Easy Accounting Software For Small Businesses

Easy Accounting Software for Small Businesses

If you’re reading this, you’re in the market for a simple accounting solution. Maybe you don’t know anything about accounting and need a program that’s easy to learn. Or maybe you’ve been using Sage or QuickBooks Desktop Pro and are tired of the confusing accounting lingo.

The good news is that accounting doesn’t have to be difficult, and neither does finding easy accounting software. Thanks to the Cloud, there are plenty of full-featured, capable accounting programs that are easy to use and can help small business owners gain control of their business’s finances.

In this post, we’ll cover the top seven easiest accounting software programs. Each program on this list is easy to use and makes learning how to manage your accounting a breeze. We’ve included options to fit every budget and multiple business types.

Each program is ranked by how easy it is to use, how well the software is designed, and how quickly it can be mastered. Read on to see which is right for you!

1. WaveEasy Accounting Software For Small Businessses

Wave (see our review) is an eminently easy to use accounting software — and with a price of $0, it’s easy on the budget as well. Excellent customer support, competitive pricing, and great features have earned this software 4.5/5 stars on our site.

Best For…

Small businesses on a tight budget that still want strong accounting capabilities. Ideal for Etsy sellers and micro businesses.

Wave Pricing

As we mentioned earlier, Wave is free, no gimmicks or strings attached. With a Wave account, you get access to all Wave features and unlimited users. The only extra costs to be aware of are payroll and payment processing. Read our complete Wave review for all of the pricing details.

Wave Features

Wave is well-developed software that even rivals some paid programs in terms of features. This app is incredibly easy to navigate, and the learning curve is minimal, making it a great choice for business owners with little previous accounting experience. The software covers all of the accounting basics including invoicing, expense tracking, accounts payable, bank reconciliation, and more.

Easy Accounting Software for Small Businesses

Wave also has several unique features. In Wave, users can separate personal and business expenses, which is ideal for freelancers or side hustlers who don’t have a separate business bank account. Wave also offers Lending by Wave, which helps business owners gain access to capital through a partnership with OnDeck (see our review). Learn more about this financing option in our post Lending by Wave: Everything Small Businesses Need to Know.

Other features include:

  • Item management
  • Reports
  • Receipts
  • Contact management

Wave doesn’t offer as many integrations as its competitors; however, it does have a Zapier integration, which connects Wave with over 750 third-party apps. Besides Zapier, there are only three other integrations. (The Etsy integration makes Wave a great choice for Etsy sellers in need of simple accounting.) Wave also has several mobile apps.

There are a ton of customer support resources that make the software easy to learn. Only payroll users have phone and chat support, but Wave’s support team answers emails quickly and there’s a thorough help center with how-to videos.

The only downside to the software is that there is no project management feature and time tracking is limited to payroll users. There also isn’t a true inventory feature. If these features are integral to your business, you’ll have to use an integration. Or you can take a look at one of the other options on this list.

Takeaway

If you’re looking for an affordable accounting option, it doesn’t get better than Wave. With positive customer reviews, excellent customer support, and a well-organized UI, it’s no wonder this free accounting software is so popular. It’s easy to jump straight in and start using Wave, even with little previous accounting experience.

To learn more, read our full Wave review or sign up for an account to test the software yourself. You’ve got nothing to lose — after all, it’s free.

Read our full Wave review

Visit the Wave website

2. Zoho BooksEasy Accounting Software For Small Businesses

Created in 2011, Zoho Books (see our review) offers unbeatable invoicing and strong mobile apps. In fact, recent updates have put Zoho Books on par with QuickBooks Online in terms of features, but with better customer service, cheaper pricing, and a more user-friendly UI, Zoho Books is a great option for small businesses.

Best For…

Small businesses in need of strong online accounting, affordable pricing, and good invoicing. Ideal for international business.

Zoho Books Pricing

Zoho Books offers three affordable pricing plans ranging from $9/mo – $29/mo. Each plan comes with basic features and unlimited invoices. The larger the plan, the more contacts, users, and advanced features you’ll have access to. Read our Zoho Books review for the details.

Zoho Books Features

Zoho Books has an impressive number of features. With good customer support and a well-designed UI, the software is easy to use and learn. The software has all of the features you’d expect from a fully-developed accounting solution including invoicing, contact management, expense tracking, time tracking, inventory, project management, and even tax support.

Easy Accounting Software for Small Businesses

The best part about Zoho Books is its invoicing offerings. Zoho Books offers 15 customizable invoice templates, a client portal where customers can pay invoices directly online, recurring invoices, and the unique ability to encrypt invoices. There are also many automations that make it easy to invoice customers, like the ability to autoschedule invoices to be sent at a later time. In addition, you can send invoices in over 10 languages, making Zoho Books a great choice for international business.

You’ll find these key accounting features as well:

  • Accounts payable
  • Charts of accounts
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Fixed asset management
  • Reports

Zoho Books offers 30 integrations, including 12 payments gateways options and a Zapier integration that connects Zoho Books to over 750 other third-party apps. Zoho Books also has easy accounting apps that are highly developed and praised by existing users.

Zoho Books is known for great customer service. Phone support and email support are both available. Representatives are generally helpful and quick to respond to questions. The majority of customer reviews are positive, and users especially like the level of support they receive.

The only drawback is that Zoho Books has no payroll feature. You’ll either have to find a payroll integration or opt for a different software.

Takeaway

With almost as many features as QuickBooks Online, Zoho Books is definitely a contender worth considering. The software is easy to use and its invoicing features are unbeatable. Great customer support, a good number of integrations, and international features are also perks of the software.

If Zoho Books sounds like it might be a good choice for your small business, start a free trial or read our complete Zoho Books review to learn more.

Read our full Zoho Books review

Visit the Zoho Books website

3. ZipBooksEasy Accounting Software for Small Businesses

ZipBooks (see our review) is an up-and-coming accounting software that was launched in 2015 and offers a free accounting software plan. The software may be new, but it has already mastered simplicity. ZipBooks is one of the easiest accounting programs out there, and with a free plan, unlimited users, and ample automations, it’s not hard to see why this software gets 4/5 stars.

Best For…

Small businesses in need of affordable, strong accounting. Ideal for business owners with little previous accounting experience.

ZipBooks Pricing

ZipBooks offers three pricing plans ranging from $0/mo – $35/mo. Each plan comes with unlimited invoicing and unlimited users, which is almost unheard of (especially for the free plan) Each pricing level adds more features. Read our complete ZipBooks review to see which plan’s features suit your needs best.

ZipBooks Features

ZipBooks offers a good number of features that are easy to use and has one of the most attractive interfaces out there. The software’s design is simple and intuitive, using automations to save you time. The UI is even color-coded to make navigation a breeze. ZipBooks offers the basics you’d expect from accounting software, including invoicing, contact management, and expense tracking.

Easy Accounting Software For Small Businesses

One unique aspect of ZipBooks is that the software takes the data you input and uses it to provide helpful business insights, including a business health score and business recommendations specific to your financial situation.

In addition, ZipBooks offers:

  • Time tracking
  • Project management
  • Reports
  • Category tracking

ZipBooks only comes with eight integrations, so if you’re looking for ample add-ons, this may not be the software for you.

If you’re looking for good customer support, ZipBooks has you covered. Representatives are quick to respond to questions. Phone support is available for the paid plans. Other support options include email, in-software chat, a knowledge base, and a blog.

Before purchasing ZipBooks, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider. Compared to the other choices on this list, ZipBooks has very limited invoicing and only a small number of accounting reports. There also is no item or inventory feature. Despite these shortcomings, ZipBooks receives many positive customer reviews.

Takeaway

If you’re looking for easy accounting software, ZipBooks is hard to beat. With a great design, good learning resources, and ample automations, ZipBooks does everything it can to make accounting simple.

If ZipBooks sounds like a good fit for your business, use the free plan to take the software for a spin. Read our complete ZipBooks review to learn more.

Read our full ZipBooks review

Visit the ZipBooks website

4. FreshBooksEasy Accounting Software

FreshBooks (see our review) is invoicing software with a few bookkeeping tools tossed in. Although it’s not true “accounting” software, we kept in in the mix because it is incredibly easy to use and free of accounting jargon.

Best For…

Small businesses looking for strong invoicing and basic bookkeeping but not a full accounting software.

FreshBooks Pricing

FreshBooks offers three pricing plans ranging from $15/mo – $50/mo. Most features are included in all plans, so each larger level mainly adds more billable customers.

FreshBooks only supports a single user (additional users cost an extra $10/mo each). Read our full FreshBooks review to learn more.

FreshBooks Features

FreshBooks has always been easy to use, but a recent redesign has made the user experience even simpler and the UI more attractive. Setup is simple and the software takes very little time to learn. In terms of features, you’ll find invoicing, expense tracking, contact management, and more.

Easy Accounting Software For Small Businesses

FreshBooks offers two customizable invoice templates and a client portal where customers can pay their invoices directly online. One of the coolest features in FreshBooks is the ability to chat with your customers directly on their invoices.

Other features include:

  • Project management
  • Time tracking
  • Reports

FreshBooks offers 60 integrations, which is significantly more than most invoicing programs. There are also mobile apps available.

FreshBooks has great customer support. Representatives are friendly, helpful, and quick to respond. There is phone support, email support, a help center, and several other resources to help you learn the software.

For the most part, FreshBooks receives positive customer reviews; however, there are some recurring complaints.

In addition to not being true accounting software, FreshBooks only supports a single user — and this invoicing software is already more expensive than most accounting software. Instead of purchasing additional users, you’d get more bang for your buck by choosing a full-fledged accounting program (or a less expensive invoicing program like Zoho Invoice or Invoicera).

Takeaway

While FreshBooks isn’t accounting software, many small businesses are able to look past the lack of double-entry accounting because the software is so simple and easy to use. This easy bookkeeping software is ideal for small businesses that only need to send invoices and track expenses.

If the simplicity of FreshBooks sounds appealing to you, take the software for a spin with a free trial or read our comprehensive FreshBooks review to learn more.

Read our full FreshBooks review

Visit the FreshBooks website

5. QuickBooks Self-EmployedEasy Accounting Software for Small Businesses

QuickBooks Self-Employed (see our review) is tax software designed to help freelancers with basic bookkeeping and tax support. While QuickBooks Self-Employed isn’t exactly accounting software, it offers easy bookkeeping and tax support for freelancers.

Best For…

Freelancers, contractors, and other self-employed individuals needing basic bookkeeping and tax support. Ideal for managing estimated quarterly taxes and maximizing deductions.

QuickBooks Self-Employed Pricing

There are two pricing options for QuickBooks Self-Employed. There’s a $10/mo plan that includes all of the software’s features. Going with the $17/mo plan adds a Turbo Tax integration, so you can easily file your self-employed taxes.

QuickBooks Self-Employed Features

QuickBooks Self-Employed is well-organized and easy to use. The features help simplify estimated quarterly taxes and allow freelancers to manage their expenses and track their deductions.

Easy Accounting Software For Small Businesses

This software also makes it easy to separate personal and business expenses, which is ideal for freelancers who don’t have a designated business bank account. LIke Wave, QuickBooks Online also has a built-in lending feature called QuickBooks Capital (see our review) that helps small businesses manage gain access to working capital to manage their cash flow.

In addition, QuickBooks Self-Employed offers:

  • Invoicing
  • Fixed asset management
  • Schedule Cs
  • Tax checklist

QuickBooks Self-Employed offers a small number of integrations, but the Turbo Tax integration is the best part of the software by far. This integration makes self-employed taxes a breeze and makes it easy to file taxes online.

Unfortunately, QuickBooks Self-Employed is known for poor customer service. With no phone support and limited additional resources, it can be hard to find help, though the company is working to improve this. There is a live chat feature, a redesigned help center, and a small business resource center with helpful business advice.

