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Free and Low Cost Book Keeping Software for Crafters, Artists and Food Vendors and Small Businesses

March 2010

If you are looking for software to help you manage the technical aspects of your small business, you have likely discovered how many different products are out there.  Today we will take a look at three of the most popular affordable products out there and will examine the pros and cons of each.  While these are not the only options available to you, they should give you an idea of the level of features you can expect for little to no budget.


Intuit Simple Start Free- This is certainly one of the bigger names that is available for free.  Unlike many programs, this is not a free trial, but is fully functional software.  While it has no time limit, there are some limitations to the software.  Contact lists are limited to 20 people, and you will find that you can only import data from Excel.  Exporting can only be done into Quickbooks, and you will find that you cannot track sales in other currencies.  With that noted, however, this software allows you to track sales and taxes, print checks, create invoices, manage taxes, and much more.  Simple Start Free also allows you to create one click business reports.


Big E-Z Business Edition- This program is designed to work with MS Excel.  It is well crafted for those with little to no Excel experience and offers a number of pretty beneficial features.  It allows you to itemize and maintain expenses and can reconcile your checkbook.  The program contains a spreadsheet file for each month and will automatically generate quarterly and annual reports.  It can help you determine how well you stay within budget as well as the percentage of sales gained through credit cards or cash.  In all, it is pretty feature rich, but at 49.95 it offers little that cannot be found in Simple Start.  It also requires MS Excel which can be costly for those who do not already have the program.


Outright- This is a completely free budgeting and bookkeeping program.  It allows you to estimate taxes, maintain your budget, and track your income and expenses.  This program is simply packed with features.  The biggest drawback, however, it that it is entirely online.  This means that to input data requires Internet access, which can make it hard to check on your stats or update your info when on the road or at a show.


In all, there are many choices available, each with different perks.  For most business owners, the free solutions offer more than enough features to prevent the need to purchase software.  Each of these companies offers free tours of the software, and checking each one out can be the best way to make the right decision for your business.

Comments

very helpful.

By kraftybabe2010 on March 17, 2010

Thanks for information. At first I liked Intuit Simple Start Free but when I heard that the list of client shouldn’t be larger than 20 I decided not to use it. 20 clients is a very small number even for a small business. Well, you are right, there are a lot of nice business software. As for me, I’m thinking of using Budgeting Software (<a > http://www.tubestime.com/watch/budgeting-software-free-download-get-your-free-download </a> ) but again they offer only a free trial. Well, it is very important to make the right choice, because if you haven’t your business may suffer.

By Violet on January 22, 2011

Thanks for information. At first I liked Intuit Simple Start Free but when I heard that the list of client shouldn’t be larger than 20 I decided not to use it. 20 clients is a very small number even for a small business. Well, you are right, there are a lot of nice business software. As for me, I’m thinking of using Budgeting Software ( http://www.tubestime.com/watch/budgeting-software-free-download-get-your-free-download  ) but again they offer only a free trial. Well, it is very important to make the right choice, because if you haven’t your business may suffer.

By Violet on January 22, 2011

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