Money Managing: Quickbooks or other rec?

Do any of you folks–especially people who are self-employed or run some kind of small business or LLC–use Quickbooks or another money management/accounting program? My wife does a lot of consulting work and we’re starting to get in over our heads in dealing with keeping invoices and whatnot straight manually.

Any recommendations?


“By the way, do you think that you could give me that $20,000 in cash? My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax bracket.”


It’s been many years since I used QuickBooks, but overall, I was often frustrated with it - not flexible enough to do what I wanted, easily.

I like using straight-up Excel.

I’ve been using Money 2003 for a few years and it’s been pretty helpful. You’ll need to spend some time setting up accounts and categories, but once you’ve done that, you can either data entry your checkbook, download the statements from your bank, or both. Then you can run bunches of canned reports to get a look at your finances.

Seconding Phil Stein, I use Open Office spreadsheet and a stapler. I organize my receipts, etc. by date and time and put them into groups. I total each group and write the total (and date) on a posty note on the front of the receipts and staple it all together. Then I put the totals into the spreadsheet into the various categories and go from there. The receipts go into a box.

I’ve used Quickbooks for years with two companies and if you need something more substantial over “Money” than it’s good. My parents use it for their small business and my mom can use it and she’s pretty computer illiterate.

Out of all the small business accounting packages I’ve used, I’d say Peachtree is the best one.

Maybe the newer versions of Peachtree are better but the company I work for now uses PT 2000 and it is the biggest POS I’ve used in my 8 years of accounting. Quickbooks is a thousand times better than at least that version of PT.

Do you have a payroll to worry about? Do you have to pay taxes every two weeks and such?

If you’re just keeping track of invoices, Excel does a fine job. I just use folders and filenames to keep track of things, i.e. “Invoice Jun 2006 for X person”. I have an Invoice number on the Excel file that I match with another master Excel file to keep track of when I invoiced, when it was paid, if it was paid in full, etc. I also put this info on the electronic copy of the invoice.

Nice and tidy. And make backups.

My wife took over the finances a year ago, and all she uses is an excell spreadsheet and a filing cabinet for reciepts. Granted, we don’t do anything as complicated as a a small buisness, unless you consider bieng a landlord buisness.