How are you tracking your books?

Is it a once a year scramble in Excel?  Do you use a software package?  Are your bank statements automatically loading so you hardly have to think about entering transactions?

For the small business owner, there are a host of options when it comes to accounting.  Anything is better than nothing but some options are better suited to different types of businesses. 

Excel Spreadsheet

Pros: Free, ….um….free?

Cons: Completely manual and time consuming

For cash basis microbusinesses without a bunch of assets and outstanding loans, it might be easy enough to track your income and expenses in Excel.  The best way is to stay on top of it from week to week because catching up can be a nightmare.

Wave (

Pros: Free, links to bank and credit cards for automatic downloading, invoices and accepts credit cards, optional paid enhanced versions, payroll for a fee, relatively easy to find a WaveApps Pro like CMK!

Cons: Can be a bit clunky, not good for inventory tracking.

Wave Apps is a great free option out there that works for many small businesses.  Many businesses aren’t so complex they need a paid accounting service. Service businesses are an exceptionally good fit.  You can invoice your customers, accept credit cards, track your assets and liabilities and a host of other things.  For a fee you can process payroll and even have WaveApps process your payroll taxes for you.  It can be a little clunky when it comes to bill entry and you need to have an internet connection.

QuickBooks (Desktop or QBO

Pros: Very popular and easy to find a QuickBooks certified accountant, wide variety of packages to fit your business, can have desktop installed versions or online only versions, can print checks, process payroll, file various tax returns electronically.

Cons: Can be costly depending on the package.

QuickBooks is pretty darn popular.  Many businesses are able to find a package that fits them well.  From a one person service business to a larger business with lots of employees and projects, you can find one that will fit your needs.

Xero (

Pros: Most of the benefits of QuickBooks…..without the QuickBooks!

Cons: Online only, not free, not quite as diverse a product selection as QuickBooks.

Xero is a great alternative to QuickBooks if you don’t mind doing your accounting in the cloud.  Automated bank feeds, payroll bank reconciliation, easy conversion from QuickBooks to Xero, solid apps….if QuickBooks is a four letter word to you, this may be the way to go.

Contact CMK Financial Services to see what’s the right fit for you!