If you own or manage a small business you know that software is a must. There are just not enough hours in the day to do manual accounting, inventory, payroll, taxes, emails, social networking, marketing and all the other thousand things we are expected to do as small business owners.
So if you are a small business owner you probably want to know what are the best software programs for small businesses. This is the article for you. We will let you know the top software program in each category and even tell you why we think it’s the best.
Accounting Software Packages
Accounting software is a definite must for all small businesses. Why?
Profits to start with as you need to know if you are making money or not from a management stand point. In the past small business owners always went by the fact if they had money in the bank they must be making money. You can’t do that today because of all the deferred and accrued items that don’t affect your bank account until it’s to late. You must have monthly financials to work from or you will become a statistic. But what if you are making money in spite of no financial program? Then you must have an accounting software package or pay your accountant doing your tax return a small fortune.
The two most popular programs by far are Peachtree Accounting or QuickBooks Pro. They are both easy to use and quite simple to teach others. They are accurate and information is as simple as downloading to a file and sending an email to your accountant or if you understand taxes you might upload the information to Turbo Tax and do your own return.
Customer Management Software Programs
Keeping up with customer info, contacts, proposals and managing their everyday purchases and customer service is impossible with out Customer Management Software (CMS).
The two most popular CRM software programs are SalesForce.com and Act! . I used to use Act! But have been won over by Salesforce.com. Why? Cloud computing. If you aren’t familiar with this term “cloud computing” it is time you learned because it can save you a lot of money starting off. You see cloud computing is just web-based software that you pay as you go monthly. If you have an Internet connection (if not you had better get on the stick an get it) and a browser you can connect to SalesForce.com and do your accounting anywhere. Best part it is only $5 a month. Here is the link: https://www.salesforce.com.
Payroll Software Programs
Payroll is something every size business has weather we like it or not. Payroll and associated taxes change constantly so you need a provider that’s been around a while and is very popular. I like Intuit Payroll services. Over 1 million small businesses use it and Intuit has been around since the beginning of computerized services. They also own Turbo Tax which works great when combined with their payroll services.
Why do I prefer Intuit? Trust is number one reason. I have used Turbo Tax since it first came out and it has helped me save money and time more then any other software package I have in my small business.
Second reason is cloud computing. I told you needed to know what cloud computing is and how it works. For $25 a month your payroll is done and accurate every week, bi-monthly or monthly if you prefer and when it comes to taxes they are easy and quick.
Tax Software Program
I just told you haw great it integrates with the above package and the fact it saves time and money, but what I didn’t tell you was cloud computing makes it possible not only to do your taxes but file them online as well. What a no brainier this software program is for small business.
It files federal, state and all attachments in a matter of seconds. Great stuff!
Every business needs documents, presentations, graphs and a spreadsheet. I prefer Open Office to Microsoft Office or Corel. Why? It’s free and is constantly getting better. It also integrates well with Microsoft documents, spreadsheets and the like.
Open Office is open source software which is becoming very popular with the younger set and is every bit as good as its closed source competition. It is easy to use and is every bit as powerful as MS Office.
If you don’t want to shell out big bucks for a desktop Microsoft client get Ubuntu an open source free desktop client that works better on desktops then Microsoft Windows 7.
Well there you have my top 5 best software programs for small business.