While QuickBooks Self-Employed is a great option for managing your federal taxes, our one concern is that the software lacks state tax support. This means you’ll have to find another way to file state taxes.

Takeaway

If you’re a freelancer looking for a way to manage your finances and taxes, QuickBooks Self-Employed could be a good option for your business. The software is easy to use and comes with good mobile apps for quick access to your data.

To learn more about this software, read our complete QuickBooks Self-Employed review. If you’re already convinced, sign up for a free trial or start using the software today.

Read our full QuickBooks Self-Employed review

Visit the QuickBooks Self-Employed website

6. SlickPieEasy Accounting Software For Small Businesses

Founded in 2015, SlickPie (see our review) is an easy-to-use accounting software that has already received positive customer reviews and press coverage. Like Wave and ZipBooks, SlickPie offers an impressive free plan and a beautiful interface.

Best For…

Small businesses on a tight budget in need of basic accounting features and bookkeeping automations.

SlickPie Pricing

SlickPie offers a free plan and a paid plan which costs $9.95/mo. Both plans come with basic features and unlimited users. The main difference is the number of invoices you are allowed to send. Read our complete SlickPie review for all of the pricing details.

SlickPie Features

As we mentioned earlier, SlickPie is easy to use and offers several automations to help save you time and energy. There are a few occasional navigational difficulties and the organization could be improved, but overall the software is simple to set up. Features include invoicing, expense tracking, contact management, accounts payable, and more.

Easy Accounting Software for Small Businesses

One of the coolest features is SlickPie’s MagicBot, which is a data entry tool that automates your receipts. When you take a photo of your receipt, SlickPie will automatically gather the information from the photo and enter the data for you.

Here are some other features found in SlickPie:

  • Chart of accounts
  • Item management
  • Reports

SlickPie only offers three integrations, which might not cut it for many small businesses.

This app does have good customer support, however. Emails are responded to incredibly quickly. There is also phone support and a helpful knowledge base. SlickPie receives positive customer reviews, especially where support is concerned.

There are a few limitations to consider when comparing SlickPie to the other options on this list. While SlickPie is still easy to use, the software is difficult to navigate at times. There are also no project management or time tracking features. Unlike the other options, SlickPIe does not have mobile apps.

Takeaway

SlickPie is simple accounting software with basic features and a few promising automations. However, its limited automations, missing features, and occasionally unintuitive organization may rule this software out as a viable option for some small business owners.

If you’d like to learn more, read our complete SlickPie review or see the software in action for yourself by signing up for a free account.

Read our full SlickPie review

Visit the SlickPie website

7. QuickBooks OnlineEasy Accounting Software For Small Businesses

QuickBooks Online (see our review) is a fully-featured accounting software program that is generally easy to use. With 200+ integrations, strong mobile apps, and tax support, it’s no wonder this software receives 5/5 stars.

Best For…

Small businesses looking for a full-featured accounting solution that is relatively easy to use. Ideal for businesses with five users or fewer (though you can add up to 25 users for an additional cost).

QuickBooks Online Pricing

QuickBooks Online offers three pricing plans ranging from $15/mo – $50/mo. The larger the plan, the more feature you have access to and the more users you can have.

Payroll costs an additional $39 – $90/mo (plus $2/mo per employee). Read our full QuickBooks Online review to learn more and to see if Intuit is running any sales promotions.

QuickBooks Online Features

While this cloud accounting software is not quite as easy to use as the other options on this list, the trade-off is more advanced features. Set up is a bit involved and the organization is occasionally difficult to navigate, but compared to other big-name programs like Xero, Sage, and AccountEdge Pro, QuickBooks Online is a piece of cake.

Easy Accounting Software For Small Businesses

QuickBooks offers double-entry bookkeeping and strong accounting features like bank reconciliation, accounts payable, reports, and a chart of accounts. You’ll also find invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, project management, and more. In terms of invoicing, QuickBooks Online offers the second best templates and automations (with Zoho Books being the first).

Other features include:

  • Class tracking
  • Client portal
  • Tax support
  • Contact management
  • Budgeting
  • Inventory

With over 200 integrations, QuickBooks has more integrations than any other accounting program on this list. This includes 15 payment processing options and great mobile apps.

As we mentioned earlier, QuickBooks has been known for poor customer service in the past. Recently, QuickBooks Online has made great strides to improve their customer support. While the company still has a ways to go, phone response times have greatly improved and a redesigned help center makes it easy to find assistance.

Takeaway

While QuickBooks Online may not be quite as easy to use as the other options on this list, this online accounting software might be a good fit for businesses looking to get the most bang for their buck in terms of features.

Read our comprehensive QuickBooks Online review to learn about all that this software has to offer, or sign up for a free trial to see for yourself.

Read our full QuickBooks Online review

Visit the QuickBooks Online website

Final Verdict

Any one of these simple small business accounting software options will allow you to easily manage your business’s finances and balance the books, no matter what level of accounting experience you bring to the table. Ultimately, the decision will come down to your budget and the features your business needs.

Want a good double-entry accounting solution that’s more robust than the options we discussed above? I suggest trying Xero, Sage, AccountEdge Pro, or QuickBooks Pro. These apps aren’t quite as easy to use as the seven programs in this post, but they come with far more advanced features. If you need higher-level inventory management, payroll software, or a more refined method to track bank accounts, credit card payments and/or credit card charges, you’re going to be better off with one of these solutions. Conversely, for small business owners who are in the market for something very simple and don’t want to pay anything for an accounting app, we’ve compiled a list of the best free online accounting software programs out there.

If you need more help deciding, read the Complete Guide to Choosing Online Accounting or 20 Questions To Ask Before Choosing Accounting Software. And don’t forget to download the Beginner’s Guide to Accounting — in this free ebook, we make accounting simple and teach you everything you need to know without the confusing accounting jargon.

As always, let us know if you have any questions, and happy hunting!

The post Easy Accounting Software For Small Businesses appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

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How To Enter Credit Card Payments In QuickBooks Pro

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Entering credit card payments into QuickBooks doesn’t have to be confusing. If you’re not sure how to enter credit card payments or partial payments, don’t worry.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about entering credit card payments in QuickBooks Pro in 10 simple steps.

Reconcile Your Credit Card

You may not have known this, but before you enter credit card payments, you need to reconcile your credit card. This safeguards against any errors and makes entering payments easier (just watch and see).

To begin, go to Banking>Reconcile Credit Card. Be sure to have your credit card statement handy.

Step 1: Select Your Credit Card

Select the credit card account you wish to reconcile.

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Step 2: Choose Statement Date

Use the drop-down calendar to enter the statement date on your credit card statement.

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Step 3: Enter Your Ending Balance

Enter the ending balance exactly as it appears on your credit card statement.

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Step 4: Enter Any Finance Charges

Use the “Finance Charge” box to enter any finance fees (or interest fees). Enter the date the finance fee was charged and select an account like “Interest Expense” to categorize your finance charge.

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Then click the blue “Continue” button.

Step 5: Reconcile Your Account

Once you click “Continue,” you’ll be taken to a bank reconciliation screen that looks something like this. The charges and cash advances associated with your credit card will appear on the left, while your payments and credits will appear on the right.

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Go through your credit card statement line by line. For each individual transaction on your credit card statement, find the matching transaction in QuickBooks and click it. Continue until all the transactions on your credit card statement are selected.

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Once all of the transactions are selected, go to the bottom right-hand side of your QuickBooks screen. The difference should be zero. If not, something’s gone wrong and you’ll need to pinpoint the mistake (you could be missing a transaction, have been charged twice by the credit card company, or have entered the wrong ending balance).

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Step 6: Save

When the difference is 0.00, your credit card account is balanced! Now click the blue “Reconcile Now” button.

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Step 7: Write A Check

QuickBooks will take you to this screen:

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

The “Write a check for payment now” option makes entering a credit card payment easy. You can select that option right away and click “OK,” or you can go in and write a check at a later time.

After you click “OK,” you may receive this popup notification about your reconciliation report. You can view or print a summary reconciliation report or a more detailed reconciliation report.

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Enter A Credit Card Payment

You can either enter a credit card payment by following the reconciliation step above and clicking the “Write a check for payment now” option at the end, or you can go straight to the “Write Checks” icon on the Home page.

Step 1: Select Payment Account

Select the account you will be using to pay for your credit card charges (not the credit card account you are paying).

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Step 2: Select Credit Card Account

Now, skip down to where it says “Account.” Here is where you will select the actual credit card account you are paying. If you come straight from the reconciliation screen, this information will be automatically filled in.

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Step 3: Choose Your Vendor

Go back to the top and use the drop-down menu to select the vendor you are making the payment to.

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Step 4: Enter Check Number

Enter a check number (or adjust the existing check number if needed).

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Step 5: Enter Date

Use the drop-down calendar to make sure the proper payment date is selected.

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Step 6: Enter Payment Amount

If you came straight from the reconciliation screen, QuickBooks will automatically fill in the total outstanding balance on your card. However, you may want to adjust this total or make a partial payment. If that’s the case, enter the custom payment amount.

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Step 7: Write a Memo

You can include a menu to describe this payment if you’d like.

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Step 8: Add Additional Information

At this time, verify that the account name and amount appear correctly and add any additional information (such as another memo).

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Step 9: Save Your Payment

Once your payment looks correct, click the “Save & Close” button. Hit the “Save & New” button if you’re planning on writing more checks.

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Step 10: Check Your Payment

Lastly, go to Lists>Chart of Accounts and select your credit card. You’ll see a screen with all of the recorded charges and payments. Double check that your payment has been properly recorded and that the outstanding balance looks right.

How To Enter A Credit Card Payment In QuickBooks Pro

Once you’ve done this, you’ve successfully recorded your credit card payments in QuickBooks! For more credit card help, check out the other posts in our QuickBooks Pro 101 Series.

For troubleshooting issues, check out the QuickBooks Community or call QuickBooks directly. If you have any further questions, leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help you.

How To Reconcile A Bank Account

How To Enable Live Bank Feeds

How To Enter A Bill

The post How To Enter Credit Card Payments In QuickBooks Pro appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

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How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro

QuickBooks Desktop Pro 101 Series

If you have a business credit card, you probably make charges all the time. But how do you enter a credit card charge into QuickBooks Pro?

In this post, we’ll cover the two different ways to enter credit card charges in QuickBooks Desktop Pro so that you can properly manage your business’s finances.

Create A Credit Card Account

Before you can enter credit card charges, you need to make sure that there is an account for your credit card in your chart of accounts. If you’ve read How To Set Up Your QuickBooks Account, you may have already done this. But we’ll go over the process again briefly below.

Begin by going to Lists>Chart of Accounts>Account>New.

Step 1: Select Credit Card

Choose the “Credit Card” option; then click the blue “Continue” button.

How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro

Step 2: Enter The Account Name

Enter the name you want associated with your credit card account (i.e. Business Credit Card, Capital One Card, Bank Of America 1234, etc.).

How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro

Step 3: Write A Description (Optional)

If you’d like, you can add a description to your credit card account.

How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro

Step 4: Enter Your Credit Card Number (Optional)

Type in your credit card number if you want QuickBooks to remember this information.

How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro

Step 5: Attach A Tax Line (Optional)

You can attach a tax line to your credit card if you’d like. However, Quickbooks recommends that you leave this field blank unless you are a CPA or tax professional. Read more about tax lines by clicking the blue “How do I choose the right tax line?” link.

How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro

Step 6: Input Your Opening Balance (Optional)

You can add an opening balance for your account. You can also select the date of your opening balance using the drop-down calendar.

How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro

Step 7: Save Credit Card Account

Click the blue “Save & Close” button to save your credit card account.

How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro

Manually Enter Credit Card Charges

To manually enter your credit card charges, go to Banking>Enter Credit Card Charges, or find the “Enter Credit Card Charges” icon on the QuickBooks Pro home screen.

