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Best Accounting Software for Your Boutique

June 2, 2021 15:41

Best Accounting Software for Your Boutique

Best Accounting Software for Your Boutique

Running your own boutique isn’t easy. 


No matter why you started it in the first place – whether it was because of your passion for fashion or your desire to not have your boss dictate what you do from 9-5 every single day of your life – chances are, you’ve found yourself faced with responsibilities you never really anticipated.


As we’ve talked to Supplied business owners, we’ve started to notice a trend… 


A lot of boutique owners are quite savvy when it comes to keeping up with the latest trends, interacting with customers, and staying active on social media.


But when it comes to bookkeeping? Well, that’s a whole different story.


(I mean, think about it – when was the last time you took a math class?)


Keeping track of expenses, profits, income, and bills can turn into a real headache.


And by the time tax season rolls around, you might feel even more at a loss, which can be a big problem.


How are you supposed to manage your finances… all while also running a successful, growing, profitable business?


Well, you’re in luck!


You don’t have to do it all on your own… and you don’t have to shell out big $$ to hire a bookkeeper, either.

These days, you can automate that sort of thing at a low cost with accounting software.


Bookkeeping software can help you with day-to-day tasks like inventory management, budgeting, and sales reports. It can also help you take accurate records for tax and legal purposes.


We’ll cover what exactly accounting software does, the benefits of using accounting software in your boutique, and which bookkeeping software is the best for your boutique.


excel sheet with accounting data

What Does Accounting Software Do?

Accounting software is a computer program that can help you record and report your boutique’s financial transactions. While exact features vary from program to program, most accounting software performs the same basic functions. It can help you manage your company’s finances and examine your current and past financial condition.


Most accounting software…


  • Records the flow of your company’s money. Accounting software automatically tracks your money as it flows in and out of your accounts.
  • Processes invoices. Accounting software typically handles invoicing, sometimes with automatic invoicing, automated statements, and late payment reminders.
  • Processes payments. Most accounting systems allow customers to pay invoices online.
  • Helps you keep track of your bills. Your accounting software can help you keep track of accounts payable, including purchase orders, automatic payments, and IRS tax forms.
  • Offers payroll services. If you have employees, accounting software makes it easy to pay salaries or hourly wages. It can also help you pay payroll taxes.
  • Assists with inventory management. Good accounting software will automatically track products sold and run reports on which products are selling well. 
  • Helps you calculate taxes. Accounting software helps you automatically calculate sales tax, figure out employee tax deductions, and file the appropriate IRS forms on time.
  • Generates reports. Bookkeeping software can generate most reports commonly used in business, such as income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and payroll summaries.


desk with unorganized things scattered

Benefits of Using Accounting Software in Your Boutique

Using accounting software in your boutique can be a total lifesaver. Chances are, a lot of the time you spend manually logging expenses and doing the math about how much money you actually made last month could be 100% automated… freeing up time for more important (and more fun!) stuff. 


Here are a few of the top benefits of using accounting software in your boutique:


Saves time. 

No more copying and pasting data from spreadsheet to spreadsheet, or spending hours trying to track down a certain transaction – accounting software lets you avoid tedious manual entry and automatically keeps track of your financial transactions for you by connecting to your bank. Plus, it can also automate certain tasks, like invoicing and payment processing. 

Prevents errors.

When you’re doing manual data entry (or math, for that matter) there’s bound to be a few mistakes. But even something as simple as putting the decimal point in the wrong spot can yield a disastrous result. Accounting software minimizes those user errors for more reliable bookkeeping.


Helps you stay organized.

Using a good accounting program will help you organize your records and stay within a more systematic structure. You’ll keep all relevant financial info in one convenient place, keep track of bills and recurring expenses, and have a good understanding of your company’s financial health. (That’s a big help all the time, but especially at tax time!) 


Helps your business grow.

