First you have to decide whether your business allows budget for purchasing the software that suits your needs. Some companies can charge you up to 2,000 dollars for a basic software and up to 10,000 for a customized in-house software tailored to your specific niche.
Usually small business does not allocate budget for sophisticated in-house applications therefore I will start my review with free software available on the market.
Free software available on the market.
Accounting Startup Edition
Best free offer from Dynacom!!! Payroll, purchasing, general ledger, they have it all. Same as 2.0 the developer requires some backlinking and mentioning in your email signatures or websites.
Free Accounting Software 2.0
This user-friendly software contains all features for your business including accounts payable and accounts receivable, sales tracking, payroll etc. The requirement to keep the program free is backlinking from your website, so this software is suitable for companies with web-presence. However, the fee for using the software without website is fairly small.
Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2007
Microsoft promotes this software as an exciting tool to make your business flourish. Microsoft Office Accounting 2007 is available in the U.S. only, as a free download or on a CD. Express version of the software is a free downloadable program and contains basic features similar to Microsoft Money. When your business grows you can update to a Professional Version (paid) which covers in-depth accounting issues.
Paid accounting software.
Quickbooks by Intuit
Important player on the market of accounting and bookkeeping software. The program is used by many professionals in the field and is a reliable and very well made tool. Users require some basic knowledge in accounting. Program features a full set of bookkeeping modules, including payroll. You can produce comprehensible reports using the reports center. The software is costly, but if your budget allows the expense you won’t be disappointed.
Simply Accounting by Sage
You don’t have to be an accounting genius to use this program. On top of being mega-user-friendly, this software teaches you some accounting along the way. You have an option of using non-accounting terms in your settings and that makes it even easier on the users that are not very familiar with accounting or bookkeeping. Another fascinating feature is that you can preview your transaction before posting it into the ledger. Moderate pricing along with the simple presentation makes it my best pick on the market.
To conclude I would like to mention other softwares such as Peachtree, Quasar, Quicken, FlexAccount, IRIS. Those providers offer magnificent products, however those products are less commercialized and less popular.
As well one of the keys to choosing your software is to match the software with the one used by your accountant. Data transmission in one easy click between you and the accountant makes it easy on both parties!