I provide part-time CFO services to a number of early stage companies, so have experience with this subject.
QuickBooks Online is affordable ($19/mo) and ubiquitous. Every bank , credit card company, etc. will export data directly into it. Consider nothing else.
If you have employees you should absolutely use a payroll service. ADP and Paychex are too expensive for small businesses. I use a company called FlexPay for my small clients. They are located in Winston-Salem, NC, but can and will do other state payrolls. The potential penalties for late deposits, and complexities of payroll taxation, make it a very worthwhile expenditure.
If you use an accounting/bookkeeping service, look for one who is willing to work with you and adjust their fee to meet your needs.
I have several clients in which I charge them a low base fee and then use a sliding scale for their busier months. Once they are steadily at a busy pace then we settle on a flat monthly fee.
Have you tried bartering with a friend who is a CPA yet? Or, using a light version of Quickbooks - what do you need for accounting services? Paypal for transaction management? Budgeting? Try Mint.com. If you want free, you might have to check for specific web 2.0 services and use several for each need. You may have to put up with some advertising and lower-complexity to get to affordable in the short term.
I think one of the biggest problems that startups face is to do with bookkeeping/accounting. On the one hand, hiring bookkeepers and accountants is expensive. On the other, most bookkeeping and accounting apps are complex to use.
So if you are looking for affordable solutions to manage your bookkeeping yourself, try the apps from Handdy.com. They are Handdy Jotbook, an expense tracking and Handdy Invoices, an invoicing app.
They solve two problems
1. They are both available for free. So it solves the problem with "affordability"
2. They both use simple English. No accounting jargon. This solves the problem with "ease of use"
It's just ideal for startups and freelancers, even those who may not be familiar with accounts. Uses Google Cloud so you don't have to worry about security. Check it out at www.handdy.com and get back to me if you need further details on this. Cheers!
I agree that it is a great recommendation to use software other than excel to track your income and expenses. I recommend a product which has traditional double entry accounting, and other necessities even if it is a bit more complex. You can't avoid learning the rules of baseball if you want to play professionally, let alone own a team, and this is a great way to start understanding. Plenty of solutions now exist which take the pain out. QuickBooks Online, Xero, Wave, and others are great places to start.
What I have advised is using a certified bookkeeper, versus a CPA firm. There are many bookkeepers in the yellow pages, craiglist and other locations but to insure you are getting the best BANG for the Buck, insure they are certified.
Another interesting way is to offer an intership for an accounting student (Junior or Senior) from the local university or college. These folks do need to obtain real life experience and with the assistance of the Accounting Professors to back them up one cannot go wrong. Besides if you like the work they (the intern) has done, then you hire them straight out of the university.
That depends on their stage and size. For startups with a couple of founders and no payroll, a bookkeeper will do. However, if you have raised a round of funding and have employees on payroll, board reporting responsibilities, need of more involved cash flow forecasting, etc. it makes sense to hire a firm which will keep your books in GAAP format. This will enable you to raise future rounds without having to "scrub the books" in a rushed manner when an interested investor is at your doorstep. It also makes an acquisition exit smoother from a due diligence perspective as well.
Almost every Startups, small and medium business establishments, tax firms and CPAs need to prepare accounting statements and tax return. Financial planning can save your start-up lots of money when it’s time to submit taxation. Discussing with a knowledgeable financial advisor (Hitechfpo.com) about your business’ objectives, organized investment and other information about the future can help forming an image of tax attributes your business might be qualified for.
The proficient accountants and CPAs provide whatever level of support you require on an as-needed basis. Tax professionals have deep experience analyzing business structures, finding potential tax credits, handling transaction services (M&A), individual tax returns, and much more.
Thank you both! That is useful - esp the tip on the Handdy.com website.
For a startup company that do not want to lock-up its capital in infrastructure like, computer server, internet providing equipments, software license fees, IT support and etc., OneAccounting software, cloud based accounting software, is a good option. It can be subscribed to by paying monthly rental fees. The users can use their smart phones and tablets to access it from anywhere and at any time. It allows use of credit and debit card, supports inventory and integrates seamlessly with the other cloud based software tools.
In the Philippines, most of the companies are venturing on an outsourced accounting services. For it complies to your needs faster and the expected results are met. This is more ideal than an in house team for cost less and no need to comply with other documents needed on hiring the staff.
In case you need an outsourced accounting, just visit http://www.infinitaccounting.com/. They could handle your earnings and turn them into positive ones. And manages your expense under appropriate control. Their edge over other competitors is they are a finalist for the 'Best Filipino-owned Company of the year 2016'. This award was given by The international ICT Awards. They are fully staffed with certified Public Accountants, Certified Securities Specialists, and MBA graduates. For more question about their capabilities feel free to visit their site included in this comment.