Accounting Software- Things to Consider About the latest technology

The early forms of accounting tools dates back to the use of the abacus in 1300 BC during the Ming Dynasty. We have come a long way in a few thousand years in helping managing your finances and counting numbers. Thinking of getting an accounting software for your firm? There are many purchase options to choose from like a seat licence or a cloud account. Seat licences can be bought for about $350 and up per user and cloud accounts can range from $10 -$50/mo per user. Seat licenses offer better cost savings over the long-term, but the the majority of options available are cloud options or software as a service. This is a lifetime subscription to the software that can cost you $600 per year per user. There is some price discounting happening on cloud accounts in the marketplace that you may want to look at. There is a new pricing model for software that is a glimpse of the future, this one offers a free cloud account, but you pay anytime you make a financial transaction, this is offered by Wave Accounting. 

The technology today is now more than an accounting/financial statements function, but now includes the ability to integrate online transactions and connect to your bank account . Accounting software packages can now  be integrated with your e-commerce strategy for record keeping, HST/Payroll remittance and some have smartphone app versions  that enable employees to enter expense reports. Some more advanced packages for larger business offer integration with the CRM software to avoid multiple databases between financing , sales and marketing.

A major concern with software is inter-operatability between outside users like your bookkeeper and/or accounting firm, so it is always safer to use the most popular one so you can seamlessly work together. To alleviate this concern, some packages offer accountant versions so they can use the software. You also need to consider migration concerns from your old software as you will need to do a database transfer and training for your staff. There are many packages to choose from , but these 5 packages seems to get the most chatter online – Fresh Books, Quickbooks, Sage 50, Xero and Wave that you may want to check out.


FreshBooks is an entry-level online solution, developed by a Toronto-based company. It is particularly suitable for freelancers to create and track projects, timesheets, invoices and expenses, all in one place. iPhone and iPad apps can  scan receipts and tracking expenses. The cost starts at $15/mo per user for a cloud account.


QuickBooks Online is designed for self-employed people and small business owners who don’t have any accounting training. There is also a QuickBooks Online Accountant version. The iPad and iPhone apps offer the ability to record sales and payments using a sales receipt, and to the ability add all the customers and vendors stored as phone contacts right into QuickBooks. Plans start at $20/mo. 

Sage 50

Sage Business Cloud Accounting is an affordable and scalable online accounting,  invoicing and payroll solution that tracks GST/HST and PST/QST. It is compatible with Office 365. Monthly plans start from $14/mo per user and offers a 30-day free trial version and a line of accounting software that can evolve with your needs when you grow. It provides English and French support on Cloud or SaaS .


Wave is a free Canadian-made online software suite for managing small business finances. Wave earns income in processing you VISA and ETR transactions , in a pay as you go model. They charge 2.9% for credit cards and $1.00 per ETR. Sound like the banks have new competition now. Customers can use its mobile invoicing app to invoice clients and accept credit cards on the go.


Xero is a cloud-based accounting package that allows small businesses to keep track of their numbers with receivables and payables, along with sales tax and financial reporting. You can connect the software to you bank account. You can also create cashflow forecasts and calculate depreciation for fixed assets. The cost for an account starts at $20/mo.

Don’t Pay a Lifetime Software Subscription by using Open Source Software

Now if you are a bit of a do it your selfer and want to build you own in-house accounting system, you may want to consider an open source software solution like GNU Cash or LedgerSMB, as you will save a lot of money in the long run after initial start-up costs for software development plus you will not be locked in with a vendor with a lifetime subscription. This way you can customize the software to your needs and business process. Most cookie cutter software will not allow you to make changes to the code. Open source software is free to use and cost you nothing, but you will have to do your own programming and that can cost a bit of money. There are two options to consider GNUCash and LedgerSMB and both are open source projects.

GNU Cash

GnuCash is personal and small-business financial-accounting software, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. Designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible, GnuCash allows you to track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses. GnuCash is also available as a mobile finance expense tracker application for Android.


The LedgerSMB project aims to prevent small and mid-size businesses from getting locked-in by their accounting software vendor by providing free and open source accounting software, integrating invoicing, order processing, quotations and more (ERP). LedgerSMB aims to provide a strong (accounting) basis to build your business on.

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