your invoices). Many occasions, Settings is how you’ll visit add new users/employees and hang up payroll. It is also where you’ll probably setup payment gateways for accepting invoice payments online. Sometimes you can even find certain capabilities (like time tracking or project management software) that you simply won’t get access to before you enable them through settings. Because of this, it truly is effective explore your software’s settings right from the start which means you don’t miss adding any information or setting whenever-saving preferences.

Step Two: Connect with Your Bank

If you are considering connecting your accounting software to your money, you’ll wish to accomplish that immediately to get ready to go. A hyperlink for this feature is frequently found under Settings, but may also be connected using the banking or expense tracking feature in your accounting software.

Step Three: Connect with Existing Apps

If you are using any third-party programs to operate your company (like MailChimp or TSheets), you’ll wish to integrate these programs together with your accounting software. To remain in keeping with our cake example, integrations would be the extra tasty ingredients needed to boost your fundamental, plain Jane cake batter. Most programs come with an “Integrations” or “Connected Apps” section in both settings or on their own dashboard (I’ve most frequently seen it towards the bottom left-hands corner from the screen) where one can connect your software for your existing apps. Note: Make sure to make sure that your accounting software props up integration before beginning. Our accounting reviews have an Integrations section that links directly their application marketplace.

Step Four: Import Existing Data

Probably the most important areas of establishing your accounting software programs are importing your overall data. If you’re transitioning from your existing software, you are able to frequently export your computer data via .csv file, which will make the importing process much simpler. You’ll wish to import:

  • Contacts
  • Vendors
  • Products
  • Chart of Accounts

Each software may have very specific guidelines regarding how to import these files so make sure to look at your vendor’s help center to learn more. Most programs give a .csv template that you’ll then mimic making use of your own data. Although this process could be a tiresome one, it’s of great benefit within the finish and saves much more time than by hand entering each and every contact or item connected together with your business.

Step Five: Add Extras and Automations

Now we all know we stated this would be a one-size-fits-all recipe, and you now have completed all the fundamental steps to establishing your accounting software. But because we pointed out earlier, although the setup process is comparable across all programs, each accounting software programs are unique. The final factor you’ll wish to accomplish to accomplish the set-up process would be to see why is your software unique. Can there be any information you’ve forgot to add? What are the automations that could save you time later on (like default e-mail or invoice reminders)? These finishing touches could make a big difference towards the end result. Those are the metaphorical icing in your accounting software—they might not be completely essential to the setup process, however they definitely make things more interesting.

Dig In

Cake jokes aside, we all know that establishing new software could be a daunting task. By smashing the process lower into five manageable steps, hopefully you are able to rapidly and simply setup your accounting program and return to business. While these fundamental setup steps affect all accounting solutions, we all know the execution of those steps might vary slightly based on your software. Our final little bit of advice would be to ‘t be afraid to achieve to your software’s support team for added help and guidance. All of our accounting reviews includes a section particularly focused on Customer Support and Support and you’ll discover all the methods to speak to your accounting software company.

And, remember, you could achieve to us with any queries you’ve on the way.

Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause is really a author, enthusiastic readers, and investigator. Additionally to loving writing, she grew to become thinking about accounting software due to her constant need to learn something totally new and know how things work. When she’s no longer working or daydreaming about her newest story, she are available consuming obscene levels of coffee, studying anything compiled by C.S. Lewis or Ray Bradbury, kayaking and hiking, or watching The X-Files together with her husband.

Chelsea Krause


How to maintain your In your area-Installed Accounting Software Secure

locally installed software security

I’ve heard it over and over. People select a in your area-installed accounting software over cloud-based software simply because they don’t trust the mysterious, elusive Cloud.

While it’s true that in your area-installed software has got the potential to become safer than cloud-based software, users who don’t go ahead and take proper safety measures are submitting themselves to some storm of trouble worse than anything the Cloud could conjure. If you’re using in your area-installed accounting software as well as your computer hosts incredibly sensitive business details about you, the employees, as well as your clients, this can be a chance you are able to&#8217t take.

Whenever you join cloud-based software, the program provider frequently has strong safety measures in position, like firewalls, adware and spyware recognition, anti-virus checking, etc. With in your area-installed software, nobody is taking proper care of to safeguard you. Your computer data security falls positioned on shoulders.

At Merchant Maverick, we don’t would like you to need to bear this burden alone—or worse, ignore your computer’s security completely since it appears too complicated. So, we’ve produced a summary of 12 easy-to-follow ideas to help important computer data be as secure as you possibly can.

If you’ve read our How to maintain your Accounting Data Secure within the Cloud publish, a few of these tips will appear familiar, however they affect in your area-installed software too and therefore are essential we would like everybody to understand about them. Although this publish focuses particularly on in your area-installed accounting software, these pointers can use to the in your area-installed software, as well as towards the average person who just really wants to optimize his computer’s security.

1. Don’t Share Your Passwords with Anybody

Whenever we say don’t share passwords with anybody, we mean it. Passwords should be a secret for any reason.

We might not be speaking concerning the one ring to rule all of them, but we may as well be. Security is really a major problem, so make certain you retain passwords secret—keep it safe—because that’s the surest method to protecting your organization.

2. Create Strong Passwords

Everybody has heard over and over that it’s necessary to create strong passwords for internet accounts, but how can you really do this? We’ve collected several tips from experts within the technology and security field let’s start with what not to do.


  • Share passwords
  • Use common password combinations(123456)
  • Stick to the most common password formats (according to Business Insider)
    1. “one uppercase [letters], five lowercase [letters] and three digits”
    2. “one uppercase [letters], six lowercase [letters] and 2 digits”
    3. “one uppercase [letters], three lowercase [letters] and five digits”
  • Make use of the same password for multiple spots
  • Begin with a capital letter adopted by lowercase letters
  • Finish by having an exclamation point
  • Use password checkers


  • Use lengthy passwords (a minimum of 8 letters)
  • Use a mix of letters, figures, and symbols
  • Use multiple special figures
  • Produce a brand-new password for each site
  • Allow it to be appear random

Tip: Business Insider interviewed an expert hacker from RedTeam Security, a cyber security firm that identifies any weaknesses inside a company’s security before a hacker can, about his top tip for picking out passwords. The hacker, Kurt Muhl, states to generate a sentence you are able to remember, like: “I bought the house for $1.” Then, go ahead and take first letter of every word only, so you’re left with Ibmhf$1. Along with a couple of extra symbols or figures where you’ll easily remember, and you’ve got your strong password. In the end, it’s much simpler to keep in mind a sentence more than a random assortment of letters, figures, and symbols.

3. Store Passwords Safely

Okay, significantly improved you are aware how to set strong passwords, how should you store them? It might be wise to create a unique password for each login you’ve, but there’s not a way to keep in mind all individuals passwords inside your mind. We’ve checked out several possible solutions, in addition to unsafe organization methods to steer clear of.

A few of these guidelines appear apparent, but you’d be amazed the number of people don’t understand that the next storage choices harmful:


  • Store them within an Stand out document on your pc
  • Store these questions Word document on your pc
  • Store them with any type of document on your pc (online hackers can continue to access these)
  • Save them in emails (sent or received)
  • Leave them on the office
  • Insert them in personal files that clearly states PASSWORDS

The end result is, don’t leave them where another person could access them. Hide your listing of passwords from the sight of family, coworkers, and cleaning crews.

Where in the event you keep the passwords?

Lots of people within the tech industry recommend that you employ an online password manager like LastPass, Dashlane, or KeyPass. It’s important to note that LastPass continues to be hacked on multiple occasions. Whether it were me, I wouldn’t take a chance on online password management tools where my data might be in danger from security breaches.

Rather, I suggest writing a summary of passwords and storing them within an inconspicuously named file inside a locked file cabinet or safe that just you can get. If you really want your computer data safe, write your passwords in some kind of consistent code that known only to you which isn’t written lower.

Yes, it may sound like lots of work, but it’s a cost worth having to pay to keep your data—and more to the point, the information of the clients—safe.

4. Install Anti-Virus/Adware and spyware Recognition Software

We recommend installing an anti-virus and/or adware and spyware recognition solution. Anti-virus and adware and spyware recognition software packages make you stay conscious of any potential or existing threats inside your computer’s security, and a number of these solutions not just identify issues, but additionally fix them for you personally.

Some common and trustworthy options include:

  • Bitdefender Anti-virus Plus
  • Bitdefender Total Security
  • Kaspersky Anti-Virus
  • Kaspersky Internet Security Software
  • McAfee LiveSafe
  • ESET Internet Security Software
  • Avira Internet Security Software Suite

Note: Please seek information before purchasing. Forbes and PCMag both offer many articles giving suggestions about selecting good virus/adware and spyware protection.

5. Install Firewalls

Additionally to anti-virus and adware and spyware recognition software, you need to make certain your pc and your router have firewalls installed. Since it’s name suggests, just like firemen dig an obstacle to prevent raging forest fires, cyber firewalls produce a barrier involving the computer or network and then any unauthorized use of your pc.

Many computers offer built-in firewalls, which can be enough for your requirements. Kaspersky explains how you can determine if your pc already includes a firewall set up in the content 6 Tips to maintain your Desktop Computer Safe.

In case your computer doesn’t possess a built-in firewall, or you require the added security of the firewall program or hardware, here are the most typical and trustworthy options:

  • ZoneAlarm Free Firewall
  • ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall
  • Comodo Personal Firewall
  • Small Wall

Note: Please seek information before purchasing. and PCMag both offer many articles giving suggestions about selecting good virus/adware and spyware protection.

6. Secure Your Router

The sport doesn’t finish once you make certain your router includes a firewall installed. You’ll have to further secure your router by altering the initial router password. (Make reference to to step two for instructions on developing a strong password.) It’s also smart to alter the name from the router to something which isn’t easily suspected.

Should you operate in a workplace or business setting (or maybe even at home), you’ll need to produce a guest wireless account (in case your company enables). Ideally, you need to make use of the WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) option in your router (if able) as this option offers file encryption that’s more up-to-date, instead of the older, less secure WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) option.

7. Educate Your Users

Most business proprietors most likely have a minimum of some understanding about internet security software, however that new fresh-out-of-school intern you hired may not. You need to make certain that employees and contractors making use of your software and computer possess a firm knowledge of internet security software.

Several accounting software companies, including Xero (one of the main cloud-based accounting companies) experienced attempted phishing attacks in 2015. A phishing (pronounced “fishing”) attack takes place when online hackers “fish” for user’s passwords and knowledge to allow them to hack accounts. These attacks aren’t restricted to cloud-based software and may affect in your area-installed software users too since the attack frequently uses email as opposed to the software itself.

Within the 2015 attack, Xero users were sent an imitation email that appeared as if it had been from Xero but contained “malicious content.” While the organization resolved this problem quickly, the very best solution should be to have educated users who know to prevent suspicious links and verify addresses.

There’s a couple of methods for you to educate the employees:

  • Distribute pertinent articles in weekly company emails– Have the employees read articles like Xero’s “3 Ways to avert being Phished” or McAfee’s “10 Ideas to Stay Safe Online.”
  • Make Sure for https:// – https:// isn’t just an accumulation of random letters and symbols—it signifies the site you’re going to access meets acceptable security standards. If you notice that the site doesn’t have https:// in front from it, it isn’t secure and is a gimmick.
  • Encourage free education courses– Online for free courses cover a range of topics, including security. Khan Academy offers courses on Cybersecurity, and MOOC offers an internet Security Fundamentals course, a Network Security course, a Cloud-computing Security course, and much more. These two sources have the freedom and you will find several others like them.
  • Enroll your team in certification classes– Although you join web based classes, you may also earn verified certificates for that classes you are taking. Most of the certificate classes cost extra, but it may be worth spending the organization budget on the weekend of classes if each worker arrives having a verified, professional certificate in security.

8. Make the most of User Permissions

Just about all good accounting software offers business proprietors the opportunity to manage users and hang user permissions for his or her employees. Among the best types of this within the in your area-installed software world is QuickBooks Pro, which helps you to set ten different roles (company administrator, regular user, custom users, accountant, time tracking only, reports only,  all access legal rights, no access legal rights, limited access) and control the amount of access by specific feature.

Take benefit of these user permissions. They are among the best tools to manage what your users see and don’t see. By doing this, you will know just the most reliable employees get access to more sensitive information, which eliminates worry.

9. Create Multiple Accounts for the similar Computer

For those who have multiple employees discussing exactly the same computer, make sure to create separate user accounts for every worker. The amount of user access could be controlled for everybody account, making certain extra to safeguard sensitive information.

PC World recommends creating an administrative account which is used to manage security settings along with a standard account as the work account (even if you’re alone making use of your computer). Only managers get access to computer settings, which means this ensures that nobody will get their on the job company information unless of course they’re approved. Read much more about PC World’s security recommendations within their article 9 Ways to maintain your Home windows Computer Safe.

10. Take Physical Safety Measures

Among the primary things in your area-installed software security lacks may be the physical security provided by cloud-based companies. Most cloud-based accounting software companies offer physical safety measures like 24/7 surveillance of information centers, controlled entrance to servers and knowledge facilities, etc.

I’m not to imply you have to hire an armed guard to look at your projects-from-desktop computer or office computers, however i am stating that it never hurts to become careful with where and how you store your pc. Such things as not departing your doorways unlocked and never giving untrustworthy employees access secrets of your workplace building appear like no-brainers, but go a lengthy way toward making certain your computer data is protected.

11. Keep The Software Updated

Surprisingly, software updates aren’t just designed to clutter your screen or annoy you while you’re in the center of working. These updates frequently contain fixes to potential bugs or breaches. Make certain you take time to improve your software and make sure that you are operating using the best, most contemporary safety measures.

12. Support Your Computer Data Regularly

It’s simple to ignore copying your computer data. Most cloud-based software providers handle data backups for you personally, however when you make use of a in your area installed-software, you’re accountable for creating copies of the data (just in situation anything should ever occur to your pc).

You will find cloud-storage options you are able to export data to, however this defeats the objective of a in your area-installed software, doesn’t it? However, you may also support data for an exterior hard disk that may then be kept in a secure location. Don’t forget to assist your computer data regularly so that your information can remain as current as you possibly can.

Keep Calm and Focus On

Managing your in your area-installed software’s security on your own can appear overwhelming initially, but it is possible. Hopefully these tips help make your existence simpler and make you more conscious of the significance of computer security, for both your company’s sake and for your very own well-being. Everybody can, and really should, have the ability to use their software worry-free. Although it might appear like lots of try to implement these safety measures, this really is one situation where it truly is better safe than sorry.

The publish How to maintain your In your area-Installed Accounting Software Secure made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.


The Intricacies of Invoicing Software: Are You Ready to Modernize Your Billing System?

small business invoice software

If you’re responsible for bookkeeping or billing for any kind of organization, you realize the significance of organization and accurate. You’ve reached stay on the top of who owes what or you’ll never get compensated (duh).

Many people might find the insightful available software choices confusing, though. These days, there aren’t merely a bewildering number of accounting programs to select from, but additionally dedicated invoicing software solutions, particularly created to handle every aspect of invoicing. Should you, too, are at a loss for the amount of electronic invoicing possibilities, you with thankful to understand that for many small companies, a (free!) web-based invoicing program may be all that’s necessary.

Regardless of whether you distribute invoices within the mail, digitally, or both, cloud-based invoicing software programs are a method to simplify your invoicing processes, assisting you do such things as track payments, calculate charges, send more professional-searching invoices, and provide your customers online payment options.

I come up with this short article to assist anybody thinking about making the switch to online invoicing software from traditional invoicing methods discover why it’s worthwhile. You&#8217ll also find out how cloud-based invoicing software will help you meet your objectives and help you save money, which you’ll then invest in more enjoyable online services, like Cinemax NOW and Amazon . com Prime (or simply reinvest it to your business anything you think may be the smarter choice. I&#8217ll defer for your judgement in this situation).

Who Needs Invoicing Software?

Nearly anybody can usually benefit from switching from pen-and-paper or Word-and-Stand out invoicing to dedicated software designed with the objective. Should you&#8217re thinking about making the transition, the first decision is going to be whether to check out invoicing software or accounting software.

Most accounting software includes a minimum of fundamental invoicing capacity. If you’re able to find accounting software inside your cost range that fits your invoicing needs, there&#8217s pointless you’ll need stand-alone invoicing software too. But you may want advanced invoicing features most accounting programs don&#8217t offer (for example auto-billing). Or you will be with limited funds &#8211 and invoicing software programs are frequently just a little less expensive than accounting software.

Obviously, better still than cheap is free of charge, and there are a few excellent free invoicing software options available. They are particularly great for freelancers, sole proprietors, and micro-companies.