Bookkeeping software can help you generate reports to see what products are selling well, when you sell the most, and how your expenses compare with your profits. This can help you make data-informed decisions about where to invest your money and how to spend your time. What’s more, bookkeeping software can also help you produce accurate financial statements, which are crucial when requesting funding from an investor. 

Makes taxes less complicated.

Bookkeeping software helps you keep track of expenses, figure out deductions, and maintain compliance with your federal and state tax authority. It may also automatically calculate sales tax and payroll tax. It may even prepare tax forms for you so you can file the appropriate IRS forms quickly and timely.


Gives you easy access to your records.

No need to keep track of physical data – accounting software is typically stored on your computer or in the cloud, meaning you can access it from anywhere you have an internet connection. 


Do You Need Accounting Software for Your Boutique?

Accounting software isn’t an absolute must for your boutique. If organization is one of your strong points and you’re totally comfortable creating a filing system, keeping track of all of your transactions and expenses manually, and developing your own way of bookkeeping, it’s totally possible to organize your finances without it. However, we’d highly recommend using accounting software since it has the potential to help you stay organized and save a ton of time.


You might think your business is too small to need accounting software. But honestly, the decision of whether or not you should start using accounting software isn’t about your business size – it’s about doing things the right way and staying organized from the very beginning. (And let’s be honest… your business probably won’t stay as small as it is now for long!)


With so many affordable (or even free!) accounting software options out there, you’ve really got nothing to lose by incorporating one into your business.


Top 4 Best Accounting Software for Your Boutique

Quickbooks online dashboard

Quickbooks Online


Quickbooks is one of the most popular and trusted accounting software products out there. Its easy-to-use interface and feature-rich platform make it a great choice for small retail businesses like yours.


Here are a few of the key features Quickbooks offers:

  • Bill management
  • Bill pay
  • Business funding
  • Cash flow
  • Contractors
  • Custom access
  • Estimates
  • Income & expenses
  • Invoice & payments
  • Inventory
  • Live bookkeeping
  • Multi-channel commerce
  • Mileage tracking
  • Payroll
  • Project profitability
  • Reports
  • Sales and sales tax
  • Tax deductions
  • Time tracking
  • Multiple users


Quickbooks Online offers 4 different subscription-based plans for different types of businesses. If you’re looking for just basic bookkeeping tools, the Quickbooks Simple Start plan may be sufficient for you, starting at $12.50 a month for great features such as invoicing, payment processing, income and expense tracking, reports, and tax deduction maximization. Quickbooks Plus is the most popular plan starting at $35 a month, with additional inventory management features, enhanced reports, and access to up to 5 users.


Quickbooks also offers Quickbooks Pro, a desktop software product for a one-time cost of $399.99. This can be a very affordable option for businesses thinking long-term, but it can only be downloaded and run on a specific computer. Quickbooks Online is cloud-based, so you can access it with your account information on any computer.


Learn more about Quickbooks for retail here.

Pros of Quickbooks Online

  • Most popular accounting software
  • Free trial available
  • Rich features
  • Specifically designed for small businesses
  • Online access
  • Integrates with other platforms, like Paypal, Square, and Shopify

Cons of Quickbooks Online

  • Higher cost, especially higher-tiered plans
  • Security concerns when using cloud-based software
  • Pay for more users


xero accounting dashboard

Xero Accounting


Xero is a popular bookkeeping platform with over 2 million users worldwide and counting. It’s built to help small businesses simplify everyday tasks. Its powerful, all-in-one solution can help you automate tasks like invoicing and reporting, get a full financial picture of your business, and make end-of-year tax returns much easier. And with over 800 third-party integrations, Xero fits right in with your business operations.


Here are a few of Xero’s key features:

  • Pay bills
  • Claim expenses
  • Connect your bank
  • Track projects
  • Run payroll
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Manage contacts
  • Capture data
  • Manage files
  • Accurate reporting
  • Manage inventory
  • Send invoices
  • Multi-currency accounting
  • Purchase orders
  • Send quotes
  • Calculate sales tax


Xero offers 3 subscription-based plans for different sizes of businesses. Its early plan may be sufficient for new businesses, starting at just $11 per month to send quotes, up to 20 invoices, 5 bills, and other basic business features. The Growing plan starts at $32 per month and allows for unlimited invoices, quotes, and bills.


