The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

NOTABLE! Free Accounting Software: If you need software, use these guys

AgainstAllOdds

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 26, 2014
1,934
11,400
2,426
27
Chicago, IL
A couple months back, @Vigilante made a thread in which he recommended all of us get our accounting in order. If you don't have your accounting in order, then you can't sell your business. This is a recurring theme heard by successful entrepreneurs that sold their businesses. It doesn't seem essential, but it is.

So, after taking in that advice, I decided to finally migrate from Microsoft Excel to a real accounting software. My first choice was the only software I had heard of (Quickbooks), but after checking their website and realizing that it'd cost me $600 a year for the inventory tracking feature, I decided to keep searching.

I hate spending money on anything that doesn't generate revenue, especially if it's something I don't really care about like accounting.

Anyways, after searching for a bit, I found Wave: Wave - Free Invoicing & Accounting Software with Credit Card Processing & Payroll Services.

It had all the features I needed, and best of all was free. It integrates easily with Chase and a whole bunch of other financial platforms, and makes accounting easy.

The way they make money is on payroll services, credit card processing, loan origination, and bank wire processing (all features that you are not required to buy - to date I haven't used any of them).

So: If you don't have accounting software yet, check them out. I've been using them for almost two months now and have zero complaints.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

CareCPA

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 2, 2017
666
2,249
550
30
Pennsylvania
Great find. I am actually going to a Quickbooks class tomorrow morning haha
Man that sounds boring. I hope they have good coffee and snacks.
 

InspireHD

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 9, 2014
335
804
316
36
This looks similar to Freshbooks except they don't charge a monthly fee. I was going to sign up on Freshbooks when I got my first sale, but looks like I might be able to use Wave.

Is it possible to manually add my 2017 revenue and expenses? I've been tracking everything in Excel, but if I can get everything organized professionally, it'll be easier to send off to my Accountant. I'm not interested in connecting bank accounts and wouldn't mind just manually entering everything since there isn't that much.
 

Scot

Ductus Exemplo
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 10, 2016
2,759
12,644
2,796
Florida
Man that sounds boring. I hope they have good coffee and snacks.
Haha it could be. I have zero knowledge of it and my business advisor recommended it, so I might as well grit my teeth and learn.
 

Andy Black

Any colour, as long as it's red.
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
8,331
35,206
4,306
Ireland
A couple months back, @Vigilante made a thread in which he recommended all of us get our accounting in order. If you don't have your accounting in order, then you can't sell your business. This is a recurring theme heard by successful entrepreneurs that sold their businesses. It doesn't seem essential, but it is.

So, after taking in that advice, I decided to finally migrate from Microsoft Excel to a real accounting software. My first choice was the only software I had heard of (Quickbooks), but after checking their website and realizing that it'd cost me $600 a year for the inventory tracking feature, I decided to keep searching.

I hate spending money on anything that doesn't generate revenue, especially if it's something I don't really care about like accounting.

Anyways, after searching for a bit, I found Wave: Wave - Free Invoicing & Accounting Software with Credit Card Processing & Payroll Services.

It had all the features I needed, and best of all was free. It integrates easily with Chase and a whole bunch of other financial platforms, and makes accounting easy.

The way they make money is on payroll services, credit card processing, loan origination, and bank wire processing (all features that you are not required to buy - to date I haven't used any of them).

So: If you don't have accounting software yet, check them out. I've been using them for almost two months now and have zero complaints.
Nice find. There's no excuses now!

Just an FYI... I've been using Freshbooks and me and my accountant are happy with it.

I've always had an accountant and recently went with Freshbooks for the automatic monthly invoicing of clients, and payments via Stripe. It was such a relief to get away from a spreadsheet to track invoices sent and paid, and Word docs for invoices. One of the best things I did last year.
 

Scot

Ductus Exemplo
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 10, 2016
2,759
12,644
2,796
Florida
Nice find. There's no excuses now!

Just an FYI... I've been using Freshbooks and me and my accountant are happy with it.