A Brief History of Invoicing Software

In researching this subject, I came across that electronic invoicing dates completely to the mid-1960s! As the hippies were going through the limits of the awareness in Bay Area and Woodstock, companies were getting their very own little revolution, envisioning a “paperless office” and electronic file transfers. (Ok, so perhaps that’s being a tad too dramatic, but it’s kinda interesting in my experience that individuals were considering “going paperless” lengthy prior to the computer age.)

Anyway, because of ‘60s businessmen’s non-psychedelic revolution (well, most likely non-psychedelic who knows), the very first Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) systems were established in an effort to exchange transactional data, for example invoices and buy orders, with clients and vendors. These kinds of systems were utilised completely up to the 1990s, when came email and QuickBooks.

Copying a bit, you may be surprised to understand that the initial accounting software was really Peachtree, not QuickBooks. Peachtree (now Sage 50) was created for that first desktop Computers in 1977, but after QuickBooks arrived on the scene in 1992, QB grew to become the de facto software small companies employed for accounting needs like invoicing.

So, e-accounting and e-invoicing solutions have been in existence in excess of fifty years. Wild. Besides, lots of small, mother-and-pop companies and contractors have even today prevented using any type of sophisticated invoicing software simply because, well, they haven’t really required to. Sure, you utilize email, and you will use MS Word or Stand out, but you love to keep things really quite simple.

Today, another kind of another electronic revolution is going ahead (again, I’m most likely being overdramatic, however, are looking for a way to create invoicing software interesting). I’m speaking about cloud-based software. From invoicing to website design, several different popular software companies generally use has moved, or is incorporated in the processing of moving, towards the cloud.

Cloud-computing offers lots of advantages over traditional invoicing methods, also it makes going high-tech together with your old-school paper and snail-mail invoicing system quite simple and much more useful than ever before.

What’s Cloud-computing?

The primary two kinds of software in the marketplace today include software that is a component of a hard disk or server (on-premise software) and software that’s available on the web or “in the cloud.” “In the cloud” implies that information is stored on remote servers that may be utilized from the computer or any other device you receive online with — your smartphone, your tablet or netbook, etc.

Instead of entering just how all of this works, all you will need to know for that purposes want to know , is your data — for instance, your customers’ payment information — is stored online, and that means you can get on online. The information is encrypted, which protects it from online hackers, and also, since it isn’t stored on your pc, you won’t lose it in case your computer dies.

When compared with proprietary (installed) software, that you usually pay a 1-time fee, cloud-based software works a lot more like something. Users of cloud-based software services are usually billed on the recurring monthly (or yearly, or whatever) basis.

Advantages of Invoicing Software versus. Traditional Invoicing Methods

Okay, so remember earlier after i stated cloud-based invoicing software programs are both simple and easy , useful? For example of the items which means, particularly, with regards to the benefits it provides over doing everything by hands (or utilizing a spreadsheet program like Stand out, which isn’t created for invoicing).

Get compensated faster — The earlier you signal your invoices, the earlier you’ll probably get compensated. With smart invoicing software, you are able to schedule invoices to become sent As soon as possible, meaning faster, more reliable earnings for you personally. Furthermore, most invoicing software enables you to definitely collect online payments using a service like PayPal or Stripe, that is way quicker than awaiting a cheque (as well as easier for the clients and vendors).

Become more organized — Invoicing software leaves little room for human error, meaning less missed payments or overdue payments will fall with the cracks. Using smart software, you won’t need to make sure to do important billing tasks because they’ll be performed instantly.

Look more professional — Invoicing software typically includes professional-searching invoice templates, which you’ll personalize together with your company name and emblem.

Collect automatic payments — Should you offer any kind of subscription or membership-based service, you should use invoicing software to gather automatic payments each month (or every three several weeks, each year, etc.).

Collect helpful sales information — Most invoicing software has reporting abilities which allow you to track payments, forecasted earnings, client history, and so on. Some likewise incorporate fundamental expense tracking. After that you can evaluate these reports to create important business decisions.

Better billing statements — Again, with less room for human error, you receive better billing statements so you don’t anger your clients by overcharging them, or lose out on revenue by undercharging. Some software may even instantly calculate taxes and late charges.

Save sources — Handling all of your billing by hands takes considerable time, and everyone knows that point is money. Plus going paperless may also save lots of trees and also the cost to purchase individuals dead trees. Based on this 2013 TechRadar article, e-invoicing, that’s, emailing clients invoices rather of mailing them printed bills, is roughly 10 occasions less expensive than paper invoicing.

Send invoices everywhere — Cloud-based invoicing software could be utilized everywhere with a web connection. Which means you can certainly invoice customers or access your business’s billing information wherever you’re in the planet, as well as out of your phone if you want to.

Audit protection — Using invoicing software results in a obvious record of sales figures along with other cash-flow information. This article prove helpful while preparing your taxes and will also be essential to cover your A-S-S should you ever get audited through the I-R-S. (One caveat, though: Good invoicing practices really are a start. However, you should certainly consider double-entry accounting to maintain your ducks consecutively&#8211especially since most cloud-based accounting programs allow it to be quite simple.)

Better security — Payment information which is presented lower in writing or held in Stand out sheets or even the like is susceptible to thievery and destruction in case of an all natural or technical disaster. Cloud-based software stores such sensitive information within an encrypted format on remote servers. This reduces your liability and causes it to be which means you won’t lose all of your important data in case your server will get hacked or destroyed inside a ton, alien invasion, etc.

Invoicing Software Features

Invoice software typically comes full of helpful features, from customizable invoice templates and automatic florida sales tax calculation to recurring invoices and automatic payment reminders. Using invoicing software doesn’t need to mean going completely paperless, either — some invoicing software systems include “snail mail” services too.

Obviously, its not all invoicing solution includes every possible feature, but here are a few common options that come with invoicing software.

  • Online payment options
  • Customizable templates
  • Estimates/quotes
  • Recurring invoices
  • Automatic payment reminders
  • Online client portal
  • Capability to attach files to invoices
  • Automatic receipts
  • Fundamental stock list along with other inventory features
  • Financial statements
  • Automated late charges
  • Customer statements
  • Offer percentage discounts
  • Auto-billing
  • Multi-lingual abilities
  • Inventory tracking
  • Email services (distribute invoices within the mail)
  • Multi-currency support
  • Time tracking
  • Expense tracking
  • Field for S&ampH or P&ampP
  • Florida sales tax and VAT calculation
  • Mobile phone applications
  • API for developers to integrate the program using their existing systems

  • Fundamental bookkeeping features

If you’re presently looking for invoicing software, it’s smart to check out their list and choose featuring you’ll need, that are &#8220nice-to-haves,&#8221 and which you’ll equally well do without.

Primary Kinds of Small Company Invoice Software

While we’re mostly concentrating on cloud-based invoicing software in the following paragraphs, there’s also some in your area installed options. You may also select from free and compensated invoicing software, in addition to accounting software with invoicing features.

Cloud-based — As pointed out, lots of modern invoicing software programs are cloud-based. Free or pay-as-you-go cloud software provides you with versatility and scalability and frequently requires minimal, or no, commitment. Additionally, it provides secure data storage and backups.

In your area installed — There’s also some invoicing programs you are able to download for your computer, for example Invoice Expert and ExpressInvoice. In your area installed programs could be cheaper over time (a 1-time cost as opposed to a subscription). However, they lack mobility along with other helpful online features.

Accounting software (with invoicing features) — Quickbooks Online, Xero, FreeAgent, and Zoho Books are types of cloud-based accounting software with invoicing features. (FreeAgent and Zoho Books have particularly nice invoicing features, much better than that which you&#8217ll get in some dedicated invoicing software.) An alternative choice is in your area installed accounting software with invoicing features, for example Quickbooks and Sage 50.

Free — You might be surprised to understand that virtually all of the main cloud-based invoicing software services possess a free option&#8211though for many programs, the constraints from the free version render it virtually useless. (FreshBooks&#8217s free version, for example, enables you to definitely manage just one client.) Still, there are several excellent free options available which permit for limitless clients. You might not get as numerous features or just as much customer care just like compensated plans, however for some small companies or freelancers, a totally free plan may be all that’s necessary. Selecting a totally free program will typically help you save between $100 and $500 each year.

Compensated — With compensated plans, you typically have more features, more users, and customer care. Additionally you can remove any software provider’s branding and/or domain around the invoices you signal out, replacing it with your personal company information.

For additional info on the variations between free and compensated cloud-based invoicing software, take a look at Merchant Maverick’s Katherine Miller’s article about them. How to pick Invoicing Software also offers some helpful information on the variations between free and compensated invoicing software, and cloud-based versus. in your area installed invoicing software.

The Best Small Business Invoicing Software

Beginning to obtain a wise decision of the items invoicing software can perform for you personally, and which invoicing features you may want? I really hope so, otherwise why shall we be held spending my Saturday penning this? Great! Keeping that concept in your mind, take the time to see about some the greatest-rated (rated 4 stars or greater by Merchant Maverick) invoicing software systems available so that you can pick which of those programs will best match your specific needs and budget.

The next invoicing software packages are rated 4-5 stars on Merchant Maverick. All of these are web-based solutions with a totally free along with a compensated option.


Freshbooks small business invoicing software

FreshBooks is excellent cloud-based invoicing solution with a few fundamental bookkeeping features. (Unlike its advertising, however, it’s not full accounting software.) It’s among the finest invoicing solutions available on the market at the moment, also it integrates having a vast number of software. It’s excellent customer care and it is very simple to use. FreshBooks is tailored to independent contractors and small, service-based companies.

Best features:

  • More integrations than every other software
  • Recurring invoices
  • Auto-billing
  • Automatic payment reminders
  • Client statements
  • Customizable automatic notecards
  • Discounts and late charges
  • Partial payments
  • Online payment option through PayPal
  • iPhone/Android apps


You should use FreshBooks free indefinitely to handle just one client. Based on the number of users and clients you’ve, compensated plans vary from $19.95/month to $39.95/month.


small business invoice software

Invoicera is yet another excellent, easy-to-use cloud-based invoicing software solution with wonderful features, although the customer support could stand improvement. It is among the pricier options, however it provides more features than most invoicing software and includes auto-billing. Actually, if you would like each and every invoicing feature obtainable in stand-alone software, your decision is nearly certainly Invoicera.

Best features:

  • Auto-billing
  • Inventory tracking
  • Project budgeting
  • Client portal
  • 21 payment gateways
  • Invoice personalization options
  • Smooth navigation
  • API
  • Time tracking
  • Estimate tool to deal with quotes
  • Multi-currency


Free plan includes limitless invoicing for 3 clients and something user. Compensated plans vary from $19.95/month to $99.95/month.

Zoho Invoice

small business invoicing software

Zoho Invoice is definitely an attractive cloud-based invoicing choice for many companies, because it provides a slew of features at an affordable cost. Technology-not only by itself or along with other Zoho products.

Best features:

  • Recurring invoices
  • Online payments
  • Payment reminders
  • Intuitive interface
  • Multi-currency
  • API
  • Time tracking
  • Send invoices via snail-mail (for further cost)
  • Reports
  • Import/export abilities
  • Florida sales tax calculation


Free plan includes one user and 5 clients. Compensated plans vary from $15/month to $30/month.


small business invoice software

Invoiceable is free of charge for everybody to make use of without any limits — it doesn’t actually have a compensated version. You could have as numerous clients and send as numerous invoices as you desire. It&#8217s even the only free version that provides you the opportunity to create and send recurring invoices. For really small companies and freelancers who’ve a comparatively low invoice volume – particularly if your present option would be typing up invoices in MS Word or Stand out – Invoiceable is definitely an option really worth thinking about.

Best features:

  • Recurring invoices
  • Email or PDF invoices
  • Discounts and partial payments
  • PayPal online payment option
  • Multi-currency
  • Client list
  • Ultra-easy and simple to make use of


There’s no recurring monthly charge, however, you will pay a 1-time payment to get rid of the Invoiceable Branding (£49) or show your personal domain on emailed invoices rather of Invoiceable’s (£39).


small business invoicing software

Debitoor is really a fundamental cloud invoice software service that’s simple to use and proficient at what it really does. It’s very decent customer support, even on free plans. Debitoor is tailored to independent contractors and small companies.(Note for the United States readers: this program isn&#8217t yet obtainable in the U.S. or Canada.)

Best features:

  • Estimates feature
  • Set default payment terms by client
  • Reports
  • Florida Sales Tax/VAT
  • API
  • Bank reconciliation


Debitoor offers three cost tiers: Free, Premium (€5/month) and Premium Plus (€10/month).

Compare the top five cloud-based invoicing software programs at-a-glance.

Final Thoughts:

With regards to the current software small companies use, it’s a real buyer’s market. With cloud-based software, automating your invoicing responsibilities no more requires you to purchase an expensive QuickBooks software suite. Heck, you barely even require a computer nowadays, you are able to run your entire business out of your iPad if you would like.

Lightweight cloud-based invoicing software enables you to cover just the features you’ll need, which may be offered free of charge. Such invoicing software programs are usually simple to learn and employ, and certainly simpler and fewer time-consuming than doing everything by hands. As well as for traditionalists — you don’t always need to lose out on snail-mail features, either.

To help you get began on the road to an simpler, more organized invoicing system for the business, browse a lot of our invoicing software reviews or you can call us with any queries you may have about invoicing software.

The publish The Intricacies of Invoicing Software: Are You Ready to Modernize Your Billing System? made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.


How You Can Keep Accounting Data Safe within the Cloud

Cloud Security

We store away our physical treasures behind locks, what concerning the treasures we can’t see? How about the data we store with that invisible mystery known as the Cloud?

The web is perhaps the area we want security probably the most, and also the place we most frequently ignore. If you are using cloud-based accounting software, security is much more critical in the end, this is actually the placed you record sensitive financial information for the company, employees, and customers.

Most cloud-based accounting software companies offer some selection of safety measures, but they are individuals measures enough?

Regrettably, the solution to that’s frequently &#8220no.&#8221 While selecting an application company with strong security is essential, you should realize the function that you simply personally play to keep your computer data safe within the cloud. Within this publish, we’ll provide eight useful tips and methods to maximizing your security to be able to keep the accounting information safe and sound. And also you don’t have to be a tech genius to apply them.

Questions you should ask Regarding Your Company

Firstly, make sure to select a software with strong security.

Good accounting software information mill upfront and honest regarding their security policies, which policies can generally be located on the bottom of the websites. Should you aren’t very acquainted with cloud accounting or internet security software, it’s not easy to understand things to look for when it comes to safety measures, so we’ve produced a summary of questions that you should ask your present or potential company.

Note: If you work with or selecting a in your area-installed accounting software, your software provider doesn’t provide security. You are well on your personal when it comes to security since all safety precautions is going to be directly mounted on home. Skip lower to another section for useful security tips (many of which affect in your area installed software too) or stay tuned in for the How To Maintain Your In your area Installed Accounting Software Secure publish.

1) Have they got multiple data centers?

You need to decide on a company which has multiple data centers, preferably in various, undisclosed locations. By doing this, contrary transpires with one data center, you still possess a copy of the company file saved securely.

Certainly one of most typical difficulties with cloud accounting is servers crashing. If your company has multiple data centers with multiple servers, this is not an issue and you may keep using your software in peace.

2) Do you know the physical safety measures at these data centers?

Since data centers store your sensitive financial information (including accounts, charge cards, SSN, etc.), you need to make sure that strong physical safety measures are come to safeguard your data. Physical safety measures can (and really should) include:

  • 24/7/365 surveillance
  • Video monitoring
  • Bulletproof walls
  • Fire protection
  • Ton protection

3) Is data supported regularly?

Not getting frequent data backups ought to be an offer-breaker. Contrary should ever happen, you would like so that you can retrieve up-to-date copies of the documents.

4) Is my data encrypted?

Probably the most important safety measures to consider in accounting software programs are data file encryption. 256-bit SSL file encryption is good. Read our publish What’s SSL? An initial Take a look at Internet Security if you’d like to find out more.

5) Who can access my data?

Carefully read your company’s privacy statement to determine who can access your computer data and just how that information is used. Frequently, live bank feed integrations or accountants may have read-only use of sensitive information, that is important that you should know. My general guideline is that if studying the privacy statement enables you to feel queasy, it’s not best for you.

Also, make sure to ask cure can access the information centers. Ideally, companies have controlled entrances and admit approved personnel only.

6) Does the organization have virus/invasion recognition?

This can be a key preventative measure that may catch any potential intrusions or breaches before they be a problem, providing you with reassurance and added security.

7) Exist firewalls in position?

