September 16, 2022
Xendoo Review: Pricing, Features & Alternatives 2022
Xendoo is a technology-based online bookkeeping and accounting service that specializes in working with small businesses. With it, you’ll have access to a dedicated team of expert bookkeepers and accountants who provide bookkeeping, tax preparation, tax consulting, and filing services. With transparent pricing that’s based on your monthly expenses―starts at $395 per month for up to $50,000 monthly expenses―and catch-up bookkeeping available, it’s an excellent option for businesses looking for a scalable all-in-one accounting solution. What We Recommend Xendoo For Franchise businesses: Xendoo offers expert bookkeeping for franchise businesses, with experience working with both new and existing franchises. It has a custom yet scalable process to integrate with yours, which includes roll-up dashboards that provide insight into revenue trends, top expenses, and most profitable franchisees. It also allows you to add multiple currency support if needed. Businesses that have fallen behind in their bookkeeping: It doesn’t matter if it’s a few months or a few years, your Xendoo bookkeeper will work with a dedicated team of experts to get you caught up. Each month of historical bookkeeping is peer-reviewed to ensure total accuracy. Ecommerce businesses: Xendoo provides multichannel ecommerce and seller marketplace accounting and will handle your bookkeeping—whether you sell on Amazon, Shopify, Etsy, Walmart, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, or any combination of these platforms. Xendoo also integrates with the most popular inventory tracking apps to help support your business. Xero users: Xendoo is a Xero Platinum Partner, and it has also created its own proprietary software that works with Xero so that its team can give you access to real-time data. When you sign up for Xendoo’s services, you will be given access to a free Xero account. Xendoo Alternatives Businesses that need help with invoicing and paying bills: Xendoo doesn’t offer support with accounts receivable (A/R) and accounts payable (A/P), only monthly reconciliation and reports. If you need these services, a better option is , which offers bill pay and invoicing as add-on services. In our evaluation of the best online bookkeeping services, we selected Bench as the best overall because it offers a range of services at a great value. New businesses requiring assistance with entity formation: Xendoo doesn’t offer assistance with setting up new businesses, but will prepare and file your articles of organization, file for your employer identification number (EIN), serve as your registered agent, and help ensure compliance with the IRS. Businesses seeking a basic and low-cost bookkeeping solution: Available at a lower cost than Xendoo, is a cost-effective remote bookkeeping service that’s available at a flat rate of $190 per month. There are no restrictions on the number of monthly transactions and the frequency of service. Startups: is a better option for startup companies with big plans for fast growth, as it offers not only CFO services but also Controller services. Its services are built around the needs of startup companies backed by venture capitalists. Your Pilot Controller can assist with cost of goods sold (COGS) categorization, revenue recognition best practices, and other services as needed. Accrual-based accounting is also available. Xendoo Pros & Cons Xendoo Pricing Xendoo offers a choice of three subscription plans, which are based on the monthly expenses of your business and the number of bank and credit card accounts that are connected. Custom plans are also available for those with more than $125,000 in monthly expenses. Xendoo’s services are pay-as-you-go and are charged at the beginning of your subscription term. A discount of 10% is offered if you sign up on an annual basis, and a 30-day notice is required for cancellation. The solution also has two add-on services: catch-up bookkeeping starting at $295 per month and fractional chief financial officer (CFO) services starting at $1,500 per month. You can add tax services to any plan for $1,200 per year, which includes year-round tax support, a year-end financial package, and filing of business tax returns (Forms 1040, 1065, 1120, and 1120-S). Xendoo Features Money-back guarantee: If, after 30 days of working with Xendoo, you aren’t satisfied with your bookkeeping team and don’t see the guaranteed results, Xendoo will refund the fee for your first month. To qualify, you must have completed the onboarding workshop, provided all documentation as requested, and services must go live within one week of the start date. Catch-up bookkeeping: In addition to the monthly services, Xendoo offers catch-up bookkeeping starting at $295 per month for past bookkeeping and prior years’ tax returns. Upon approving the scope of work, the catch-up services will be billed at the agreed-upon rate and no refunds will be issued once the work has been completed and delivered. Integrations for ecommerce: Whether you’re selling on one platform or multiple marketplaces, Xendoo will integrate with Amazon, Shopify, Walmart, Etsy, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and eBay. Tax services: Business tax preparation and filings are available with all plans for an additional fee of $1,200. No matter your business structure, Xendoo has tax experts who are well-versed in the requirements of each and will help you navigate your next tax season accurately. They will also file your personal taxes if needed. Dedicated bookkeeper: Your dedicated bookkeeper will record all of your bank and credit card transactions and reconcile your statements to ensure that every transaction has been recorded. You’ll receive financial reports on a monthly basis, and they’re available for any questions or to review transactions as needed. Multiple companies: If you have more than one business, you can add multiple companies easily within the same account, and Xendoo will manage the books for all of them. Franchise support: Xendoo can address the needs of franchises with accurate reporting based on a customized chart of accounts and support for multiple currencies as well as roll-up dashboards and group benefits such as group training sessions and webinars. Payroll integration: Xendoo integrates with , which helps you manage your employee information, benefits, and deductions. You can process payroll, file payroll taxes and forms, and process W-2s for employees. Sales tax preparation: Xendoo’s sales tax experts will prepare and file your taxes accurately and on time so that you stay compliant. They’ll also give you plenty of advance notice so that you can make sure that funds are available. Xendoo: Working With Your Bookkeeper Xendoo pledges that the sign-up process will take no more than an hour, and since the platform integrates well with popular small business accounting software such as QuickBooks and Xero, the process should be mostly seamless. Once you enroll, Xendoo will schedule a short onboarding call with you and will need your year-to-date balance sheet and profit and loss (P&L) statement, or you can discuss catch-up work if needed. Your dedicated bookkeeper will set everything up and connect your accounts. The portal is available 24/7, and you can access it at any time. If you ever decide to leave Xendoo, you can take your file with you so that your new financial partner can pick up where they left off. Your books will be reconciled weekly, and your bookkeeper will maintain consistent communication with you. You’ll be sent reports on a monthly basis that can be customized based on the needs of your business. Xendoo: Customer Service Your dedicated bookkeeper is readily available via phone, email, or live chat between the standard business hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. With advance notice, they can speak with you after-hours as well. If for any reason your normal bookkeeper is unavailable, another bookkeeper on its team will be able to assist you. Xendoo offers free online resources such as frequently asked questions (FAQs), free calculators, and eBooks about topics such as cash flow and planning. It also hosts a blog and playbooks with strategies, news, and ideas for growing businesses. Xendoo Mobile App Available for both iOS and Android, Xendoo’s mobile app works seamlessly with the service and allows you to send and receive important financial documents with your dedicated bookkeeper, such as IRS notices, prior tax returns, and copies of checks. You can also access your monthly balance sheet, P&L statement, tax returns, and payroll returns right from the app. You can opt to receive push notifications when your tax documents are ready to view and reminders of how much sales tax is due and when. Xendoo Reporting After month-end, Xendoo will send your P&L and balance sheet by the fifth business day of the following month. The reports can be reviewed, downloaded, and shared from the desktop portal or mobile app. You can access these reports from your dashboard, and you can also review your sales tax returns and sales tax confirmations. If your business needs customized reporting, Xendoo can work with you to provide that as well. Xendoo User Reviews Xendoo reviews show that its dashboard is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Users also praised the responsiveness of the customer support team and the transparency of fees and the accuracy of services. The firm has earned the following average scores on popular review sites: Bark: 5.0 out of 5 based on around 35 reviews Google: 4.4 out of 5 based on about 55 reviews Birdeye: 4.0 out of 5 based on over 65 reviews There are no major complaints about Xendoo—customers praised the simplicity of communication and set-up and the available tax services. FAQs Does Xendoo offer a payroll solution? Xendoo partners with Gusto for payroll services and offers customers a 15% discount plus two months free. Gusto is a cloud-based payroll, benefits, and human resource management software company. In addition to offering support for employees, its payroll services include features for issuing and filing 1099s. How often will I speak with my bookkeeper? You’re welcome to reach out to your bookkeeper whenever you need them, and they’re available by phone, email, or text during normal business hours and after hours by appointment. It is possible to set up monthly calls to review financials as well. They’ll reach out to you if they have any questions about your transactions. Does Xendoo offer full accrual accounting? Currently, modified accrual accounting is available with the Growth and Scale plans. If you need full accrual accounting, you can contact Xendoo to find out about a custom plan. Modified accrual accounting includes loans payable, month-end inventory adjustments, and reports include A/R and A/P if you utilize invoicing and bill pay in Xero or QuickBooks Online. It doesn’t include deferred revenue, prepaid expenses, prepaid insurance, and other accruals. A year-end entry for depreciation and amortization is made if Xendoo files the company’s tax return. Bottom Line offers expert bookkeeping and tax services and one-click access to your financials via an online portal and mobile app. Using QuickBooks or Xero, Xendoo digitally reconciles your books to provide your business with financial reporting so that you can stay on top of its financial health. Bookkeeping services are available for a flat monthly fee, and you can also opt for catch-up bookkeeping if needed. Tax preparation, filing, and planning services can be added to any plan for an additional fee.
