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Technology should make our lives easier
• Automated workflows
• Add any number of users
• Simple and straightforward expenses and invoice control
• Interface is not as slick or easy to use as others
• No inventory management facilities
• Few add-ons
When this software package bills itself as “Accounting Software for Business Owners Who Dislike Bookkeeping,” you have a pretty accurate idea of who this package is aimed at. While it’s not quite as simple and straightforward as it sounds – you do still need a small amount of financial and accounting knowledge to start - LessAccounting does deliver an easy to use, efficient solution for basic accounting tasks.
LessEverything Inc. makes the LessAccounting software package: “an alternative to QuickBooks since 2006,” and LessAccounting is certainly brutal in its assessment of its competitors. Aimed at businesses with less than 20 employees, entrepreneurs, and freelancers, LessAccounting claims to offer only the features you need for your bookkeeping and none of the excess baggage provided by the bigger players. There are three different plans: Freelancers, which is for those businesses or entrepreneurs that spend less than $10,000 a month ($20 per month), Small Businesses for those spending less than $25,000 per month ($36 per month) and Big Businesses for those spending less than $40,000 a month ($54 per month). A 14-day trial is available. Does LessAccounting achieve its aims? We took a closer look to find out.
The facilities for invoicing are full and useful with LessAccounting. You have all the regular tools to create invoices for any of your business contacts, and there are some nice customizable options available for making the invoice look like your own. Payment tracking and the ability to set up recurring invoices are also useful features. Plus, it is a simple matter of clicking on a link in order to change a proposal into an invoice once it has been accepted by a client. LessAccounting invoices can be linked to PayPal so you can accept payments online.
Record business expenses and keep a record of what you spend. LessAccounting has a good, quick way of categorizing expenses by project, income type or category so you keep up to date with the figures. You can add notes to each expense and clip a photo of a paper receipt to the record. LessAccounting also provides an expense importation tool that collects details from your bank account every night and reconciles them with your books.
One tool that not every accounting program offers is the mileage tracker, which is a quick way to log trips and miles in order to claim as a tax-free expense.
In order to track time to a project or client you need to add on the application that has been developed by LessAccounting, but which is not automatically integrated into the system.
While LessAccounting does not have all the bells and whistles of the bigger players, its reporting section is pretty good. The standard reports include profit and loss, balance sheet, fixed assets, liabilities, wage reports, chart of accounts, payables and receivables, and you can also create custom reports and organize them by tags, clients, and date – customization options aren’t as extensive as in QuickBooks or similar software, but they are certainly useful.
LessAccounting is cloud based so you can access it from any PC with internet connection, but there is no specially designed mobile app to link in with the PC setup, which is a shame because a lot of businesses carry out much of their day to day business via tablet or smartphone.
You don’t get the type of sophisticated access permissions with LessAccounting but you can specify as many users as you like to access the software. Once you give your accountant access to the LessAccounting platform they can take the information they need to help you out with essential bookkeeping.
LessAccounting has a few useful add-ons such as accounts receivable, payroll, client relationship management tools, project management, PayPal and other payment gateways, ecommerce, and time tracking.
LessAccounting’s interface is not the most stylish or user friendly of the bunch; in fact, it looks a little old fashioned. But it’s easy to understand for most basic tasks and there are handy dashboard reminders for tasks that need to be completed or reminders of actions you need to take. You can also complete accounting tasks with more efficiency using the LessAccounting workflows. There’s not as much chance to customize aspects of the interface, and contact records lack detail. There are not, for example, as many fields for each contact so you can’t record much information about people.
LessAccounting claims its support team is small, but also claims to answer requests for support quickly and efficiently. You can email to ask for help. LessAccounting offers more than an average number of articles and tip sheets through their blog and website on interesting topics you’ll need when you’re maximizing the finances of your business and dealing with accounting tasks.
When you don’t need the features that are packed into QuickBooks or FreshBooks, but you still want a good amount of flexibility and customization options, LessAccounting is an option. It’s not the easiest program to navigate but does provide excellent reports and solid invoicing capabilities.
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