I've always had an accountant and recently went with Freshbooks for the automatic monthly invoicing of clients, and payments via Stripe. It was such a relief to get away from a spreadsheet to track invoices sent and paid, and Word docs for invoices. One of the best things I did last year.
I imagine just having accountability on paid invoices will be a big jump in actual cash flow. For example, the certification agency I work with has yet to send me an invoice for my license, $1,000 I owe them, but they haven’t even asked for it yet.
 

CareCPA

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 2, 2017
666
2,249
550
30
Pennsylvania
I imagine just having accountability on paid invoices will be a big jump in actual cash flow. For example, the certification agency I work with has yet to send me an invoice for my license, $1,000 I owe them, but they haven’t even asked for it yet.
This is something even we accountants struggle with. We're great at doing accounting, bad at billing and collections.

I've started setting my clients up on monthly recurring charges instead of invoicing. They provide billing info up front, they agree to automatically get charged every month, I enter the recurring transaction into QBO, and everything goes on autopilot until either they leave or the price changes (at which time I just have to stop it or change the price). No chasing people down for money, no lost revenue on my part from forgetting to invoice (which isn't uncommon. You're welcome, by the way, for anyone this has happened to).

I assume Freshbooks (and probably Wave) have a similar feature, I just haven't explored them yet.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Longinus

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 28, 2014
1,034
4,228
1,006
33
Flanders, Belgium
You can manage multiple businesses on one single account. For that alone I'll ditch Quickbooks! (+ because it's free)

Trying to find how I can import all Amazon data now.
 

Scot

Ductus Exemplo
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 10, 2016
2,759
12,644
2,796
Florida
You can manage multiple businesses on one single account. For that alone I'll ditch Quickbooks! (+ because it's free)

Trying to find how I can import all Amazon data now.
Are there accounting programs that integrate with and manage Amazon businesses? Because if not... sounds like a :bulb::bulb::bulb:
 

CareCPA

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 2, 2017
666
2,249
550
30
Pennsylvania
Are there accounting programs that integrate with and manage Amazon businesses? Because if not... sounds like a :bulb::bulb::bulb:
There are programs that integrate with Amazon and bookkeeping software. Examples: Inventory Labs, Fetcher, A2X - it depends on the functionality you're looking for.
 

ironman150

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jun 22, 2017
82
150
142
49
GREEN BAY WI
There are programs that integrate with Amazon and bookkeeping software. Examples: Inventory Labs, Fetcher, A2X - it depends on the functionality you're looking for.
Do you know of any that work with Ebay?
 

million$$$smile

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Dec 25, 2012
600
3,569
884
Midwest
There are programs that integrate with Amazon and bookkeeping software. Examples: Inventory Labs, Fetcher, A2X - it depends on the functionality you're looking for.
Interesting. Haven't looked into these.

BOOM....Unscripted live and in action :)
Another idea that needs attention is creating a program that allows one to cross/utilize inventory skus from Amazon to their existing websites AND /or B&M stores (without spending $25k-30k yr in license fees). The issue is if you are utilizing an existing sku/product already on Amazon, then the sku will not be the same as what is usually on your website or B&M. We have tried multiple inventory systems and have been unhappy with the results. No one can 'stitch' different skus from different marketplaces to B&M /website inventory systems to track inventory. You literally have two sets of inventory skus for same item depending on marketplace/websites.

I finally gave up and have decided to remove each item we sell on Amazon (4k+ items) and re-listing them with same sku as on our websites. It is time consuming but it will be done right once it is completed.

If there is an economical (less than $2k/mo) program out there, we sure haven't found it o_O
 

CareCPA

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 2, 2017
666
2,249
550
30
Pennsylvania
Do you know of any that work with Ebay?
Not specifically, but I also haven't looked hard. None of my current clients have a heavy enough presence on eBay to make it worth it. We just import transactions or do a direct feed from Paypal.
 

eliquid

( Jason Brown )
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 29, 2013
1,408
6,748
1,496
Louisville - Kentucky
Looked at Wave about a year ago, opted to pay for Bench.co instead.