Pros of Xero Accounting

  • Unlimited users
  • Great third-party integration
  • Inventory management included in all plans
  • Inexpensive
  • Online access
  • Free trial available

Cons of Xero Accounting

  • Limits on bills and invoices
  • Limited support – no phone support
  • Some speed concerns


wave accounting dashboard

Wave Accounting


Don’t have the budget to invest in accounting software? That’s okay! You can still benefit from many basic accounting automations with Wave. Wave accounting allows you to create an account and use their cloud-based accounting software with no fees. You’ll only pay if you use their payment processing services or purchase additional features, like payroll. 


For a free platform, Wave offers an impressive array of features, including:

  • Unlimited bank and credit card connections
  • Unlimited income and expense tracking
  • Fully functional double entry system
  • Customizable invoicing
  • Receipt scanning
  • Unlimited users, collaborators, or accountants
  • Sales taxes
  • Powerful financial reporting
  • Bill reminders
  • Invoice reminders


Wave Accounting is completely free. For accounting, invoicing, and receipts features, you’ll pay $0 forever. (No credit card required, either!) However, if you use Wave for payment processing, you’ll pay per use. Wave charges a fee of 2.9% + $0.30 for Visa, Mastercard, and Discover processing, and 3.4% + $0.30 for American Express credit card processing. For bank payments, it charges 1%. If you choose to add payroll, you’ll pay a base fee of $20-35/month depending on your state, plus $6 extra per active employee and independent contractor paid. 


Pros of Wave Accounting

  • Free to use most features
  • Online access
  • Cheapest option


Cons of Wave Accounting

  • Less powerful features – no inventory tracking, project management, etc.
  • Higher payment processing fees
  • Less scalable


Freshbooks dashboard


Freshbooks is another popular accounting software designed for small businesses and individuals who want to take control of their finances. It’s helped over 24 million people process billions of dollars through invoicing, time-tracking, and online payment features. 


It offers an impressive array of powerful features, including:

  • Billable clients
  • Client profiles
  • Automated recurring invoices
  • Customized email templates & signatures
  • Unlimited estimates
  • Accept e-signatures
  • Unlimited customized invoices
  • Automated late payment reminders & late fees
  • Accept deposits
  • Unlimited proposals
  • Online credit card payments & ACH bank transfers
  • Unlimited time-tracking
  • Unlimited expenses
  • Mileage tracking
  • Tax time reports
  • Business health reports
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Accounts payable
  • Gusto payroll


Freshbooks offers competitive pricing, with its Lite plan starting at just $4.50 a month, for unlimited invoices for up to 5 clients, unlimited expense tracking, payment processing, sales tax tracking, and more. Its Plus plan starts at $7.50 a month, for unlimited invoices for up to 50 clients, more advanced reporting, double-entry accounting reports, and more. 


Pros of Freshbooks

  • Affordable pricing
  • Powerful features
  • Free trial available
  • Online access
  • Good customer support


Cons of Freshbooks

  • Limited billable clients
  • Some speed concerns


Which Is the Best Accounting Software for Your Boutique?


If you’re looking for a great accounting software program for your boutique, you have a lot of excellent options. But the very best bookkeeping program will depend on your budget, the size of your business, and your goals.


If you’re just starting out and have a very limited budget, Wave is a great option. With nearly all of its features available for free, it’s perfect for tracking expenses and managing your finances to make tax time easier.


If you’re looking for the best all-around option, QuickBooks online is excellent though it comes at a higher monthly cost. It’s the most popular option for a reason, with rich features and excellent customer support. However, Xero and Freshbooks are very comparable and come at a lower monthly cost.



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