Software Review: Free Accounting Software

This review has been on my to-do list for some time, and different to other software reviews, this particular program is all online. 

Stumbling across this little gem earlier this year on a Google search, I have only been using it for about 4 or 5 months and so far am quite impressed with the range of features.

The software can be reached at https://www.freeaccountingsoftware.com.au/

Designed by an Australian accountant to simplify tax matters and a direct quote from their website

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Creating an account

To create an account simply use a working email account including a username and password. You may need to click on a verification link in your email as part of the registration process, so make sure you type your email address correctly when registering.

Create an organisation

Once you are successfully logged in, you will need to create an organisation. If you have used any type of money and asset managing program such as Microsoft Money, MYOB or Quicken then this type of set up should be familiar to you. Simply add the basic details for your business such as contact details, ABN, location.

You can run more than one organisation from the one account!

Setup Codes

Firstly, you should set up the Setup Codes, in particular, the Customers, Suppliers & Employees.

This is where you can store contact information about your suppliers and also personal details about your employees.

Make sure you use the correct IDENTIFIER TYPE for each contact.

Account Codes

The system comes with pre-set account codes such as for Courier & Freight, Inventory, Insurance, Wages and so on. You can edit, delete and create your own account codes should you wish to.

The account codes are not in alphabetical order - which can be annoying when searching for a particular code.

Workbooks

 

I use the cash workbook most of the time, as this tracks both payments received and made.

Adding an entry

To add an entry, decide was it money you received, or money you paid out for a purchase or payment on an account. The drop-down section allows you to switch between the two options.  In the steps below, I will be adding a payment

The form its-self is fairly basic and self explanatory. Click on the posting date if you wish to change the date of the entry (by default it has today’s date). Choose the correct date using the pop-up calendar. If you have registered your business for GST, you can select the appropriate GST code using the up and down keyboard arrows, or click to select once you begin typing in the box. The tax amount is entered for you automatically, although you can type a different amount over the top if required. The account code section relates to what department the entry is for, eg if the purchase item was pens, paper etc, then the appropriate account code would be Stationary.

If the account code you wish is not showing, you will have to create the correct code, and then re-do this entry.

Click SAVE to save your entry. The screen will refresh and a running total of all entries will appear at the top of the page.

This screen offers some useful options, from here you can create a PDF of the entry, or you can click the EDIt link to edit the applicable entry.

Accounts Receivable

The accounts receivable workbook allows you to track sales and quotes.

Purchases

You can also enter purchases via invoice via the Purchases Worksheet

Reports

Now that we’ve added a few items to the different workbooks, the Free Accounting Software system will automatically generate reports for us.

Balance Sheet

The Balance Sheet gives us a quick overview of how the business is going and as with most accounting programs, divides the entries into Assets (what the business owns or has on hand), Liabilities (amounts the business needs to pay) and Equity. This quick snapshot shows and equity of $4.55. Hmm. I need to sell more stock (or stop buying and hoarding the pretties).

The Profit and Loss

The Profit and Loss Report allows you to generate reports from a particular date or period. Costs of running the business along with sales of stock are displayed here.

Other Stuff

The software can do much more than I have outlined here, it is very comprehensive for a free program. With the ability to generate BAS statements for you and submit to the Tax Office, there are other options that I have not had the time to explore.

  • Taxes – lets you add or edit existing GST and relevant tax codes
  • Measurables – I have no idea what this is, seems to be a form you can fill in to measure (perhaps how individual products are performing? I have no idea)
  • Divisions – No idea again what this is or what it is for. The form gives no information (without checking the help)
  • Job Codes – allows you to set a code, perhaps useful for those who provide quotes on services

Summary

I don’t mind this little program, for free it’s certainly robust enough from what I can use. It seems more tailored towards the service industry such as builders, electricians or for retail. While it could be useful for my computer business, it’s not suitable for my farm as there is no option to apply for the rebate on the tax fuel credits as part of the BAS.

The program is stored in the cloud and is not linked to any particular machine – which I like. So it will allow you to update the accounts while on the go freeing you up from the office. Which is good for owner-managers. All you need is a device that can connect to the internet and your logins.

I do like the ability to create quotes as you go.

While expansive, the program is not as comprehensive as the huge programs like MYOB or Quicken. I cannot find a way to actually pay an employee or record their bank details. So you may still need another system for that, which is not simplifying business.

If you have no staff though, this may not be an issue.

Check out the website at https://www.freeaccountingsoftware.com.au/ . Again, this has been an unsolicited and unpaid review. Could be great software for home business owners who do not have to pay staff wages to simplify their accounts without the need for an accountant or book-keeper.

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