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by Cheryl L. True
One of the biggest benefits of operating a home-based business is that it doesn’t require any formal training or experience. After all, some of the most successful individuals never attended a single business-related class or workshop.
The only drawback to having a lack of experience and/or business education is that it can make tracking your company’s finances difficult. Even accountants who spend their lives working with numbers often find bookkeeping a tedious chore.
The accounting programs like QuickBooks 2008 can handle a wide array of business related tasks, such as tracking expenses, creating invoices, handling payroll, and printing checks. The more of these tasks a program can do, the more expensive it will be.
For that reason, you should know exactly what you are going to use it for. That way you can get a program that meets your needs without paying for features you’ll never use.
Before you buy any software, you need to know your computer’s current statistics, such as what operating system you use, how much hard drive is available, and how much RAM your system contains.
If you buy a program that won’t work on your system, you won’t be able to return it and get your money back once it’s been opened. Checking in advance will protect you from getting stuck with software you can’t use.
Any type of business-related purchase requires careful consideration, so be sure to investigate before you buy. Explore all of the software programs available and find out what other people are saying about them.
Pay attention to mentions of difficulty levels since you want a program that is easy for you to learn and to use. Also, take advantage of software demos. Nothing beats a hands-on preview. You should do some research into the companies’ technical support and customer service as well. If you ever need help, you want to know it’s readily available.
Another thing you need to know is how much you can afford to spend on the program. The costs for accounting software run from $30 to $600 or more depending on the features included.
Knowing what you need and can afford in advance will prevent you from paying too much. Shopping around for a particular program won’t do much good, however. Whether you buy a program online, from an electronics store, or from a retail outlet, you’ll pay about the same price. Watch for rebates or special offers, however, because they can cut your costs considerably.
No accountant? No problem! Enjoy our free online accounting service atquickbook 2008.

About the Author:
Cheryl L. True is a Manila-based freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics.

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