For small businesses, reducing expenses is critical. How about starting with the expense of tracking expenses? That's the goal of Adminsoft Accounts, a free single-user accounting package designed for small and midsize businesses. Its numerous features include Customers and Invoicing, Suppliers and Payments, Profit and Loss, and more. It can help you take inventory; manage personnel, clients, contacts, suppliers, and banking; and even answer shipping, discount, tax, and customer relations questions. It's freeware, but you can purchase upgrades for multiuser environments as well as specific businesses.
For such an impressive array of features, Adminsoft Accounts is surprisingly compact and completely portable. When you first run the program, it asks for a lot of information about your company that it uses to build a database (using Microsoft Visual FoxPro v6) and set up its accounting features. The program promises strict confidentiality, and you can change the answers any time you like. It also makes considerable use of tutorials and explanations and even offers two functionality levels, Basic and Advanced, to accommodate not only the user's skill level but also accounting needs. We tried both; they offer similar functionality, just more choices in the Advanced option. This software's unique, interactive flow-chart-like interface takes some getting used to, but a familiar file menu accesses all features in staggering detail. It's well worth spending a little time familiarizing yourself with its idiosyncrasies. Most of the work is done in a seemingly endless succession of efficient dialogs, which makes it easy not only to focus on the task at hand but also to learn each function separately.
While this free accounting software is a bit different, it does so much so well that we heartily recommend it. There may be some aspect of small business accounting it can't handle, but it's beyond our expertise to find it.
Editor's note: This is a review of the full version of Adminsoft Accounts 3.210. The trial version has the following limitations: Single user and single currency.