September 16, 2022
Sage 50cloud vs QuickBooks Online: Comparison for 2022
Sage 50cloud and QuickBooks Online have many similar features, such as banking, invoicing, and inventory management. However, we found some significant differences worth noting. For instance, Sage 50cloud is more difficult to use than QuickBooks Online, making it more suitable for businesses working with experienced bookkeepers. Meanwhile, QuickBooks Online is ideal for business owners managing their own books. Sage 50cloud vs QuickBooks Online at a Glance When To Use Each When To Use an Alternative Free accounting and invoicing: Sage 50cloud and QuickBooks Online are both premium accounting software that come at a cost. If you want a free accounting solution with a decent feature set, we recommend (formerly Sunrise). Outstanding customer support: is one of the best providers in terms of customer support. You can call its support hotline, which is something you can’t do with Sage 50cloud and QuickBooks Online. Businesses with large accounting teams: If you work with an accounting team with many members, then you may prefer . You can add as many users as needed at no additional cost, making it our best QuickBooks alternative for businesses that want unlimited user access. Fit Small Business Case Study We created a case study to help us assess the performance of Sage 50cloud and QuickBooks Online across 11 key areas of accounting. The graph below sums up the results. FSB case study comparing Sage 50cloud and QuickBooks Online Sage 50cloud vs QuickBooks Online: Pricing *All users are included in the price of each QuickBooks Online plan, while only one user is included in the base price of each Sage 50cloud tier—and you have to pay an additional fee for each seat. For instance, Premium Accounting costs $92 for one user, $115.58 for two, and $211.67 for five. QuickBooks Online is more affordable than Sage 50cloud, especially if you require multiple users to work on your accounting files. If you require access for up to five users, then you’ll only pay $80 per month with QuickBooks Online Plus, whereas with Sage 50cloud, you’ll have to pay more than $200 per month for five users with Premium Accounting. Sage 50cloud vs QuickBooks Online: Features Banking & Cash Management Sage 50cloud and QuickBooks Online both have the essential bank reconciliation features we look for, but QuickBooks Online is much easier to use. QuickBooks Online allows you to group multiple customer checks into a single deposit slip. This is a great feature as it makes it easy for you to trace and match transactions in your check register to your bank statement. Accounts Payable QuickBooks Online is better than Sage 50cloud as it can read an uploaded receipt and match the receipt to a transaction automatically. However, this isn’t a big deal for many businesses. A huge factor to consider is the ease of use—Sage 50cloud’s A/P module interface is crowded with too many features, making it overwhelming for users with no or little knowledge of accounting software and accounting principles. Accounts Receivable QuickBooks Online is slightly better in terms of accounts receivable due to its ability to issue checks for customers with credit balances. Another advantage is that it calculates the total tax rate for each sale automatically based on the customers’ address, which is useful if you sell products or services out of your state. Inventory Management Sage 50cloud nearly has the same inventory capabilities as QuickBooks Online, but some of its features are limited. For instance, it can be difficult to enter a partial receipt of inventory on purchase orders. However, despite the minor weaknesses, Sage 50cloud has the important features we want to see, such as the ability to track the cost of goods sold (COGS) and calculate ending inventories. QuickBooks Online is slightly better, as its inventory module is easier to use than Sage 50cloud’s. Sage 50cloud vs QuickBooks Online: Ease of Use One of QuickBooks Online’s biggest trump cards against Sage 50cloud is the ease of use. As a complete cloud-based accounting software, it’s easier for you and your accountant to access your files. Sage 50cloud offers remote data access—through cloud hosting—but for an additional price. QuickBooks Online also has a more streamlined user interface than Sage 50cloud. Sage 50cloud is crowded with too many buttons and drop-down menus, which makes it difficult to navigate the program. Sage 50cloud vs QuickBooks Online: Integrations Sage 50cloud has fewer than 100 integrations available, as compared to 825 for QuickBooks. While Sage 50’s are mainly focused on the apps associated with Microsoft 365, QuickBooks offers a wide range, including QuickBooks Payroll, Shopify by OneSaas, Service Trade, and Fathom. Sage 50cloud vs QuickBooks Online: Mobile App Functionality Sage 50cloud has a mobile app called Sage Capture that’s available for both iOS and Android devices. However, it’s limited to capturing receipts and posting associated transactions. With the QuickBooks Online mobile app, all of your financial data is at your fingertips. You can use your device to accept payments online, track business mileage, and view reports, which are things you can’t do with the Sage 50cloud mobile app. Sage 50cloud vs QuickBooks Online: Assisted Bookkeeping QuickBooks Online beats Sage 50cloud in assisted bookkeeping. QuickBooks offers assisted bookkeeping services in the form of , where you’ll be assigned a dedicated bookkeeper who’ll work with you to clean up your books and maintain them on a monthly basis. In addition, you can find a local independent QuickBooks ProAdvisor easily to assist you with your bookkeeping. Meanwhile, Sage 50cloud users can seek bookkeeping support in the form of Sage-certified accountants, which can be difficult to find in the US. Sage 50cloud vs QuickBooks: Customer Support While Sage 50cloud and QuickBooks have various options for customers seeking support, you’ll prefer QuickBooks Online if you value telephone support. While it isn’t possible to call support directly, you can submit a request online and wait for an agent to call you. This is useful if you encounter more complicated issues that need personalized answers and solutions. Bottom Line Both and are great accounting software programs packed with outstanding features. However, Sage 50cloud is more difficult to use, so we recommend it for businesses with internal accounting departments. QuickBooks Online is more user-friendly and is a great option for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that manage their books on their own.