A firewall blocks unauthorized use of a network, offering another layer of preventative security.

8) Has the organization have you been hacked before?

This really is most likely the most crucial question. Being hacked (or experiencing a burglar breach) previously can clearly be considered a huge indicator of poor security (although, when the hack was the catalyst for considerably improved security, then the organization will probably be worth keeping within the running).

You’ll should also look into the company’s downtime ratings or history—that is, how frequently the company’s servers crash. You’ll need a company with positive uptime so that as couple of crashes as you possibly can. You may have to complete some Googling to uncover these details.

9) Bonus: Does the organization offer two-factor authentication?

While two-factor authentication isn’t necessary, it adds another layer of security that stops online hackers, or perhaps employees and coworkers, from stepping into your bank account having a stolen password. We’ll cover this in greater detail below.

Security Safeguards You Need To Take

The sport doesn’t finish once you choose a cpa software company with strong security. You’d be amazed by how your own security habits—or lack thereof—affect your data’s safety (as well as your own safety for instance). That’s why we’ve come up with these eight steps that may help you as well as your employees keep the accounting data protected.

1. Don’t Share Your Passwords with Anybody

Whenever we say don’t share passwords with anybody, we mean it. Passwords should be a secret for any reason.

Cloud Security

We might not be speaking concerning the one ring to rule all of them, but we may as well be. Security is really a major problem, so make certain you retain passwords secret—keep it safe—because that’s the surest method to protecting your organization.

2. Create Strong Passwords

Everybody has heard over and over it&#8217s necessary to create strong passwords for the internet accounts, but how can you really do this? We’ve collected several tips from experts within the technology and security field let’s start with what not to complete.


  • Share passwords
  • Use common password combinations (123456)
  • Stick to the most common password formats (based on Business Insider)
    1. “one uppercase [letters], five lowercase [letters] and three digits”
    2. “one uppercase [letters], six lowercase [letters] and 2 digits”
    3. “one uppercase [letters], three lowercase [letters] and five digits”
  • Make use of the same password for multiple spots
  • Begin with a capital letter adopted by lowercase letters
  • Finish within an exclamation point
  • Use password checkers


  • Use lengthy passwords (a minimum of 8 letters)
  • Use a mix of letters, figures, and symbols
  • Use multiple special figures
  • Produce a brand-new password for each site
  • Allow it to be appear random

Tip: Business Insider interviewed an expert hacker from RedTeam Security, a cyber security firm that identifies any weaknesses inside a company’s security before a hacker can, about his top tip for picking out passwords. The hacker, Kurt Muhl, states to generate a sentence you are able to remember, like: “I bought the house for $1.” Then, go ahead and take first letter of every word only, which means you&#8217re left with Ibmhf$1. Along with a couple of extra symbols or figures where you’ll easily remember, and you’ve got your strong password. In the end, it’s much simpler to keep in mind a sentence more than a random assortment of letters, figures, and symbols.

3. Store Passwords Safely

Okay, significantly improved you are aware how to set strong passwords, how in the event you store them? It might be wise to create a unique password for each login you’ve, but there’s not a way to keep in mind all individuals passwords inside your mind. We’ve checked out several possible solutions, in addition to unsafe organization methods to steer clear of.

A few of these guidelines appear apparent, but you’d be amazed the number of people don’t understand that the next storage choices harmful:


  • Store them within an Stand out document on your pc
  • Store these questions Word document on your pc
  • Store them with any type of document on your pc (online hackers can continue to access these)
  • Save them in emails (sent or received)
  • Leave them on the office
  • Insert them in personal files that clearly states PASSWORDS

The end result is, don’t leave them where another person could access them. Hide your listing of passwords from the sight of family, coworkers, and cleaning crews.

Where in the event you keep the passwords?

Lots of people within the tech industry recommend that you employ an online password manager like LastPass, Dashlane, or KeyPass. It&#8217s important to note that LastPass continues to be hacked on multiple occasions. Whether it were me, I wouldn’t take a chance on online password management tools where my data might be in danger from security breaches.

Rather, I suggest writing a summary of passwords and storing then within an inconspicuously named file inside a locked file cabinet or safe that just you can get. Should you really would like your data safe, write your passwords in some kind of consistent code that known only to you which isn’t written lower.

Yes, it may sound like lots of work, however it&#8217s a cost worth having to pay to keep your computer data&#8212and more to the point, the information of the clients&#8212safe.

4. Use Two-Factor Authentication

In case your software offers it, utilize it. Two-factor authentication is really a security precaution which makes users sign in with a password and another type of identification (email the three, ATM card number, fingerprint, etc.). This security isn’t foolproof, at all, however it means people can’t access your bank account with only your password.

Accounting software firms that use two-factor authentication include:

  • Xero
  • QuickBooks Online
  • Zoho Books
  • NetSuite

5. Install Virus/Adware and spyware Recognition Software

In case your software provider doesn’t use invasion or virus recognition, we advise researching the herpes virus recognition/adware and spyware solution. (Virus/adware and spyware software may be beneficial for private computers too, whether or not the software provider you utilize does offer this type of security.)

A number of common and trustworthy options include:

  • Bitdefender Anti-virus Plus
  • Bitdefender Total Security
  • Kaspersky Anti-Virus
  • Kaspersky Internet Security Software
  • McAfee LiveSafe
  • ESET Internet Security Software
  • Avira Internet Security Software Suite

Note: Please seek information before purchasing. Forbes and PCMag both offer many articles giving suggestions about selecting good virus/adware and spyware protection.

6. Educate Your Users

Most business proprietors most likely have a minimum of some understanding about internet security software, however that new fresh-out-of-school intern you hired may not. You need to make certain that employees and contractors making use of your software possess a firm knowledge of internet security software.

In 2015, Xero (one of the main accounting companies in security) experienced an attempted phishing attacks. A phishing (pronounced “fishing”) is how online hackers “fish” for user’s passwords and knowledge to allow them to hack accounts. Within this attack, Xero users were sent an imitation email that appeared as if it had been from Xero however it contained “malicious content.” While the organization resolved this problem quickly, the very best solution should be to have educated users who know to prevent suspicious links and verify addresses.

There’s a couple of methods for you to educate the employees:

  • Distribute pertinent articles in weekly company emails – Have the employees read articles like Xero’s “3 Ways to avert being Phished” or McAfee’s “10 Ideas to Stay Safe Online.”
  • Encourage free education courses – Online for free courses cover a range of topics, including security. Khan Academy offers courses on Cybersecurity, and MOOC provides a Web Security Fundamentals course, a Network Security course, a Cloud-computing Security course, and much more. These two sources have the freedom and you will find several others like them.
  • Enroll your team in certification classes – Although you join web based classes, you may also earn verified certificates for that classes you are taking. Most of the certificate classes cost extra, but it may be worth spending the organization budget on the weekend of classes if each worker arrives having a verified, professional certificate in security.
  • Follow your software company on Twitter – Among the first places companies publish security breaches is on Twitter because they are able to tell others fast and rapidly update users on any developments. Make sure to &#8216follow&#8217 your software company so that you can inform your employees in regards to a breach or server downtime immediately. Or, even better, have the employees follow the organization on their own work Twitter accounts.

7. Make the most of User Permissions

Just about all good accounting software offers business proprietors the opportunity to manage users and hang user permissions for his or her employees. Among the best types of this really is Xero, which helps you to set five different roles (no access, read-only, invoice only, standard, and consultant) and control the amount of access by specific feature.

Cloud Security

Take benefit of these user permissions. They are among the best tools to manage what your users see and don’t see. By doing this, you will know just the most reliable employees get access to more sensitive information, which eliminates worry.

8. Keep The Software Updated

Surprisingly, software updates aren’t just designed to clutter your screen or annoy you while you’re in the center of working. These updates frequently contain fixes to potential bugs or breaches. Make certain you take time to improve your software and make sure that you are operating using the best, most contemporary safety measures.

Prepared to Rumble

Hopefully these tips make you more conscious of the significance of internet security software, for both your company’s sake and for your very own wellbeing. Everybody can, and really should, have the ability to use their software worry-free. Although it might appear like lots of try to implement these safety measures, this really is one situation where it truly is better safe than sorry.

Make sure to look out for the article &#8220How to maintain your In your area Installed Accounting Software Secure,&#8221 not far off to some website in your area.

The publish How You Can Keep Accounting Data Safe within the Cloud made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.


Merchant Maverick’s Awards for Best Small Business Software

Best small business software

For most small business owners, it’s a jungle out there. Danger lurks around every corner, predators seem to be silently stalking your every movement, and – in the immortal words of Jethro Tull – the rivers are full of crocodile nasties. Let’s face it, when it comes to start-ups and small businesses the statistics are grim. According to one recent study, the failure rate of retail establishments after four years is over 50%, and businesses in the service industry usually meet the same fate. Sadly, restaurants tend to do even worse, and the majority are forced to close their doors before a decade has passed.

There are many reasons why businesses eventually fail – bad locations, limited staff, a poor economic climate, etc. But experts are beginning to agree that most failed businesses (no matter what industry they belong to) have one, very important factor in common: inexperience on the part of the owners/managers. It’s all very well to follow your dreams, but man does not live on dreams alone. For most of us, a little thing called money is required if we want to eat, access our electricity, wash our clothes, keep our children shod, etc. That’s right, money. It’s what you get when you run a business that brings in more revenue than it puts out. That sounds so simple: spend less than you make. But the reality is that pulling in a profit takes knowledge, skill, and access to the proper tools. Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve opened up a cat-grooming boutique or finally launched that grilled-cheese food truck you’ve always wanted – if you don’t know what you’re doing when you set out, and/or don’t bother to learn as you go, you might as well throw your seed money down the storm drain.

Fortunately, at Merchant Maverick (MM), we understand how hard it can be to start a business – let alone to keep one going for more than a year or two. You shouldn’t have to do everything by yourself – keeping up with inventory, payment processing, invoicing, shipping, point of sale, website design and the like is nearly impossible without the right equipment (good ol’ pen and paper just doesn’t cut it anymore). The good news? Advances in software and cloud technology have resulted in some pretty impressive small business tools. Even better news? The writers and reviewers at MM have invested thousands of hours researching, testing, and rating small business services/software. In other words, we know our stuff. Running a business is a tremendous burden, but the heavy lifting has already been done – we’ve done if for you – and all you need do is benefit from our years of experience.

Each company below has undergone a rigorous evaluation by an experienced MM reviewer. We scoured websites, read help articles, and browsed through user forums. We talked to customer service and saw for ourselves how responsive they were. And most importantly, we tested the actual software or service ourselves. The following are our reviewers’ top small business software picks for merchant services/payment processing as well as for mobile payments, shopping carts, point of sale, accounting, inventory management, invoicing, booking, email marketing, CRM, project management, loyalty rewards, and website building.

So, without further ado, let the awards ceremony for the best small business software begin!

Merchant Account Providers

Winner: Dharma Merchant Services


Dharma Merchant Services is one of our all-time favorite companies, period, here at Merchant Maverick. Defined by exceptional customer support, low-cost hardware, excellent industry connection, and reasonable negotiation-free rates and fees, Dharma is an ideal option for small businesses with in-person sales. It distinguishes itself from the competition by using only interchange-plus pricing and charging no early termination fees or monthly minimums. There are no annual fees, no application fees, and no pesky PCI compliance fees to deal with either. In addition, this company dedicates 50% of its net profits to charity. Dharma is basically a paragon of integrity, honesty, and respect, and it’s worth its weight in gold in this sometimes unscrupulous industry,

There is one small catch: businesses must process at least $10K per month to use Dharma Merchant Services. Businesses with smaller revenue streams are directed instead to Flint Mobile (see review below).

Dharma offers amazing in-house customer support during business hours (8:00am – 5:00pm Pacific Time). If you need support outside this time frame, you will be directed elsewhere, depending on the severity of your issue and what processor you’re using.

To read more about Dharma Merchant Services, see our full review here.

Runner-Up: CDGcommerce


Boasting a great reputation and a low monthly base fee (which includes access to Quantum gateway), CDG Commerce is a budget friendly alternative to Dharma Merchant Services, especially for low-volume merchants or web-based businesses. CDG was established in 1998, and has had plenty of time to cultivate a reputation for honesty and excellence. In fact, customer complaints are nearly non-existent, which is a miracle in itself after nearly 20 years in business. Like Dharma, CDG offers interchange-plus pricing, does not charge an early termination fee, and has no gateway setup fees or PCI compliance fees.

CDG Commerce charges only $10 per month in base fees; beyond that, you can pick and choose which additional services you want to pay for. This is a great system, as it ensures that you won’t be stuck buying things you neither want, nor need.

CDG offers live chat, email, and phone support 24/7. In our experience, support staff is helpful, knowledgeable, and scrupulously honest.

Click here to read our full review of CDGcommerce.

Mobile Payments

Winner: Flint Mobile


Flint Mobile is our overall top pick for mobile, based primarily on its speed, ease of use, reliability, and price point. To start off, it doesn’t offer a swiper – not a free one, not a paid one, just no reader whatsoever. You can either key in card numbers or simply use your phone’s camera to scan numbers instead. That in and of itself significantly reduces the cost for setting up your account. Flint therefore has the ability to offer lower rates, which is exactly what they do. And with a ridiculously low rate for processing debit alongside a very fair credit rate, they’re nearly impossible to beat.

Flint has only two rates:

  • Debit transactions: 1.95%
  • Credit transactions: 2.95%

Yep, that’s it. It doesn’t get more complicated than that at any point: there are no per transaction fees, no non-qualified fees, and no surcharges of any kind. Flint Mobile runs transactions at a much faster speed than other similar apps, and while it might take a couple tries to get your scanning settings set up the way you like, Flint makes customization an easy and intuitive process. Our one complaint is that they do not provide any means for printing a paper receipt.

One very important thing to mention about Flint Mobile is that, even with the EMV liability shift (effective October 1st, 2015), users have no need to upgrade hardware. The camera scan will continue to work as it always has, with no change to liability. Currently it’s the only mobile processor we’re aware of that will securely process chip cards with no hardware upgrade.

This app can’t replace a full-feature tablet POS, but it comes with a number of amazing features (integrated QR coupons, invoicing, customizable receipts, etc.) and executes service flawlessly. If you’re looking for a sensible, surefire way to accept payments and grow your clientele, you can’t go wrong with Flint Mobile.

If you’d like more information about Flint Mobile, check out our full review.

Runner-Up: Payline Data


Payline Data is mostly a standard merchant account provider, but it has a good mobile solution and low-volume fee structure. Extra services are offered as-needed, so you only have to pay for what you need. There are two pricing models (to accommodate both low and high volume merchants):

Simple (Under $5,000 per month)

  • $5 monthly fee
  • Interchange + 0.50%
  • $0.10 per transaction

Pro (Over $5,000 per month)

  • $20 monthly fee
  • Interchange + 0.20%
  • $0.10 per transaction

We really appreciate the number of customer service and support outlets Payline provides, and it has an extensive knowledge base and FAQ for self-service support, which is quite nice.

Payline Data delivers on any businesses essential needs, and has managed to maintain positive reviews and a spotless reputation since 2009 – which is no small task in the credit card processing industry. In general, it’s a great pick for mobile processing for small businesses everywhere.

Find out more about Payline Data by reading our full review here.

Shopping Carts

Winner: Shopify


Shopify is unique in that it can be used as a physical POS or an online shopping cart or both at once. This inherent flexibility gives it a clear edge over other shopping carts, and its low price point make it well within the reach for small businesses, even those with strained budgets. Shopify is the industry standard for shopping cart software, and for good reason. There are never any limits to the number of products you can sell, which is nice, though there aren’t many limits to the software in general.

All Shopify plans come with a full 14-day (no credit card required) trial. There are no setup or cancellation fees. Plans range from $14/month to $179/month with rates ranging from 2.9% + 30¢ to 2.4% + 30¢. You can pay on a month-to-month basis, but you’ll receive a 10% discount if you choose to pay for one year up front (a 20% discount is offered for those who sign a two-year contract). We’re not terribly fond of Shopify’s transaction fees, unfortunately, although they do get waived if you use Shopify as your credit card processor.

Shopify is eminently user friendly, and the cart is easy to set up and easy to manage. In our experience, the software works flawlessly from the point of view of both the customer and the merchant, and it is one of the most feature-rich carts available. It is accessible for online mavens, but it is also well within the reach of newcomers and amateurs. Shopify offers a number of apps, some of which are free and some of which may cost a small fee. You can check out Shopify’s App Store to browse offerings.

Customer support is available via phone, email, and live chat, but there are other great self-help resources as well, including a support center, Knowledge Base, a discussion forum, and a Shopify “Experts” page where you can find experienced professionals in design, marketing, development, and photography.

