Business Software

A few days ago someone posted the question about what software do you use to track your business. Instead of leaving a reply, I felt the answer deserved a post instead.

I would recommend one of two programs for tracking your machine quilting business – QuickBooks and the Machine Quilting Business Manager.

The first one is QuickBooks. QuickBooks is an accounting program and is VERY powerful. I would highly recommend that you have your CPA/tax person set it up for you. QuickBooks (QB) needs to be set up properly and the way your CPA/tax person likes it for their records. This will cost a few $$, but it will be some of the “cheapest” money you will spend on your business.  There is a learning curve to QB, but it is not too hard. If QB is set up properly, you can create reports on almost every part of your quilting business to see if you are being profitable or not. I have used QB for years and really like it. I can also make a copy of QB and send it to my CPA who then uses that info for my taxes, etc. (I save my files to a thumb drive and mail it to my CPA.) QB will also print out invoices and you can even send the invoices as email attachments to your customers if you want.

The second one is the Machine Quilting Business Manager which was designed by a CPA with the input of a professional machine quilter. (I think they were next door neighbors.) I know of many professional quilters who use this program and they like it. I think it is a little more user friendly than QB, but it is not a true accounting program. As I understand it, before sending the information to your CPA/tax person, you have to do some things such as run reports, etc., and give the reports to your CPA for them to use.

I will send an email to the creator of the Machine Quilters Business Manager (MQBM) and I hope she will post with more information about her program.

If you use another business program, or have comments about QB or MQBM please leave your comments.

About Cindy Roth
Mother of 3, Grandmother of 10 and quilting forever!

2 Responses to Business Software

  1. Pat Goodman says:

    I use QuickBooks. I started using it years ago for my husband’s business and so was experienced when I started my business. Quickbooks is a true accounting program and you may need to access the help file in order to set it up or make adjustments. That said, both my business and DH’s are small so we don’t need all the features of Quickbooks but my accountant loves that we use it.

    QB also allows you to set up more than one business and it keeps the files separate – a real boon for people like us who have 2 businesses. I don’t know how many businesses you can set up under a single user Quickbooks but it is certainly more than we will ever have.

    My bank allows customers to download all transactions to Quickbooks or Quicken (which I use for our personal accounts). This makes it very easy for me to reconcile our accounts on a very regular basis. This is essential because we both use our business debit cards for most business purchases and rarely write checks. NYS now requires all sales tax forms to be done on-line with an automatic withdrawal from a bank account for payment. Again – Quickbooks makes all of the tracking very easy.

    I recommend Quickbooks but you should be aware that this is a real accounting program and you may need to spend some time learning how to use the software.

    Bona Robinson who owns the longarm digest on quiltropolis has an add in for Quickbooks which I believe sets up your accounts,etc. I did not buy this add on because I took a number of accounting classes in college (although there is a reason why I never kept going and became an accountant!) so I can manage my way through the program. Bona is an accountant; I have only heard good things about her add in, although I suspect no one would post a negative message on Bona’s list!

  2. Amy Bouchard says:

    I use MQBM and love it!

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