September 16, 2022
Melio Review: Features & Pricing for 2022
Melio is a modern payment solution that provides small business owners flexibility with how they pay their bills. You have the option of paying by bank transfer (ACH) or your credit card, even if your vendors only accept checks. It helps to streamline the accounts payable (A/P) process by gathering all of your bills in one user-friendly interface. You can also handle your accounts receivable (A/R) with the ability to receive bank transfers, even a same-day bank transfer for a 1% fee, and accept credit card payments. Melio’s services are free, with the exception of credit card fees, international transfers, and expedited check delivery. What We Recommend Melio For Businesses seeking both an A/P and A/R solution: Melio offers the ability to pay vendors and A/R solutions, such as sending single or recurring invoices and syncing these payments with multiple accounting software, including QuickBooks Online and FreshBooks. Businesses struggling with cash flow: Melio lets you pay with a credit card, then it’ll send a check to your vendor. Paying with a credit card and delaying when the funds leave your account allows you to extend your float and may also earn you extra points, miles, or cash back. Businesses issuing 1099s: If you need to send 1099s to your vendors, Melio makes this process seamless. You can access the 1099 report from your dashboard, which you can classify and export to a comma-separated values (CSV) file. Use this information to complete your 1099 form or export the file to your accountant. Businesses paying international vendors: Businesses can pay their vendors in United States dollars (USD) in Canada, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and other areas. While many competitors charge up to $50 for international transactions, Melio only charges a $20 tax-deductible fee for international transfers. Note that international wires are unavailable in other currencies. Melio Alternatives Xero users: If you’re looking for a cloud-based A/P automation application that integrates with Xero, is a good option. It provides real-time cash flow management, bill management, and approval management tools that integrate seamlessly with many accounting programs. Businesses working remotely: Melio currently doesn’t offer a mobile app for iOS and Android users, so we suggest , which we ranked as the best A/P software for mobile devices. Its robust mobile app is ideal for monitoring expenses and bills, and you can gain business insights through a key performance indicator (KPI) dashboard. Businesses seeking help with tax compliance: If you have more complex needs, such as built-in tax and regulatory compliance, we recommend . It has many advanced features, such as automated approval workflows and self-service supplier onboarding, and provides businesses with six payment methods and 120 currencies. Businesses wanting an A/P solution within their accounting software: , which we ranked as the overall best small business accounting software, is an excellent option if you’re looking to schedule and make payments directly within the software. It lets you either pay bills by printing checks or by using the online bill pay feature, which enables you to track payment status and remittance information. Melio Pros & Cons Melio Pricing Signing up is completely free, and Melio has no monthly subscription fees. Certain transactions, like paying by credit card, have a fee of 2.9%, but paying by ACH bank transfer is free. It’s also free for your customers if they pay you by bank transfer, but if they pay you by credit card, then they’ll need to pay a 2.9% fee. You have the option of assigning that fee to yourself, which means that you’ll pay it instead of your customer. Accounts Payable $0 for bank transfers and sending checks via US Postal Service (USPS) 2.9% fee for credit and debit card transfers 1% fee for same-day bank transfers $20 fee for expedited check delivery and international USD transfers Accounts Receivable $0 to receive bank transfers and accept credit card payments (2.9% fee to you or payer) 1% fee for instant payout (same-day bank transfer) Melio Features Approval workflow: Melio allows you to add your team members and set up approval workflows so that you’re able to stay on top of who is managing which payments. You can invite other people from your business, your accountant, or your bookkeeper for free and set up their roles so that you can review and approve payments before they’re sent. International payments: Using your Melio dashboard, you can easily pay all of your vendors—including those in other countries. They don’t even need to have a Melio account to accept payment. You can send international bank transfers in US dollars for a flat fee of $20, no matter the amount of the payment. Melio also allows you to make multiple payments to international and domestic vendors at the same time. Payment options: Not only can you make payments via bank transfer or credit card, but you can also have business checks sent on your behalf to arrive in five to seven business days. Expedited payment processing allows for fast checks to arrive within three business days or a same-day bank transfer for additional fees. Other features include the ability to pay multiple bills together or split a single bill into multiple payments. You can also set up recurring payments for bills you pay on a regular basis. Integrations: Melio syncs with QuickBooks Online (all versions except Simple Start), QuickBooks Desktop, FreshBooks, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central for its A/R functions, which includes the ability to send payment requests and auto-reconcile incoming payments. It syncs with QuickBooks Online for its A/P functions, which eliminates dual data entry with an automatic two-way sync for all of your bills and bill payments. 1099 forms: You can use Melio to pay 1099 contractors and generate a report that will assist you or your accountant with processing 1099 forms if you have paid them more than $600 in a year. You can easily classify and export a CSV file of this information for quick access. Easy bill capture: Melio offers three ways to add a bill: upload the file, enter the details manually, or sync with QuickBooks Online. If you opt to upload the invoice, you can select a PDF or JPG file from your computer or phone, which will be read automatically by Melio’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology and fill in the relevant information to schedule the payment. Melio Customer Support Melio’s customer support team is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time, and closed on federal holidays. You can use live chat to connect with customer support during operating hours. You can also email Melio’s support team, and a rep will get back to you within 24 hours inside the operating hours. Melio’s help center is also a good resource as you can browse through different topics or use the search bar to find something more specific. Telephone support isn’t offered at this time. One of the most noteworthy aspects of Melio’s customer service is that it maintains a list of customers who have requested a new feature and will notify them when it’s released. Melio Ease of Use Melio’s user interface is intuitive and easy to use. If you have an Intuit account, you can use this to sign in and get started immediately. Otherwise, you can sign up for free in a matter of minutes, and it doesn’t take long to add vendor details. You’ll complete your registration by entering your business details as you would like them to appear on your payments. When you pay your first bill, Melio will ask you to fill in your company’s legal information so that it can verify your business for compliance purposes. After that, everything will work automatically for subsequent payments. Melio’s dashboard provides you with an integrated tool that allows you to manage and track all of your A/R and A/P through a single platform, streamlining these processes. Melio User Reviews Melio reviews from users show that its dashboard is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Reviewers also praised the freedom and flexibility to both pay vendors and receive payments from customers. They also appreciated the ability to set up user roles and approval workflows. The platform has earned the following average scores on popular review sites: Trustpilot: 4.0 out of 5 based on around 570 reviews Capterra: 3.7 out of 5 based on over 140 reviews Better Business Bureau (BBB): 3.2 out of 5 based on about 75 reviews The biggest drawbacks of Melio are complaints about its nonresponsive support, especially when urgent issues arise, such as fraudulent activity. Users also didn’t like that there’s no way to contact support via telephone. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Do I need to let my vendors know that I’m using Melio? You’re welcome to let your vendors and suppliers know you’re using Melio, but it isn’t required because they’ll receive their payments as usual. Depending on the payment option, they’ll receive a paper check in the mail or a bank transfer directly to their bank account. What can you pay with Melio? The major requirement is that both the payer and payee must be businesses. Your business can use Melio to pay rent, utilities, taxes, professional fees, freelancers, contractors, inventory, plus just about any business expense you can think of except payroll. Rent (only if your landlord is a business) Utilities Taxes Professional expenses like accounting Freelancers and contractors Inventory, raw materials, and supplies Operating expenses Maintenance services Employee reimbursements Donations Legal expenses What can’t you pay with Melio? There are some exceptions to what you can pay with Melio, which include personal payments, payments from prepaid cards, balance transfers, payroll transactions, cash advances, flammables and explosives, and pharmaceuticals. Bottom Line Melio’s payment solution streamlines the accounts payable process from the moment a business owner receives a bill to when vendors receive their payment. It provides business owners with numerous funding options, including those that vendors don’t typically accept, such as credit cards. It allows you to manage all of your bills and customer invoices from one platform at an affordable price.
