But to be honest, QuickBooks sends me over the edge. I find dealing with QuickBooks a lot like dealing with my local heating-oil company: an exercise in utter nickel-and-diming: Checks, payroll and Web access all require extra fees on top of Intuit's way-not-cheap products. Plus, the company loves to make its offerings more restrictive. For example, it has a specific file format for invoices! Honestly.
So when a new accounting idea comes along, I pay attention. Earlier this year, I learned of Auckland, New Zealand-based Cognito Software. Starting in mid-2008, the company made its MoneyWorks line of accounting software available in North America. Now be warned, MoneyWorks is an international software product that uses slightly different nomenclature for certain business concepts. Bids are called Quotes. There are differences as to what Purchase Orders are from Sales Orders. Profits can be called Margins. There are references to VATs and other international concepts. I have found none of these to be a big deal.
And for that small inconvenience you get a whole, big, fat upside: Your entire business comes up in a simple-to-understand interface, with logical labels that you can pick up and use quickly. It's all there for you to see: Sales & Income & Expenses, Cash & Banking, Products & Inventory, General Ledger, Housekeeping and Jobs. That's it! Yes, there are subheadings inside each category -- Receivables or Invoices & Cash which live inside the Sales & Income heading. But with a little intuitive hunting and pecking, you can pretty much figure out what's what. And get ready for it ... every number you need is there - in real time
. There are no reports to generate like in QuickBooks. No cluttered desktop interface. No upcharges or other features they try to sell you. Just your business out in the open, in one place with up-to-date ledger entries that table out with good numbers as you make updates
. Stick in journal entries that say debit cash, age overdue invoices, or kill off payables and the changes all flow through to the proper lines against the proper job to your active ledgers. And that, my friends, is some serious bean countin' mojo. Pretty much like those big 'ole corporate-accounting packages like SAGE or SAP (STOCK QUOTE: SAP) you used back when you worked for The Man, except without the jerky treasurers to make you miserable.