Best Software Programs for Small Businesses of 2021
As a small business owner, there are many decisions you must make to keep your business running. One of the best ways to make your management responsibilities easier is using the right software. Business software comes in a variety of forms, but in 2020, there are multiple programs available for nearly every aspect of business management.
While it is good to have so many options, it can also be overwhelming. What software you choose largely depends on your needs. When looking at software, you must also consider pricing, accessibility and whether the software is compatible with other programs. Listed below are some of the best programs available for small businesses in 2020.
In terms of finance software, QuickBooks is frequently recommended. It is one of the oldest financing programs available, frequently offering upgrades and new services with each update. It also has a great deal of customization, allowing you to focus on specific areas, such as invoicing, inventory, tax deductible expenses, employee payroll and time tracking. You can automate many of the features as well, greatly reducing how much time you spend inputting data or performing calculations.
There are multiple pricing options available. You can purchase a QuickBooks disc which allows you to install the basic program, but you will not be eligible for additional upgrades. Otherwise, there are monthly subscription options. The basic plan provides account for three users, while the premier plan has five users, with the option to add extra users for a small fee. QuickBooks is one of the pricier plans, with the base model costing $25.00 a month, but with the number of features it offers, it may end up being the only software you need.
Other options for finance software include Xero and Zoho Books. If you have multiple employees, Xero is recommended because even the basic plan includes options for unlimited users. However, the basic plan, which costs $9 a month, only allows you to send a total of five invoices or bills each month. For starting businesses, this may not be a big deal, but as your business grows, you may need to upgrade or purchase an expanded plan.
Zoho Books is also $9 a month, but you must pay an additional $2 for each user. Zoho Books is known for having some of the best automation options, greatly limiting how much time you spend entering data. You can also set up scheduled payment reminders and individual profiles for reoccurring expenses. The biggest downside to Zoho Books is it has limited payroll plan options, only allowing you to create plans if you are in California, Texas or India. It also has limited compatibility options with other business software.
Document Sharing Software
In 2020, document sharing software is almost a necessity for a business. Document sharing software allows you to store all your business documents online. Approved employees can access and upload documents. You can also set permission for individual employees, ensuring everyone only sees the documents and folders relevant to their position.
Amazon Drive is a popular document sharing software. The base price is $12 a year, which includes 100 GB of storage. For larger businesses, there is a $60 option, which upgrades the storage space to 1 TB. Amazon Drive can be used on both computers and phones. In terms of additional perks, Amazon Drive has limited options, making it a good choice for starting businesses, but as you grow, you should consider upgrading to something more advanced.
One alternative is Box, not to be confused with the similarly named Dropbox. Dropbox is meant primarily for consumers, while Box is marketed at small businesses. Box offers a free plan, with a limited 10 GB and 250 MB upload limit. This effectively acts as a trial period, though small businesses may be able to get away with using the free option for several months, depending on the business. The personal account is $10 a month, offering 100 GB of space. Adding additional users cost $5, and there is a premium option for $25, which provides unlimited storage.
Another alternative is Citrix ShareFile. ShareFile is compatible with many other programs and has integration options with both Gmail and Microsoft Outlook. It also boasts some of the best security available for document sharing programs. The interface is designed with new users in mind, and many reviews praise the program for being easy to use. A 30-day free trial option is available. Otherwise, a standard plan is $10 a month. The standard plan has unlimited storage, but only for one user. There are advanced packages to add additional users.
Tax Accounting Software
TurboTax is one of the top programs for tax accounting. It is one of the most recognizable programs as well. While it is advertised primarily as a tax program, it does feature other financing and accounting options, including expense tracking. TurboTax is easy to use and has some of the best customer support available. You can use the SmartLook option, which lets you speak with a tax expert in real time. There are several packages available, with the $60 deluxe and $90 premier versions being the most popular options for small businesses. In most cases, the deluxe package is all you need, but the premier version is recommended if you own multiple properties or investments.
An alternative to TurboTax is H&R Block. H&R Block is less expensive, with the Deluxe package costing $49.99 and the Premium costing $69.99. H&R Block has limited options and a harder to use UI. However, it has better options for scanning and uploading tax documents, which is a helpful timesaver.
QuickBooks also has tax support as well. If you are only looking for tax accounting, it is not recommended to pay for QuickBooks, since it is a pricey software. However, if you are already using it for your financing needs, you can also make use of the tax accounting options without needing to purchase additional software.