Step 1: Select Your Credit Card

Select the proper credit card for the credit card charge you want to enter (if you only have one credit card, QuickBooks will automatically select that credit card account).

How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro

Step 2: Verify Type Of Credit Card Transaction

Take a moment to make sure that “Purchase/Charge” is selected so that your credit card charge is properly recorded.

How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro

Step 3: Choose Your Vendor

Select the vendor associated with the credit card charge. You may need to create a new vendor. See our How To Add Vendors In QuickBooks Pro post for assistance.

How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro

Step 4: Select The Date

Use the calendar to record the date that the credit card was charged.

How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro

Step 5: Add A Reference Number (Optional)

If you have a reference number for the credit card charge, you can enter it now if you’d like.

How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro

Step 6: Enter Amount

Enter the credit card charge amount.

How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro

Step 7: Add

Include a memo to help you remember what the credit card charge was for.

Step 8: Add Additional Information

Here you can add as much or as little information as you’d like. QuickBooks will automatically put the total amount you entered into the first line. But let’s say, for example, that part of your purchase was office supplies, while part was postage. You could record the information like this:

How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro

Or, if you want even more detail, you can enter each item by clicking the “Items” option.

Step 9: Select An Account

No matter how you break up your credit card charge, make sure to use the drop-down menu to select the account in which you want each expense to be categorized.

This will help later when you view your Profit & Loss Statement and when you need to see your tax deductions for the year before filing taxes.

Step 10: Save

Click the “Save & Close” button to record your credit card charge, or click the “Save & New” button if you have more charges to add.

How To Enter Credit Card Charges Into QuickBooks Pro

Import Credit Card Charges Using Bank Feeds

If you don’t want to manually enter every credit card charge, you can import your credit card statements. To do this, follow the steps in our How To Enable Live Bank Feeds In QuickBooks Pro post, entering your credit card account rather than your bank account.

If you choose this option, you will still need to manually enter a vendor and select an expense category for each transaction before you reconcile your credit card account.

Whichever method you choose, always be sure to reconcile your credit card account regularly and stay on top of categorizing your credit charge expenses. This makes your life much easier come tax time and allows you to catch any discrepancies before it’s too late.

For troubleshooting issues, check out the QuickBooks Community or call QuickBooks directly. If you have any further questions, leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help you.

How To Reconcile A Bank Account

How To Enable Live Bank Feeds

How To Enter A Bill

The post How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

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How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

If you accept payments from your customers, whether you’re using PayPal, Stripe, Square, or some other payment processor, you most likely are paying merchant fees. But how do you properly enter merchant fees into QuickBooks?

In this post, we’ll cover how two different ways to enter merchant fees. We’ll explain what to do if your merchant account provider charges you per transaction or via a lump sum at the end of each month. This way, you can know how much money your business actually has, and you can be certain all of your information is correct for year-end taxes.

If you don’t have a payment processor yet but want to be able to accept online payments from your customers, visit our comprehensive merchant account reviews to find the best payment processor for your business.

How To Enter Merchant Fees Per Transaction

If you use PayPal, Square, or a similar payment processor, you are charged a certain percentage for each transaction you process. For example, PayPal charges 2.9% +$0.30/per transaction. Believe it or not, entering this information into QuickBooks Pro is actually fairly simple.

Before you begin, make sure you have created a designated expense account called “Merchant Fees.” If you’re not sure how to do this, follow the steps in our How To Enter Credit Card Charges In QuickBooks Pro post (only select “expense” rather than “credit card”).

Then, go to Customers>Receive Payments or find the “Receive Payments” icon on the home screen.

Step 1: Select Your Customer

Use the drop-down menu to select the customer whose payment you are recording. QuickBooks will pull up all outstanding invoices attached to that customer and autofill information accordingly.

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Step 2: Enter Payment Amount

Type in the exact amount the customer is paying.

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Step 3: Select Payment Option

Choose how the customer is paying.

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Clicking “More” will take you to payment methods like PayPal and Stripe (Note: if this is your first time recording merchant fees, click the “Add New” button to add whatever processor you use.)

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Step 4: Edit The Date

Make sure the correct date is chosen using the drop-down calendar.

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Step 5: Enter A Reference Number (Optional)

If you have a reference number, you can enter it now.

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Step 6: Add Any Additional Info

Now you can add any extra info, like the original amount, amount due, and a memo.

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

 

Step 7: Go To Record Deposit

Now return to your home screen. You should see a red notification on the “Record Deposit” icon. Click on it.

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Step 8: Select The Transaction

Click next to the payment we just recorded. Once you see the check mark, click okay.

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Step 9: Select Your Merchant Fees Account

On the line directly underneath the payment you recorded, select your merchant account.

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Step 10: Enter Merchant Fee

Enter your merchant fee using a negative number. QuickBooks will automatically deduct the merchant fee from the total payment.

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Step 11: Record Your Deposit

Double check that your screen looks correct and that the total on the bottom right-hand corner appears correct. Then click “Save & Close.”

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Repeat this process as many times as needed until all of the merchant fees for each payment are properly recorded.

How To Enter Merchant Fees As A Lump Sum

It’s rare, but some processors, like Fattmerchant, charge a monthly merchant fee. If this is the case for your processor, go to the “Check Register” icon on the home page or go to Banking>Use Register and then select the account you use to pay merchant fees.

Step 1: Edit The Date

Make sure the correct date is chosen using the drop-down calendar.

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Step 2: Choose Your Vendor

Where it says “Payee,” use the drop-down menu to select the vendor you are paying.

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Step 3: Select Your Merchant Fees Account

Where it says “Account,” use the drop-down menu to select your merchant fees account.

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Step 4: Add A Memo (Optional)

You can add a memo to describe the payment if you’d like.

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Step 5: Enter Merchant Fee

Where it says “Payment,” enter your merchant fee payment.

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Step 6: Save

Click “Record” to save your entry.

How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro

Now your merchant fee is recorded correctly. You can rest easy knowing that your QuickBooks information is correct.

For troubleshooting issues, check out the QuickBooks Community or call QuickBooks directly. If you have any further questions, leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help you.

How To Enter Credit Card Charges

How To Enter Credit Card Payments

How To Enter A Bill

The post How To Handle Merchant Fees In QuickBooks Pro appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

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The Complete Quickbooks Product Comparison Guide

Complete QuickBooks Product Comparison Guide

Not sure which version of QuickBooks you should choose? Can’t decide if QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop or some other version of QuickBooks is right for your business?

With five different products to choose from, deciding on the best QuickBooks software can be intimidating. Not to mention the fact that QuickBooks isn’t always the most forthcoming with information about their products!

In this complete QuickBooks Comparison, we’ll explain what each software is capable of, what type of business is best for each version of QuickBooks, and the main differences between each product. We’ll also walk you through what questions to ask so you can pinpoint the perfect QuickBooks software for your business and choose the right QuickBooks accounting solution with confidence.

Don’t have time to read our full comparison post? The following chart breaks down the main differences between QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, QuickBooks Enterprise, and QuickBooks Self-Employed.

QuickBooks Online QuickBooks Pro QuickBooks Premier QuickBooks Enterprise QuickBooks Self-Employed
Not Yet Rated
Read Review Read Review Read Review Read Review
Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site
Pricing $15 – $50/mo $299.95 $499.95 $1,100+ $10 – $17/mo
Customer Support Good Poor Poor Good Poor
Ease of Use Easy Difficult Difficult Difficult Very Easy
Size of Business Small Small – Medium Medium Large Freelancers
Number of Users 1 – 25 1 – 3 1 – 5 1 – 30 1
Web-Based or Installed Web-Based Installed Installed Installed Web-Based
Mobile Apps Yes No No No Yes

Overview of QuickBooks Products

QuickBooks OnlineComplete QuickBooks Product Comparison Guide

Launched in 2004, QuickBooks Online (see our review) is a cloud-based accounting software that is used by over 2 million people. With strong accounting capabilities, impressive features, and fully-featured mobile apps, it’s no wonder this is one of our top 5/5 star accounting recommendations.

Best For…

Small businesses with no more than 25 users looking for easy to use, cloud-based accounting software and strong mobile apps.

Pricing

QuickBooks Online (QBO) offers three pricing plans ranging from $15/mo-$50/mo. The larger the plan, the more features you have access to and the more users are allowed. The largest plan includes only five users, though you can though you can add up to 25 users for an additional cost.

Payroll costs an additional $39/mo-$99/mo (plus $2/mo per employee). Luckily, Intuit is almost always running a sales promotion. Read our complete QuickBooks Online review for all the pricing details.

Features

QuickBooks Online offers an incredible number of features and automations. The software covers all the accounting bases as well as invoicing, expense tracking, accounts payable, contact management, project management, and more. Though there are occasional navigation difficulties, QBO is incredibly easy to use overall.

Complete QuickBooks Product Comparison Guide

One of the things that really sets QuickBooks apart from other accounting products is its new lending feature — QuickBooks Capital (see our review). QuickBooks Capital uses the information already in QuickBooks Online to determine if a small business owner is eligible for a loan.

Some of our other favorite features include:

  • Invoice scheduling
  • Class tracking
  • Inventory
  • Time tracking
  • Print checks

QBO offers over 250 integrations, which is the most of any QuickBooks product.

QuickBooks is generally known for poor customer support, but QuickBooks Online has worked hard lately to revive their reputation by eliminating long wait times and redesigning their help center.

If integrations, ease of use, and mobility are important to you, QuickBooks Online is your best bet. If you want to see how QuickBooks Online stacks up against other QuickBooks products, continue reading.

View our comprehensive QuickBooks Online review for more information on this small business accounting software or sign up for a free trial if you think this version of QuickBooks is right for you.

Read our full QuickBooks Online review

Visit the QuickBooks Online website

QuickBooks ProComplete QuickBooks Product Comparison Guide

Launched back in 1992, QuickBooks Desktop Pro (see our review) is the software that put QuickBooks on the map. This 5/5 star software is locally-installed and offers highly developed features.

Best For…

Small to medium-sized business with three users or fewer looking for strong accounting or a locally-installed software.

Pricing

There are two pricing options for Quickbooks Desktop Pro. You can either purchase a QuickBooks Pro license for $299.95 or purchase a yearly subscription of Quickbooks Pro Plus for $299.95/yr.

If you go with the QuickBooks Pro license, it should last you three years, after which Intuit drops support for the software. Phone support costs extra. If you go with QuickBooks Pro Plus, updates and phone support are included. Additional users cost extra. For the full scoop on QuickBooks Pro’s pricing, check out our review.

Features

As we mentioned earlier, QuickBooks Pro has an unbelievable number of features. In terms of accounting, QuickBooks Pro is one of the most developed solutions, boasting a chart of accounts, journal entries, bank reconciliation, 200+ reports, and more. These highly developed features do have a steep learning curve, but for accountants, those with accounting experience, or the business owner who just wants to get their accounting right, taking the time to learn the software can pay off.

Complete QuickBooks Product Comparison Guide

The best part is that QuickBooks Pro not only offers a lot of features, but each feature is highly developed. Intuit truly thought of everything with this one — even spell check.

Some of our other favorite QuickBooks Desktop Pro features include:

  • Invoicing
  • Project management
  • Job costing
  • Calendar and to-do lists
  • Accounts payable
  • Budgeting
  • Tax support

QuickBooks Pro offers over 175 integrations, which is an impressive number for a locally-installed software. Unlike QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Pro still suffers from poor customer support.

QuickBooks Pro can be a great option for businesses looking for strong accounting or in need of locally-installed software. The learning curve makes this software ideal for people who have previous accounting experience.

If you want to learn more about how QuickBooks Pro stacks up to other desktop selections keep reading. You can also read our complete QuickBooks Pro review for more details on this software option.