For more information, click here to read our full review of Shopify.

Runner-Up: Ecwid


Ecwid, the “go anywhere, sell anything, no manual required” shopping cart, is designed for small eCommerce businesses, as well as for individual sellers and start-ups. We’re big fans of Ecwid, and there are two main reasons why. Firstly, it is extremely ubiquitous, and capable of integrating with nearly every existing website, from social media platforms to blogs. Secondly, it is so reasonably priced, compared to its competitors, that you would be foolish not to take it out for spin. Unlike most shopping carts, there is no typical “free trial period” for Ecwid. Instead, you can simply try out the Free Plan (the obvious advantage to doing this is that your services won’t be cancelled after your trial period ends).

Ecwid offers unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, and no transaction fees on every subscription level, even the free plan. Paid plans range from $15/month to $99/month. Personal support by email and online chat are only available at higher subscription levels.

Like Shopify, Ecwid gives you the option to use the software as a physical POS. However, this function is really best suited for online-only business owners who want the option of having a mobile or “pop up shop” operation, but aren’t trying to maintain a physical storefront at all times.

In general, Ecwid is a solid product with great, user-friendly elements. It’s not the best solution for high-volume sales, but most companies out there (especially startups and very small businesses) will be fully satisfied with its features and ease of use.

Read our full review of Ecwid to learn more.

POS Software

Winner: ShopKeep


ShopKeep is one of the best software solutions we’ve ever encountered at Merchant Maverick. This simple, elegant, and visually-appealing cloud-based POS has carved out a solid niche catering to small-business food and beverage sellers. For a very low monthly cost, ShopKeep can help you manage your inventory, customers, employees, as well as record transactions and offer a variety of reporting options (for analyzing all this data).

ShopKeep does not require you to sign a contract. It is a pay-as-you-go, monthly subscription service. There are no extra maintenance fees, and what’s more impressive, tech support is 100% included in the monthly charge. The actual pricing system is beautifully simple as well: $49/month/register.

Other than it’s extremely reasonable price point, ShopKeep’s biggest selling point is its ease-of-use. There is very little learning curve involved, and even the most technologically deficient should have no problem learning the ins and outs of this software in a matter of days (or hours, more likely).

Customer support is fantastic, and unlimited email, live chat, or phone is included in the monthly price. The support page on the company website is also fantastic, and offers comprehensive articles and video tutorials on every aspect of the software.

Read our full review of ShopKeep if you’d like more details.

Runner-Up: SalesVu


SalesVu is a perfect POS for the average small business, offering a robust feature set at a competitive price. eCommerce options are built right into the software, so you can design your own site from the back office without ever having to pay for (and integrate) Shopify or hire an expensive third party designer. Integrated eCommerce also ensures that communications between the web store and the brick and mortar store are smooth and seamless.

Prices range from $25/month to $150/month, depending on how many features you need (things like time tracking, accounting, etc. are a bit extra). Basically, SalesVu can be as affordable as you need it to be. Additionally, when you open an account with SalesVu you get a free credit card reader, which is a nice benefit (for some small business owners, an iPad and a credit card reader may be all you need).

Customer service is good, but the primary strengths of this software are found in its intuitive interface and broad flexibility. It is so much more than just a mobile cash register. With SalesVu, you can monitor inventory, create detailed reports, design custom discounts and promotions, maintain an active customer database, and manage employees – and you can do all these things anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection. Opening an account with SalesVu gets you a free credit card reader, which is a nice benefit. For some business owners, an iPad and a credit card reader may be all you need.

SalesVu integrates with SalesVu Easy Accounting, Quickbooks, Facebook, and Zapper.

You can check out our full review of SalesVu for more information.

Accounting Software

Winner: Xero

best small business accounting software

It’s not hard to see why Xero takes the prize for best small business accounting software. It is mobile, cloud-based, easy-to-use, and extremely comprehensible for the small business owner who is handling finances on his/her own (click here for a full list of features). While it can be more expensive long-term than something like QuickBooks Pro, small business owners – especially those who aren’t accountants by nature or profession – are more likely to enjoy using a simple, intuitive program like Xero.

There are multiple pricing plans available, ranging from $9/month to $70/month (these prices include updates as they are released, usually every 3-6 weeks). Small companies with limited invoicing needs would have to look far and wide for a similarly robust accounting/payroll package that trumps Xero’s $9/month price tag. And happily, you don’t have to sign a contract with Xero; plans are paid by the month and you can basically cancel the service at any time. Xero offers a 25% discount for non-profits and a 15% discount on your total bill if you subscribe for multiple businesses. If you do feel comfortable making a commitment and signing up for a 6 month subscription, you’ll get a 30% discount.

There are only a few minor problems with Xero, one of which is slow customer support response times. Customer service is offered 24/7, year-round, but some customers have complained of long response times, cut-and-paste answers to questions, and reps who don’t seem to actually know how to use the software. This would be a much bigger deal if Xero was complex or had a steep learning, curve, but it’s not as alarming considering the software’s general simplicity and ease of use. Furthermore, many customers praise Xero’s level of customer service, and the wait times are comparable to those of other accounting software programs.

One real perk of using Xero is that it integrates with over 400 other applications which can facilitate nearly every aspect of business operation, including inventory management, CRM, and POS (some of these are only available to certain countries; in the U.S., there are about 350 Xero integrations available). 

Read our full review of Xero here.

Runner-Up: QuickBooks Pro

Best small business accounting software

Intuit’s QuickBooks Pro is a robust, feature-rich accounting solution, perfect in many ways for small business (to see a full list of features, click here). It is locally installed software, which results in lower per-year costs and more features than your typical cloud-based software, so if you’re willing to deal with a pretty steep learning curve at the beginning (especially difficult for people who have no previous accounting background), then QB Pro can be an excellent way to save money in your accounting budget. Though it lacks the convenience of a cloud based solution – you don’t get automatic, routine updates or instant access to new features – it is a very viable accounting solution for companies with complex bookkeeping needs.

QuickBooks Pro’s list price is $299.95. This might seem a bit high compared to something like Xero, but keep in mind that QB Pro requires a one-time purchase and does not use a subscription model — and it is nearly always available at a discount. While there’s no free trial available, Intuit does back QB Pro with a 60-day guarantee; if you return the program for any reason within 60 days, you can get a full refund. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, the purchase price does not include updates, nor do you get full tech support or bank feeds. It’s also worth noting that customer service tends to be slow.

One comment we’ve noticed often on user reviews is that, while people aren’t particularly enthusiastic about QB Pro, it works and does what it’s supposed to do; many claim that it’s the best accounting program available. While that’s far from a resounding recommendation, it’s also true that despite its drawbacks, for many businesses, QB Pro is more than adequate. And whether you love it or hate it, QuickBooks Pro is often the best option for the money.

Read our full review of QB Pro here.

Inventory Management Software

Winner: Stitch Labs


Stitch, the flagship product of Stitch Labs, is a cloud-based inventory management solution with tons of functionality, myriad useful integrations, and fantastic customer service. Designed to combine inventory, billing, accounting, shipping, and eCommerce features with your choice of 3rd party integrations, Stitch is the do-it-all, full service inventory solution. As the name would suggest, it is intended to be the thread that holds the backend of your company firmly together. Really, its only flaw is that is designed exclusively for American companies. International businesses will have to look elsewhere. 

Price plans range from $29/month to $449/month, not bad considering how many features this software brings to the table. What’s more, Stitch is easy to use, even for the uninitiated. The UI is clean, understated, and intuitive. Within a few minutes of signing up, you should feel like a pro, able to create products and customer contacts and generate sales orders with ease. It’s easy to pick up on your own just by experimentation, but if you’re queasy about finding your own way around, you can reference one of the many tutorials on each page that take you step-by-step through all the basic tasks.

In general, the customer service department is responsive and helpful. Our questions were promptly answered (never longer than 24 hours, even on the weekend), and ticket creation happened immediately, so we always had a case number to reference and never felt lost in the shuffle. Not surprisingly, the Stitch Labs support team is highly praised all over the web.

Stitch integrates with a large number of other programs and applications, including Amazon, eBay, BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, and Square, to name just a few. And when you combine an excellent selection of integrations with powerful suite of tools,you’ve got inventory management software that is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses.

You can read more about Stitch Labs in our full review.

Runner-Up: TradeGecko


TradeGecko, a cloud-based inventory application for small to medium sized businesses, is comparable to Stitch Labs in functionality and number of integrations, but is more geared toward international companies (it still works well for American companies, if you don’t mind a time difference with the support staff).

The design of this software emphasizes collaboration, group workflows, and activity feeds. This means that you can reference sales information, purchase orders, and stock levels at once, and they will all update in real time. TradeGecko is intuitive and easy to use, and has a clean – if spartan – UI which is perfect for a bookkeeping system.

TradeGecko offers a free 14-day trial, no credit card required. Plans range from $49/month to $399/month, though you can get a monthly discount if you commit to paying for a year up-front. The company provides a detailed knowledge base, with step-by-step instructions for performing many tasks, and it also offers 24 hour customer support. On the whole, our support experience was positive, though a few of our tickets took longer than we would have liked to resolve.

Integrations include Shopify, Salesforce, Xero, Magento, Quickbooks Online, Amazon, and WooCommerce (to name a few). All in all, TradeGecko isn’t the cheapest product on the market (which is why it’s the runner up for this category) but it is so intuitive and feature rich that small to medium-sized businesses with a budget to kick around should give it a look.

For more information about TradeGecko, read our full review here.

Invoicing Software

Winner: Freshbooks


Officially, Freshbooks is a web-based accounting solution, though it is fair to say that it’s best utilized for its incredible invoicing features. This software is tailor made for independent contractors and small, service-based businesses; it is easy to use, has lots of interesting features (including time tracking, reporting, and expenses), and integrates with a huge variety of 3rd party applications.

Pricing, unfortunately, is a bit steep for the target market (small businesses), though there is a free plan which allows you to manage a single client. Paid plan range from $19.95/month to $39.95/month. Customer support is available Monday – Friday, 9am – 6pm EST. In our experience, representatives are remarkably quick to respond to emails (usually within 20 minutes during business hours) and are courteous, helpful, and knowledgeable.

As mentioned above, FreshBooks offers more than 60 integrations and add-ons including  PayPal, Shopify, Basecamp, and Stripe. It is as comprehensive an invoicing solution as you could hope for, especially since it does offer other perks, like reporting.

You can read our full review of FreshBooks here.

Runner-Up: Invoiceable


Invoiceable is simple, easy to use software that allows you to create professional looking invoices. It’s actually free to all, with no feature limits, though you can opt to pay a one-time fee to remove the company’s branding from your invoices: this is a perk that no other free invoicing program offers. Additionally, unlike many of the other major free invoicing programs, Invoiceable isn’t just a wimpy, scaled-back version of a paid service. You can have as many clients and send as many invoices as you like.

Of course, with a completely free service you’re going to miss certain features that come with a paid subscription. Support, for example, is unreliable and sporadic. Response times can vary between 1-12 days, and sometimes you may not get any response at all. There is also limited sales tax functionality, which means that the software really only works for businesses that charge a single, across the board tax rate, or don’t charge tax at all.

That said, if you are a freelancer or own a very small business with relatively low sales volume, this may be all you need for now. It’s leaps and bounds better than simply typing out your invoices into MS Word or Excel, and it is one of the best free options out there that both allow you to have unlimited clients and actually works in the United States! The interface is basic and intuitive, and while customer service is slow, you probably won’t need it most of the time. If this sounds like a good match for you, we suggest you try it out. You’ve got nothing to lose – after all, it’s free.

Read our full review of Invoiceable here.

CRM Software

Winner: Zoho CRM


User-friendly, reasonably-priced, and full of useful features, Zoho CRM is our favorite customer relations management software, hands down. It’s not hard to see why we’re such big fans. The “building blocks” which make up the Zoho CRM logo are not there for design purposes alone; these blocks allude to the fact that the Zoho team has developed many other business applications, all capable of working together seamlessly (much like Google Apps). In addition, Zoho has an well-deserved reputation for integrating nicely with a number of 3rd party add-ons, including MailChimp, Unbounce, Google Apps, MS Office, and Quickbooks (see a full list of add-ons and integrations here). In short, Zoho CRM software can adjust to any size business, be whatever you need it to be, and grow with you as your business expands.

You can try Zoho CRM for free with a 15-day trial of their Professional package. After that, pricing breaks down as follows:

  • Entrepreneur: Free, up to 3 users
  • Standard: $12/user/month
  • Professional: $20/user/month
  • Enterprise: $35/user/month

24-hour Mon-Fri telephone support is available to paying customers, though those using their free edition are limited to email support. However, your email questions can be flagged according to urgency, so that important queries do not fall to the wayside.

You would be hard pressed to find a CRM that provides more functionality at a lower cost. Zoho CRM is, without a doubt, the most bang for your buck.

Read our full review of Zoho CRM here.

Runner-Up: CleverTim


Clevertim is a cloud-based CRM system with a firm mission: to cater specifically to small businesses. With a surprisingly reasonable price point, a clean, user-friendly UI, and the ability to integrate with 3rd party developers (via an open API), Clevertim may just be as clever as its name suggests. The only chink in Clevertim’s armor is the lack of a mobile app. As it is now, the app functions smoothly on a desktop, but is only so-so on a tablet and virtually nonexistent on a phone.

Clevertim offers a 30 day free trial. After that, plans range from absolutely free to $99/month. You can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your subscription at any time. Unlike most other CRM systems, Clevertim does not charge on a per-user basis. Instead, each plan has a user limit. There is also  customized pricing available, which allows you to upgrade the number of users allowed in your plan.

Clevertim is relatively new and does not yet have its own dedicated Technical Support team. However, queries can be sent to the company either via web tickets or through the sales email address.

Read our review of Clevertim here.

Booking Software

Winner: BookingBug


BookingBug can do just about anything you would expect from scheduling software, but still manages to be accessible and intuitive. Many companies claim to be versatile, but this software actually is designed for a wide variety of industries, making it one of the only options out there for B&Bs or bike rental shops, and a better option than most for medium-sized spas and salons. It is a perfect tool for businesses that want to offer combination services while managing limited resources and limited staff (see a full list of features here). It is distinct from other appointment booking software other ways as well: first, it’s designed for serious scalability – which again validates its claim to be “the only real-time distributed booking and reservation system that works for all business types” –  and second, it integrates with a vast number of 3rd-party apps all over the world. This is a company that prides itself on innovation and flexibility.

Plans run from $19.95/month to $69.95/month, or you can scale up to an Enterprise plan, which are priced on an individual basis. Customer service comes free with your account. Like most companies, BookingBug relies heavily on email support, but phone support is available for some of the more expensive plans. We received helpful responses to our email inquiries within hours – always a great sign.

One terrific thing about BookingBug is that it offers your customers the option to make online payments (full or partial, including pre-payment and bulk payments); you can also issue full or partial refunds directly through the site via one of the software’s numerous payment integrations. BookingBug integrates with programs like MailChimp, WordPress, Facebook, and Dropbox as well.

There isn’t much negative feedback about the company online or in user reviews. Granted, some people have complained about issues with their mobile apps, but BookingBug’s receptivity and responsiveness to these issues speaks well about the company’s commitment to customer service.

To read our full review of BookingBug, click here.

Runner Up: Bookeo


Bookeo is cloud-based booking software with a lot to offer. Not only does it include important booking features, but it provides a surprising variety of marketing solutions, integrates with many payment platforms and third party applications, and boasts excellent security features. This is innovative software as it is, and Bookeo continues to improve with age; significant new feature releases occur every few months, and updates are frequent. The only consistent complaint disappointed reviewers have is with its lack of phone support. (Bookeo relies on email and a store of 300 tutorials for its customer support.)

Bookeo’s pricing differs by product (in other words, by whether you want to book appointments, classes, or tours), but each version offers a 30-day free trial and a 30-day money back guarantee on the first paid month of subscription. Bookeo accounts do not require set-up or processing fees and you don’t have to sign a contract – always a good sign.

One of the best things about Bookeo is that it is user-friendly. Action items and information are intuitive and clearly distinguishable, and the software in general is organized neatly, in a very manageable way. There isn’t much setup support, unfortunately, but the self-help tutorials available are precise, and sufficient enough to help you circumvent most major problems.

Customer service centers on the Bookeo Help Portal, which consists of 300 tutorials and an email support form. There is no phone support, however, and this is the only consistent complaint from disappointed reviewers. You can receive some support via a live chat option on Bookeo’s promotional website.

Read more about Bookeo here, in our full review.