Most accountants love Quickbooks though. I would have almost went with Xero but every accountant I talked to didn't know anything about it and didn't want to switch over.

In the end, I just pay for Bench.co and have them handle everything bookkeeping wise. At the EOY everything gets emailed to my CPA and she finalizes it all up.

I tried Wave on some test bank accounts I have for budding business ideas, I just couldn't get the hang of it.

.
 

MidwestLandlord

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 6, 2016
1,482
10,640
2,416
I love Wave.

Went 100% Wave for everything at the start of the year. Before I had 1 LLC on quickbooks, and the rest on Wave.

Now they're all in one place.

Works for me, and it's free.

My only complaint is the lack of a proper "chart of accounts" where I can just click to see all journal transactions at once, easily, in each individual account. Could be more intuitive in that regard, but otherwise it's great.
 

CareCPA

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 2, 2017
666
2,249
550
30
Pennsylvania
Looked at Wave about a year ago, opted to pay for Bench.co instead.

Most accountants love Quickbooks though. I would have almost went with Xero but every accountant I talked to didn't know anything about it and didn't want to switch over.

In the end, I just pay for Bench.co and have them handle everything bookkeeping wise. At the EOY everything gets emailed to my CPA and she finalizes it all up.

I tried Wave on some test bank accounts I have for budding business ideas, I just couldn't get the hang of it.

.
I actually like Xero a lot better than QBO. More intuitive, better interface, and the integrations seem to be a lot smoother. They seem to be the "tech"ier younger brother of QBO.

There's also some cool things in the works for the next couple years which will make a lot of accounting aspects easier for the small business.

Sounds like I need to learn Wave now. Thanks for adding another thing to my list...
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Vigilante

Legendary Contributor
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Oct 31, 2011
9,848
57,533
4,655
Gulf Coast
A couple months back, @Vigilante made a thread in which he recommended all of us get our accounting in order. If you don't have your accounting in order, then you can't sell your business. This is a recurring theme heard by successful entrepreneurs that sold their businesses. It doesn't seem essential, but it is.

So, after taking in that advice, I decided to finally migrate from Microsoft Excel to a real accounting software. My first choice was the only software I had heard of (Quickbooks), but after checking their website and realizing that it'd cost me $600 a year for the inventory tracking feature, I decided to keep searching.

I hate spending money on anything that doesn't generate revenue, especially if it's something I don't really care about like accounting.

Anyways, after searching for a bit, I found Wave: Wave - Free Invoicing & Accounting Software with Credit Card Processing & Payroll Services.

It had all the features I needed, and best of all was free. It integrates easily with Chase and a whole bunch of other financial platforms, and makes accounting easy.

The way they make money is on payroll services, credit card processing, loan origination, and bank wire processing (all features that you are not required to buy - to date I haven't used any of them).

So: If you don't have accounting software yet, check them out. I've been using them for almost two months now and have zero complaints.
Notable
 

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
2,680
17,478
3,256
Oklahoma
I chose Xero after multiple rounds of epic failure with QBO when I tried to give them my money and they couldn't figure out how to take it. F that. I'm not trusting my finances to a company that can't even handle the basics before I'm a customer.

My accountant was the one who suggested QBO but she got on board with Xero and it was an easy transition. They did what QBO couldn't in minutes with 0 problems. Also Xero customer service is way better.
 

BradD

Bronze Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 11, 2013
109
242
165
Ottawa
+1 for Xero- I use one of those online chartered accounting services (bookkeeping & filing), and we've been using Xero for the past 3-4 years. Really powerful, licenses are cheap (and covered in the CA firm monthly sub)

Also shoutout to Freshbooks for being a Canadian startup (no feedback on their service, but we have to support our own up here)
 

Room4

New Contributor
Dec 27, 2017
2
10
13
31
New York
A couple months back, @Vigilante made a thread in which he recommended all of us get our accounting in order. If you don't have your accounting in order, then you can't sell your business. This is a recurring theme heard by successful entrepreneurs that sold their businesses. It doesn't seem essential, but it is.