Read our full QuickBooks Desktop Pro review

Visit the OnDeck website

QuickBooks PremierComplete QuickBooks Product Comparison Guide

QuickBooks Desktop Premier is the next step for medium-sized businesses looking for the same strong accounting as QuickBooks Pro, but with more users and industry-specific features (and a lower cost than QuickBooks Enterprise). Desktop Premier is a robust, locally-installed software with plenty of features and a good number of integrations.

Best For…

Small to medium-sized businesses with 5 users or fewer in need of the strong accounting and industry-specific accounting features.

Pricing

QuickBooks Desktop Premier’s pricing structure is nigh identical to QuickBooks Pro’s. There are two pricing options for Quickbooks Premier. You can either purchase a QuickBooks Premier license for $499.95 or purchase a yearly subscription of Quickbooks Premier Plus for $499.95/yr.

If you go with the QuickBooks Premier license, phone support costs extra. If you go with QuickBooks Pro Plus, updates and phone support are included. For the full scoop, visit QuickBooks Premier’s pricing page.

Features

QuickBooks Premier is optimized for strong accounting. Like QuickBooks Pro, there is a steep learning curve here, but the software includes certain features Pro lacks, including business plans, inventory assemblies, and sales forecasting.

Complete QuickBooks Product Comparison Guide

The real thing that sets QuickBooks Premier apart from QuickBooks Pro is the industry-specific features. You can choose the standard edition of QuickBooks Premier or you can choose one of five specialized editions: Contractor, Manufacturing & Wholesale, Nonprofit, Professional Services, and Retail.

Here are some other features to expect with QuickBooks Desktop Premier:

  • Industry-specific reports
  • Sales orders
  • Print shipping labels

QuickBooks Premier offers 173 integrations, and customer support is similar to that of QuickBooks Pro.

Before deciding on QuickBooks Premier, continue reading for more information. You don’t want to spend extra money if the features aren’t worth it.

If you want to learn more about QuickBooks Premier or are certain that your business does need industry-specific features, check out QuickBooks Premier’s website. QuickBooks doesn’t readily advertise a QuickBooks Premier free trial, but there is one available in the QuickBooks Community.

Visit the QuickBooks Premier website

QuickBooks EnterpriseComplete QuickBooks Product Comparison Guide

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise (see our review) has the same great accounting capabilities of Pro and Premier but allows access for up to 30 users and much more storage space. With six industry-specific versions, QuickBooks Enterprise has highly developed features to meet the needs of nearly any large business.

Best For…

Large businesses with 30 users or fewer looking for industry-specific accounting and advanced accounting.

Pricing

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise features three annual subscriptions: Silver (starts at $1,100/yr), Gold (starts at $1430/yr), and Platinum (starts at $1,760).

Price is determined by the plan you select and the number of users you have. You can purchase Intuit Field Service Management at an additional cost. For the full scoop on pricing, read our complete QuickBooks Enterprise review.

Features

In terms of features, QuickBooks Enterprise is about as close as you can get to an ERP without making the switch to full-on business management software. In addition to the strong accounting you’d expect with a QuickBooks desktop product, QuickBooks Enterprise provides invoicing, expense tracking, contact management, project management, job costing, and more.

Complete QuickBooks Product Comparison Guide

You can opt for the normal version of QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, or you can choose one of the six industry-specific editions for added features: Contractor, Manufacturing & Wholesale, Nonprofit, Retail, Professional Services, and Accountant. Read our post A Quick Guide To The 6 Industry Specific Editions Of QuickBooks Enterprise for a peek at what each edition has to offer.

Some other notable features include:

  • Lead management
  • Accounts payable
  • Inventory
  • Business plans
  • Loan manager
  • Tax support

Like QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Enterprise also integrates with over 160 third-party apps.

QuickBooks support puts its best foot forward for QuickBooks Enterprise customers. Representatives are responsive and friendly, and there are tons of support resources to choose from.

That being said, QuickBooks Enterprise does have its drawbacks. The software is incredibly expensive, and for the price you’re paying, certain features — like invoicing, project management, time tracking, and importing — are fairly limited. Additionally, the software is more suited for large businesses rather than enterprises, making its name slightly misleading.

If this software still sounds like it might be the right choice for your business, read on to see how it compares to other QuickBooks products or check out our complete QuickBooks Enterprise review. You can also sign up for a free trial of any edition of QuickBooks Enterprise.

Read our full QuickBooks Enterprise review

Visit the QuickBooks Enterprise website

QuickBooks Self-EmployedComplete QuickBooks Product Comparison Guide

QuickBooks Self-Employed (see our review) is different from the other QuickBooks Products in that it isn’t quite accounting software. QuickBooks Self-Employed is a tax software created to help freelancers manage their finances, handle estimated quarterly taxes, and calculate deductions.

Best For…

Freelancers, contractors, and other self-employed individuals in need of basic bookkeeping and tax support.

Pricing

There are two pricing options for QuickBooks Self-Employed. You can either pay $10/mo for all of the features QuickBooks Self-Employed has to offer, or you can pay $17/mo, which will add a Turbo Tax integration to your plan.

Intuit is almost always running a sales promotion, so be sure to check any possible discounts before purchasing. To learn more, read our complete QuickBooks Self-Employed review.

Features

Like QuickBooks Online, Quickbooks Self-Employed is an easy to use, cloud-based software with strong mobile apps. The features are designed specifically for freelancers and address needs like tax support and deductions. You can easily separate personal and business expenses, which is ideal for freelancers who don’t have a separate business bank account.

Complete QuickBooks Product Comparison Guide

Not only does Quickbooks Self-Employed help freelancers navigate the scary waters of estimated quarterly taxes, it also gives them basic bookkeeping tools to track income and expenses.

Here are some other features you can expect with QuickBooks Self-Employed:

  • Invoicing
  • Fixed asset depreciation
  • Schedule Cs
  • Tax checklist

Quickbooks Self-Employed has very limited integrations, but the Turbo Tax integration is one the greatest parts of the software. When you’re ready to file taxes, you can pull all of your QuickBooks Self-Employed data directly into Turbo Tax to make filing easy.

Unfortunately, QuickBooks Self-Employed’s customer support is even worse than QuickBooks Pro’s. There is no phone support and additional support resources are limited. There is a live chat feature and help center if you need assistance.

There’s one other drawback users should be aware of: QuickBooks Self-Employed only offers federal tax support, so you’ll have to handle your state taxes another way.

That being said, QuickBooks Self-Employed is a great option for freelancers, contractors, or other self-employed individuals. If that’s you, you won’t find any other QuickBooks product that is more tailored to your specific tax needs.

If you want to learn more, read our complete QuickBooks Self-Employed review. If you’re already sold on QuickBooks Self-Employed, sign up for a free trial.

Read our full QuickBooks Self-Employed review

Visit the QuickBooks Self-Employed website

How To Choose The Right Version Of QuickBooks For Your Business

If you read the overview of each QuickBooks product, you may already have an idea of which version of QuickBooks is best for your small business. If not, don’t worry. These five questions will help you narrow down your search and find what you’re looking for.

Do You Want Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed Software?

The first major deciding factor is whether or not you want cloud-based or locally-installed software.

Cloud-based software operates entirely in the cloud (on the internet). Some perks of cloud-based software include:

  • Mobility
  • Access for multiple users in different locations
  • SaaS subscription-based pricing model
  • Security is handled by the software provider
  • Usually comes with mobile apps

Locally-installed software is downloaded and installed on a single, on-premise computer. Some perks of locally-installed software include:

  • No internet access required
  • More complex and feature-rich
  • Potentially more secure (you are responsible for security)

Most small businesses prefer cloud-based software as it is often more affordable, easier to use, and keeps up with our society’s mobile lifestyle. However, locally-installed software can be more secure and offers a level of feature depth that the cloud often can’t touch.

Deciding which type of software works best for your business model can make your QuickBooks choice a whole lot easier. If you want cloud-based software, there’s QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Self-Employed. If you want locally-installed software, you can take your pick from QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, or QuickBooks Enterprise.

Are You A Mac Or Windows User?

QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise are all designed for Windows. So if you’re a Mac user, you’re down to two options: QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise.

What Type Of Business Do You Run?

The type of business you run has a huge influence on which QuickBooks product is right for you. If you’re a freelancer, QuickBooks Self-Employed is the obvious choice. If you’re running a small business, you’ll be comparing QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Pro.

Larger businesses will be looking at QuickBooks Premier or QuickBooks Enterprise, depending on the number of users they need.

How Many Users Do You Need?

The number of users you need will also help determine which software is best for your business. Take a look at this chart to see which product suits your business’s size.

QuickBooks Self-Employed: 1 user
QuickBooks Pro: 1 – 3 users
QuickBooks Premier: 1 – 5 users
QuickBooks Online: 1 – 25 users
QuickBooks Enterprise: 1 – 30 users

Note: This chart shows the maximum number of users available with each version of QuickBooks, which may cost extra.

How Much Accounting Experience Do You Have?

If you don’t know much about accounting, you’ll want to shy away from QuickBooks Pro, Premier, or Enterprise, unless you’re willing to put in the time to learn.

QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Self-Employed are much easier options to grasp if you don’t have much experience or just want to keep balancing the books simple.

On the other hand, if you’re an accountant or someone with a great deal of accounting experience, you may like the complexity of the QuickBooks desktop options as they stick to more traditional accounting.

QuickBooks Product Comparison

Here is a more detailed QuickBooks comparison so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting with each software and can easily tell the differences between each version of QuickBooks.

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Pricing $15-$50/mo $299.95 $499.95 $1,100/yr+ $10-$17/mo
Extra Cost for Phone Support None $249.95/yr or $89.95/three months $89/three months None None
Web-hosted or Locally-installed Web-hosted Locally-installed Locally-installed Locally-installed Web-hosted
Number of Users 1-25 1-3 1-5 1-30 1
User Permissions ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ N/A
Support for Multiple Companies ✘ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Size of Business Small Small to medium Medium Large Freelancers
Ease of Use Easy Difficult Difficult Difficult Very easy
Learning Curve Small learning curve Steep learning curve Steep learning curve Steep learning curve No learning curve
Customer Support Good Poor Poor Good Poor
Numbers of Integrations 250 160 160 160 4
Number of Payments Gateways 16 13 13 13 1
Invoices ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Number of Templates 5 9 8 5 1
Customizable Templates ✔ ✔ ✘ ✘ ✘
Invoice Customizations ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Recurring Invoices ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘ ✘
Autoschedule Invoices ✔ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘
Batch Invoices ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Invoice Reminders ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Invoice Discounts ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Online Payments ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Snail Mail Option ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Invoice Receipts ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Default Email Messages ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Default Invoice Notes ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Default Terms and Conditions ✔ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✔
Packing Slips ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Purchase Orders ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Estimates ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Convert Estimates to Invoices ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Accept Quotes Online ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Contact Management ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Lead Management ✘ ✘ ✘ ✔ ✘
Customer Credit Memo ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Refunds ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Map & Directions ✘ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Expense Tracking ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Chart of Accounts ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Sales Orders ✘ ✘ ✔ ✔ ✘
Sales Receipts ✘ ✘ ✔ ✔ ✘
Accounts Payable ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Recurring Bills ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Automatic Bill Reminders ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Bank Reconciliation ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Automatic Categorization ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Custom Bank Rules ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Live Bank Feeds ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Manual Bank Statement Import ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Project Management ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Tasks ✘ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Assign Tasks to Employees ✘ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Job Costing ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Time Management ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Manually Enter Time ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Built-in Timer ✘ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Bill Time to Customer as Invoice ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Payroll ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Direct Deposit ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Inventory ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Low Stock Reminders ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Inventory Bundles ✔ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘
Number of Reports 27-75 200+ 135 140 3
Budgeting ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Journal Entries ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Class Tracking ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Letter Templates ✘ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Thank You Notes ✘ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
To-Do-Lists ✘ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Print Checks ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Calendar ✘ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Mileage Deductions ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Home Office Deduction ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✔
Tax Checklist ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✔
1099-MISC’s ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
W-2’s ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
W-3’s ✘ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
1096’s ✘ ✔ ✔  ✔ ✘
940’s ✘ ✔ ✔ ✘ ✘
941’s ✘ ✔ ✔ ✘ ✘
944’s ✘ ✔ ✔ ✘ ✘
Schedule C’s ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✔
E-file Tax Forms ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Sales Tax ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Multi-Currency Support ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
API ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘
Import ✔ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘
Export ✘ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Upload and Save Documents ✘ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘

Final Thoughts

Now you know exactly what to expect from each version of QuickBooks in terms of features, pricing, and usability. While the numerous options seem intimidating at first, each version of QuickBooks is designed to reach a certain business size and type.