Email Marketing Software

Winner: MailChimp


At Merchant Maverick, we’re all in agreement that MailChimp is the boss when it comes to email marketing. It’s a mature, time-tested software with reasonable pricing plans, a great selection of features, and tons of integration, and it scales well to just about any size campaign. Better yet, for users with modest needs, MailChimp offers a robust, flat-out generous free plan which lets you have up to 2,000 subscribers and allows you to send up to 12,000 emails per month. There’s only one real catch: if you do your email marketing with the free plan, there will be a small MailChimp badge at the bottom of every email you send out. 

Paid plans come in two basic varieties: send-based (pay as you go) and list-based (monthly). These plans are fairly specific and complex, so if you’d like more details about pricing you should navigate here.

MailChimp is generally very easy to use, and signing up for a MailChimp account is simple; enter a name and email address and you’re on your way. The customer support system is pretty extensive as well, though it lacks telephone support, which is slightly disappointing. However, our experience with them has been good; representatives were courteous and well-informed, and inquiries were answered in anywhere from 20 minutes to 20 hours, depending on urgency. MailChimp’s biggest selling point, however, is that it offers over 500 integrations and add-ons. (These include Google Analytics, Zendesk, SHopify, Magento, and Salesforce).

Check out our full review of MailChimp here.

Runner-Up: AWeber


AWeber appeals to a smaller niche than MailChimp, but it’s still incredibly easy to use and quite affordable. It comes with some very nice features, especially for businesses which want to send all new subscribers the same series of messages: the autoresponder setup in particular is easy, intuitive, and well explained within the program, and users have a lot of options. 

AWeber offers a free 30-day trial for lists of up to 500 subscribers. After that first month, there is a single list-based pricing plan available. It’s reasonably priced for the most part, but so robust that very small companies may find they are paying for lots of extra features they may not even require. If you don’t need much from your email marketing tool, you might be better off with MailChimp’s generous free plan.

In general, AWeber finds a healthy balance between ease of use and high functionality. Navigation is remarkably intuitive, considering the number of features available. The WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor has some quite impressive characteristics, and recent updates to the software have have managed to significantly improve the email design experience. Additionally, the analytics and reporting capabilities are well above par for an email marketing tool of this type, as are AWeber’s investment in numerous 3rd-party integrations.

Our experiences with customer support have been positive overall. As a rule, we’ve found AWeber’s representatives to be friendly, helpful, and prompt in responding to queries. Response times to our inquiries varied in time between 20 minutes and 6 business hours.

Read our full review of AWeber here.

Project Management Software

Winner: Trello


Trello is a visually-oriented, Kanban-based project management tool that works by allowing users to see and manage their tasks and projects via detailed ‘cards’ which are then pinned onto ‘boards.’ At its most basic level, Trello is an ingenious way to create and organize a set of virtual 3×5 cards without the risk of misplacing them, but it also can also work as a simple task management tool, offering features like file storage and automatic email notifications.

The standard, free version of Trello allows for unlimited boards, users, and attachments (with a 10 MB max per file upload). However, for a fee, Trello also offers two upgraded versions of the software: $3.75/user or $5/user

Trello’s simple, visually-appealing UI makes it incredibly easy to use; there is almost no learning curve involved. A mere five minutes after I signed up I was able to navigate the software quickly, creating cards and boards like a pro. It may be integrated with several 3rd party apps, including Zapier, Google Drive, Box. Dropbox, and OneDrive.

Trello provides email support (via to all users during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST).

Not only is this software reasonably priced, but it is characterized by elegance, simplicity, and user-friendliness. It would be difficult to find a basic project management solution with a more intuitive, visually-appealing design. And in terms of sheer adoptability – of getting your employees to actually use a software-based task management tool – Trello scores extremely high.

You can check out our full review of Trello if you’d like more information.

Runner Up: Basecamp


With over 9,000,000 current users, Basecamp is considered the most popular cloud-based project management software system of all time. It is, without doubt, one of the most user-friendly project management programs out there. When it comes down to brass tacks, simplicity is an enormously valuable characteristic, and Basecamp is just that – simple. This is project management software at its most basic and effortless level.

This software is celebrated for its no-frills, no-fuss pricing system. There are no hidden fees and no per-user costs. Plans range from $20/month to $150/month. Features include task tracking, a calendar, email notifications and a daily recap of activities, text documents (basically giant legal pads), and very simple reporting.

Basecamp is known for fast, reliable service. While they don’t provide the level of immediate personal support that you can get from other software companies (read: no phone or live chat support), the folks at Basecamp respond quickly to email requests and offer a large variety of ready-made aids and live training tools.

Basecamp itself is a pretty basic program, but there are a huge number of optional 3rd party applications available if you want or need to increase software’s functionality. You can see a complete list of Basecamp integrations on the official product website

If you have plain, bread-and-butter management requirements, we think you’ll find that Basecamp is a suitable, extremely affordable way to go. One of the best things about Basecamp is the fact that it is designed, updated, and supported by an established parent company. It is a sure bet, in other words.

Read more about Basecamp in our full review.

Shipping Software

Winner: ShipStation


ShipStation is a reasonably-priced, web-based shipping solution for eCommerce retailers. Designed to streamline the fulfillment process as much as possible, this software has invested in a huge number of integrations that make it possible for you to sync up your business with the most popular sales channels, shopping carts, payment gateways, and mail carriers.

Pricing plans range from $25/month to $145/month. There’s a free 30-day trial that includes access to all features, with no credit card required. If you’re not satisfied with the product within 90 days, ShipStation offers a full refund, no questions asked.

The user interface can be a bit overwhelming at first, as there multiple options, menus, and sub-menus displayed on most pages. A bit of patience is definitely required when you start out, though you can take advantage of a number of video tutorials, a large knowledge base, and a pretty robust community forum if you run into trouble. Actually, you can have your own personal account manager if you want, and this person will help guide you through the setup phase of your account. Some of the higher paid plans can receive chat support as well. In general, customer support is slightly disappointing, and the responses we received to queries were somewhat boilerplate and indifferent.

One of ShipStation’s biggest selling points is that it integrates with an enormous number of carriers, marketplaces and shopping carts, especially when compared to the competition, including FedEx, UPS, USPS, and Fulfillment by Amazon, as well as Shopify, Etsy, Magento, Square, eBay, etc. The list goes on.

Check out our full review of ShipStation for more information.

Runner-Up: ShipWorks


ShipWorks is probably the best shipping software available, though unfortunately it’s a PC-only app (which removes about half of the world’s users) and the learning curve is extremely high. The good news is that this software, which is designed to streamline the order fulfillment process for small to large businesses, has many amazing features you can’t find in other shipping applications. With a few clicks, ShipWorks can download shipping information from an online sales channel, calculate and print postage, generate labels, packing slips, and more. Combine this functionality with integrations for over 40 different mail carriers and eCommerce platforms, and you’ve got a shipping solution that really packs a wallop. Additionally, ShipWorks scales well, in a way that its SaaS competitors don’t.

Cost per month is determined by two different factors: shipment volume and number of licenses. Shipment volume is divided into three tiers:

  • $14.95/month for 0-99 shipments/month
  • $29.95/month for 100-999 shipments/month
  • $49.95/month for 1,000+ shipments/month

The price for shipment volume is then added to your licensing fee to determine the monthly bill. How much you pay for licensing is based on the number of online sales channels you use with ShipWorks.

Our own experiences with ShipWorks support have been positive. Turnaround times on support tickets were 24 hours or less, and we never had trouble reaching anybody on the phone. The Knowledge Base is extensive, and covers everything from setup and configuration to online marketplaces and shipping providers. What’s more, the articles are clearly written and provide plenty of screenshots.

As I mentioned above, ShipWorks integrates with a huge variety of shipping carriers and online marketplaces (including USPS, FedEx, UPS, Magento, Etsy, Shopify, Volusion), but if you happen to use a store that isn’t directly supported by ShipWorks, you can always work with a developer and use the ShipWorks Generic API to create your own integrations.

Click here to read our full review of ShipWorks.

Loyalty Rewards Software

Winner: Sweet Tooth


Sweet Tooth is a prolific loyalty rewards software that currently works with over 3500 merchants worldwide, including Delta, Universal, and Olympus. Sweet Tooth is dedicated to increasing customer engagement, and case studies from many of the clients mentioned above have demonstrated nearly 20% increases in customer lifetime values, sales and repeat purchases. It is complex software with a high learning curve, but in general, the benefits of using a robust loyalty rewards software outweigh the inconvenience of having to learn how to use it! Sweet Tooth is an ideal solution for both eCommerce merchants and merchants who use combined methods of commerce.

Sweet Tooth works best – and is most full featured – when it’s used through Magento, though you can use a lighter, simpler version of Sweet Tooth on BigCommerce or Shopify (this is free for up to 500 customers). Sweet Tooth subscription plans are offered monthly and automatically renew unless cancelled. Plans begin at $49/month, and are broken down by loyalty point transactions and annual revenue generated on Magento. If your activity exceeds the limitations of your plan you will be required to upgrade to the next available plan. You can view the full pricing details for Shopify, BigCommerce and Magento on the Sweet Tooth website.

Customer service is available Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST. Overall, our experience with Sweet Tooth has been positive. Everyone we’ve spoken to at the company has been knowledgeable and friendly, and most reviewers on Magento cite the technical support as an essential part of their loyalty program.

Read our full review of Sweet Tooth if you’re interested in learning more.

Runner-Up: Belly


Belly provides a more hassle-free loyalty rewards program than Sweet Tooth, and is ideal for smaller businesses with brick and mortar store fronts (such as bakeries, cafes, grocers, bars, spas, fitness clubs and boutiques). What’s really unique about Belly, though, are its customizeable rewards offerings and “all in one box” setup, which includes an iPad (with stand and combination lock), data reports, a personal support representative, social media integrations, and email marketing tools. Even more significantly, Belly customers get a mobile page for their business on the Belly app, where potential customers can look to find Belly-compatible businesses.

Monthly subscription costs range from $99 – $199, and all contracts run for 12 months. The cost of the iPad, iPad stand, application software, and unlimited rewards cards are included in the subscription costs for the highest plan, but an additional $150 installation fee is charged for lower plans.

Right now there are only a few drawbacks to Belly, most important of which is its steep price. Customer service can be a bit spotty as well, and unfortunately, not enough other businesses currently use it, which doesn’t provide much incentive to customers to get in the Belly network. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for an easy, no-worries loyalty program, you can’t go far wrong with Belly.

Read our full review of Belly for more details and information.

Website Building Software

Winner: Wix



Wix is our number one choice for web building software, and it’s not difficult to understand why. With its sleek editing interface and multiple selection of apps and integrations, it is an extremely effective do-it-yourself website designer. In addition to being easy to use, Wix provides a great selection of unique and visually appealing templates (there are hundreds to choose from).

The free version of Wix is provided to anyone who signs up, though any website you create under the free plan will be branded with the Wix logo. Paid plans range from $4.08/month to $24.90/month. Wix’s store offers payment processing through a handful of vendors, including PayPal, WebMoney, Skrill, and PayU.

All in all, Wix is intuitive and user-friendly. Within a few hours, you should be able to take a template, mess around for a bit with the editing tools, and build yourself an incredibly fine looking website.

Because Wix allows developers to create and share their own add-ons, other users are given the opportunity to expand and diversify their websites as well. Some of the most popular integrations available include online shop expansions (like the Etsy app), the Wix Hotels premium booking system, live Instagram feeds, website profile systems, and a variety of other site boosting applications

There is one downside to the software: unlike most other website-building services, Wix does not offer 24/7 live-chat or provide an email response system. There is a toll-free number you can call for help with technical issues, but be aware that you could possibly be put on hold for an unspecified amount of time.

Click here to read our full review of Wix.

Runner-Up: Jimdo


With its reasonable price points and clever, yet simplistic editor, Jimdo has made a mark on the website building industry. Managing to be both straightforward and comprehensive, Jimdo allows users to make custom, professional looking websites. Templates are provided, of course, but you’re not bound to the confines of the template you choose; you have total freedom to edit and can essentially be as hands-on about the design process as you want.

Jimdo plans range from free to $20/month, and all plans come with an HTML5 WYSIWYG web editor, usage of professional-grade templates, social media tools, a mobile device editing view, blogging tools, photo galleries, Google Maps, contact forms, direct video embedding, widget integration, optimized mobile websites, and unlimited bandwidth.

While the only online payment processor currently supported by Jimdo is PayPal, a selection of various real-world payment methods can be activated in a website’s store, including invoicing, payment-in-advance, collection-upon-delivery, local pickup, and local delivery.

This is an easy-to-use service that somehow still manages to astound with the depth of its overall functionality. Some things may be a bit too simple, and Jimdo isn’t sophisticated enough to work as a tool for a professional web designer, but it is perfectly suited – price-wise and in ease-of-use – for small businesses who would otherwise have to hire out their web design services.

Read our full review of Jimdo here.

The post Merchant Maverick’s Awards for Best Small Business Software appeared first on Merchant Maverick.


Is My Accounting Safe within the Cloud?

Cloud computing concept. Businessman in prayer

So you’re considering making the leap in to the online era, the brand new frontier of accounting storage: the cloud (don’t worry, we’re not speaking concerning the cumulus variety). You may&#8217re searching in order to save computer space if you take your accounting records off your hard disk or are curious about locating a more innovative method to store your computer data. Or you&#8217ve already switched! Largest, because you are studying this short article implies that you’d like to learn much more about this latest, sometimes daunting technology.

Should you&#8217re at all like me then at one time you might have believed that information kept in the cloud hovers above us within an invisible, data-like fog, which doesn’t seem just like a very practical (or secure) method to store much else. Clearly, this isn’t how it truely does work, however it does beg the issue, what is the cloud exactly, and it is it genuinely a secure method to store sensitive data like accounting information?

What’s the Cloud?

The cloud, a slang term for remote computing, is quickly being built-into our everyday lives. You most likely already use a number of cloud system and can not have any idea. If you are using an e-mail account or perhaps a Facebook account, you’re already utilizing a form of the cloud! We make use of the cloud whenever we bank online or make use of an Amazon . com account to cover an item. It&#8217s worth noting there isn&#8217t only one cloud system quite a lot of companies offer different cloud storage services at different prices and different levels of protection. The cloud&#8217s primary function is remote storage of information that, generally, backs itself up instantly.

To become more specific to accounting, data that will normally be stored on, say, a business computer’s hard disk, is rather stored on remote servers that may be utilized by having an application or software supplied by an exterior, 3rd party source. Therefore, to be able to store, access, and manage your financial information, all that’s necessary a web connection along with a password.

But is that this convenience really safe? Is it possible to trust something as essential as your accounting data in something as nebulous and sophisticated because the cloud?

Safety First!Cloud Accounting Security

Plus a growing interest in online cloud services originates an elevated interest in security. Nobody wants to buy something they don’t feel at ease using. Greater demands for security have brought companies to build up some pretty standard measures of safety. You should observe that every company offering cloud accounting services will have different safety standards and operations, which is your decision to consider those before you purchase cloud space.

Listed here are security features to consider with regards to acquiring the right cloud service for your requirements of your organization.

Automatic Back-Up

Most cloud companies offer automatic back-up services. Based on the organization you select, some start to back-your data as soon as the program is installed. Other individuals also permit you to set your personal back-up schedule, allowing for you to definitely personalize how frequently you need back-ups to happen. The good thing relating to this feature is the fact that once it is to establish, your data is saved and stored with virtually no effort from you.


Another major safety feature associated with cloud me is redundancy. Which means that multiple copies of the information are backed-up and kept in a number of different personal computers, and perhaps, different geographic locations, minimizing the chance of complete destruction of the information because of equipment deterioration, an electrical outage, or perhaps a natural disaster. By getting your data stored on multiple computers (frequently with various back-up power sources), cloud providers can ensure that more often than not your computer data is going to be accessible. Despite this selection, it’s also smart to download your computer data and do your personal back-up from time to time. It doesn’t need to be frequent, however this ensures that you’ll always get access to older versions of the information. This is useful when a number of your data was accidentally deleted or tampered with, since most cloud companies only provide accessibility newest form of your data (that could include potential “bad” data).

File encryption

While your computer data has been transmitted out of your company towards the cloud, and even though it is stored around the cloud, you need to make certain that it’s encrypted. Encrypted information is transposed right into a special code in case the information is utilized by unauthorized personnel, it’s difficult for your person to create sense at all of the items they&#8217re seeing. There are various kinds of file encryption and various standards of safety. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a great one of the broadly used file encryption method, which supplies safe transmission of the data from websites and browsers. SSL file encryption is generally explained several. For instance, a business would use a 128-bit SSL file encryption, that is pretty standard for accounting software this is the amount of file encryption that many major banks use. The greater the amount, the low the possibility that anybody is ever going to have the ability to hack your data using a brute pressure attack. To place this into perspective, cryptographers think about a 128-bit secret key virtually impossible to hack. It’s believed it would go ahead and take fastest computers on the planet countless many years to try all of the different combinations needed to interrupt the code.

