Financial Software for Running a Software Shop


I am looking for a simple software to do my financial status check and a bit of forecasting. It is not for a business plan, I am looking for a replacement to my current spreadsheets which I regularly update.

  • simple balance sheet (no need to connect to my bank accounts - I will type the account status myself)
  • forecast (expected revenues from projects - fixed and expected costs)
  • simple tax calculation based on current revenues and expected revenues
  • support for multiple businesses
  • Basic graphs and overview

Any suggestions?



asked Jul 31 '11 at 21:36
140 points
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  • NO software can make tax assumptions based on your revenue. Because you dont pay tax (except sales tax) based on revenue, but based on PROFIT, which is Revenue - Cost. And some of the cost (investments) needs special treatment. – Net Tecture 12 years ago
  • @NetTecture, if Paul is the only member of his business and it's a sole proprietorship or single-member LLC, and Paul's business doesn't have much unusual activity (investments in stocks, large investments in fixed assets, etc.), then I would say it's possible to forecast what the tax will be. (Revenues - Expenses) x Effective Tax Rate (rate may be from prior year tax return if nothing changed significantly). It's not going to be perfect, but will give a good benchmark. Besides Paul may need to pay estimated quarterly tax payments depending on his profit level. – Vasiliy 12 years ago
  • Well, in MZ books determining you past profit is not forecasting. I make my tax return monthly through my accountant. Forecasting would include assuming revenue streams and osts to the future. – Net Tecture 12 years ago

3 Answers


I use QuickBooks Pro for our software startup, and I like it. The nice thing about QB is that it is the most widely used financial software among small businesses, so any accountant you choose will be able to work with it. I don't know what country you are in, but I know they have a version for the US, one for the UK, one for Canada, and one for Australia.

The US QuickBooks Pro version can do everything you itemized in your question, except for maybe tax calculation. I know QB has a few tax reports to help during tax time, but I don't think there is one for estimated taxes based on expected revenues.

I'm not sure if you plan on doing your own taxes, or getting an accountant to do it. If you are doing your own taxes, one thing to keep in mind is that QB can integrate with TurboTax. All this means is that at the end of the year QB will create a file that you can import into TurboTax that will do most of the data entry for you. QB uses a proprietary format for this file, and TurboTax is the only tax software that will recognize that format. (TurboTax and QuickBooks are both made by Intuit).

You can still use other tax software to do your taxes, but you will have to manually enter the data. I used H&R Block's tax software last year, mostly because I don't like Intuit's business practices. If you have a decent understanding of the tax laws, it's not too bad, but it will still take you several hours to complete. If you don't have a lot of understanding of the tax laws, I would not recommend you do it on your own. Of course none of this matters if you plan to use an accountant.

There are other versions of QuickBooks. Some are more expensive than the Pro version, and some are cheaper. I think Pro is the right choice for most startups.

Note that our startup is a product based software startup, not a service based software startup.

answered Aug 1 '11 at 00:51
Zuly Gonzalez
9,194 points
  • Agreed with QuickBooks choice vs. other accounting/bookkeeping software. – Vasiliy 12 years ago


I use:

  1. & [invoicing & receivables]
  2. [accounting & I do hook it up to my bank accounts]

They make my life easy and the reporting is sufficient enough in both.

answered Sep 1 '11 at 09:10
Ryan Doom
5,472 points


I'm actually working on a web app that does financial statuses and forecasting that Quickbooks won't do, but you really need to ask your accountant first, and then add onto that. Most of them will probably tell you to use Quickbooks because they already know it.

answered Sep 2 '11 at 00:29
Steve French
621 points

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