September 15, 2022
How To Become Certified as a QuickBooks ProAdvisor in 5 Steps
To become a QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor to demonstrate your specialty in QuickBooks products or connect to potential clients and grow your practice, you must first sign up for a free QuickBooks Online Accountant subscription. This will give you access to all training materials to help you prepare for and pass the certification exam. I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to become a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. I’ll also share the benefits of becoming a ProAdvisor, along with some useful tips for passing the exam based on my personal experience. Recertification as a QuickBooks ProAdvisor Your ProAdvisor certification doesn’t last forever. Recertification frequency varies, depending on the type of certification you hold: QuickBooks Desktop Certification: To remain a Gold Level member, you must be certified in one of the three most recent versions of the QuickBooks Desktop Certification or certified within the past year for QuickBooks Online. However, we recommend that you update your QuickBooks certification status annually to provide the highest level of knowledge and support to your clients. Only members who are certified in the latest version of QuickBooks are listed in the top section of the QuickBooks Find a ProAdvisor website. QuickBooks Online Certification: Your QuickBooks Online certification is valid until July 31 of the following year. We recommend that you take the updated exam each year to stay current. As with QuickBooks Desktop Certification, members who are certified on the latest version of QuickBooks Online are listed in the top section of the QuickBooks Find a ProAdvisor website. QuickBooks Point of Sale (POS) Certification and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions Certification: These certifications are offered on a two-year cycle. To stay updated, you only need to certify in these once every two years. QuickBooks Desktop Advanced Certification: Once you complete the QuickBooks Desktop Advanced Certification exam, you never need to take it again, and you remain Advanced Certified as long as you maintain your annual QuickBooks Desktop Certification and complete the required nine CPE credits of ACE-approved training every three years. Benefits of Becoming a QuickBooks ProAdvisor There are many benefits that come with being a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, including valuable knowledge of the most popular small business accounting software. In addition to discounts on products and services and dedicated telephone and chat support, you’re added to the online directory listing. This allows you to connect with potential clients, build your client list, and earn their trust. Also, you unlock the QuickBooks Online Advanced Certification exam, which helps improve your visibility on the directory, giving you more opportunities to connect to new clients. Your ProAdvisor Profile also climbs in the ranking as you earn more points. As you advance in rankings, you can grow your business and take advantage of more features of this program, discounts, product support, and training opportunities. Here’s a summary of additional benefits: Display your ProAdvisor certification badge on your website, emails, and business cards Boost your credibility and increase your profile ranking Distinguish yourself as a true expert with QuickBooks software Access unlimited United States-based phone support from QuickBooks experts Receive free or discounted products and supplies If you plan to support clients who use QuickBooks Desktop instead of QuickBooks Online products, you can add QuickBooks Desktop to your membership for $499 a year. In addition to the benefits we’ve discussed, you also receive the following: $5,000 worth of QuickBooks Desktop software 30% discount on QuickBooks software that you can pass along to clients Expert US-based chat and phone support Training materials for QuickBooks desktop products Access to certification for QuickBooks desktop products If you’re a bookkeeper or accountant who offers bookkeeping and payroll services, it’s extremely beneficial to become certified in QuickBooks. QuickBooks has more than 80% of the market when it comes to the accounting software that small businesses use most often, meaning that the majority of your clients will use QuickBooks. Bottom Line You just learned the steps on how to become certified in QuickBooks Online. To get started, we recommend that you sign up for a free account with . If you want to improve your knowledge of QuickBooks Online, be sure to check out our free QuickBooks tutorial series. It includes 46 lessons that provide QuickBooks instruction and serve as a resource for training clients on how to use the software.
September 15, 2022
11 Expert-approved Restaurant Bookkeeping Tips
Managing your finances can be one of the most difficult parts of running a restaurant. Restaurant bookkeeping comes with special challenges—expenses can fluctuate wildly and your profit margin is often very thin. But by monitoring your finances, you can ensure that your restaurant remains profitable. To assist you, we have collected 11 key bookkeeping tips for restaurants: Reconcile accounts regularly. Account for required tips as restaurant income. Claim your tax credit on employee tips. Use the right accounting software and point-of-sale (POS) system. Hire an outside bookkeeper. Correct errors the moment they arise. Review financial reports. Audit your POS buttons. Consider outsourcing payroll. Streamline accounts payable (A/P). Track your prime costs. 1. Reconcile Accounts Regularly It’s critical to maintain up-to-date accounting records to track your restaurant’s revenue, labor, food, and operating expenses and to keep things organized when you have to pay sales tax or liquor excise tax. Reconciling your accounts is the only way to know that you have accounted for all transactions, and it makes you aware of incorrect deposits, lost checks, and cash variances. You should reconcile all bank and credit card accounts, loans, lines of credit, and payroll liabilities. Bookkeeping tasks for restaurants typically include: Daily sales and cash deposits tracking Expense monitoring Payroll and tips management Vendor payments Monthly bank and credit card reconciliations Financial statements generations Don’t forget to save receipts for any business expenses that you plan to claim on your tax return. Make it a practice to write any notes on the paper receipt about the expense, including what it’s for. You can either save this receipt in a paper file or upload it to your accounting software with your mobile app by taking a photo. 2. Account for Required Tips as Restaurant Income Due to complex IRS guidelines, accounting for restaurant tips can be somewhat confusing. Essentially, any automatic gratuity or service charge—applied for big parties, for example—is considered restaurant revenue because the customer didn’t determine the amount—it was required. When the staff receives these payments, they’re considered wages and are subject to withholding. However, tips left to the customer’s discretion are different. This is considered employee income rather than wages and isn't included in a restaurant’s revenue. 3. Claim Your Tax Credit on Employee Tips Employees are required by law to report tips to the employer, who then includes the tip income on the employee’s Form W-2. Employers are required to retain employee tip reports and withhold taxes based upon wages and tip income received by the employee and to deposit this tax. They’re also required to pay the employer's share of Social Security and Medicare taxes based on the total wages paid to tipped employees as well as the reported tip income. As an incentive for restaurants to report employee tips collected on the employee’s W-2, restaurants can claim a tax credit on their tax return equal to 7.65% of tips reported by employees. Essentially, this is a refund of the employer’s portion of payroll taxes on reported tips. Only tips in excess of the minimum wage are eligible for the credit. 4. Use the Right Accounting Software & POS System It’s extremely important that your accounting software integrates with your POS system. Features that are especially useful for restaurants include inventory management, payroll, and bill management. The best restaurant POS systems are all-in-one restaurant management solutions with employee management, staff scheduling, customer loyalty tools, reservations, and online ordering capabilities. The best restaurant accounting software addresses the intricacies of restaurant operations and back office management, such as inventory taking, cost management, and employee scheduling. More advanced restaurant accounting software may also offer features, such as catering management and variance analysis. For other accounting software suggestions, check out our guide to the best small business accounting software. 