If a specific version of QuickBooks stood out to you, we recommend taking the software for a test run to make sure you love using it.

If after reading this post, you aren’t convinced that any version of QuickBooks is right for you, or if you just want to consider all of your options, our comprehensive accounting reviews can help you find the perfect accounting software for your business. Take a look at these additional resources for more QuickBooks alternatives.

The Best QuickBooks Online Alternatives

The Best Alternatives to QuickBooks Pro

The post The Complete Quickbooks Product Comparison Guide appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

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Best Accounting Software For Macs

Best Accounting Software For Macs

Are you a loyal Mac-lover looking for accounting software? You’ve come to the right place!

When there are so many accounting options out there, finding the best small business accounting software for Macs isn’t easy — especially now that QuickBooks has discontinued QuickBooks Mac. Luckily for you, we’ve created this list of the top five best accounting software programs for Mac users.

Each of these programs offers tons of features and has a 4/5 star rating (or higher) on our site. We’ve picked a variety of accounting software programs that target different business sizes, needs, and price ranges so that you can find the best Mac accounting solution for your small business.

Read on to learn which option is right for you.

AccountEdge

AccountEdge

When most people think about accounting software, they’re really thinking about QuickBooks (the notoriously difficult to learn, locally-installed software for Windows). AccountEdge (see our review) offers the same sort of functionality as QuickBooks Pro, but for Mac users.

AccountEdge is an on-premise, traditional accounting program. Because AccountEdge is locally-installed, the software is far more developed and offers much more functionality than the other programs on this list. For example, it’s the only software of the five to offer lead management. But these features come at the cost of a steep learning curve.

The software is also more limited than its cloud-based counterparts in that there is no mobility and the cost of extra users adds up fast. However, for those with accounting experience who are planning on sticking with one software for a few years, AccountEdge can be an economical choice and may even prove to be less expensive than some cloud-based alternatives.

Best Accounting Software For Macs

Features

AccountEdge is a fully-developed accounting solution with tons of great features for running a business:

  • Invoicing
  • Quotes
  • Contact management
  • Lead management
  • Expense tracking
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Accounts payable
  • Chart of accounts
  • Inventory
  • Project management
  • Time tracking
  • Payroll
  • Commission
  • 100+ reports
  • Customizable cards
  • Budgeting
  • Sales tax
  • Multi-currency support

Note: Some features are only available with AccountEdge Pro.

Pricing

AccountEdge Basic costs a one-time fee of $149 for a new user license, while AccountEdge Pro (which includes all of the features listed above) runs $399 for a new user. Each license comes with a single-user; additional users cost extra. Any future AccountEdge upgrades are offered at a discounted rate.

If you’re looking for a locally-installed Mac accounting software, you really can’t beat AccountEdge. Read our full AccountEdge review to learn more about this software or give it a whirl with the free 30-day trial.

Xero

Best Xero Alternatives

Xero (see our review) has been a force to be reckoned with in the accounting world since 2006. This software (and all of the other Mac accounting options) in this post differ from AccountEdge in one significant way: they are cloud-based. Instead of installing the software on your computer, the software is accessed via the internet. That means that Mac and Windows users alike can benefit from Xero.

Xero offers strong accounting, incredible customer service, and an impressive number of positive customer reviews. Xero also allows for unlimited users, something almost unheard of in the accounting world.

The software is ideal for medium-large businesses in need of strong accounting and multiple users. Xero allows you to set detailed user permissions and manage multiple companies. While there is a small plan marketed toward smaller businesses, this plan is incredibly limited when compared to similar offerings by other cloud accounting programs (like Wave and Zoho Books for example). Payroll is only available in 37 states.

Best Accounting Software For Macs

Features

Xero offers a great selection of features:

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Accounts payable
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Chart of accounts
  • Fixed asset management
  • Inventory
  • Project management
  • Timesheets
  • Payroll
  • 65 reports
  • Journal entries
  • Print checks
  • Tax support
  • Sales tax
  • Multi-currency support

Note: Feature access may vary by plan. Visit our comprehensive Xero review for a complete feature list.

Pricing

Xero offers five scalable price plans ranging from $9/mo – $180/mo. Payments are made monthly. Each plan comes with unlimited users. Check Xero’s pricing page for more details.

If Xero sounds like it might be a good fit for you, check out our comprehensive Xero review and/or take the software for a spin with a free 30-day trial. If you do end up going with this accounting software, take a look at How To Set Up Your Xero Account, a free guide that walks you through how to set up and use your Xero software.

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Capital Review

QuickBooks Online (see our review) was launched in 2004. Since then, this robust software has grown to support over 2.2 million users. QuickBooks Online is cloud-based software with over 500 integrations and beautiful invoicing automations and customizations.

In the past, QuickBooks Online was fairly intuitive and required little previous accounting experience, but a recent downgrade in usability has made the software fairly difficult to navigate. However, the software is updated monthly so (hopefully) this could change soon.

The software is ideal for all types of small businesses, particularly those in need of strong accounting and ample integrations. It is not a good fit for companies with more than 25 users.

Best Accounting Software for Macs

Features

QuickBooks Online offers an impressive number of features. These features are often a lot easier to use than those of locally-installed alternatives:

  • Invoicing
  • Invoice automations (like autoscheduling)
  • Estimates
  • Basic client portal
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Accounts payable
  • Chart of accounts
  • Inventory
  • Project management (beta)
  • TIme tracking
  • Reporting
  • Budgeting
  • Class tracking
  • packing slips
  • Tax support
  • Sales tax
  • Multi-currency support

Note: Feature access may vary by plan. Visit our comprehensive QuickBooks Online review for a complete feature list.

Pricing

QuickBooks Online offers three pricing plans ranging from $15/mo – $50/mo. Plans are paid monthly and payroll costs an additional $39/mo – $99/mo. Check QuickBooks Online’s pricing page for more details.

If you’re interested in QuickBooks Online, read our complete QuickBooks Online review for more details and take advantage of the free 30-day trial.

Zoho Books

Best Accounting Mobile Apps

Zoho Books (see our review) is a complete accounting package with some of the most beautiful invoicing tools I have ever seen. The software was launched in 2009 and is an easy accounting software for Mac users to learn and use.

Overall, Zoho Books is incredibly affordable, offers good customer support, has amazing mobile apps, and provides some of the best international business options on the market.

Zoho Books is ideal for small to medium businesses (with up to 10 users) that are looking for strong accounting capabilities. Zoho Books has almost all of the features you’d find in QuickBooks or Xero; the only thing the software doesn’t offer is payroll or budgeting, so users in need of built-in payroll may want to look elsewhere.

Best Accounting Software For Macs

Features

Zoho Books offers an impressive number of features:

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Client portal
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Mileage deductions
  • Accounts payable
  • Chart of accounts
  • Fixed asset management
  • Inventory
  • Time tracking
  • Project management
  • 50+ Reports
  • Journal entries
  • Class tracking
  • Print checks
  • Tax support
  • Sales tax
  • Multi-currency support
  • Invoice in multiple languages

Note: Feature access may vary by plan. Visit our comprehensive Zoho Books review for a complete feature list.

Pricing

Zoho Books offers three pricing plans ranging from $9 – $29/mo. Plans are paid monthly. Features vary by plan. Check out Zoho Book’s pricing page to learn more.

If Zoho Books sounds like it might be the best Mac accounting software option for your business, or if you’re interested in learning more, be sure to read our complete Zoho Books review and take advantage of the free 14-day trial.

Wave

Best QuickBooks Online Alternatives

Wave (see our review) is the best free accounting software for Mac users. And just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s skimping on features. The software is incredibly robust and very easy to use. Wave offers strong accounting, decent invoicing, and built-in lending. The customer support is great and user reviews are positive almost across the board.

The ability to separate personal and business expenses makes Wave ideal for freelancers and microbusinesses, while complex accounting features (like a detailed chart of accounts) will meet the needs of most any small business. The software is ideal for businesses looking to save a bit of money. There is an Etsy-integration as well, which makes Wave a perfect choice for Etsy sellers. The software is not ideal for users in need of cash-basis accounting.

Best Accounting Software For Macs

Features

Wave offers an impressive number of features, especially for a free accounting software. These features are easy to navigate and don’t require a background in accounting to use:

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Separate personal and business expenses
  • Accounts payable
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Chart of accounts
  • Item list
  • Time tracking
  • Lending
  • 12 reports
  • Multi-currency support
  • Sales tax

Pricing

As I mentioned earlier, Wave is a free accounting solution. However, there are a few extra costs to be aware of. Namely, payroll and credit card processing come at an additional price. Be sure to check Wave’s pricing page for the full scoop on these costs.

If this free software sounds tempting, you’ll want to read more about it in our full Wave review. You can also sign up for a free Wave account to give it a try (and cancel at any time).

Which Software Should I Choose?

When it comes to choosing the best small business accounting software for Mac users, we couldn’t pick a single favorite. There are several great Mac accounting options, and choosing which one is right for your business will ultimately depend on your business’s size, needs, and price range.

To summarize:

  • AccountEdge: AccountEdge is the best locally-installed accounting software for Mac users. The software offers more features than any of the other Mac accounting software alternatives, but there is a learning curve and the software is not ideal for businesses with multiple users.
  • Xero: Xero is an incredibly robust accounting option that is ideal for medium to large businesses. The software also has a bit of a learning curve, but it offers unlimited users and great customer support.
  • QuickBooks Online: QuickBooks Online is one of the best small business accounting options. It has hundreds of integrations and plenty of features for most businesses. The software isn’t the easiest to use, and customer support can be a hit or miss.
  • Zoho Books: Apart from Wave, Zoho Books is the easiest accounting software for Mac users to learn. It offers true accounting, beautiful invoicing, and competitive pricing. The software is ideal for small to medium-sized business who don’t need payroll or a lot of integrations.
  • Wave: Wave is the best free accounting software for Macs. The software offers true accounting, but is easy to use and suits the needs of freelancers, micro businesses, and most small businesses. It’s not as comprehensive as AccountEdge or Xero, but the price tag is enticing.

When choosing between these five options, one of the first questions you should ask is: Do I want locally-installed or cloud-based software? 

If you’re set on a locally-installed program, then the decision’s already made for you — AccountEdge is the way you should go. If you prefer the mobility of cloud-based software, then Xero, QuickBooks Online, Zoho Books, or Wave would be better options.

For additional help choosing which software is best for your small business, read 10 Questions To Ask Before Choosing Accounting Software. I also highly recommend reading our reviews and taking advantage of free trials before committing to any solution. Read the Complete Guide to Choosing Online Accounting Software and Accounting Software: Cloud-based or Locally Installed? for extra help.

Good luck on your journey to finding the perfect accounting software for your Mac, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions along the way.

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Best Payment Processing Integrations For Accounting Software

Best Payment Processing Integrations for Accounting Software

Are you ready to start accepting credit and debit cards from your customers? Do you want your customers to be able to pay their invoices directly online? You’ve come to the right place.

Here at Merchant Maverick, we know payment processing can be a tricky concept to wrap your mind around. Finding the best option for your business isn’t always easy. The good news is we’ve done the hard work for you. The even better news? Each of these payment processors integrates directly with your accounting software to make your life that much easier.

