Thursday, May 24, 2018

An alternative to Intuit's Quickbooks for accounting software?

For those who've been following the saga of Intuit's deliberate slighting of its firearms industry customers, and wish to boycott that company's products (as I'm doing), there are a couple of excellent alternatives to its Quickbooks small business accounting software.

My accountant had recommended that I use Quickbooks for the company Miss D. and I have just set up, as a corporate structure for our books and publishing activities.  However, in the light of recent events, that's obviously a non-starter.  I looked online, and found that PC Magazine had recently reviewed "The Best Small Business Accounting Software of 2018".  There were three Editors' Choice awards:  Quickbooks, Wave, and AccountEdge Pro (follow the links to the reviews).  The latter costs $399, whereas Wave is free to try, free for limited business use, and very low-cost even if you add in its advanced features such as payroll processing.  Naturally, given that both packages were equally highly rated by PC Magazine, I chose Wave on cost grounds.

I've been playing with Wave for a couple of days.  It's easy to master, particularly if you've used any form of personal finance or small business accounting package before.  I particularly like the fact that it offers genuine double-entry accounting, something many "lightweight" packages lack.  My accountant says it'll do just fine from his perspective, so as far as I'm concerned, I'm going to be riding the Wave!

I figured some of you might be interested in either Wave, or AccountEdge Pro, as viable alternatives to Quickbooks.  If anyone has a favorite tax preparation package that's a viable alternative to Intuit's TurboTax, please let us know in Comments.  (Miss D. and I are going to have our accountant prepare our taxes - it's not much of an additional charge, over and above preparing our business accounts.)



Rick T said...

Any options/suggestions for NON-cloud solutions? I don't need or want to connect with external accounts and I don't want my data on someone else's server(s).

D.J. Schreffler said...

H & R Block has personal software as well as web software for tax preparation.

Full disclosure: I worked as an HRB preparer for 10 years, but left the company because I found a non-seasonal full-time job.

I used their on-line service which was free for the features I need. I found it pretty easy to use, but I'd been using much more complex software to prepare returns for a decade so YMMV. Other big tax firms may have their own software, but I haven't used it.

Pricing tiers:
Basic: $0 + $30/state
Deluxe: $50 + $40/state
Premium: $70 + $40/state
Self-Employed: $95 + $40/state

You can also download/purchase their software so that your data isn't in the cloud:
Basic: $30
Deluxe: $55
Premium: $75
Business: $90

Jeff B said...

I've used H&R Block for personal income taxes for five years now, and have no complaints.

Steve Sky said...

I have used H&R Block Professional since the TurboTax copy protection lock-up*, and have not had any problems with it. Also, if you wait until March, Amazon will offer it for 1/2 of the retail price.

* - it still annoys me that they could install copy protection on my PC without permission, and when it locks the PC, "that's your problem". Per PC Mag, it turned out that it was a 3rd party copy protection program TurboTax was using, but I still held them responsible since they were selling/installing it. Also, using copy protection in the 2000's? I thought it went out in the end of the 80's.

Thomas W said...

See Non commercial, he puts out an Excel spreadsheet which gives printable filled out tax forms (1040 and most used forms + schedules). I tried H&R Block and Turbo tax and hated the 20 questions interaction. Plus both Turbo tax was wrong in handling options.

No suggestion for Quicken / QuickBooks alternative. Most finance software is emphasizing the cloud and downloading accounts, which I don't do.

Ben Yalow said...

Note that for the HRB Taxcut program, you can usually find the installable software on Amazon at a discount starting near the end of the year (be sure to get it for the right year -- some people sell last year's software at a big discount, but it doesn't work when the rules change, and they always do). And note that if your state has a state income tax, the price difference between the Basic and the Deluxe ($25) is less than the cost of the state software download ($40).

Taylor said...

I would recommend GnuCash as a potential solution. It doesn't really do taxes, but it does a good job of accounting.

If you use it regularly.

It can also import QIF/OFX files, for anyone that cares. It also uses double entry accounting, and, most importantly, can be completely offline.

I use it personally, but I don't use it for taxes (although it technically supports that).

Cost: Free (although you should donate).