5. Hire an Outside Bookkeeper Rather than trying to handle the books yourself or hiring someone to work internally, we recommend getting an outside bookkeeper. This wouldn’t be a full-time position, and they’re a separate person from your business accountant. Thus, they have no control over or connection to the daily ordering and sales in your restaurant. They won’t be able to fudge numbers or conceal cash or products. Depending on your sales volume and the tasks you need help with, your bookkeeper may only work on your records a couple of hours a day or week. Ideally, you’ll want a bookkeeper who is familiar with the restaurant industry. Ask for recommendations from other nearby restaurant owners. Typically, they’re happy to send their bookkeepers more work if they can accommodate it. 6. Correct Errors the Moment They Arise With the hectic pace of a restaurant, it’s easy to get distracted and put off tasks that would be better handled immediately. In the heat of a busy service, it's easy to think, “I’ll remember later.” But more often than not, you won’t. For example, maybe your dishwasher forgot to clock in, your supplier delivered one less case of lemons than what was listed on your invoice, or a server entered an incorrect tip on a check. When these issues arise, it’s important to correct them the moment they happen. You—or your manager or supervisor on duty—should correct time cards, note shortages on deliveries, and audit server receipts during every single shift. At the end of the pay period or the end of the month, you’ll avoid burning precious energy trying to remember if you ever got a credit for that missing produce or why you got a chargeback request from a customer. 7. Review Financial Reports Reviewing your financial reports on a regular basis will provide valuable insight into your restaurant’s performance. The profit and loss (P&L) statement shows your profitability and the financial health of your business. By analyzing different revenue sources, you can determine which areas of your business are the most profitable—whether that’s food sales, alcohol sales, merchandise purchases, or catering. You can then take that data and look for ways to grow the most profitable areas while you improve on those that are lacking. Other useful reports include: Restaurant sales report: This shows the total sales that happened at your restaurant on a particular day. It should include the total number of bills generated and any discounts that were applied. Reviewing this report can help you decide whether you should revamp your menu or focus on marketing strategies that will bolster sales. Inventory report: This gives you the beginning and closing inventory of each item and the amount of each item used on any particular day. It also includes the variance report, which tells you the difference between the actual stock consumption and ideal stock consumption. A variance of 3% to 5% is acceptable, but anything over this implies internal theft or food wastage. Expense report: This tracks items like the rent, utilities, payroll, inventory costs, equipment maintenance, and the budget required to host different events. It should give you a comprehensive understanding of all of the expenses that your restaurant incurs on a daily basis and over a period of time. This allows you to allocate your budget well and identify where you may need to cut down. Menu performance report: Analyzing this gives you insight into what your customers are enjoying about your restaurant. You can identify the items that are contributing the most to sales and those that are least popular. Based on this information, you can eliminate or add new items to the menu to boost sales. Staff performance report: It’s important to review this if you want to run a successful restaurant business. You can set individual goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) for each staff member and measure their productivity on a weekly or monthly basis. For example, you could set a goal for the kitchen staff to keep the food costs under a certain percentage. You could also measure the productivity of your wait staff by analyzing the number of tables served or total weekly sales. 8. Audit Your POS Buttons A POS system does a lot of heavy lifting in a restaurant, but it’s prone to user error. When you enter menu items into your POS, check that they’re coded correctly to ensure accurate food and beverage costing, but even more so for tax tracking. Before you make any changes to the POS system, make sure they’ll have a positive effect on the front-of-house interaction with the POS and your ability to analyze data when it comes to the reports that are generated. You’ll also want to triple-check that taxable items reflect the correct state and local sales tax so that you collect the correct amount from customers. It’s surprisingly easy to overlook the tax settings when you enter new menu items. So, take extra care to ensure you always have the correct amount on hand when your tax bill comes due. Some restaurants struggle to pay sales tax, so it’s useful to have a separate account that can be used to deposit what’s collected. That way, it’s not as much of a shock when making lump-sum payments on a set schedule. 9. Consider Outsourcing Payroll Outsourcing your payroll is an excellent way to help you save time, plus it gives you access to necessary expertise that will ensure your financial data is accurate. Not only will your payroll service be able to generate paychecks via direct deposit, but it’ll also track employee payroll taxes and file them along with the associated forms on a quarterly basis. There are many intricacies to restaurant payroll, which we cover in our article on restaurant payroll tips, reporting, and labor laws. We also evaluated the best restaurant payroll software and identified eight solutions that are easy to use and come with good client support. Many of them offer tools to manage payroll taxes, track tips, and monitor attendance. 10. Streamline A/P Automating your restaurant’s bills allows you to monitor exactly when the next bill is due. By integrating A/P software, you’ll be able to link your business account with the application. You can add a vendor, input the payment date and amount, and enter the category for each transaction. Your software will alert you when a payment is due, and in many cases, you’ll be prompted to authorize the payment and deposit the amount directly into the vendor’s account. After the transaction is completed, it’ll mark the bill as paid. Depending on the needs of your restaurant and the number of bills that you process, there’s a variety of A/P software programs that may be able to assist you. The best ones must have strong general A/P features, such as purchase order (PO) tracking and vendor payment tracking. Good A/P automation should also reduce data entry and streamline the A/P process. 11. Track Your Prime Costs Prime costs are items such as food and beverage costs, salaries, payroll taxes, and benefits. Since this type of cost—as opposed to fixed costs like rent, equipment leases, and insurance—makes up the majority of a restaurant’s expenses, it’s the best indicator of a restaurant’s profitability. It also shows how well the business is being managed on a daily basis. If a restaurant is run well, prime costs should stay around 60% to 65% of sales. We recommend monitoring prime costs on a weekly basis to track fluctuations in expenses and identify areas where you can cut unnecessary costs. A restaurant’s food costs can fluctuate based on many factors, including seasonality or natural disasters. By regularly monitoring food costs, you can decide whether you need to make changes to ordering quantities, raise menu prices, or change your overall menu to only include ingredients that have fewer price fluctuations. How Restaurant Bookkeeping Is Unique Restaurant owners have many factors to consider when it comes to restaurant bookkeeping. Ideally, your accounting software will integrate with your POS system, and you can track multiple locations, if needed, and update the cost of preparing recipes based on daily food prices. Employee scheduling, sales forecasting, and electronic data exchange (EDI) with vendors are also key functionalities. Other components include payroll, automated A/P, and inventory management. Bottom Line With so many different moving parts, handling the bookkeeping for a restaurant can be complicated. Not only do you need to manage payroll and inventory, track your A/R and A/P, monitor financial reports, and select the right accounting software and POS system, but you also need to account for restaurant tips and audit your POS buttons. It’s a good idea to consider outsourcing your books to an outside bookkeeper who can help you stay compliant and on top of your finances.