Customer Support and Tech Support Team

Another advantage to moving your accounting towards the cloud is the fact that most cloud companies include customer support that’s usually open to assist with any needs you may have. Yet another bonus is the fact that these businesses their very own IT teams, dedicated 24/7 to making certain the greatest degree of protection. IT teams can also upgrade software, patches, and back-ups, that is all incorporated in the price of your subscription charge. Customer support isn’t restricted to cloud software but additionally pertains to most in your area installed software packages.


The cloud is located by a 3rd party so that your accounting service and then any associated safety measures are updated instantly, departing you most abundant in up-to-date experience.

Cloud accounting security

Risks and Vulnerabilities from the Cloud

As the saying goes, the only real guarantees in existence are dying and taxes. While cloud companies will have safety measures in position, there’s always the opportunity of some security risks. Let’s further examine a few of the risks that include switching towards the cloud.

Relying on the web

When the Web connection goes lower on each side then you won’t be in a position to access your computer data. Consider a cloud server like a brain. This brain enables for communication between companies and also the server, permitting information to become sent and received. If use of this mental abilities are stop in your finish (say from your Internet outage), then you’ll not need your data. Similarly, when the “brain” itself fails unconditionally, then you’re subject to the cloud company as well as their ability to have their servers back online. For instance, in April of 2011 Amazon (a web-based merchant company that also provides cloud storage services) went offline. This caused major trouble for the companies that rely on Amazon’s New England servers to function and finish business. The outage lasted for roughly three days. Whenever you depend in your accounting being handled with a cloud-computing company, you open yourself to the same risks.

Denial and services information Attacks (DoS)

When relying on the web, denial and services information attacks could be one other way you may lose use of your data. There’s two kinds of attacks: Denial and services information attack (DoS) and Distributed Denial and services information attack (Web sites). A DoS takes place when attackers attempt to prevent legitimate users from being able to view or make use of a company by flooding or crashing the service provider’s systems. A Web sites attack is much more serious attackers ton the machine with lots of IP addresses which have been forged so they are difficult to follow (this is whats called Ip spoofing). On November 4, 2015 Zoho (a company productivity application provider) possessed a Web sites attack that lasted occasionally for six days! It had been supported by attempts at blackmail and extortion to obtain the attacks to prevent. You should observe that despite the fact that these attacks were very inconvenient, was not ever anyone’s information in almost any danger it had been just inaccessible. Consider a DoS attack as equal to visiting your bank to withdraw some cash. When you are getting there, the thing is an enormous crowd of individuals blocking the doorway. Your hard earned money continues to be safe staying with you, but you need to hold back until everyone else disperses so that you can can get on.


Since your data could be utilized from the device with Access to the internet, it&#8217s highly suggested that you select a powerful password, unique for your accounting program. Flimsy passwords may be one of the weakest facets of utilizing a cloud service if you’re not careful. Selecting simple and short passwords that relate to your personal existence is not advisable. Passwords which use your birthday, children’s names, username, or other things that relates to you by any means leaves your bank account susceptible to attack. It’s also smart to regularly improve your password to mess up any potential online hackers.

Government Seizures and Subpoenas

It’s reliable advice that many people similar to their privacy and therefore are unwilling to just hands their data to anybody in police force or even the government without having to be supplied with a warrant. This can be a factor you need to think twice about when outsourcing your accounting data to a 3rd party provider. For instance, within the U . s . States, when you upload your data towards the cloud, it’s susceptible to different laws and regulations. Government police can, generally, access your computer data having a subpoena or perhaps a simple order from the court, rather to be needed to exhibit probable cause in addition to a warrant. Though the probability of this really happening could be really low, it’s still good to keep yourself informed it&#8217s possible.

Other Nations and various Laws and regulations

Another factor to understand is the fact that some information mill located—or get their servers located—in other nations. It may be beneficial to consider the privacy and safety laws and regulations that may apply in individuals countries, because what’s relevant throughout your home country may not always apply internationally.

Bank Feeds

There’s been lots of debate surrounding the topic of bank feeds recently. Most major accounting cloud providers offer using bank feeds, which integrate your company banking account to their program. This eliminates the necessity to enter data by hand. Services like Yodlee (a significant cloud-data company to global banks) integrate a live feed of the financial information with your bank password to gain access to your bank account information. Yodlee utilizes a technique known as screen scrapping, which enables these to sign in to your bank account in read only mode. Even though it is broadly acknowledged as a really secure provider, it is crucial that you evaluate the conditions and terms of Yodlee (along with other similar services), along with the conditions and terms of your bank so that you can make an educated decision. One of the leading concerns with utilizing a cloud provider which employs a 3rd party for example Yodlee is the fact that by providing them your bank login details, you might be really violating the conditions and terms of the bank. A lot of lenders have updated their policies to permit this, however it’s best to understand you’re registering for. That being stated, Yodlee hasn’t had any effective security breaches within the last fifteen years and it is used and monitored by a few of the largest banks on the planet.

Cyber Attacks and Online hackers

Combined with the elevated utilization of online cloud services comes the elevated existence of cybercrime. Where there’s sensitive information being stored, there’s likely someone who’s going to try and access that information. Should you be storing products like mundane Word documents or perhaps your latest attempts at being a flower professional photographer, you would probably be mildly upset if individuals products in some way were able to be hacked or leaked. But with regards to financial documents and accounting data, if the information were leaked towards the public or hacked, there’d be more severe effects. Using the passing of your time, technologies are becoming a lot more sophisticated, and they are online hackers, adware and spyware invasions, and security breaches. Though most cloud providers work very hard to maintain the most recent safety measures, there’s always likely to be a danger that advancements in technology includes advancements in hacking. That being stated, the very best names in accounting software, the likes of Xero and QuickBooks Online, haven’t been effectively hacked.

Adware and spyware and Firewalls

Though cloud centers may be bigger targets for online hackers, any computer with a web connection could be hacked. That’s the reason you should make certain you retain up-to-date virus protection on your pc and employ a comprehensive firewall system. It will help limit the chance of online hackers using adware and spyware to gain access to or steal your data by using techniques like key stroke logging. A good example of this happened at the end of 2013, when online hackers could steal $300 million dollars from banks all over the world, mainly in Russia (it&#8217s believed they really stole more). They could do that by delivering emails with links that, when clicked, installed a adware and spyware program known as Carbanak. This type of hacking is called phishing and will also be addressed within the next section. Following the adware and spyware was installed, online hackers could use key stroke logging, take screenshots of bank computers, as well as remotely control these to infiltrate banks systems. Much more alarming is always that the attackers were so sophisticated this fraud have been happening for around 2 yrs before banks, regulators, or government bodies caught on. Knowing that, your pc being have contracted adware and spyware is really a risk for cloud users, but it may be a level bigger risk for in your area-installed programs when the user doesn’t have a powerful firewall and virus protection.


Hacking isn&#8217t restricted to computer attacks you may also be hacked personally. Though pronounced &#8220fishing,&#8221 phishing doesn’t involve a peaceful day around the lake attempting to catch a prize winning catch. In cases like this, both you and your company&#8217s data are the “big fish” online hackers are attempting to entice. Knowing this, you should be careful of anybody who states be from this and requests passwords or other sensitive information. Online hackers can gather information through telephone calls and emails which will frequently look and seem completely legitimate. Usually, these emails may have questionable links, but without correct training, an worker might unintentionally hand out important data. Though Xero has not been effectively hacked, in October of 2015 they worked with attempted phishing attacks. Attackers sent official-searching emails that requested people to make use of the links presented to change their password for security reasons. The hyperlinks contained adware and spyware that gave attackers the opportunity to compromise the accounts of anybody who visited them. Xero labored to assist affected users and responded by delivering out emails warning people to not trust any emails with exterior links. They persuade folks to visit straight to the Xero website to be able to access their account and alter their password. Here are a few more tips from Xero to avert being phished.


cloud accounting securityWe live at a time where our phones are essentially little computers the issue is, we very often neglect to consider them this way. Many cloud services permit you to access your bank account in your Android device or iPhone, which may be very convenient, but additionally creates an chance for the information to become a target. Many people don’t have virus protection or anti-adware and spyware on their own smartphones, departing them especially susceptible. It’s also a great deal harder to keep an eye on employee’s smartphones and also the Wi-Fi systems they could be visiting. It may be beneficial to consider how secure your phone is before while using accounting application in your mobile phone and also to establish company laws and regulations for workers who definitely are utilizing their phones for work.

Unencrypted Hacks and File encryption Keys

In case your information is united nations-encrypted, it’s an easy target. It&#8217s vital that you know who can access your file encryption keys. Your encrypted details are only safe if it stays encrypted. It is usually smart to keep your file encryption keys along with you and never store them within the cloud. Should you leave file encryption to the company, you’re also having faith in that they’ll keep the data encrypted and never share it with anybody.

Inside Employees

Though i am not suggesting, there’s a danger that the worker from the cloud company might steal as well as share your computer data. This happened in 2013, when Edward Snowden collected countless government documents and released these to the general public. Many cloud companies require their workers to sign confidentiality contracts, but there’s always possible that individuals will break what the law states.


Another risk for your data is you! &#8220How can one be considered a risk to my very own accounting security?&#8221 you may ask. Easily. It’s very important that you simply don’t share passwords with anybody, particularly if you wouldn’t would like them to get access to all your information. When you give that information to another person, they have the possibility to talk about it too.

Things to look for when Selecting your Accounting Cloud Provider

  • A cloud company which has a good status is a superb starting point.
  • Examine what sort of certifications the organization has.
  • It’s also worth noting that when looking for your merchandise provider, you have to be conscious of two separate components: the organization selling the cloud service and also the data center utilized by the corporation to keep your data.
  • Additionally, this is a listing of several standard security features you need to search for with regards to choosing the best company to trust your data to:
    • File encryption, 128-bit ssl or greater. Some companies make use of 256-bit file encryption.
    • Extensive firewall technology.
    • 3rd party audits/monitoring, along with penetrative testing.
    • Off-site ways of copying all your data.
    • Servers which are protected against electronic and physical access by unauthorized personal.

Warning: Though there’s some standardization for that safety claims that companies make, it may be beneficial to analyze recognise the business has got the best choices for you! Information regarding some safety precautions are challenging find online you will discover more details by looking into our review section here, where we’ve done the lower limb meet your needs! If you’ve still got questions, that you can do more research or speak with an agent from the cloud provider yourself.

Exactly What Does All Of This Mean?

We’ve examined exactly what the cloud is, explored a few of the standard security features, and reviewed potential risks that include while using cloud. However the querry is still, may be the cloud a real safe method to store your accounting data?

I am unable to stress enough that the most crucial factor that you can do to make certain you’re selecting the best cloud services are to research your options. In the finish during the day, it boils lower as to the fits your needs as well as your company. No system will probably be perfect, however if you simply want the benefit that is included with transferring you accounting data towards the cloud, make certain you seek information and discover a cloud company with security standards you can rely on.

The publish Is My Accounting Safe within the Cloud? made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.


Summary of Invoicing

online invoices payment pc dekstop calculator money credit card coin

What’s invoicing?

Becoming an adult, have you ever purchase your brother or sister a product making them promise to pay for you back? You may built them into sign a gum wrapper in bloodstream to make certain you received your hard earned money in due time! If that’s the case, then you definitely, my pal, happen to be acquainted with the idea of invoicing!

Within the simplest of terms, a bill is really a bill sent in the seller towards the buyer, documenting that which was purchased and just what payment is owed. Also referred to as a bill or contract of purchase, a bill enables you, the company owner or freelancer, to keep an eye on transactions and make certain that you will get compensated!

When you’re just beginning out, the idea of invoicing can appear a little overwhelming. This information will try to break lower a few of the basics for you personally and help you to get advisable of where to start!

When will i require an invoice?

If you’re a business proprietor or freelancer, then at some stage in time, you will have to understand what a bill is and most likely even how you can prepare one. Though invoices aren’t always needed in most transactions, they can be expected in the industry world. Value invoices as if you would any important business tool they might come in several forms, however when used properly, they are able to help give you the money you’re owed. When you&#8217re billing a person for that purchase of the item or something you have provided, a bill ought to be sent. In situations when full payment was already made, it may be beneficial to transmit out an invoice rather. Keeping invoices also helps to ensure that in case of a, you and your customer have copies from the transactions that happened and also the amounts owed. It will help safeguard you when you have to produce proof of a transaction when going after legal techniques to obtain bad debts for you.

Exist various kinds of invoices?

In the most general sense, a bill is understood to be an industrial document that lists two primary kinds of transactions: the purchase of products and also the purchase of services provided, along with the amount due of these. Simply to clarify,

  • Invoices for services &#8211 If you’re a consultant, an artist, or perhaps a repair person (simply to name a couple of), then you’re supplying your customers something. There’s two primary methods to charge clients for services provided. You are able to charge per hour rate, or charge a set sum. One way isn’t always much better than another, and in some cases this will depend in your personal preference which of the client. When charging hourly, your invoice will include services made, your hourly rate, quantity of hrs labored, and total price incurred. For any flat-rate invoice, you&#8217ll simply range from the services made and also the cost. In many US states, services aren&#8217t susceptible to florida sales tax&#8211but look at your local rules to be certain.
  • Invoices for goods – Should you possess a business that sells goods, whether that be table tennis ball necklaces produced in your grandma’s basement or artwork produced from grass clippings, then you’ll likely charge per item. Your invoice includes information like the amount of products purchased along with the individual cost of every item and the quantity due. Probably, you will have to collect florida sales tax.
  • Invoices for &#8211 Sometimes you will find instances where both services and goods happen to be presented to a person. For instance, a plumber might ask you for per hour rate to repair a damaged pipe, as well as ask you for furthermore for that new pipe. Same goes with a auto technician they’ll charge hourly for his or her labor, and for any new vehicle parts needed. In the event such as these, both hourly rate along with the charge for goods is going to be on the invoice.

Is definitely an invoice exactly the same as…?

  • An invoice &#8211 So, is definitely an invoice only a fancy word for any receipt? No, an invoice informs you whenever you were compensated entirely as well as an invoice is really a bill stating you still need be compensated.
  • A money memo &#8211 No, a money memo is offered to some buyer whether they have compensated to have an item in cash. This functions as a evidence of payment. A money memo is received once the payment is finished, whereas a bill is distributed before the payment.
  • An order order &#8211 No, an order order can be used to buy goods from the supplier and, upon acceptance, results in a contract between your buyer and supplier.
  • A sales order &#8211 No, a Sales Order confirms the purchase between your seller and buyer. It’s the document delivered to a purchaser detailing the products being offered or services to become completed prior to the actual delivery date.
  • A delivery note or packing slip &#8211 No, a packing slip is definitely an itemized listing of the items in your package that doesn&#8217t include prices. It’ll usually incorporate a quantity, description, and weight from the package contents.
  • A tax invoice &#8211 No. A tax invoice can be used with a seller or registered dealer for products being offered to a different seller. These can be used for products which are offered using the aim of being sold again. In the finish from the financial year, these invoices are switched to the proper tax government bodies. In lots of countries, governments rely on them to discourage tax evaders.
  • An offer or bid &#8211 No. A bill is really a request payment an offer is approximately costs and could be recognized or declined through the client.

Other kinds of Invoices:

There are many various kinds of invoices:

  • Commercial invoice &#8211 Also referred to as retail or sales invoices. This document signifies products bought and offered and possesses pertinent information towards the business transaction.
  • Interim invoice &#8211 When focusing on a lengthy project, interim invoices are sent at regular times (maybe weekly, monthly or perhaps in the quarter, half, and three-quarter mark of the project). Interim invoices are adopted with a final invoice that ought to range from the full payment amount and an eye on all previous transactions.
  • Retainer invoice &#8211 Whenever using a customer on the lengthy-term basis, some professionals make use of a retainer agreement. Which means that the customer pays a collection retainer fee, usually monthly, to support the professional&#8217s services. The professional then performs act as needed through the month, having to pay themselves with this particular retainer fee. If you are using this sort of arrangement, you&#8217ll have to distribute a preliminary bill for the quantity of the retainer &#8211 however, you won&#8217t record this as earnings (rather, it might be a liability &#8211 money you spend to the customer should you don&#8217t carry out the work decided). Then, while you carry out the work, you&#8217ll distribute invoices which use the retainer add up to the payment due before the retainer is exhausted.
  • Pro forma invoice &#8211 Pro Forma is really a Latin phrase meaning &#8220for the sake of form.&#8221 It’s an invoice that’s sent before any goods or materials really ship. It’s frequently used with regards to customs when importing goods.
  • Recurring invoices &#8211 These invoices are handy if you have a person who you train with on the ongoing basis. Automating these invoices could be a wonderful time saver for you personally as an entrepreneur too.
  • Overdue invoices &#8211 For those who have a customer that has not compensated their bill, you very well may send a overdue invoice. They’re also known as past due account notices or interest invoices. They’ll usually include the quantity due, including any late charges and interest that could have accrued.
  • Your final invoice &#8211 Should you used interim invoices, your final invoice may include records famous these transactions. It might be issued in the finish of the project and can include the ultimate balance due.

