Saturday, December 16, 2006

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If you have a business you need some kind of accounting program.
The kind of accounting software you choose depends on why you are buying it. The two most widely used full-scale accounting programs are Quickbooks and Peachtree. If you just need something to keep track of your checks and deposits, Quicken will record the data and can be used to assemble totals for each category you designate; e.g. Food, Rent, Car payments, etc.
A sole proprietor might manage with Quicken, especially if he uses a separate bank account for his business checks and deposits.
If you need a real double-entry set of books, then you need Quickbooks, Peachtree or some other complete accounting program.
Quickbooks is the probably the easiest. You enter checks and deposits and a description and the program provides both a debit and a credit entry.
I have never used Quickbooks, but some of my clients have maintained their records on Quickbooks. I've noticed that they misclassify some items, but that could occur with any accounting program. Sometimes they will record sales tax payable when the sale is recorded, then, when they pay the sales tax, instead of charging "Sales Tax Payable" the will charge it to "Tax Expense." The same kind of error could occur with Peachtree if a non-accountant is doing the bookkeeping. For more see
I have used Peachtree for many years, starting when it was an MS/DOS program. It seems to be designed for a person who is knowlegeable about accounting. You have to set up a 'chart of accounts'. Normally you would start with the "Cash" account as account # 101. All assets would go in the 100 series of account numbers and liabilities in the 200 series, Equity in the 300s, revenue in the 400s, Cost of Sales in the 500s and expenses in the 600-900 series. If you sell things on credit, the program provides accounts receivable aging reports. It also can be used to maintain perpetual inventory records (which should periodically be reconciled to a physical count and adjusted if necessary). SEE
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