This post will discuss five of the top payment processors that integrate directly with accounting software. We’ll cover the pros and cons of each to help you decide which is best for your small business. And we’ve even created a handy chart to help you compare all the payment processors that integrate with major accounting programs.

But before we begin, let’s cover a few basics about payment processing.

If you’re already a payment processing pro, feel free to skip this section and continue on to our top picks for best payment processing integrations. Or visit our merchant account reviews to see more payment processing options.

A Brief Intro To Payment Processing

There are two different types of payment processing companies — merchant accounts and payment service providers (or PSPs).

  • Merchant Account: A merchant account is an individual account that connects your business directly to a payment processor so you can accept credit cards and debit cards. When your customer pays with a card and the payment clears their banking institution, the transaction will be deposited directly into your bank account through your merchant account.
  • Payment Service Provider: A payment service provider also allows you to accept credit cards and debit cards. However, instead of creating an individual account, a PSP will lump all of your transactions into a shared account where multiple merchants transactions are stored.

So which one should you use? There are a lot of factors to consider, including your business type, the size of the transactions you’re processing, the number of transactions you process per month, and whether or not you are considered a “high-risk” merchant.

According to our merchant account expert, Tom DeSimone:

If you plan to process large transactions ($300 or more) or a sizeable monthly volume in card payments (about $10K or more, NOT INCLUDING cash and checks), you will want a merchant account to get the best rates.

On the other hand, he says this about PSPs:

While transactions fees might be a little higher than if you had your own merchant account, PSPs usually do not charge a monthly fee or other schedule fees. You just pay for what you use, which is ideal for businesses that only process sporadically.

It’s pretty simple, really. If you plan on processing large transactions or lots of transactions every month, a merchant account will probably be the way to go. If you’re a smaller business that doesn’t process much and needs a pay as you go option, a PSP might be a better choice.

There are other pros and cons to consider with each type of payment processing company, however.

We borrowed this handy chart from our Beginner’s Guide To Payment Processing to help you better understand the differences between merchant accounts and PSPs:

Best Payment Processing Integrations for Accounting Software

There is one more important concept to cover before we move on. In addition to merchant accounts and PSPs, you might encounter payment gateways.

If you’ve ever bought anything online, you’re already familiar with this concept (whether you know it or not):

  • Payment Gateway: A payment gateway allows you to accept credit and debit cards online. Payment gateways use either merchant accounts or PSPs to connect your business and your customer’s banking institution so you get paid.

Payment gateways account for some of the most common accounting integrations (think PayPal and Stripe).

In order to integrate your accounting software to a payment gateway, you will need to establish an account with that gateway provider. Depending on the payment gateway you choose, you may need to set up a merchant account or PSP account. Your payment gateway may require that you use a specific merchant account or PSP of theirs, or they may offer a payment gateway and merchant account or PSP bundle.

I know this is a lot to take in, believe me, but it gets easier from here. Now you can sit back, relax, and learn about our top five favorite payment processing integrations for accounting software.

Fattmerchant

Best Payment Processing Integrations for Accounting Software

Fattmerchant integrates with QuickBooks Online.

Fattmerchant (see our review) is a merchant account provider that was founded in 2014. This company sets itself apart by offering subscription-based pricing, making it competitive and potentially more affordable than other merchant accounts. Fattmerchant also offers 24/7 customer support and receives positive feedback from the majority of its customers.

Products & Services

Fattmerchant supports the following products and services:

  • Merchant account
  • Virtual terminal
  • Countertop terminals (pricing not disclosed)
  • Point of Sale (POS) integrations
  • Mobile payments
  • One mobile card reader ($75 for each additional reader)
  • Shopping cart integration
  • eCheck services ($29/mo + $0.25 per transaction)
  • Data analytics

The company does not have its own payment gateway, but Fattmerchant is compatible with Authorize.Net, Payeezy, or the TSYS Payment Gateway. It will set you up with a free gateway or integrate with your existing one.

Pricing

Fattmerchant offers two pricing plans that are paid monthly. There is no locked-in contract and no early termination fees for either plan.

  • Basic: $99/mo + $0.08 per transaction for retail ($0.15 per transaction for ecommerce)
  • Enterprise: $199/mo + $0.05 per transaction for retail ($0.10 for ecommerce)

If you’re looking for an affordable, honest merchant account, Fattmerchant is one of the best. This option is good for businesses looking for a predictable monthly subscription plan. Fattmerchant does not provide high-risk merchant accounts and may not be a good value for small businesses with low payment processing.

Read our full Fattmerchant review to learn more and see if this affordable merchant account option is right for you.

CDGcommerce

Best Payment Processing Integrations for Accounting Software

CDGcommerce integrates with QuickBooks Online.

CDGcommerce (see our review) is a merchant account provider with over 20 years of payment processing experience. This company is geared toward small to medium-sized business and also operates on a monthly subscription pricing model. A free payment gateway is included with every CDGcommerce merchant account. The company also sets itself apart with an impressive client retention rate and excellent customer support.

Products & Services

CDGcommerce supports the following products and services:

  • Virtual terminal
  • One credit card terminal (with a $79/yr insurance fee)
  • Mobile payments
  • POS systems
  • Optional security service
  • Data analytics and reports

CDGcommerce offers a free payment gateway. Users can choose between Quantum or Authorize.Net.

Pricing

CDGcommerce has two types of pricing: simplified pricing and advanced pricing. Simplified pricing rates depend on your business type and size.

  • Online: Interchange + 0.30% + $0.15 per transaction
  • Retail: Interchange + 0.25% + $0.10 per transaction
  • POS: Interchange + 0.25% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Mobile: Interchange + 0.25% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Non-Profit: Interchange + 0.20% + $0.10 per transaction

Advanced pricing offers discounts for business with a processing volume of $10,000+ each month. There are no long-term contracts or early terminations fees for either pricing structure. Check out our complete CDGcommerce review for more pricing details. To learn more about interchange and interchange-plus pricing, read Trading Ease For Transparency With Interchange Plus.

 

CDGcommerce is a scalable company with an impressive number of products and services. The free credit card terminal is also a huge plus. The only catch with this company is that it is limited to merchants in the US.

If you’d like to learn more about CDGcommerce, read our full CDGcommerce review.

Square

Best Payment Processing Integrations for Accounting Software

Square integrates with QuickBooks Online, Xero, Zoho Books, Kashoo, and Kashflow.

You’re probably familiar with the swipe-based payment processing system known as Square. Square (see our review) is one of the leaders in mobile processing. It offers great features including inventory, invoicing, and customer management features. And to top it off, Square has a ton of integrations.

Products & Services

Square supports the following products and services:

  • Virtual terminal
  • Gift cards ($2 per card)
  • Shopping cart integrations
  • e-Invoicing
  • Inventory management
  • POS app
  • Customer management
  • Customer feedback
  • Advanced reporting
  • Email marketing
  • Appointments ($30-$90/mo)
  • Payroll ($25/mo + $5/mo per employee)
  • Event rentals

Pricing

Square offers standard fees with no interchange-plus pricing. There are no monthly fees, no locked-in contracts, and no early termination fees.

  • Standard Swipe Transactions: 2.75% per transaction
  • Square Register Swipe Transactions: 2.5% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Virtual Terminal Transactions: 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction
  • eCommerce & Invoice Transactions: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction

Square offers several add-ons and additional monthly services. Be sure to read our complete Square review for more pricing details.

If you’re looking for a mobile payment processor, this is one of the most well-known and developed options. Square is good for small businesses with low processing volumes and can be an affordable choice. However, Square is not meant for high-risk merchants or companies with a large processing volume as the company is known to hold funds and suddenly terminate accounts.

To learn if Square is the right payment processing option for your business, check out our full Square review or read our post: Is Square Right For Your Business?.

Authorize.Net

Best Payment Processing Integrations for Accounting Software

Authorize.Net integrates with QuickBooks Online, Xero, Zoho Books, FreshBooks (classic), and Microsoft Dynamics.

Authorize.Net (see our review) is a payment gateway that was founded in 1996; it has since supported over 400,000 merchants. Not only does Authorize.Net allow you to accept online payments from customers, it also has a checkout feature, recurring billing, contact management, and fraud protection. In addition, the company offers good customer support and key accounting integrations.

Products & Services

Authorize.Net supports the following products and services:

  • Virtual terminal
  • Mobile payments app
  • Supports mobile card reader ($42-$98 per reader)
  • Simple checkout
  • Apple pay support
  • Fraud detection
  • Recurring billing
  • Customer information management
  • eChecks (additional cost)

If you have a merchant account, Authorize.net is designed to be compatible with your existing merchant account.

If you don’t have a merchant account, you can have Authorize.Net set you up with one. Or, you can choose a merchant account provider that partners directly with Authorize.Net. If you want to go this route, we recommend Dharma Merchant Services, one of our all-time favorite payment processing providers.

Pricing

Authorize.Net offers two pricing plans: a gateway-only plan and a gateway + merchant account plan. There are no-long terms contracts or cancellations fees (but this may vary depending on your merchant account provider).

  • Payment-Only: $25/mo + $0.10 per transaction
  • Payment Gateway + Merchant Account: $25/mo + 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction

Note: If you are using a merchant account provider that partners with Authorize.Net, your merchant account may lower or even waive certain fees. Read our complete Authorize.Net review for more pricing details so you can make sure you get the best deal.

If you’re looking for a payment gateway, Authorize.Net is a great option. It boasts excellent customer service and tons of features to cover most business needs. One important thing to remember is that Authorize.Net is not good for data exporting. Pricing can also be expensive if you sign up with Authorize.Net directly, so make sure you explore all of your options before deciding.

Read our full Auhorize.Net review for more information.

Braintree

Best Payment Processing Integrations for Accounting Software

Braintree integrates with QuickBooks Online, Xero, Sage One, FreshBooks (classic), and Saasu.

Braintree (see our review) offers both merchant accounts and payment gateways. This processing company was established in 2007 and offers impressive features, multiple currency options, and excellent customer support. Flat-rate pricing and ample integrations are also a huge plus.

Products & Services

Braintree supports the following products and services:

  • eCommerce integration
  • Mobile payments
  • Recurring billing
  • Fraud detection
  • Tax support
  • Developer tools
  • PayPal integration

Braintree comes paired with its own payment processing, but merchants can choose to use a different merchant account with the Braintree gateway for an added fee.

Pricing

Braintree has a simple pricing plan. There are no monthly fees, setup fees, gateway fees, or early termination fees. Instead, you’ll pay a competitive, standard rate:

  • 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction

If you only want to use the Braintree gateway and not its payment processing, then you’ll have to pay a flat fee of $49 per month plus $0.10 per transaction instead.

We like Braintree so much that it even outranks PayPal and Stripe in our books. However, Braintree is not suited for high-risk merchants and certain types of businesses are prohibited from using Braintree.

Read our complete Braintree review for more details and to see if this merchant account and payment gateway provider is a good fit for your business.

Which Is Right For Me?

If you’ve learned anything from this post, it’s that when it comes to payment processing there are lots of options to choose from. The right payment processing provider for your business will depend on whether you’re looking for a merchant account or a payment gateway (or a combo of both), plus the number of transactions you process and the extra features your company requires.

One of the main things you should consider is which providers integrate with your accounting software. This will narrow down your decision quite a bit.

While we named some of our favorite companies above, there are several other common payment processing accounting integrations, including PayPal, Stripe, forte, and GoCardless. To make your search for the perfect payment processor easier, we’ve created a chart of the most common accounting programs and the payment processing providers they integrate with.