So, after taking in that advice, I decided to finally migrate from Microsoft Excel to a real accounting software. My first choice was the only software I had heard of (Quickbooks), but after checking their website and realizing that it'd cost me $600 a year for the inventory tracking feature, I decided to keep searching.

I hate spending money on anything that doesn't generate revenue, especially if it's something I don't really care about like accounting.

Anyways, after searching for a bit, I found Wave: Wave - Free Invoicing & Accounting Software with Credit Card Processing & Payroll Services.

It had all the features I needed, and best of all was free. It integrates easily with Chase and a whole bunch of other financial platforms, and makes accounting easy.

The way they make money is on payroll services, credit card processing, loan origination, and bank wire processing (all features that you are not required to buy - to date I haven't used any of them).

So: If you don't have accounting software yet, check them out. I've been using them for almost two months now and have zero complaints.
I definitely agree with this, proper accounting will allow a business owner to quickly produce financial statements on demand over comparable periods, and will create the necessary transparency into the financial health of a company to potential investors or creditors. This is more difficult to achieve from an excel file.

Each financial statement tells a different story, balance sheets reveal what a company owns, what it owes and what the members or shareholders own, all at a specific point in time. P&L reveals operations over a time period and can be broken out into operating and non operating revenue and expenses,statement of cash flows shows the companies usage of cash categorized into different buckets and can reveal the direction a companies management is taking (eg high increase in cash flows from investing bucket etc.)

All of these statements tell a story and can be produced by small business owners, just like the large public companies do in sec filings. Every time these large companies such as google or apple have an earnings call, the executives are riddled with questions from external analysts and investors who have (hopefully) reviewed the statements beforehand. Perhaps it would assist some members here to listen to an earnings call and hear what analysts are asking these large companies. It may prepare you for what a potential investor will ask you about your business when you are looking to sell.

First you need that accounting software though, and as another member mentioned the chart of accounts is critical because this will determine how transactions will ultimately be presented at the most basic level.
 

ProblemOd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jul 27, 2014
406
740
298
New York, New York
Looked at Wave about a year ago, opted to pay for Bench.co instead.

Most accountants love Quickbooks though. I would have almost went with Xero but every accountant I talked to didn't know anything about it and didn't want to switch over.

In the end, I just pay for Bench.co and have them handle everything bookkeeping wise. At the EOY everything gets emailed to my CPA and she finalizes it all up.

I tried Wave on some test bank accounts I have for budding business ideas, I just couldn't get the hang of it.

.
+1 for bench.co
This is definitely one of those things I have to let someone else handle
 

Andy Black

Any colour, as long as it's red.
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
8,331
35,206
4,306
Ireland
+1 for bench.co
This is definitely one of those things I have to let someone else handle
I've had an accountant since 2000 (not the same one of course). I used to do all my book-keeping though, as one of my friends told me that business owners need to do all their book-keeping. He unsuccessfully ran a PC repair shop back in the day.

The day I got my accountant to do my book-keeping was such a weight off my shoulders. Doing quarterly VAT returns is simple enough I guess, but I always left it to the last minute and had to burn the midnight oil. Never again I'd say, only to repeat it the next quarter. This went on for at least 10 years.

I'd suggest outsourcing book-keeping asap.

(And be careful who's advice you listen to.)
 

Scot

Ductus Exemplo
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 10, 2016
2,759
12,644
2,796
Florida
So, stupid question. On Wave, they charge 1% for bank transfers when invoicing. So say I do a $50,000 purchase order to Walmart, that’s $500 i lose to Wave.

Is this something I should worry about? Does QBO charge things like this?
 

CareCPA

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 2, 2017
666
2,249
550
30
Pennsylvania

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.



Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe to become an INSIDER.

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom