Review #4: LessAccounting

If you have a Schedule C business (sole proprietor), LessAccounting wants to be your one stop bookkeeping shop. The key for LessAccounting is being an integrated solution rather than having to stop by one program for invoicing, another for bookkeeping, and yet another for contact management.

Goal: Simplify bookkeeping for micro-businesses (less than 20 employees and less than $10M in revenue as defined by LessAccounting).

Pros:

  • Banking integration – minimize your data entry by categorizing imported transactions
  • Send and track invoices – know who owes you money
  • Bank reconciliations available
  • Track expenses by project, income type, and category
  • Create proposals
  • Track your business mileage
  • Default categories are similar to Schedule C
  • PayPal Pay Now option on invoices
  • Integrations with other applications
  • Can opt to have them do your bookkeeping
  • Integrated one stop solution with invoicing, bookkeeping & contact management combined
  • Multiple user access

Cons:

  • Contact management isn’t really going to replace any serious CRM solution
  • The automatic banking integration can be buggy at times
  • Integration does not include time tracking – still need another app for that (or not track time)
  • Pricing for most desirable features makes the product more expensive on an annual basis than QuickBooks
  • No balance sheet, although cash balances and accounts receivable are tracked
  • Detailed invoicing may be less robust than other dedicated invoicing or billing applications
  • The only payment option you can include on an invoice is Paypal
  • No payroll integrations noted

I think LessAccounting is a nicely done, well rounded program for those that it has the horsepower to support. If you’re a sole proprietor filing a Schedule C, I think it makes a lot of sense to consider this program, if you’re willing to jump up to the $24/month plan to get the most out of its positive features.

If you have more robust needs, or can’t justify the price point compared to your desktop applications like QuickBooks or Peachtree, then LessAccounting may be too little accounting for you.

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Review #2: B2Bee

B2Bee is a simple bookkeeping solution aimed at helping professionals with a low transaction volume prepare invoices and track their income and expenses. Both income and expenses can be tracked by client and by project, enabling you to quickly create a nicely detailed invoice for your clients.

Goal: Invoicing, income, and expense tracking for professionals with low transaction volume.

Pros:

  • Clean, intuitive interface
  • US market focus – the developers are creating this tool with the professional filing a Schedule C in mind
  • Competitive pricing – free forever if you only track 3 clients, $14/month for the full version
  • Support for a good cause (saving honey bees – sweet deal!)
  • Invoices can be emailed – your client will receive a link to view the invoice securely on the B2Bee website
  • Project tracking for invoice detail
  • Team management options for projects
  • Simple, but preferable report options with a profit and loss schedule as well as an export of transaction detail for the accountant

Cons:

  • No transaction importing – each must be entered manually (thus the focus on low transaction volume)
  • No predefined categories (accounts) in the drop down for expenses
  • No integrated time tracking
  • Currently no integrations with other applications
  • No provision for payment with the invoice (such as a PayPal, PayNow button)
  • No place to record capital expenditures, transfers, capital contributions/draws, etc., as to not effect the profit and loss statement
  • No bank reconciliation integrated in the system

B2Bee is another application that is definitely a step up from Excel spreadsheets and green ledgers, but lacks much in the way of advanced features. Sticking to my model of keeping your bookkeeping as simple as possible, B2Bee may very well provide sufficient information for your management needs and your accountant’s reporting needs without a lot of complex clutter to make messing up your books easier.

I would really like to see the expense category list populated with the basic Schedule C expenses as B2Bee’s focus is on the Schedule C filer and this would help transition the books to the Schedule C at the end of the year without as much rearranging.

The nice thing here for a business with low transaction volume is that you get two major functions under one roof: invoicing and accounting. Especially if you bill your projects at a fixed rate and don’t need to track your time, B2Bee may have all the functionality you need without a lot of winding paths to lead you astray.

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