When it comes to accounting options and features for a new business, established small business, or entrepreneur, there can be no room for error. As a self-employed freelancer or as the head of a company responsible for the payroll and taxes for 50 employees, you need accounting software and services that you can rely on for accuracy and feel good about what you are getting for your money. Two choices worth taking a closer look at are QuickBooks and Less Accounting. Determining which of these small business accounting software programs fits the bill for your business will depend on the exact services and features you need.
Less Accounting has the basic accounting features needed by a single-person business or small business. Some of the standard features include:
Less Accounting does not offer the ability to create timesheets or track time, which is a common feature needed by freelancers. It also does not give users the ability to track inventory or do reoccurring billing.
QuickBooks offers a wide range of features depending on which version you choose.
QuickBooks Simple Start offers:
QuickBooks Self-Employed offers those features and more including:
QuickBooks Essentials is another upgrade which offers basic features plus:
An upgrade from Essentials is QuickBooks Plus. It offers all of the above features and includes:
There is no time tracking capabilities for QuickBooks Plus, the most comprehensive version available online.
Employee Options (Payroll, W2’s, 1099’s)
Payroll is not included with Less Accounting. It also does not allow for tax assistance. Users cannot prepare or submit W2’s or 1099 forms.
QuickBooks Self-Employed does not allow for printing of W2’s or 1099 forms as it can’t support more than one employee.
QuickBooks Essentials allows for printing and preparing of W2’s and 1099’s as a payroll upgrade.
QuickBooks Plus also offers these employee options as an upgrade for its payroll services.
Less Accounting has three options for packages and prices. You can have a 14 day free trial, but you must sign up for one of their services before you get the 14 days free.
The Freelancer package is $20/month, Small Business Edition is $36/month, and the Super Powered Edition is $54/month.
They also offer a 60 day money back guarantee.
QuickBooks Simple Start has an introductory rate of $10.36/month the first year, then $12.95/month thereafter. Payroll upgrade cost $32.95 to $69.47/month and an additional fee per employee.
QuickBooks Self-Employed offers a discounted rate of $4.99/month for one year, then $9.99/month. An upgrade with TurboTax is $11.99/month for one year, then $16.99/month is available.
QuickBooks Essentials is $18.86/month for six months, then $26.95/month. The payroll upgrade is $32.95 to $69.47/month and an additional fee per employee.
QuickBooks Plus has an introductory rate of $23.97/month for six months, then $39.95/month. The upgrade for Enhanced Payroll services is $32.97 for six months, then $65.95/month with a $1.50 fee per employee. The biggest upgrade, Full Service Payroll cost $69.47/month for six months, then $138.95/month plus a $2.00 fee per employee.
All QuickBooks options offer a 30-day free trial.
The three packages offered by Less Accounting (Freelancer, Small Business Edition, and Super Powered Edition) only vary in the number of users for each plan and the general set up. Basic features are the same. You can add on a live bookkeeper service for $30/month.
The Freelancer package is recommended for those who spend less than $10,000 a month, Small Business Edition for those who spend less than $25,000 a month, and the third plan for those who spend more than $40,000 a month.
The basic QuickBooks package is Simple Start designed for small businesses or single-person owned businesses just starting out. The Self-Employed option is for one person, such as a freelancer. QuickBooks also offers Essentials and Plus for online accounting services. Each package can be upgraded to include payroll services, except for the Self-Employed package.
Which Small Business Accounting Software Works for What Business Type
Less Accounting is best suited for those who employ less than 20 employees and small businesses who don’t need payroll or inventory services. Freelancers may find Less Accounting useful, if they don’t need time tracking.
QuickBooks Simple Start and Self-Employed packages are ideal for freelancers and entrepreneurs, however there is no time tracking capabilities. QuickBooks essentials is perfect for a growing business with an increasing list of employees, venders, and invoices to manage. QuickBooks Pro is perfect for the medium-sized business who needs full payroll services and inventory tracking, as it is the only option that offers this feature.
Less Accounting is noted as quick to respond to issues posted on social media. They respond via phone or email in less than 24 hours. They don’t have live chat as an option.
QuickBooks offers a variety of customer service options including phone, email, and live chat. They offer 24/7 email support, online guides and easy to use tutorials. QuickBooks also has an informative blog highlighting new features and offering tax and accounting advice. Live chat is available 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and they have Saturday hours.
Both Less Accounting and QuickBooks offer the basics which can help any small business or new business, including the freelancer who may need basic accounting today and much more as he or she grows.