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What is the easiest accounting software to learn when just starting out?

I know a lot of people use Quickbooks. Is this the best accounting software for new businesses? Is there something else easier, more cost effective or should I go with what seems to be widely used?

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Brett: I like QuickBooks with Enhanced Payroll.

In Q4 (usually in December) you can buy this with an annual subscription included for less than $200 from places like Staples. Most accountants can import an accountant copy of QuickBooks' files and can help you quickly and easily (also inexpensively) tweak any issues you may have with the setup.

The QuickBooks enhanced Payroll option includes direct deposit, electronic filing of tax forms, FUTA, State Unemployment, etc. and keeps you current with all payroll tables. Also, if you have a question, QuickBooks provides support included with the subscription fee. For each additional employee you may add its like $2 per month for payroll processing. The first employee (you) is included in the base subscription fee.

Also, rather than renew each year at a higher price, you can purchase the new version of QuickBooks with Enhanced Payroll every 4th Qtr and then provide them with the new activation key over the phone on the expiration date (it has to be the day it expires or later) and you can maintain a solid solution at a very inexpensive price point (in my opinion).

If you do go with QuickBooks, I recommend having an accountant/CPA review your information at a minimum annually, but preferably quarterly to make sure you are handling everything correctly. Usually after 1 complete cycle (4 quarterlies and 1 annual reporting period), you will have it down. I have been doing this process for several years with success.

Good Luck!


Quickbooks is the gold standard in the US. That being said, if you are unfamiliar with accounting, its easy to screw up your books from the get-go. I wrote a book, "how to do your own small business bookkeping" which utilizes quickbooks for small service businesses. It is available through Amazon, or if you purchase a copy of the "QB Simple Start 2010" version through my website, I can include a CD with the program on it (the program was free in 2010 but no longer available). This won't make you an expert in QB, but it will help you set up and maintain your books properly from the beginning.


I've been working with QuickBooks since it first came out. Probably the most user-friendly for all-around use until your business becomes big enough that specialty information is required and then you would probably move into an industry-software or at least a more customizable software.

That said, I agree with Lily Chambers, if you don't know what you are doing, QuickBooks could be just as big of a mess as any other software. You want to take the time (or hire the expert) to set it up right the first time. Good luck, let us know if we can help.



Trust you are doing fine !
Below is the list of cloud accounting software .All have different features and capabilities.It is better to choose the software according to your business need.Don't go with the trend .And I suggest better taking advice from a consultant or expert on the same.If your base is right then you don't need to worry about anything in the future.
#Quick Books
# Reckon One
#Open ERP
# Kashoo
# Zoho

I hope that helps.


Pranjal Neog


I've been happy with FreshBooks as well. Depending on which plan you get, it may cost more than QuickBooks.


Most of my clients have moved on to QuickBooks Online (QBO) from QB Desktop. The key to success in accounting is the initial set up, creation of good chart of accounts and if needed use of Classes and Location. Utilizing a professional will prove of value in the long run. Here is one of the reviews: "Quickbooks Online Review: Best Small Business Accounting Software" at:
Good Luck! Feel free to contact us.


I've seen Xero to start being more popluar with startups, as many have mentions on this post

Also ThriveSolo.com could compliment your account with time tracking and invoicing


First I recommend you hire a consultant to either set your system up or to verify you set up your system correctly. For startups I highly recommend Xero, it is cloud based, inexpensive and easy to use, 75% of my clients are now on Xero, many of them are startups. I have found that it is much easier to use than QuickBooks. Xero is $9/mo w/no payroll less than 20 transactions per bank account and 5 vendor bills and customer invoices, for unlimited transactions it is $30/mo and that also includes payroll for up to 5 unique employees per month (depending on the state that you are in - payroll is not yet offered in all states). Xero also does not charge by the user, that way anyone accessing the system can have their own unique code and permissions. I have used QuickBooks and QuickBooks online, I think hands down you would prefer the ease of use of Xero to either of those options.


Peachtree and Tally are equally good and easy to work


+1 for Xero. Especially for startups. It's innovative, startup focussed, and easy to use. It also integrates with other apps you may be using in your business.

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