September 14, 2022
10 Key Bookkeeping Tips for Self-Employed & Freelancers
As a self-employed professional or freelancer, it’s essential that you’re involved in every aspect of your business. This includes managing your books to ensure that you’re profitable and entitled to every possible tax deduction. To help you, we compiled 10 key bookkeeping tips for self-employed professionals and freelancers. Separate personal and business accounts. Invoice on a regular basis. Keep detailed records. Track and reimburse business mileage. Establish a system that works for you. Outsource to an expert if needed. Review financial reports. Create a system for managing receipts. Use time tracking software. Pay quarterly estimated taxes. 1. Separate Personal & Business Accounts Calculating your net income or loss can be tricky if you don’t keep track of which finances are personal and which belong to your business. To avoid any confusion, you should open a separate account for business transactions. Even if you’re only supplementing your main income with freelance work, separating these transactions will show how much money is tied up in your business and, ultimately, make preparing for tax time much easier. Check our guide to the best bank accounts for self-employed professionals to find out which accounts may be best for your use. We also recommend using a business credit card to separate and identify business expenses easily. 2. Invoice on a Regular Basis It may seem counter-intuitive, but freelancers often put off sending invoices to their customers. If you don’t send your invoice promptly, you will have to wait longer to receive payment. We suggest invoicing either immediately, upon completing a project or reaching a milestone, or at the end of each month for all work completed within that period. To make it simpler, you can use a separate invoicing software program or the invoicing features that come with your accounting software. 3. Keep Detailed Records An important factor of bookkeeping for freelancers and self-employed is tracking your day-to-day bookkeeping tasks. Even if you run a relatively small operation, you’re bound to rack up a number of expenses over the tax year. Freelancers can claim all kinds of work-related items, but only if these can be verified by the IRS upon request. Once you have set up a system, you need to maintain accurate and detailed records for all of your business activities, including Payments for expenses including receipts Amounts received from customers Bank and credit card statements reconciled monthly Receipts for equipment purchased Inventory purchased and sold The easiest way to track this information is to use accounting software for freelancers, which automates all of your accounting processes, such as invoicing customers and reconciling your bank accounts. 4. Track & Reimburse Business Mileage Your business can deduct a standard rate per mile (58.5 cents for Jan.1, 2022, to June 30, 2022, and 62.5 cents for July 1, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2022) for any business mileage you drive using your personal vehicle. Be sure to track the date, miles, and purpose of each business trip. We recommend writing a check to reimburse yourself for the expense so that the expense flows through your business checking account and won’t inadvertently be overlooked at tax time. Since you’re using the standard mileage rate, the business shouldn’t pay for any actual vehicle expenses, such as gas and repairs. To track your mileage easily, we suggest using one of our best mileage tracker apps for small businesses. 5. Establish a System That Works for You More than 60% of business owners do their own bookkeeping, thanks to the prevalence of user-friendly accounting software. However, despite the ability to work more flexible hours, it can still be tricky for freelancers to fit everything into a hectic week. By the time tax season rolls around, you may not be as prepared as you thought you were. To overcome this problem, we suggest establishing a bookkeeping schedule to ensure that every expense and payment has been recorded. Here are some bookkeeping procedures and a rough idea of the time frames in which they should be processed: Income As soon as a project is finished, prepare and send the invoice to your customer, making sure to include any costs involved, such as goods or contractor fees. Try not to wait for more than a few days to invoice your customer, as it’s vital to keep cash flowing into your business. If you have online access, check your bank account every day to monitor the payments received from customers that pay by direct deposit. Make sure to allocate those payments to your customer invoices. Once a month, email customer statements to show them what invoices or amounts are outstanding and the payment due date. You can also resend the invoice by itself with a reminder of the due date if the customer is late in paying. Expenses As soon as you make a purchase with your bank card, keep the receipt and write any important details on it. You can either take a photo and save it to an online filing system or keep it in a physical file. Most small business accounting software allows you to attach an image of the receipt to the transaction within the system. At least once a week, enter any credit card purchases in your accounting software. Be sure to enter every charge separately so you can compare the charges to receipts. Entering the credit card charges during the month results in a credit card liability that should then be paid each month. Avoid entering your credit payment as a lump-sum expense as this makes it impossible to tie your accounting records to your credit card receipts. Banking As soon as you receive a customer payment by check or cash, receive it against the invoice and deposit it to the bank account. Set up bill payments to your suppliers by either writing checks or setting up direct payments online. Pay attention to the due date on the invoice and process payment accordingly. Once a month, reconcile your bank account to make sure that all of the transactions on the bank statement match the transactions in your accounting software. Make the necessary adjustment so that the balances match. 6. Outsource to an Expert if Needed Although you may be tempted to handle all of your company’s bookkeeping duties yourself, it may make more financial sense to hire an expert. Depending on the accounting software you select, the learning curve may be either steep or nonexistent. You can have someone assist you with installing the software and setting up your company account, including your chart of accounts, customer and vendor lists, and products and services. They can also train you on how to use the software, including how to make changes or troubleshoot errors. Once you recognize how efficiently your financial expert has set up your books, you can determine whether to work with them on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. Bookkeeping can be a collaborative effort, especially if you prefer to create your own invoices or pay your own bills. A good bookkeeper can customize their services, only handling the tasks that you decide to outsource. 7. Review Financial Reports Freelancers and self-employed professionals often struggle with visualizing and monitoring cash flow. There are a few simple accounting reports that can help you do so: Cash flow statement: This separates your cash flow by operating, investing, and financing activities. Negative cash flow from operations is potentially a serious issue but can sometimes be masked by additional borrowing. You can identify negative cash flow from operations by examining your cash flow statement. Accounts receivable (A/R) aging: This shows you how much each customer owes you and whether the debt is current or overdue. This information will help you to determine when to follow up with a customer who is late in paying your invoice and will give you an idea of how much cash you should collect in the near future. Accounts payable (A/P) aging: This shows how much you owe each of your vendors and when the bills are due. It helps you to determine future cash flow needs and anticipate cash flow shortages. 8. Create a System for Managing Receipts It’s important to keep track of your receipts because the IRS requires them for all tax deductions. We recommend selecting an expense or accounting tool that has a mobile app and a feature that allows you to take photos of receipts and upload them to the software. If your accounting software doesn’t have a mobile app, you can download a receipt scanner app instead. If you prefer to go the old-fashioned route, you can create a file folder for each vendor and place paper receipts there. You can also create a dedicated folder in your email inbox where you forward electronic receipts to be added to your accounting software regularly. 9. Use Time Tracking Software Even if you mostly work on projects that are fixed price rather than by billable hours, using time tracking software will show you how much time different types of projects take. It’ll also allow you to isolate the time you spend on areas like administrative tasks, business development, and client communication. The best time tracking software for freelancers lets you visualize time spent so that you can make better bids or see if you’re spending too much effort on unimportant tasks. Ideally, it’ll include online payments, invoicing, reports, and integrations. The more precise the data, the better—you may think that a project is profitable until you take into account the time you have to spend to acquire the business’ needs or the additional client communication. 10. Pay Quarterly Estimated Taxes One of the most common self-employed errors isn’t saving enough money to pay your tax bills, which includes self-employment taxes. According to our article on important accounting statistics, 27.8 million small businesses filed taxes as sole proprietors in 2019. This is a significant number, which reflects the number of freelancers and self-employed workers that need to make sure they’re compliant with tax requirements. It’s a good idea to set aside 15% of your net income in a separate account to cover self-employment taxes. This is in addition to the 10% to 25% most freelancers will need to set aside for income taxes. Since your taxes won’t be deducted from your paychecks automatically, you should make quarterly estimated tax payments to avoid an underpayment penalty. How Bookkeeping for Freelancers & Self-employed Is Unique Freelancers and self-employed individuals are mostly concerned with tracking their income and expenses to maximize the number of deductions when filing a Schedule C tax return each year. They must ensure that expenses are categorized correctly, bank accounts are reconciled on a monthly basis, and they stay on top of invoicing customers with follow-ups as needed. They must also be able to calculate the quarterly estimated tax payments and issue 1099s for any contractors. Whether you opt to work with a tax professional or decide to file your income tax return yourself, it’s useful to have a reliable resource for any questions or issues that arise. You can also benefit from an accountant who is available on an as-needed basis, not only during tax time. Bottom Line Having a strong grasp of the most basic bookkeeping tips for freelancers and self-employed professionals is essential for the success of your business. It’ll also help you to make informed decisions and position your company well for future growth.
