Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tax Time

Starting 2010 with starting your own business? Now is the perfect time to setup an accounting program to track your successes, fix what's not working and pay your taxes so you can sleep at night.

The Crafty Panda has been in business since late 2007 and it seems that I've had a new accounting program every year. I started with an Excel spreadsheet that my techie husband created. It was easy to understand and quick to update in the early days. But, as my business rapidly grew, days went by that I didn't have time to manually update the spreadsheet. Ship out 10 items to waiting customers or update financials? No brainer, every time I chose the customer first. Great for business, not so good for accounting.

My husband spent a month updating everything. It left us both grumpy.

The following year, he bought me an expensive version of QuickBooks. Wow!! Fantastic accounting software with a stellar reputation. What could make my life easier?

I was in way over my head. QuickBooks had too many accounting terms (I barely kept my sanity during an accounting course in college - I'm a creative person and there didn't seem to be much room for creativity in accounting), confusing options and it still seemed like a ton of work and manual entries!

This year I'm with (which I heard about on Etsy) and so far, I love it! I have three businesses and they are all set up with Outright. I am easily able to import merchant information, expenses, income and more. It's so fast that I actually don't mind doing financials! I thought that would never happen!!

Outright helps keep track of quarterly tax payments, sends reminders and best of all - it's free. Check it out at

During my research, these also came up with rave reviews which is $19 per month for a small business and QuickBooks Online Basic which has a 30 day free trial and then $9.95 per month. Very reasonably priced and definitely worth paying to keep your sanity.

Find an accounting program that you understand, one that will grow with you and give you the access to share information with your accountant and the time and resources you save will be all yours!