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Bookkeeping Tools Makers Love


Bookkeeping Tools Makers Love

Academy Of Handmade

One of the less fun parts about running your own business can be the bookkeeping (unless you like that sort of thing-- then more power to you!). The beauty of doing it is that the information actually tells you some really important things once you get it all (like uh, if you have any money left!). This list contains helpful tools our members recommend. 

Oh, and if you're looking for more information on financial topics, make sure to also read this one on financial organizing and if you're a member catch this hangout with a CFO that talks about how to use your financial numbers to grow your business.



Description: is a free, web-based personal financial management service for Canada and the US, created by Aaron Patzer. Mint's primary service allows users to track bank, credit card, investment, and loan balances and transactions through a single user interface, as well as create budgets and set financial goals.

What members think: 
"Mint has helped me be able to have my budgets available at all times and to have a realistic idea of how much I am spending. I also like being able to have a refresher on expenses that might need to be re-evaluated on a monthly basis.

In the past it has been easy to think that somehow I have been spending less and therefore have made decisions to spend on minor things that don’t really affect my bottom line. 

Now I feel that I can make more responsible decisions and also update everything on the go or at the end of the day while lounging on my couch while my memory is still fresh. Since the app is also smart to remember recurring expenses into categories, it saves me time.A CPA" Juliana Alonso of Violeta Roots

A Certified Public Accountant

Description: (from Franklin University) A certified public accountant (CPA), is someone who has earned a professional designation through a combination of education, experience and licensing. a CPA’s toolbox includes everything from tax preparation, to financial statements, to financial planning, to forensic accounting, to internal auditing, to income tax. The CPA’s primary function is to help businesses thrive.

What members think: 
"My favorite tool is my CPA. Paying to work with a CPA from the very beginning was one of the smartest things I did when starting my business. Every day I put my receipts, notes, questions, etc in a folder on my desk. Once a week to sometimes only once a month I drop my folder off and he works on my items. We use quickbooks together so everything is cloud based and I can see where we are and he lets me know what I need to do. 

I had significant anxiety about bookkeeping and taxes. Odd considering before our shop I worked in the investment world. I didn't want to deal with the stress and didn't have the time to be bookkeeping. Bookkeeping is not my area of genius and I have no problem paying my CPA to keep doing amazing work." Mandy Jean Bruner of The Leather Quill Shop



Description: Freshbooks is a cloud based accounting software that features invoicing, time tracking, expense tracking, project and team management, payment processing and financial reporting. Launched in 2002 by Mike McDerment.

What members think:
"I use Freshbooks and I couldn't be happier! I switched this summer and have had no issues. It's easy to put in expenses (especially with the mobile app) and do invoices/mark invoices as paid with whatever method, make estimates and send them straight to email AND use their swipe credit card piece on my phone for craft shows.

What I love about their invoicing (I've stopped using PayPal as payment as much as possible with my clients) is that it marks their fee for credit card processing as an expense automatically in your expenses. (Which btw is the same fees as PayPal has so there's no difference) You don't have to add all those fees up yourself or keep track. And each client can pay the invoice with their card straight from their email. Great company, I'll be staying with them for years I'm sure. They also have timers for keeping track if you do hourly work and a few other features I haven't even explored yet." Rebecca Holt of Rebecca Holt Jewelry

Intuit aka Quickbooks Online


Description: QuickBooks Online is the cloud based version of Intuit's Quickbooks software via whick you can accept business payments, manage and pay bills, manage payroll functions and track spending.  QuickBooks products are geared toward small and medium-sized businesses.

What members think:
"I've been using Quickbooks Online for about 3 years now.  I don't know how different QBOnline is than the desktop software, but I find it extremely easy to use. I love that I get regular updates/added features/better reports and I can give my accountant access so she can get whatever data she needs for tax purposes whenever she needs it.  QBOnline does offer the ability to email invoices that can be paid by CC or bank transfer, and should work with the Intuit GoPayment program/card reader but I haven't ever used the card reader myself." Jessica Starnes o Jstar Jewelry Designs



Description: (from their website) Wave’s accounting software is 100% free. Use Invoicing, Accounting, Receipt Scanning and more, with no limits and no fees. Wave’s services are pay-as-you-go. Credit Card Processing and Payroll are priced for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Use what you need, only pay for what you use, with no surprises.

What members think:
I switched to Wave this year. Once we quit our wedding work, our invoicing and project management tracking needs changed. Wave has been really wonderful, and ... it's free!! I sort of love not seeing a fee for my accounting system ... in my accounting system ;) " Melissa Wert of Print Therapy


Website: Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, Libre Office Calc

Description: A spreadsheet is an electronic document in which data is arranged in the rows and columns of a grid and can be manipulated and used in calculations. 

What members think:
I use Microsoft Excel for income and expenses and tracking of my wholesale accounts and things.  It's simple and easy." Leah Shapi of Leartista

"Since I work with an accountant and know the types of numbers I need to keep track of, we've set up a spreadsheet which I update each month and send over to his office to review. It makes tax time much easier." Nessa Jay of LaLa's Party