Exactly what does my invoice have to include?

Close-up picture of an invoice light blue tint.

It is crucial that your invoice is prompt and clearly written. Invoices typically range from the following information:

  • An account and volume of the item being offered (or from the services you’ve provided)
  • Itemized and total price from the merchandise or services
  • Customer information (Like the customer’s name, address, contact details, etc.)
  • Seller information (This is your business, contact details, emblem etc.)
  • The date of issue
  • A bill number
  • Any discounts
  • Payment terms and deadline
  • Any late charges which may be applied
  • Tax information in some instances (But we’ll reach that the little later.)

Based on where you stand located there might be different needs for which must be incorporated with an invoice, so you can examine the laws and regulations that affect your corner around the globe. There’s also other laws and regulations that be relevant when products are now being bought and offered worldwide. Knowing all the needs for every country could be a challenge, but (here) is really a connect to more information.

How in the event you prepare a bill?

business, people, deadline, stress and paperwork concept - sad businessman with stack of folders and falling papers over blue background

As was formerly pointed out, invoices come in several forms as well as in different levels of professionalism. From scraps of paper to Ms Word documents, from Stand out spreadsheets to cloud based software, you will find myriad methods for you to create a bill and a number of looks you are able to achieve. When you want a bill that appears professional, don’t hesitate to include some of your style into it.

When you’re just beginning out, invoicing could be time intensive, particularly if typing them on your own in, say, a thing document. Additionally, time spent writing invoices can also be not always time you are receiving compensated for, especially if you’re a freelancer. Fortunately, while there’s no needed way with words a bill, some options may end up being simpler and much more manageable than the others.

Making your personal &#8211 Invoices could be produced in Ms Word or Stand out. There are a variety of pre-made templates available to select from, and most of them have the freedom. If you prefer a wise decision of the items a bill template appears like, try doing a picture look for &#8220invoice template.&#8221 If you notice one you want, look and find out if it’s readily available for installing.

Invoicing programs &#8211 Invoicing programs normally have features for example invoicing templates and record storage. When utilizing internet or cloud based software (or e-invoicing), there are more perks for example use of customer support assistance and the opportunity to focus on your invoices from the internet connected device. Many programs even allow people to pay online. There are lots of invoicing programs around. Should you&#8217re thinking about switching from Word Documents, Stand out sheets, or perhaps email produced invoices, you will find a number of free or affordable options available. A lot of companies offer different choices for various prices and lots of them possess a free option. Once you’ve done a little shopping around, this program that works well with both you and your company should become obvious.

Accounting programs &#8211 Any accounting program worth its stuff includes fundamental invoicing tools.

Keep in mind, you need to develop an invoicing system that’s organized, efficient, and matches your needs, since the faster you signal the bill, the faster you receive compensated!

Payment terms:

businessman holding money and clock. time is money concept ** Note: Shallow depth of field

Payment could be requested in a number of various ways. It really is your decision because the business proprietor to determine what works well with your circumstances. Here are the top industry standards:

  • Internet 15 &#8211 Payment arrives 15 days following the date from the invoice.
  • Internet 30 &#8211 Payment arrives thirty days following the date from the invoice.
  • Internet 60 &#8211 Payment arrives two months following the date from the invoice.
  • 2/10 Internet 30 &#8211 Payment arrives thirty days following the date from the invoice. If compensated within ten days, the customer will get a couplePercent discount.
  • Immediate payment/due upon receipt &#8211 When your client receives this invoice, the payment arrives. In case your client does not pay this immediately you’ll be able to legally repossess your goods.
  • Advance payments &#8211 These occur whenever a payment is created before something or good continues to be provided. Many occasions they are utilised by sellers to safeguard against people not having to pay their bill.

Although it&#8217s good to be aware what these terms mean, it may be more useful for your people to see terminology they do know. Based on FreshBooks&#8217s blog, this year, invoices sent with the program were compensated faster typically when they used printed terms like &#8220Please pay within a 3 week period&#8221 instead of &#8220net 30.&#8221 Printing a real deadline around the invoice is a terrific way to make certain there aren’t any misunderstandings.

How about including taxes?

You will find five states within the U . s . States that don’t have statewide florida sales tax: Delaware, Montana, Or, Nh, and Alaska (without any condition-level tax but does allow municipalities to apply retail-level tax). If you don’t reside in one of these simple states, you might be conscious of florida sales tax in the outlook during the customer, what about in the outlook during the vendorOrsmall business operator? Finding out how to include sales taxes inside your invoices and learning what products have to be taxed and that do not could be a daunting task, but it is crucial that you simply learn these details so you don&#8217t unwillingly commit tax fraud nobody wants to become audited, either. Generally, you will wish to consider the florida sales tax laws and regulations in your town to be able to evaluate which may affect both you and your business. For example, oftentimes, florida sales tax is needed using the purchase of products although not with services. Again, look into the florida sales tax laws and regulations that affect your part of the world to make certain!

If you want to collect florida sales tax, this will have its very own line around the invoice, following the subtotal, before the entire.

How can you handle a person who doesn&#8217t pay?

Close up on a file tab with the word invoice and a note where it is handwritten unpaid with blur effect. Concept image for illustration of unpaid invoices recovery.

So, you’ve offered your products, you’ve completed work with a customer, and sent them the balance. The deadline originates and gone without payment. Where do you turn now? Especially if you’re a small business operator or perhaps a freelancer, not receiving compensated can definitely be considered a problem. Below are some steps that you could take to obtain a persistent customer to remit payment:

  • Indication &#8211 Whilst not receiving what&#8217s because of you may be very frustrating, the first plan of action should never be taking the consumer to the court or giving them a call with threats. It is sometimes just a situation of forgetfulness. Try delivering a polite but firm indication.
  • Resend the invoice &#8211 This takes proper care of clients and also require “lost” the invoice.
  • Cut them off &#8211 If these steps don’t work, stop supplying services or repossess goods. Should you stop having to pay your phone bill you don’t hope to keep making use of your phone would you? Exactly the same logic applies here. If you’re not being compensated, don’t continue to get results for free.
  • Be persistent &#8211 You don’t need to be angry when frequently requesting payment, just don’t stop asking your money can buy owed for you. In case your emails go unanswered, try calling the client every single day until they pay. This isn’t one step you need to jump to the next day an initial payment is missed. You don&#8217t wish to annoy the consumer making an opponent right from the start.
  • Get a 3rd party involved &#8211 It may be to your advantage, with respect to the amount under consideration, to employ a lawyer or perhaps a debt collection agency that will help you receive what&#8217s owed for you.
  • Court &#8211 If everything else fails you can test to solve your issues in a tiny claims court. Prior to doing this, make certain that you simply consider just how much this may cost and if it’s even well worth the hassle or financial risk.

How you can Ensure Getting Compensated:

Here are a few preventative measure you are able to take to make certain you obtain payment later on:

  • Research &#8211 Especially if you’re a freelancer, may possibly not be an awful idea to perform a bit of research in your potential client. Have they got bad reviews? Past not having to pay? If that’s the case, it may be smart to just spread employed by them.
  • Discuss payment terms first &#8211 Make certain that both you and your buyer/client are on a single page. Review your charges and explain your payment terms and also the expectations connected together.
  • Contracts &#8211 Especially if you’re a freelancer, creating an agreement is strongly recommended. This won’t lend your freelance business an aura of professionalism, but probably safeguard against legal issues lower the street. Unless of course you’ve experience in this region, you shouldn’t be writing your personal contracts. If you’re able to, meet with a lawyer to make certain the contract is enforceable and offers the thing you need. There’s also a few legal services websites will download a fundamental freelance agreement for some kinds of companies this can be a step-above writing your personal, although not just like getting a lawyer. (Check this out Consumer Reports article for more information.)
  • Late charges &#8211 Charging interest on overdue payments provides a feeling of emergency that can help ensure clients don’t make having to pay a low priority. Make certain you’re obvious in your original invoice and then any follow-up communications show precisely what your late charges are so when they’ll apply. For instance you may charge single.5% interest bill every month on overdue payments.
  • Give incentives &#8211 Provide your client an optimistic incentive to pay for you early. For example, you may provide a one or two percent discount when they pay out back inside a specific &#8220early&#8221 time period. This is a great factor to go over together with your client upfront transparent communication won’t aid you in getting compensated, it may also increase customer loyalty.
  • Payment/partial payment ahead of time &#8211 Particularly when working you are well on a extended project and have not built rapport having a client yet, it may be beneficial to think about requesting a part of your payment ahead of time.
  • Be prompt &#8211 Make certain you signal a bill once you complete your work. This will be relevant.
  • Be positive &#8211 Sara Horowitz authored it on getting compensated like a freelancer (no really, it’s known as The Freelancer’s Bible). She’s even the founding father of the Freelancers Union. Horowitz shows that you signal invoices “in triplicate.” Send one by email and something by email, after which call letting the consumer realize that the invoice was sent. “If this is exactly what you need to do on round one, allow them to imagine what round two and three is going to be like.”
  • Be polite &#8211 Articles within the Freshbooks blog indicates that adding a please or perhaps a thanks for your invoice can improve your probability of being compensated by greater than 5 %!

Still feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry, professional invoicing is really a tricky process and needs time to work to understand. There’s a couple of important steps to keep in mind. Make certain to incorporate information pertinent towards the transaction in your invoice, understand which payment terms you will use, and consider any sales taxes that could apply. Finally, think about the functionality of the invoicing computer software and make certain that you’re taking preemptive measures to get compensated in due time. Keep going with it, don’t quit, and soon you’ll be an invoicing professional!

The publish Summary of Invoicing made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.


QuickBooks Online Versus QuickBooks Desktop (Pro)


QuickBooks Online Versus QuickBooks Desktop (Pro)
✓ Users and Permissions
Prices ✓
✓ Simplicity of use ✓
Product Features ✓
✓ Integrations
✓ Customer Support ✓
Negatives Reviews and Complaints ✓
Positive Testimonials and reviews ✓
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During the last couple of years, Intuit’s been more and more encouraging people to convert from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online. The organization promotes the cloud-based form of its software as user-friendly, convenient, and efficient. Many accountants, however, complain about insufficient features and inefficiency. So what’s the news around the two programs, and which is the best for your company? Let’s have a look.

For that purpose of this review, we’ll be searching at QuickBooks Pro (2014-2016) because the desktop form of the program.

Web-located or In your area Installed:

QuickBooks On the internet is cloud-based and includes free mobile phone applications for iPhone/iPad and Android devices. QuickBooks Pro is in your area installed and doesn’t offer mobile phone applications.

Users and Permissions:

Champion: QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Desktop enables for just one user. To include more, you’ll have to purchase additional licenses (often a little under the price of the program).

QuickBooks Online enables for just one, three, or five users, with respect to the size your plan. (You may also grant use of as much as two accountants, who don’t count toward your user limit.)


Champion: QuickBooks Desktop

This one’s not really a tournament. QuickBooks Pro generally includes a lifespan of 3 years. This program costs $299.95. Presuming you apply it 3 years, that breaks lower to $8.31/mo. QBO offers three subscription plans: Simple Start ($12.95/mo), Essentials ($26.95/mo), and Plus ($39.95/mo). Should you own multiple companies, you are able to run individuals via a single copy of QB Pro you’ll require a separate subscription for every with QBO.

While Intuit more often than not offers discounts on programs, the comparative prices remains similar—if anything, using the discounts into consideration skews the outcomes much more in QB Pro’s favor.

There are several caveats, however:

  • Nowhere may be the three-year support period for QB Pro guaranteed. Intuit could choose to cut all support for QB Pro 2016 in 2017. It’s unlikely, but technically possible.
  • Most customer care isn’t incorporated with QuickBooks Pro. For a summary of what’s incorporated, visit here. Other things, you’ll have to pay for: $299.95/yr, $89.95/3 months, or $59.95/one-time telephone call.
  • Bank feeds aren’t incorporated with QB Pro. You’ll pay an additional $10-$15/mo for your feature.
  • Updates and additional features aren’t incorporated with QuickBooks Pro (unless of course you have to pay a regular membership fee of $299.95/year)

Simplicity of use:

Champion (business proprietors): QuickBooks Online

Champion (accountants): QuickBooks Desktop

This can be a tricky someone to adjudicate, since the champion depends positioned on the knowledge degree of the consumer.

For non-accountants, QBO is really a more intuitive program. If you’re an entrepreneur who handles your personal accounting—or if the admin assistant with no accounting background is your bookkeeping, you will likely find QBO simpler to know and employ. The built-in help feature could stand improvement, but typically, you’ll likely find functions in which you expect these to be, and also you won’t see much accounting jargon within the program.

QBO's interface is generally easy for non-accountants to understand.

QBO&#8217s interface is usually simple for non-accountants to know.

However, trained accountants and lots of bookkeepers have a tendency to prefer QB Pro. This program provides extensive time-saving features which QBO lacks, and knowledge entry is frequently much more efficient. One of the leading complaints about QBO from users acquainted with QB Pro would be that the program’s interface is poorly designed, requiring multi-step approaches for tasks that was once simple. QB Pro also offers a much better in-program help function.

The QBD interface is more nuanced.

The QBD interface is much more nuanced.

QuickBooks Desktop introduced Earnings Tracker in 2014 and Bill Tracker in 2016 these functions incorporate QBO&#8217s colorful, at-a-glance approach using the traditional QBD interface.

Some QBD screens provide a compromise between the traditional QBD look and the coloraful QBO approach.

QBD Earnings Tracker

Product Features:

Champion: QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Pro has more features than the greatest-level QBO plan, and also at a small fraction of the price. However, it’s worth thinking about that QBO’s primary appeal is its mobility. For businesses which require access from a number of locations—or which regularly use mobile devices—it will probably be worth sacrificing additional features to be able to achieve that. QuickBooks Online also provides automated recurring invoices, an element which QB Pro lacks.

QB Pro has far superior job-costing abilities, and also gives batch invoicing, much more choices for invoice personalization . . . for instance, more choices on virtually every feature from the software. The program’s reporting abilities blow QBO from the water, particularly with regards to customizable reports. Same applies to budgeting. Even though the possible lack of mobility is really a downside, the truth that the organization file and software resides on your pc implies that problems on Intuit’s end—or together with your internet provider—won’t lead you to lose use of your file.


Champion: QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Pro offers 248 add-ons, while QuickBooks Online offers roughly 280 add-ons. While QBO edges ahead on sheer quantity, if there’s a particular integration you’ll need for the business, it’s worth checking with every program each supports some apps that the other program doesn’t, and the caliber of integrations varies a great deal.

Customer Support and Support:

Champion: Tie

Let’s be frank: neither choice is good. Neither program provides email or chat support, with both, you’re liable to cope with representatives who don’t know how QuickBooks works. But QBO offers free support for those issues, whereas QB Pro only provides it in a few conditions. Also, Intuit appears to possess designed a serious effort toward improving wait occasions for QBO support, whereas wait occasions for support for that desktop version remain dreadful.

You will find, however, two benefits of QB Pro support: 1) When you jump through all of the hoops and hold occasions and voice recognition menus and reach out to technical support, the techs do appear to know this program, and a pair of) Unlike QBO support, QB Pro technical support can be obtained constantly.

QB Pro offers live technical support 24/7 customer support (for billing issues and so on) can be obtained Monday-Friday from 6am-6pm PST. QBO&#8217s support hrs are Monday-Friday from 6am–6pm PST and Saturday from 6am–3pm PST.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

Champion: QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Online operates in a disadvantage here, due to course, QuickBooks Pro existed first, and a few of the complaints about QBO simply originate from users not liking change. However, even comprising this, the internet version falls behind its predecessor within this category, accumulating lots of horror tales and virulent remarks.

