What do you do if you know nothing about accounting software and suddenly find yourself setting up the computer system for a small business? You turn to Google and find all the flavors of Quicken. After some more reading, Quicken seemed a little overboard for just printing checks. When you write a lot of checks to pay vendors and employees, you want to find a way to make it easier and faster. The search for a dedicated check solution led me to VersaCheck, but the added complexity of printing the entire check including the MICR line with magnetic ink/toner was too much. So I opted to use preprinted checks and QuickBooks Starter Edition. As I was about to purchase QuickBooks on Amazon.com, I saw a review that suggested Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2007, because it was free and roughly equivalent to QuickBooks.
When you install the program it makes you go through the annoying windows product activation loops just like any new Microsoft software. The program handles, customers, vendors and employees with an ADP plug-in ($13.95/month) taking care of payroll. The main reason I use accounting software is for banking. You can manage your accounts by taking advantage of online banking and print checks. Other features are Online Sales and PayPal. The main thing that stood out in the video promo was that you can post/receive Ebay sales from within the program. The majority of features are built around the needs of an Ebay small business.
This is the free version of Microsoft Office Accounting Pro 2007 (MRSP $150). One of the main features lacking is the ability to track inventory. If you’re just keeping track of accounts and not running a business with substantial inventory, the free version should be enough to fulfill your needs.
The software integrates will with Office and the interface conventions are very similar. The advantage of Quicken products is that they are designed with taxes in mine. Keeping track of taxes can be a daunting task. Quicken lets you transfer information to Turbo Tax saving a lot time come tax time.
Get your copy HERE.