Keeping records is the centerpiece for good business planning and decision-making. Good records can help your business operate more efficiently, know where all your business assets are, help pay your business taxes and help you prepare financial statements for your bank or business partners. Collecting, maintaining and using records can be done electronically with free or retail software packages. Record keeping can be done by specialized software or more general software. Choose record-keeping software that is easy to learn and reliable with a wide resource base for updates, help and training.

Sage 50

If you are looking for specialized accounting software, you may want to try one of the top-rated Sage 50 software packages such as Sage 50 Pro or Complete. Previously called Peachtree Accounting, Sage 50 packages are designed for small or medium business record keeping and budget management. These packages can provide record keeping for accounts payable, cash flow management, budget comparison and payroll.


If you are looking for a free specialized accounting software package to do your invoicing, accounts receivable and businesses taxes, you may want to look at GnuCash. This open-source software can be downloaded to your PC, Mac or Linux computer. You can create a double-entry book-keeping system, a check-book style register and automatic transactions. You can create graphs and charts from the program, but not estimates. There is also no inventory management. There is help available from the downloadable documentation and wide user community.

Quickbooks Pro or Premier

You can try either Intuit’s Quickbooks Pro or Premier software packages depending on your small business size. With either version you can track your sales, do company taxes, invoice customers and work with your inventory. With the Premier version, you can do more forecasting sales and expenses, create a business plan and have more customization for your industry.


For a low-cost specialized software package, you can try Bookkeeper. This software package can be used to keep track of checks, taxes and invoices. You can use it to manage your inventory and create invoices and estimates. You can create invoices in several formats, but the program does not do shipping labels or track shipping within the program.


For a basic record-keeping software, you can download TurboCASH to your PC for free. This can help you do double-entry bookkeeping, sales and purchase order processing, bank account reconciliation, and business taxes. As is the case with some free software, stable releases can sometimes be an issue and training could be a problem. TurboCASH does have a user community for you to ask support questions, but you may be put off by the lack of training available for the program.