QuickBooks Online will get complaints about issues with conversion in the in your area installed versions, with lost data and reduced functionality to be the primary issues. Numerous people are extremely unhappy about because you can’t downgrade your subscription (e.g. convert from QuickBooks Plus to QuickBooks Essentials). Users also complain about inefficiency (especially when compared with QBD), poor customer support, outages and downtime, and also the program running gradually.

For QuickBooks Pro, complaint highlights include poor customer support, forced upgrades, errors and bugs, and also the program running gradually.

Positive Testimonials and reviews:

Champion: QuickBooks Desktop

It&#8217s not difficult to find reviews that are positive on either program. QuickBooks Pro just edges ahead here, possibly partly because it’s had additional time to build up a passionate users list. QB Pro was for any lengthy time the defacto standard of small company accounting software, and lots of users still find it still the best choice available.

QuickBooks Pro will get praise because of its vast number of options featuring, especially with regards to the software’s reporting abilities. Many purchasers also discover the interface sensible and efficient.

For QuickBooks Online, some small company proprietors praise the software’s simpler learning curve and insufficient accounting jargon. Customers particularly like the opportunity to share and access their company file on the internet, along with the mobile phone applications.

Final Verdict:

Champion: QuickBooks Desktop

Overall, QuickBooks Desktop remains in front of QuickBooks Online—for now. However, that’s not saying it’s a better option for those companies. The desktop form of the program is much more versatile—but less mobile. It offers a wide array of options and functions—but many small companies won’t need these, and the like details come at the fee for a high learning curve for non-accountants dealing with the program. By itself, QuickBooks Pro is much more affordable than its online cousin—but for those who have multiple users and wish full customer care, live bank feeds, and continual updates, it might be more costly.

For an organization with complex accounting needs, QB Pro will likely be a better option. But for an organization that has pretty fundamental needs as well as in which anybody however a specialized accountant is handling day-to-day transactions, QBO might be more suitable. Read our detailed reviews (QBD here QBO here) to learn more.

Wish to compare on your own? Both programs offer free trials check out QuickBooks Pro, take QuickBooks Online for any spin, and find out which program is the greatest match for the business.

The publish QuickBooks Online Versus QuickBooks Desktop (Pro) made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.


The Very Best Wave Alternatives


Wave Accounting is the main thing on free, cloud-based accounting software for small companies. This program provides legitimate, double-entry bookkeeping with a few nice perks like automated overtime reminders on invoices, a web-based payment option through Wave Payments, as well as Wave Receipts, an application that allows you to snap photos of receipts together with your phone and transfers them in to the program (granted, the written text recognition isn’t perfect, but that’s much more than you’ll get in every other free program I’ve seen).

However the software isn&#8217t suitable for everybody. It has a tendency to run gradually, customers have reported numerous difficulties with Payments and Payroll, also it lacks the sophistication and have choice of a lot of its compensated counterparts. And a few users aren&#8217t keen on the &#8220Powered by Wave&#8221 branding incorporated on their own invoices and emails.

So let’s check out your options. Concentrating on the attributes that draw individuals to Wave, we’ll be searching for low-cost, easy-to-use options. If you think that your organization has outgrown Wave or are searching for additional features, you’ll most likely want to check out compensated programs. Oftentimes, the expense greater than cover themselves using the time you’ll have the ability to save, plus you&#8217ll have the ability to say farewell to that particular company branding in your invoices. However, should you don’t wish to put money into accounting software, click the link to skip right to the very best free options to Wave.

1. Xero – Probably The Most Features inside a Cloud-Based Option


With plans as little as $9/month – and plans including payroll beginning at $30/month &#8211 Xero is definitely an affordable cloud-based accounting solution which suits the requirements of promising small to mid-sized companies. This program is simple to use and it has a beautiful interface, but it’s also wealthy in features, therefore it can scale together with your business. It offers iPhone/iPad and Android apps.

Xero versus. Wave Accounting

Xero offers almost everything Wave does, plus:

  • Supports both cash basis and accrual accounting
  • Set bank rules to instantly classify transactions
  • Project-based accounting (job-costing)
  • Inventory management
  • Time tracking and expense reports
  • The opportunity to set different access levels to have an limitless quantity of users
  • Over 40 reports that grant insights in to the financial information on your company
  • Selection of 20 payment processors

For that full scoop on Xero, take a look at our detailed review here.

2. Zoho Books – Affordable and Simple to use


Zoho Books offers lots of automated invoicing features (including auto-billing) inside a neat, easy-to-use package. Even better, it’s probably the most affordable possibilities for a lot of companies, with plans beginning at $9/month and capping out at $29/month. Additionally, it includes mobile phone applications for Apple, Android, and Home windows Phone.

Zoho Books versus. Wave Accounting

Zoho Books shares Wave&#8217s fundamental set of features, in addition to:

  • Supports both cash basis and accrual accounting
  • Fundamental support for project-based accounting (job-costing)
  • Inventory management
  • Time tracking
  • The opportunity to set different access levels to have an limitless quantity of users
  • Over 40 reports that grant insights in to the financial information on your company
  • Selection of eight payment processors
  • A customer portal where customers can accept estimates, view and pay invoices, and then leave reviews for the company

Take a look at our Zoho Books review to obtain more information on what Zoho provides.

3. QuickBooks Pro – Probably The Most Features in the Cheapest Cost


Prior to the creation of cloud-based programs, in your area installed versions of QuickBooks were the defacto standard in small company accounting software – plus they remain a great option for a lot of companies. However the software’s initial steep learning curve: it’s much less beginner-friendly than Wave. However in exchange, you’ll obtain a extremely powerful interface with lots of features and choices for personalization — and all sorts of in a really low cost (it comes down to about $10/month). If you want QuickBooks Pro but desire a more intuitive, simpler form of this program (in a greater cost), take a look at QuickBooks Online.

QuickBooks Pro versus. Wave Accounting

While QuickBooks Pro is in your area installed and for that reason doesn’t have mobile phone applications, it will possess the benefits below:

  • Supports both cash basis and accrual accounting
  • Set bank rules to instantly classify transactions
  • Excellent project-based accounting (job-costing)
  • Time tracking
  • Inventory management
  • Exceptional budgeting and reporting abilities, with more than 100 standard reports plus custom options

For any full assessment of QuickBooks Pro, take a look at our review.

Free Options to Wave

Regrettably, you’re not likely to find another free cloud-based accounting program that rivals Wave in most respects. However, there’s a couple of options available which is better for several companies and that offer some features that Wave presently lacks.

4. Sage One – Fundamental Free Low-Volume Accounting


If you’re a completely independent contractor or micro-business searching for any free cloud-based option to Wave, Sage The first is likely the best choice. Like Wave, it’s double-entry accounting software. However, it will include some limitations: you are able to process only five invoices/month and you may only connect just one banking account. The program does include mobile phone applications for iPhone and Android.

Sage One versus. Wave Accounting

A couple of benefits of Sage One:

  • Supports both cash basis and accrual accounting
  • Fundamental support for project-based accounting (job costing)
  • Add percentage discounts to invoices
  • Set florida sales tax rates for individual customers/contacts

For the complete overview of Sage One, click the link.

5. Zoho Invoice – Invoicing and Expense Tracking


If you’re a really small, service-based business with very fundamental accounting needs, you could possibly manage with only invoicing and expense tracking software. Some companies fare better with double-entry bookkeeping, independent contractors and micro-companies might want to have a look at Zoho Invoice. This program is chock-filled with features and free as long as you’ve 25 customers or under (and you may upgrade to affordable plans as the business grows beyond that). Possibly on top of that, it scales together with your business – therefore if, sooner or later lower the street, you discover you have to become double-entry accounting software, you are able to seamlessly become a Zoho Books account.

Like Zoho Books, Zoho Invoice offers mobile phone applications for iPhone/iPad, Android, and Home windows Phone.

Zoho Invoice versus. Wave Accounting

A number of Zoho Invoice’s advantages include:

  • Great automated choices for invoicing, including auto-billing
  • Time tracking
  • The opportunity to set different access levels to have an limitless quantity of users
  • Selection of eight payment processors
  • A customer portal where customers can accept estimates, view and pay invoices, and then leave reviews for the company
  • The choice to get rid of Zoho branding from invoices . . . even on a forex account

Review Zoho Invoice here.

6. Invoiceable – Limitless Free Invoicing and Expense Tracking


Invoiceable really is easy software you won&#8217t see much of features here. However it&#8217s the only real invoicing and expense tracking program I&#8217ve discovered that includes limitless invoices to limitless customers and allows you to remove all company branding from invoices and emails for any single, one-time fee (£49).

For more information on Invoiceable, read our review.


Wave provides extensive strengths, as well as for many independent contractors and micro-companies, it offers the very best free cloud-based accounting solution available. But whether your company is outgrowing Wave or else you simply don&#8217t such as the software&#8217s color plan, there are more possibilities. Should you&#8217d like some assistance to narrow lower your choices, check out our article regarding how to select the right accounting software for the business.

The publish The Very Best Wave Alternatives made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.


5 Best Options to Xero


Headquartered in Nz, Xero made an appearance around the accounting software scene in the year 2006. Getting proven its accounting power against competing software through the years, it now vies for any place with QuickBooks towards the top of the proverbial food chain. You are able to for getting a clear interface, good customer support, great ease of use, and an array of features and integrations.

Despite a couple of drawbacks (no integrated payroll in 26 US states, for example), Xero is a superb, high-value accounting system. What if you’re really searching to shake some misconception? You may be searching to lessen paying for accounting software. Maybe your company needs have altered, or possibly Xero doesn&#8217t provide a key feature or integration that you’ll require. You may just don&#8217t such as the Xero interface. Largest, you have started to the best place! We’ll examine four compensated accounting programs and something free accounting program which are all viable options to Xero.

1. QuickBooks (Pro) and (Online) &#8211 Xero&#8217s Greatest Competition

QuickBooks Pro:

Alternatives to Xero

QuickBooks has lengthy dominated the accounting market using its in your area installed program QuickBooks Pro. In the past, QB Pro includes a product lifespan of approximately 3 years, and could be downloaded for any one-time payment of $299.95 (which will come to about $10/month). Though QB Pro isn&#8217t a cloud-based system, it provides the biggest set of features available on the market, and it will be a more sensible choice for bookkeepers and accounting-savvy business proprietors because of this. Customers praise the feature selection, the efficiency from the interface, and also the software&#8217s reporting abilities.

QuickBooks Pro versus Xero

Additionally, QuickBooks Pro is better than Xero within the following areas:

  • Integrated payroll in most 50 states
  • Better reporting, including customizable reports
  • Better job costing/project accounting abilities
  • Better batch processing options
  • Late charges on invoices
  • More choices for most features

Wondering more about QuickBooks Pro? Read our review.

QuickBooks Online:

Alternatives to XeroTo maintain the big migration to cloud-based systems (on that here), Intuit released QuickBooks Online in 2004. QBO has subscriptions varying from $12.95 per month to $39.95 per month, with respect to the size your organization and also the features you’ll need. Much like Xero, the program was created for promising small to medium-sized companies. Some customers appear to actually enjoy QBO&#8217s change, along with the elevated simplicity of use which has include the current updates towards the program&#8217s interface. On the top of this, many purchasers are very happy with the amount of features that QBO provides.

QuickBooks Online versus Xero

Xero and QBO have their strengths, and every program offers some features another doesn’t. For any detailed comparison, read our article here. They are some benefits of QBO:

  • Integrated payroll in most 50 states
  • Auto-billing
  • Telephone customer care (but no chat or email)
  • More effective timesheet data entry

Wondering more? Take a look at our overview of QuickBooks Online.

2. Zoho Books &#8211 An Excellent Stand-Alone System

Alternatives to Xero

Zoho Books launched this year since that time the organization has implemented many enhancements. This program is made for small companies while offering subscriptions varying from $9 to $29 per month. Zoho Books supplies a clean, intuitive interface and can cover the requirements of many small companies, however it still lacks certain abilities for example full job costing and integrated payroll. Another potential disadvantage to Zoho Books is the fact that although it integrates well along with other Zoho products, it doesn&#8217t amalgamate well with much outdoors from the Zoho suite. Regardless of this, Zoho Books has automated invoicing features that outshine the majority of its competitors, and lots of Zoho customers speak highly from the level and speed of customer support they receive.

Zoho versus Xero

Just like QBO, Zoho and Xero each their very own strengths. Listed here are a couple of benefits of Zoho Books:

  • Auto-billing
  • Support for retainer invoices
  • A mobile application for Home windows Phone
  • More effective timesheet data entry

Has Zoho Books piqued your interest? Take a look at our full review here.

3. FreeAgent &#8211 For Freelancers and Independent Contractors

Alternatives to Xero

FreeAgent was produced in the year 2006. It had been created by freelancers with freelancers in your mind, but could also accommodate the requirements of many small companies. FreeAgent provides a single subscription plan, $24/month, and it is a cloud-based system. This program really strives to depart the heavy-handed accounting lingo behind, making existence simpler for individuals who aren’t bookkeepers or accountants. Like Zoho Books, FreeAgent also provides an excellent number of automated invoicing options. Common points of praise are an impressively large feature selection, great customer support, cheap it is simple for non-accountants to navigate. Taking care of of the software you should know of is the fact that though FreeAgent comes with users in america, it caters mainly to some market within the United kingdom.

FreeAgent versus Xero

Overall, Xero includes a bigger set of features than FreeAgent. However, features provided by FreeAgent that Xero lacks include:

  • Auto-billing
  • Schedule C Worksheet
  • Better job costing/project accounting abilities
  • More effective timesheet data entry

Take a look at our review of FreeAgent to obtain the full scoop.

4. Saasu &#8211 Amazing Inventory Features

Alternatives to Xero

Among the first cloud-based services in the future to the accounting market roughly fifteen years ago, Saasu continues to be gradually but surely growing. Saasu offers subscriptions varying from $15 per month to $180 per month with respect to the quantity of features and users needed. Though Saasu can hold the requirements of an array of business sizes, it truly suits small , micro companies. It&#8217s aimed at Australian companies, and even though US-based companies use Saasu, it won’t always be right for everybody. For instance, Saasu&#8217s payroll and multi-condition tax functions aren’t very US-friendly, and also the program doesn’t accept quotes online. However, there are lots of Saasu clients nobody enjoy the simplicity, the things to look for support, and also the mobile phone applications that Saasu has lately folded out.

Saasu versus Xero

Like FreeAgent, Saasu can&#8217t quite match Xero&#8217s set of features, however it has a couple of perks Xero omits:

  • More complex inventory options
  • Better reporting, including customizable reports
  • Consolidated P/L reports across multiple companies (Large &amp X-Large subscriptions)
  • Packing slips

Find out more about Saasu by studying our review.

5. Wave &#8211 The Disposable Alternative

Alternatives to Xero

Have you got a small company with less than 10 employees? Or are you currently a completely independent contractor or perhaps a sole proprietor searching free of charge cloud-based accounting software? If that’s the case, you might like to take a look at Wave. Wave is provided free of charge and implements only minimal advertising. Although some customers don&#8217t such as the &#8220Powered by Wave&#8221 branding that seems on invoices and emails, or even the advertising that covers a small fraction of users&#8217 screens, Wave provides an interface that’s straightforward and simple to navigate, also it provides all of the features that lots of micro-companies need. Many users enjoy while using software to deal with both their business and personal accounts, plus they love the truth that the services are free.

Although the attributes isn&#8217t as expansive as those of top-notch compensated software, Wave offers solid double-entry bookkeeping by having an impressive quantity of handy time-savers like automated overtime reminders. This program may be just the thing you need, particularly if you are managing a small, service-based business.

To understand more about Wave, read our full review here.

Wave versus Xero

Xero clearly is better than Wave&#8217s feature selection, but Wave has a couple of advantages:

  • Make use of the same software for managing business and personal accounts
  • No subscription cost, for multiple companies
  • Many people think it is simpler to know and employ
  • Take photos of receipts, and Wave uses text-recognition software to import your computer data (~70% precision)

To learn more about how exactly both of these programs stack facing each other, take a look at our Xero Versus Wave Accounting article.

Final Ideas

Xero is among the top players within the accounting software market and is a perfect choice for many. It’s not suitable for everybody, however, so if you’re considering testing out another options, Wave, Saasu, Zoho Books, and QuickBooks (Pro an internet-based versions) make the perfect starting point. Each program features its own unique group of perks and downsides which might turn it into a better fit for both you and your business. And every provides a free trial offer, so you’ve you win by a minimum of giving one &#8211 or perhaps all &#8211 of these an evaluation run!

Just make certain, if you’re relocating to the cloud-based sector the very first time, that you simply do your quest. You may also want to begin with this useful article: How to pick Accounting Software.

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