September 14, 2022
5 Best Startup Accounting Software in 2022
The best startup accounting software depends on the user’s industry, stage of business, and personal preferences, which we’ll cover in this guide. Startups need software that’s affordable in the beginning, can scale as the business grows, and can convert to an enterprise resource platform (ERP) system like NetSuite. Our experts developed an internal case study to evaluate each application and compare them head-to-head. Based on it, we have identified the five best accounting software for startups: : Best overall accounting software for startups with plans to become midsize to large enterprises (8.6 of 10 points) : Best mobile accounting software app for startup companies (8.2 of 10 points) : Best inexpensive accounting software for startups that don’t need external support (7.7 of 10 points) : Best free software with unlimited users for startups during their organizational stage (6.8 of 10 points) : Best accounting software for service-based startups that intend to stay small (6.41 of 10 points) Best Startup Accounting Software Compared See fullscreen table × QuickBooks Online: Best Overall Accounting Software for Startups With Plans to Become Midsize to Large Enterprises Standout Features Financial reports: QuickBooks Online is one of the best accounting software programs for reporting. It can generate more than 100 reports, depending on your subscription. QuickBooks Online offers standard reports, such as profit and loss (P&L) statements, balance sheets, and sales reports by customer, location, and class. Reports are customizable easily, and you can filter them for the exact information you need. Mobile app: QuickBooks Online’s mobile app has many useful features, which made it one of our picks for the best mobile accounting apps. With it, you can create and send invoices on the go, view financial reports, receive payments from customers, and assign expenses to customers or projects. You can also upload receipts and enable GPS mileage tracking. Assisted bookkeeping option: In addition to its independent QuickBooks ProAdvisors, QuickBooks Online also offers an assisted bookkeeping service called . Prices start at $200 per month, and you’ll have access to a certified bookkeeper who will categorize your transactions, reconcile accounts, generate reports, and review them with you monthly. For more information, read our QuickBooks Live review. Invoicing: The invoice customization options available with QuickBooks Online makes it a great option for freelancers and small businesses that rely heavily on invoicing customers. You can choose from different templates, change colors, add a logo, and add personalized messages. You have the option to set up recurring invoices as well, and it’ll calculate sales tax in any jurisdiction based on the address of the customer. Banking and cash management: Unlike FreshBooks and Xero, QuickBooks allows you to reconcile your bank and credit card accounts, even if you choose to record all activity manually vs importing bank transactions. You can also use its powerful bank reconciliation features and generate reconciliation reports to view cleared and uncleared transactions. Our Expert Opinion QuickBooks Online provides best-in-class reporting for the detailed analysis required by startups, and we selected it as the best overall small business accounting software. It’s easy to find support for converting to an ERP like once your business outgrows QuickBooks Enterprise, making it an excellent solution if you’re looking for software that’s both scalable and user-friendly. Zoho Books: Best Mobile Accounting Software App for Startup Companies Standout Features Invoicing: Zoho Books scores high with accounts receivable (A/R) features. The invoicing feature allows you to customize the background color, upload your logo, and add a personalized message for your customers. You can also send your invoice in multiple languages and choose the appropriate currency based on the particular location of your business or customer. Mobile app: Zoho Books’ mobile app contains all the essential features that businesses need when they’re on the go. You can send invoices, receive payments, capture expense receipts, record time worked and assign it to a customer or project, and categorize expenses from your bank feed. Project accounting: You can create an estimate and associate a project to it with Zoho Books, using the Project module found on the Time Tracking menu. When creating an estimate, you can add items like inventory, labor, and sales taxes. Once approved, it can be converted to an invoice easily, and you can also assign actual labor to a project and record the actual inventory used in the project. Inventory management: With complete inventory tracking features for tracking stock levels, Zoho Books allows you to track the cost of goods available for sale and allocate that cost between ending inventory and the cost of goods sold (COGS). You can adjust the quantity and cost of inventory, and sort out items based on product details, vendor details, and stock keeping unit (SKU). Reporting: Zoho Books has powerful reporting capabilities, with an excellent selection of financial and accounting reports. This includes a general business overview, balance sheets, cash flow statements, P&L statements, general ledger (GL), trial balance, A/R and accounts payable (A/P), sales and payments received, taxes, and inventory. However, there’s no way to view unbilled time by customer, which is something that QuickBooks can do. Our Expert Opinion Zoho Books offers a better mobile app than QuickBooks Online. However, it may be difficult to find support when you eventually convert to an ERP, which will probably be required sooner than with QuickBooks Online. The price of the Ultimate plan is more expensive at $275 per month for 15 users, especially when compared to QuickBooks Online, whose Advanced plan is only $200 per month for 25 users. But its robust mobile app, project accounting, and inventory management features make it a strong contender if these features suit your business’s needs. Xero: Best Inexpensive Accounting Software for Startups That Don’t Need External Support Standout Features Project accounting: Xero excels in project accounting, with features like project estimate assignment, labor cost assignment, and the recording of inventory used in projects. You can prepare quotes based on your estimates quickly and use the app timer or location-based tracking. Xero also allows you to monitor profit margins on a user-friendly dashboard. Fixed assets manager: Xero’s dedicated fixed assets manager page allows you to keep track of your fixed assets and work with your accountant to manage them, keeping your books up to date. You can manage depreciation and disposals as well as run reports to show fixed assets and their value. This is the only software in this guide that includes a fixed asset manager. Inventory management: Not only does Xero have features like the ability to create inventory items, view inventory levels, add inventory to invoices, and allocate COGS, but it also has minor features that can help inventory management, such as viewing purchase orders (POs) and inventory cost information. Financial reporting: Xero has most of the reports that you would expect to find in solid accounting software, from basic financial statements, such as a P&L and balance sheet, to specialized reports. However, it’s missing two special reports: unbilled time and income/loss by customer. Accounts payable: Xero has an outstanding PO system to convert POs into bills, track unpaid bills, apply vendor credits, and record e-payments. However, the one thing that Xero cannot do is record recurring expenses automatically. Overall though, the A/P management system in Xero is easy to use and comprehensive. Our Expert Opinion Xero is solid accounting software with unlimited users for only $65 per month. Its many features include project accounting, inventory management, a fixed asset manager, and a strong PO system. However, it could be difficult to find an outside bookkeeper for support in the United States, and it’s also likely harder to find support to convert to an ERP system down the road. If your startup doesn’t require external support and is looking for inexpensive accounting software, Xero is a good solution. Wave: Best Free Accounting Software With Unlimited Users for Startups During Their Organizational Stage Standout Features Financial reporting: Wave has a robust reporting capability, and it can generate the following: balance sheet, income statement, A/P and A/R aging, general ledger, trial balance, transaction list by customer, and expense by vendor. Although you’re not able to customize your reports, you can export them to Excel or as a comma-separated values (CSV) file. Reports can also be saved as a PDF. Wave ProAdvisors: Wave offers an assisted bookkeeping service in the form of Wave ProAdvisors, who are trained, in-house financial professionals that provide one-on-one accounting, bookkeeping, and tax coaching services for Wave users. Your dedicated advisor will manage your bookkeeping tasks, including categorizing transactions, bank reconciliation, and tax planning. Sales and income tax: You can add sales tax to invoices, estimates, bills, and expense and income transactions with Wave. The software will record any transaction automatically with sales tax in the sales tax liability account. However, while you can use Wave to track your sales tax, there’s no way to pay your tax liability or file your returns. Invoicing: Wave offers different ways to customize your invoice, including the ability to select from different templates, change colors, add your logo, and include a personalized message. You can add a new customer when creating an invoice and add inventory to the invoice