Software Payment Processing Integrations
QuickBooks Pro BluePay, Durango Merchant Services, QuickBooks Desktop Payments
QuickBooks Online Authorize.Net, BluePay, CDGcommerce, Fattmerchant, Forte, Partial.ly, Payline, PayPal, WorldPay, QuickBooks Payments,    Square, Stripe, WePay, WorldPay
Xero Authorize.Net, Bill&Pay, Braintree, Forte, GoCardless, PayPal, Square, Stripe, WorldPay
Zoho Books Authorize.Net, Braintree, Forte, PayPal, RazorPay, Square, Stripe, WePay
Wave PayPal, Stripe, Wave Payments
FreshBooks (new)  Partial.ly, Payments by FreshBooks, PayPal, Stripe
FreshBooks (classic) Authorize.Net, Braintree, Forte, PayPal, Stripe
Sage One Braintree, PayPal, Sage Payment Solutions,
Stripe, WayPay, WorldPay
Sage 50c GoCardless, Sage Payment Solutions
FreeAgent GoCardless, PayPal, Payal Here, Square, Stripe
Saasu Braintree, eWay, PayPal, PayWay, PinPayments, Stripe
Kashflow GoCardless, Global Payments, PayPal, Square,
Stripe, WorldPay,
Kashoo BluePay, PayPal, Stripe
ClearBooks GoCardless, PayPal,  PayPoint
AND CO PayPal, Stripe

Note: The above integrations are always changing and may vary by country. Check with your accounting software directly for the most up-to-date information.

Remember that when you are choosing the perfect payment processor to integrate with your accounting solution, you can never do enough research. Be sure to check out our merchant account reviews to learn how each software stacks up in terms of features, value for your money, and reliability. If you’re interested in learning more about payment processing, you can also download our free Beginner’s Guide To Payment Processing to learn to evaluate your options, negotiate a good merchant account contract, and more.

Best of luck, and stay tuned for more payment processing tips and tricks from the Merchant Maverick team. If you’d like to do more reading on the subject, the following articles will point you in the right direction:

The Complete Guide to Online Credit Card Processing With a Payment Gateway

Are You A High-Risk Merchant?

The 5 Best Small Business Credit Card Processing Companies

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The Best Accounting Software For 2018

Best Accounting Software for 2018

What’s better than a table full of New Year’s appetizers? Better than a good glass of champagne? Even better than a midnight kiss to ring in the new year?

Accounting software.

Okay, that’s a stretch. But you can’t blame a girl for trying.

Each new year brings fresh, exciting opportunities. In the accounting world, this translates to shiny new features. This year, in particular, has seen some very impressive feature developments. In fact, a few key advances in functionality have already set three accounting software companies apart from the rest. These changes have generated press attention and positive user feedback, and earned Wave, Quickbooks Online, and Zoho Books a place in this article about the best accounting software for 2018.

Wave

Best Accounting Software 2017

Wave (see our review) is a free, cloud-based software with a beautiful user interface (no wonder we like it right?). The company was founded in 2010 by Kirk Simpson and James Lochrie and is now used by 3 million small business owners.

Wave was built with small business owners in mind. The ability to separate business expenses from personal expenses makes the software a great choice for freelancers and the self-employed as well.

Some of the most notable features in Wave include beautiful invoicing, contact management, accounts payable, expense tracking, basic inventory, and the ability to capture pictures of receipts and convert them into expenses.



But the reason we really love Wave is that these features are always getting better. The software constantly updates to fit the needs of business owners. Last year, Wave became the first accounting software company to offer a fully-integrated lending feature. This lending feature allows users to request loans between $5,000 and $500,000. Loan applications are approved through Wave, and once approved, funds are received as quickly as 24 hours.

This year, Wave continues to roll out the updates. The software offers two new reports, better navigation, and a company file export (which is usually only found with QuickBooks). Wave also plans to add:

  • Multi-currency support
  • A product report
  • An FX report
  • Duplicate transaction detection

Wave’s robust and varied features rival those of even some paid software options, especially considering some of these new updates. This is why Wave is Merchant Maverick’s pick for Best Free Accounting Software for Small Businesses and one of my favorite choices for small business owners.

Although Wave is free and intends to stay that way, there are a few extra costs you should be aware of if you’re considering this software:

  • Payroll – $15/mo +$4/mo per employee
  • Credit Card Processing – 2.9% + $0.30/per transaction
  • Chat support – $9/mo
  • Chat and Phone support – $19/mo

To learn more about Wave, read our full review and be sure to keep your eye open for the next big wave of updates.

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online (see our review) is an easy-to-use, cloud-based accounting solution with a healthy feature set and a strong reputation. QuickBooks has basically been around since the dawn of time (in terms of accounting software), but the newer, online version has been particularly well-received by users since it is easier to use and more mobile than QuickBooks Desktop Pro.

QuickBooks Online is ideal for all types of business. Scalable pricing plans and diverse functionality make the software fit numerous business needs. Some key features include a clean interface, accounts payable (essentials and plus plan only), budgeting (plus plan only), contact management, beautiful recurring invoices, ample accounting reports, class and location tracking, inventory (plus plan only), and a strong chart of accounts.



For a long time, the most common complaint about QuickBooks Online was that, while it was good, it was not as good as QuickBooks Pro. One of the reasons QuickBooks Online is on the rise in 2018 is that the software is now being updated multiple times every month; in fact, it is finally starting to catch up to QuickBooks Pro.

Last year, QuickBooks underwent a huge design overall and added a key project management feature, as well as inventory reorder points, mileage deductions, invoice and payment trackers, and more.

One of the biggest reasons QuickBooks Online won a spot on this list is its brand-new, built-in lending feature — Get Capital. According to Techcrunch:

QuickBooks users can now get access to small business loans up to about $35,000 for up to six months from inside their bookkeeping software.

QuickBooks Online has won our Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses title. We did recently drop its rating from 5/5 stars to 4.5/5 stars for some usability and navigation difficulties, but with multiple updates coming out each month, we’re hopeful that QuickBooks Online will be back to 5/5 stars in no time. In short, this software really worth keeping an eye on in 2018.

If you are interested in QuickBooks Online, here are the available pricing plans (QuickBooks Online often has sales promotions, so be sure to check these before purchasing):

  • Simple Plan –$15/mo
  • Essentials Plan – $35/mo
  • Plus Plan – $50/mo
  • Payroll – Pricing starts at $39/mo + $2/mo per employee

To learn more, read our full QuickBooks Online review and use the free trial to take advantage of the new features.

Zoho Books

Best Accounting Mobile Apps

Zoho Books (see our review) is an easy-to-use accounting program with unbelievable invoicing features. The Zoho Corporation has been around since 1996. It launched its accounting program, Zoho Books, in 2011.

Zoho Books is ideal for small businesses that want strong accounting and attractive invoice templates at an affordable price. The software is also ideal for international businesses that require multi-currency support and the ability to send invoices in multiple languages.

Zoho Books Review
Zoho Books Review
Zoho Books Review

For a long while, Zoho Books was known to have some of the best invoicing around, but a few key issues were holding the software back. Lately, though, the software has crept up like a dark horse. Recent updates have put Zoho Books almost completely on par with QuickBooks Online in terms of features, which is why we’ve named this software one of the best of 2018.

While Zoho is not incredibly forthcoming about future updates, the company updates their software multiple times each month. In the most recent updates, the company has increased usability, created customizable purchase orders, and added a brand new retail invoices feature.

The software is unbeatable in terms of invoice features and customizations and offers incredibly affordable prices, which makes it worth watching this year.

If you are interested in Zoho Books, here are the three pricing plans available:

  • Basic — $9/mo
  • Standard — $19/mo
  • Professional — $29/mo

There is no payroll available at this time. To learn more or check out this software’s competitive features and recent updates, read our full Zoho Books review and take the free trial for a spin.

How To Choose Accounting Software

Wave, QuickBooks Online, and Zoho Books are all powerful accounting programs with innovative updates and abundant features. And they seem to be getting better and better with time.

But with three great options to choose from, it is difficult to know which is the best choice for your company — especially if you don’t have an existing accounting software. Our Complete Guide to Choosing Online Accounting Software is a helpful tool and a good place to start your search.

If you have an existing accounting solution that doesn’t quite measure up to the programs discussed above, it might be a good time to change allegiance. Your business is your livelihood, and software that fully meets — and exceeds — your business needs is important for success and growth.

If you are already a Wave, QuickBooks Online, or Zoho Books user, congratulations! You’ve made a good decision, and we hope the features rolled out this year serve you well.

Best wishes to all this new year. May 2018 be a season of joy, dreams, and, most importantly, smooth accounting.

Wave QuickBooks Online Zoho Books
Wave Accounting for small business review QuickBooks review Best Accounting Mobile Apps
 
Read Review Read Review Read Review
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Price  $0 $15 – $40/mo $9 – $29/mo
Accounting Method  Accrual  Both accrual and cash-basis Both accrual and cash-basis
Web-based or Installed Web-based Web-based Web-based
Highlights Free
Numerous features
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Attractive invoice templates
Impressive features
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Numerous integrations
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Easy to use
Good mobile apps
International invoicing
Excellent customer support

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Small Business Taxes: What Information Does My Accountant Need?

What Information to Bring Accountant for Small Business Taxes

Preparing small business taxes by yourself can be daunting, so hiring an accountant or tax expert is a great way to save time and create peace of mind this tax season. However, you don’t want to show up to your tax appoinment empty handed. Accountants expect you to bring certain documents and be prepared with the information that is needed to complete your tax return.

In this post, we’ll talk about the specific information an accountant needs in order to file your small business taxes. We’ll also provide expert tips and tricks along the way to help make this the easiest tax season yet.

Personal Information

First things first. You will need to furnish your accountant with basic personal information including your legal name, current address, and social security number. The easiest way to provide this information is to bring your social security card to your tax appointment.

If you have an Employer Identification Number (EIN), you will need to provide it, along with your legal business name.

Previous Year’s Tax Return

Make sure to come with your previous year’s tax return. This 1) helps them get a better understanding of your business and 2) gives quick information about the deductions your company has (or hasn’t) been taking.

Financial Business Reports

Your accountant will need copies of your basic financial reports. These include:

  • Profit and Loss Report (or the Income Statement)
  • Balance Sheet
  • Statement of Cash flows

The profit and loss report shows your business’s overall profit ( or loss) for the year, while the balance sheet displays your company’s assets and liabilities. The statement of cash flows shows all transactions affecting your business’s cash account.

Jessica Kent, of the Houston Chronicle, suggests bringing copies of your general ledger and trial balance report as well.

You should be able to print these basic financial reports from nearly any accounting software program, though report availability varies from software to software. Contact your accountant or tax preparer to see if there are any additional reports they might require or find helpful.

Tax Forms

The tax forms your business is required to fill out depends entirely on your business type. These are the forms that may be required for your business:

  • Freelancers and Sole Proprietors: 1040, Schedule C, Schedule C-EZ, 1040-SE
  • Partnerships: 1065, 940, 941, 943
  • S Corporations: 1120-S, Schedule K-1, 940, 941, 943
  • Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs): 1065, 1120-S, Schedule K
  • Single Member Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs): 1040, Schedule C, Schedule E, Schedule F

To be certain about which forms your company is required to file, visit the IRS’s Forms and Instructions for Filing and Paying Business Taxes page. Here you will find specific forms and instructions for each business type. Bring the necessary forms to your accountant in order to file your tax return.

Note that your tax filing date may be affected by your business type. Read Entrepreneur’s First Time Business Owners: A Brief Guide to Tax Filings to learn more about when your business’s taxes are due.

Asset Infomation

Your accountant will need to know about any assets you’ve bought, sold, or depreciated during the last year. Bring any receipts, documents, or reports related to your assets and fixed assets.

Tip: Some accounting programs have fixed asset reports or fixed asset listing that you can run.

Loan Information

You’ll also need information on your business’s loans. If you’ve acquired a new loan in the last year, bring the loan agreement with you. Also, bring records of any loan payments and/or accrued interest. This will ensure that your accountant is up to date on your company’s total assets and liabilities.

