A Review of Microsoft Money: Is It the Right Accounting Application for Your Home Business?
written by: Finn Orfano•edited by: John Garger•updated: 1/20/2010
Microsoft Money is a popular choice for managing home business finances but choosing the right accounting software for your home office requires careful consideration. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of Microsoft Money in comparison with other choices such as Quicken.
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About Microsoft Money
Microsoft Money groups your financial life into nine different categories: budget, home, business, banking, bills, reports, taxes, planning, and investing. If you're looking for a program that can easily keep track of everything from your grocery bills to your retirement savings as well as your home business financial records, this is a very handy feature.
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Advantages of Microsoft Money
Microsoft Money tends to be easier to navigate for people who aren't accustomed to working with accounting software, while programs such as Quicken can have a steeper learning curve.
Like Quicken, Microsoft Money allows you to customize your homepage so you'll automatically see the data that is most important for your home business.
Files can be linked to specific transactions, making it easy to save and organize digital copies of receipts, warranties, or other documentation needed for your business.
You can organize transactions using more than one currency. This can be handy for certain types of businesses, such as freelance writers or Web designers who work with clients in both Canada and the United States.
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Disadvantages of Microsoft Money
Many people say there are too many advertisements embedded in the software, creating an unnecessary distraction. Additionally, this may cause the program to run more slowly if you are working on an older computer.
While Quicken supports their most recent software version for up to three years, Microsoft Money only supports the most current version for two years. Since most of the features in both programs require online access, this means you'll be forced to upgrade more frequently when choosing Microsoft Money as your accounting software.
The accounts receivable section doesn't allow you to estimate shipping costs for particular items, print shipping labels, or track shipments.
The payroll section for Microsoft Money must be purchased separately.
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If you're a self-employed entrepreneur who hates recordkeeping tasks and is selling a service instead of a physical product, Microsoft Money is a good choice for your accounting software. If you need to be able to manage inventory, calculate payroll expenses, or work with advanced accounting functions, however, you'd probably be better off with a program such as Quicken.
Downloading a free trial of Microsoft Money is the best way to see if this program is a good match for your home based business accounting needs. You'll have 60 days to evaluate all of the features of the program, which should give you plenty of time to learn the basics before deciding whether or not the software is a good investment.