before emailing it to your customer. You can also set up recurring invoices and view outstanding ones without generating a report. Accounts payable: Wave manages unpaid bills very well, which is critical in the accounting process. Use the Purchases menu to manage your A/P transactions, and you can either record a new bill or enter an expense without paying. You can also snap a photo of your expense receipt and upload it to Wave with the mobile app. We selected Wave as one of the best receipt scanner apps, especially because it’s free. Our Expert Opinion Wave is an adequate software for making the required journal entries and recording the expenses involved in starting a business. The fact that it’s free for accounting, invoicing, and receipt scanning make it a good option if you’re looking to save money during your startup’s organizational stage. However, once you begin operations you’ll likely outgrow it and want to upgrade to more powerful small business software. FreshBooks: Best Accounting Software for Service-based Startups That Intend to Stay Small Standout Features Customer support: FreshBooks excels in its customer service offerings, which include phone and email support. You can speak with a customer service representative over the phone, which is a rarity among accounting service providers. Its vast knowledgebase is also a great resource, which includes how-to articles and answers to frequently asked questions. Invoicing: We ranked FreshBooks as one of the best invoicing software applications because of its powerful invoicing capabilities. You can customize your invoices with a logo and add a personalized message, add items like inventory and labor, and apply sales tax. You can also issue invoices in your preferred currency and create recurring invoices for customers you bill on a regular basis. Project accounting: FreshBooks has collaborative tools that allow you to connect with your team members. It also allows you to track employees’ time easily and add it to your invoices. You can also compare your budget costs to actual time and expenses to help you better manage your operations. Mobile app: FreshBooks’ mobile app can perform almost all of the same functions as the desktop interface. You can send invoices, enter and pay bills, accept payments, upload receipts, track your mileage and categorize business trips, and record time worked. You can also respond to your clients’ questions right from the app, with all of your correspondence in one place. Your data is synced across all devices. Financial reporting: Although the reports that FreshBooks generates aren’t as detailed as QuickBooks Online, there is a wide range of reports available. Reports include balance sheets, P&L statements, A/R and A/P aging, income or loss by month or by customer, trial balance, and general ledgers. Our Expert Opinion Despite its low score, FreshBooks is a good choice because of its ease of use for non-accountants and its outstanding customer support. However, growing businesses will outgrow FreshBooks quickly as it’s generally best for very small businesses and sole proprietors. It becomes very expensive at $10 per month for additional users—at 15 users, it’s more expensive than either Zoho Books or QuickBooks Online and isn’t nearly as powerful. How We Evaluated the Best Startup Accounting Software We considered a variety of accounting software that’s beneficial for startups. We evaluated these programs in terms of general features that we’d expect to find in startup accounting software and also assessed them based on whether they had the basic features we’d take for granted, such as accessible customer service and access to financial reports. Finally, we took into account ease of use, pricing, and our own expert evaluation. Bottom Line There are many excellent accounting software applications for startups, depending on the particular needs of your business. QuickBooks Online is a scalable solution if your company plans to become a mid to large enterprise. If you often work remotely and need a strong mobile app, consider Zoho Books. Xero is inexpensive and especially good for startups that don’t need external support. If you’re a service-based startup that intends to stay small, FreshBooks is worth taking a look at. If your company is in its organizational state and you’re looking to save money while also having access to unlimited users, Wave is a strong choice.
September 14, 2022
NeatFiles Review for 2022: Pricing & Features
NeatFiles is a cloud-based receipt scanner and file storage app that also includes a free subscription to invoice generation tool NeatInvoices. With NeatFiles, you can import, file, and organize business documents easily. Moreover, it can generate detailed and comprehensive reports according to the needs of management. You can try NeatFiles—including NeatInvoices—free for 14 days and then pay $29 per month. What We Recommend NeatFiles For NeatFiles is our overall best receipt scanner app, and we recommend it for companies or individuals working mainly in the cloud. Additionally, with a free NeatInvoices subscription, you can create invoices and store them in NeatFiles afterward. Hence, we think that NeatFiles is best for: Companies looking for an invoicing and file storage system: NeatFiles comes with the features of NeatInvoices. If you’re looking for storage software with invoicing features, NeatFiles is the best app. It saves you money because you need not get another invoicing app. QuickBooks Desktop Users: NeatFiles can export data into and easily. NeatFiles is a great complement to QuickBooks Desktop because you can store your receipts or documents in the cloud and attach them to your QuickBooks Desktop entries. Organizations that store large volumes of documents: NeatFiles offers unlimited monthly storage for its single plan. Moreover, NeatFiles uses bank-level encryption, making your files safe from hackers and cybercriminals. NeatFiles Alternatives Shoeboxed: Scanning a large number of receipts takes a lot of time. With MagicEnvelope, you can send your receipts to Shoeboxed, and it’ll do the scanning for you. Shoeboxed starts at $216 for the first year but is priced regularly at $276 per year starting the following year. Zoho Expense: NeatFiles has filters to sort items by category, but it’s not a full expense tracking app. With , you can scan receipts, manage them, and reimburse employees for the expenses they pay personally. We recommend choosing Zoho Expense Premium at $5 per active user per month for advanced customization and approval workflows. QuickBooks Online: allows users to scan receipts using either a scanner or their mobile app and attach the receipts to transactions. If this is all you’re looking for, then we recommend QuickBooks Online because of its industry-leading accounting features. QBO is also our best small business accounting software. Wave: NeatFiles may have great features, but some businesses—especially relatively new businesses—may prefer free options for cost consideration. is also one of our best receipt scanner apps and is free to use. NeatFiles Pros & Cons NeatFiles Pricing NeatFiles is available at $29 per month for unlimited users. There’s a 14-day free trial to test out the following key features: Unlimited storage per month Bank-level security encryption Access files anytime, anywhere Best-in-class data capture and human verification Personalized support All NeatInvoices features You can opt to pay $288 for a one-year subscription, which effectively reduces the price to $24 per month. A credit card is required upon signing up for the 14-day free trial. After the trial, NeatFiles will charge your card automatically. Cancel before the trial ends if you don’t find NeatFiles suitable for your business needs. NeatFiles Features NeatFiles promises to keep your business documents safe and organized. Let’s look at NeatFiles’ features in greater detail. What Users Say in NeatFiles Reviews Trustpilot reviews are generally positive for NeatFiles; however, reviews in ConsumerAffairs are mostly negative. The NeatFiles support team replies to both positive and negative comments about the software, providing a full explanation of the software’s true functionality. Trustpilot: 4.7 out of 5 with 2,100-plusreviews ConsumerAffairs: 2.5 out of 5 with 850-plus reviews G2: 4.4 out of 5 stars with nearly 10 reviews Overall, we think that NeatFiles is a well-loved software among users. Its high ratings in Trustpilot and G2 show that the software does what it’s supposed to do. For the negative reviews in ConsumerAffairs, most reviews pertain to software-related problems, such as problems with receipt scanning and switching from legacy software to a cloud-based system. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Is there a free app to scan receipts? is our best free receipt scanner. Its receipt scanning capabilities are built within its accounting software environment. However, you can try NeatFiles for 14 days and cancel before the free trial ends. What is NeatFiles? NeatFiles is a document management and cloud storage system with receipt and document scanning features. If you get NeatFiles, you’ll have a place to store documents and receipts and receipt scanning capabilities. Aside from storage, you can also organize documents into folders and tags. What apps integrate with NeatFiles? NeatFiles can integrate with , , Campaign Monitor, , Google Contacts, MailChimp, and Outlook.com. Bottom Line Being one of our best overall receipt scanner apps, offers features that are vital to every business. Its file storage service works best with its invoicing features through NeatInvoices. Making invoices and storing them in your cloud storage will be easier and more comfortable than using two separate software. Therefore, we highly recommend NeatFiles if you’re looking for a receipt scanner and invoice software.