Income Records

To verify the income amount on your profit and loss statement, you will need to provide your accountant with income records. According to Kent:

An accountant may request copies of bank statements, deposit slips or sales invoices.

Be sure to have these records available.

Expense Records

In order for your accountant to verify your company’s expenses and find you the correct deductions, you’ll need to bring several types of expense records as well, including:

  • Receipts
  • Bills
  • Bank statements
  • Credit card statements
  • 1098 Mortgage Interest and Property Taxes form

Be sure to keep these expense record, especially your companies business receipts, well-organized. Not only will your accountant thank you for not handing them a shoebox of receipts, your wallet will thank you too.

What Information to Bring Accountant for Small Business TaxesThe more time your accountant has to spend on your tax return, the more money you pay, so make everything as seamless and easy for them as possible.

Deductible Expense Information

Some business expenses require more than just receipts. So if you’re planning on claiming any of the following deductions, make sure you bring the proper information to your accountant:

  • Home Office Deduction: If you have a separate home office that is used exclusively for business, you may be eligible for the home office deduction. The home office deduction is heavily scrutinized by the IRS. For this reason, make sure you have the proper documentation. The popular credit card processing company Square suggests:

If you have a home office, be sure to take along information related to it. This includes the square footage of your home and the office. In addition, give your accountant the amounts you paid for your mortgage or rent, insurance and utilities, and any repairs you made to your home office.

  • Mileage Log: If you use your vehicle for business purchases, you also may be eligible for a vehicle deduction. Be sure to track all of your mileage throughout the year and bring this log to your accountant or tax professional, along with any receipts related to car expenses. Learn more about how the vehicle deduction is calculated.
  • Travel: Businesses can write off meals, travel, and entertainment expenses. This deduction also can be a red flag for an IRS audit depending whether expenses appear “lavish or extravagant.” For this reason, be sure to bring all receipts and any travel tickets or itineraries to your tax appointment.
  • Donations: If your company makes charitable donations, be sure to bring all documents related to your donations, including receipts and any statements you may receive.

Payroll Data

Your accountant or tax professional will also need your payroll data from the year. Bring copies of your employees W-2s, W-3s, and 1099-MISCs. Also gather health insurance records (as these can count as a business deduction) and any information regarding bonuses.

Inventory Total

Several tax forms require a COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) closing balance for the year. You should already have taken an opening balance of your inventory at the beginning of 2017. Now do another inventory count and bring the results to your accountant so they can properly fill out your tax return.

Other

Bring information related to all stocks and bonds your business has attained or sold during the year. You’ll also need a record of any owner’s investments made into or withdrawn from the company during the year. Square says:

As the owner of a sole proprietorship or LLC, you probably pay yourself by making withdrawals from the business. Your accountant will want to know about these withdrawals made to you personally, plus any information on any investments made by you.

Contact your accountant directly before your tax appointment to see if there is any other information they require.

Final Tax Tips

In addition to having all of your documents ready to go, there are a few other things you can do to be prepared for tax season.

Communicate With Your Accountant

On their blog, Square suggests that talking to your accountant is the key to a successful tax appointment:

…accountants may have a checklist of what they need. When you call to make your appointment, be sure to ask for this checklist.

Start Early

Geoff Williams, in the article 7 Things Tax Preparers Wish We Would Do, says being timely is imperative:

Get your paperwork to your tax preparer early…February is fantastic. March, especially the first half, is fine. But…if you give your material to your tax preparer on April 1, don’t be upset if you end up having to file an extension.

Be Prepared

The popular invoicing software FreshBooks recommends staying on top of your accounting processes:

Keeping proper accounting records throughout the year can make it a lot easier to prepare your return at tax time.

In her article How To Prepare Records for Your Accountant, Susan Ward reminds businesses that being unprepared can cost you, literally:

Accountants are paid by the hour, so the harder you make their job, the more it will cost you.

Stay Organized

One of the biggest ways you can save your business money is by being organized. Having all of your tax information together only goes so far. You accountant or tax preparer needs to be able to find and understand your records with ease. Organizing your business information can make or break a tax appointment.

Final Thoughts

Taking the extra time to gather and organize the proper tax information will help make the tax return process a breeze. If you want to learn how your accounting software can make this process even easier, read How Your Business Accounting Software Can Help You File 2018 Taxes or download our free 2018 Tax Prep Checklist. As always, good luck and happy filing!

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12 Tips For Preventing A Business Tax Audit

Tips To Preventing a Tax Audit

As a small business owner during tax season, it can sometimes feel that you’re sitting on a ticking time bomb. Will you be audited this year? When? How? WHY?!

But, while the IRS does review some tax returns at random, most audits are in response to an error or discrepancy — and believe it or not, the percentage of tax returns that get audited is surprisingly small. Still, we don’t want you to be numbered among the few. Stop the audit clock by filing your taxes carefully and avoiding red flags.

In this post, we’ll cover 12 tips that should help you prevent a tax audit and file your taxes with confidence. We’ll also talk about which accounting reports you’ll want on hand if you do happen to get audited so you can survive the ordeal with ease.

1. File On Time

A no-brainer, right? But if you fail to file your taxes on time, you automatically put an audit target on your back. Filing on time also ensures that you don’t have to pay the IRS late filing penalty.

2. Don’t Forget To Sign

This also seems like a no-brainer, but according to Investopedia’s Glenn Curtis, a large number of people forget to actually sign their tax returns. In the article Avoid an Audit: 6 “Red Flags” You Should Know, Curtis says:

Failure to sign the return will almost guarantee that it will receive additional scrutiny. The IRS will wonder what else you might have forgotten to include in the return.

3. Double-Check The Math

When it comes to the totals on your tax forms, it’s imperative to double-check (or even triple-check) your math. The IRS often audits tax returns that contain math errors and discrepancies between forms.

Remember (and this is important): Even if you hire a professional accountant or tax expert, you’ll want to double-check their work. Ensure that all the numbers are correct and consistent before you send off your tax return.

4. Record All Income

When it comes to taxes, honesty really is the best policy. Don’t omit any income in your tax report, no matter how piddling the amount. Report all of the income you’ve earned during the tax year, including any assets you sold.

If your business grosses a large amount of money each year, you automatically incur a higher risk of audit. The BBB (Better Business Bureau) suggests:

If you fall under this category, be mindful of your increased audit potential and take extra time when preparing and reviewing your taxes. Stay organized and keep meticulous records, in case you are audited.

The BBB adds that small business owners need to be extra careful when editing transactions as these can affect the income total reflected on your taxes.

Small businesses should be wary of modifying invoices and payments within their accountings system from prior periods because the adjustments can potentially generate discrepancies in gross sales and the sales tax liabilities for that period.

A great way to avoid this problem is to close out your accounting periods and protect them with security codes. That way, only users with the code (preferably your admin and accountant) can make changes to old invoices and expenses. Software programs like Xero and QuickBooks Pro make closing your accounting periods easy. These programs also allow you to set user permissions to control each user’s access.

5. Don’t Overestimate Expenses

In the same way, don’t overestimate the amount you spent on expenses in an attempt to lower the amount of taxes you owe. Be precise and honest about all business expenses. Keep solid records of your receipts and be sure the expenses you claim truly are business expenses, not personal expenses.

If you use a personal bank account for your business, be sure to carefully separate your personal and business expenses. Some accounting software programs, like Wave and Xero TaxTouch, allow you to easily separate these expenses.

6. Don’t Round Numbers

This goes hand-in-hand with not overestimating expenses. Don’t round numbers on your tax forms, either up or down. If you spent have $792.84 in office supplies expense for the year, put $792.84, not $793.00 (and definitely not $800).

Round numbers can be an indication of laziness, lack of precision, and even dishonesty — not exactly characteristics you want to display to the IRS.

7. Be Careful With Deductions

Tax deductions are great. However, certain often-abused tax deductions can draw the attention the IRS. Here are some of the most scrutinized deductions:

  • Home Office Deduction: If you claim the home office deduction, be sure to deduct the exact amount you qualify for. If you claim too much, or your home office deduction changes year after year, you may risk a tax audit.
  • Meals, Travel & Entertainment: The IRS allows you to write off 50% of your meals, travel, and entertainment business expenses. However, if this deduction seems too excessive for your business type and income bracket, you may risk a task audit.
  • Charitable Donations: While charitable deductions are commendable, incredibly large charitable donations can raise red flags for the IRS.

Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the deductions you are owed (and it especially doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make charitable donations).

Take all of the deductions you qualify for, but be completely honest and especially careful with these  deductions. If you qualify for a deduction that is abnormal for your business size or type, be sure to have clear, precise records to show the IRS in case of a tax audit.

In his article The Top 10 Ways To Avoid An IRS or State Audit, attorney and CPA Mark J. Kohler suggests:

When necessary, include additional information with your return, to substantiate expenses and oddities that might catch the IRS’ attention. If your file gets handed off to an agent for further review, a real human can sometimes choose to bypass your return for an audit because you already provided the support the revenue agent was looking for.

Read What Can I Write Off As A Small Business Tax Deduction? for more details about the deductions you may qualify for.

8. Use Schedule Cs With Caution

If you are a self-employed taxpayer, you are probably very familiar with the Schedule C. Unfortunately, Schedule Cs are heavily scrutinized by the IRS. This means you should take extra care when preparing your Schedule C. Follow the IRS’s Schedule C instructions to the letter and seriously consider hiring an accountant or tax professional to ensure this form is prepared correctly.

If you want to avoid this potential red flag altogether, you could consider incorporating your business instead.

9. Stay On Top Of 1099-MISCs & W-9s

Make sure you meet the 1099-MISC filing deadline on January 31. You’ll need to request W-9s, the Request for Taxpayer Identification Number or Certificate, from each of your contractors in order to complete your 1099-MISCs.

Once completed, you must send a copy of the 1099-MISC form both to your contractor and the IRS. Follow the IRS’s 1099 instructions carefully to properly file all the necessary forms.

10. Consider Using Payroll Software

According to the BBB:

Discrepancies between payroll tax withholdings and payments are common triggers for correspondence audits, meaning one minor error can result in hefty penalties and interest.

The best way to avoid this issue altogether is to use payroll software. The IRS even suggest doing so, saying:

Many employers outsource some of their payroll and related tax duties to third-party payroll service providers. They can help assure filing deadlines and deposit requirements are met and greatly streamline business operations.

Contact your accounting software provider to see what payroll support plans or payroll integrations they offer.

11. Hire An Accountant

This is my biggest suggestion to small business owners — hire an accountant or tax professional to file your taxes. Not only will this increase the chances that your tax return is correct, you stand a better chance of maximizing your tax deductions. When it comes to taxes, the peace of mind is worth the cost.

12. Keep Solid Records

Our last bit of advice is to keep meticulous, well-organized records. There’s no guaranteed way to prevent a tax audit. In the case that you do get audited, the process will be much smoother and faster if all of your records are accessible and well-organized.

If you do get audited, here are the forms the IRS may request (according to the IRS’s audit guide):

  • Bills
  • Receipts
  • Canceled checks
  • Tax preparation or advice papers
  • Property acquisition papers
  • Loan agreements
  • Travel tickets
  • Employment documents

Accounting software can be a huge help in this regard. Most programs allow you to run reports, record bills, and attach copies of receipts to expenses. Some programs also have an audit trail report which shows all of the activity on your company account.

Read our How Your Business Accounting Software Can Help You File 2018 Taxes post to learn which accounting reports you should run and how long to save your accounting records.

The bottom line is this: If you are organized and keep strong records, you should be able to easily defend yourself to the IRS in an audit situation. But hopefully, the 12 tips above will safeguard you from ever having to be in that scenario. We hope you found these tips helpful and will be able to use them to successfully file your 2018 taxes.

As always, contact your accountant or tax professional for specific tax advice. Happy filing!

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