Sage Payment Boss
Target Small Business Type: Mobile small business owners/contractors who want an easy way to accept credit card payments while on the road, using either their existing merchant service accounts or using services provided by Sage Payments.
Overview: Payment Boss gives small businesses the power to quickly receive credit card payments. By simply logging into a mobile website on their smartphone, users can enter transaction details and the credit card information. No need for a swiper (but they do work with the system) and no need for a bulky credit card terminal. The system automatically authorizes the transaction and processes the payment into the business’ account, creates a paid invoice and can send an e-receipt to the customer.
The system also integrates with Sage Billing Boss, a free web-based invoicing system, which provides basic customer management and electronic billing tools. Together, the systems provide industry-standard banking security features, simplified processing, consolidated account management and up-to-the-minute tracking of payments. It also makes it easy to see who’s paid and who hasn’t, from any location.
Potential Benefits: For small businesses looking for an easy way to accept credit cards, Payment Boss offers a simplified and mobile solution. This is especially handy for contractors and service providers like electricians, HVAC and landscaping. An additional and not minor benefit is that the business can get paid immediately instead of relying on invoicing and waiting for a check.
Big E-Z Bookkeeping
Target Small Business Type: Very small businesses and individual contractors who need a very simplified basic bookkeeping system.
Overview: For some clients, even the off-the-shelf small business bookkeeping systems can be either more than they need or more than they are realistically going to use. These are the barely-above-a-shoebox kind of clients, and almost every accounting firm has them. What Big E-Z does is give them a checkbook-like system that helps track income, expenses, account balances and credit cards, and even provides basic budgeting.
Additional tools allow users to set up to 65 expense categories and 12 income subcategories, quickly run period summary reports and track fiscal and calendar years. Big E-Z also comes with a receipt organizer. The program is much more limited than many of the big brands, but that’s the point: It gives these small business owners (and personal users) the basic tools they need, with common language terminology and reports that are easy enough to use that they actually will use it. Of course, that helps their accountant, too.
Big E-Z uses Excel (2003 or newer) for data management behind the scenes (so users don’t need to know anything about spreadsheets), and includes reconciliation functions and customization options. The full program costs $59 for a single user (multi-user versions also available), and can be downloaded or bought by CD.
Potential Benefits: For very small businesses that’s still manage their books manually (or not at all), Big E-Z offers a very affordable and, more importantly, extremely simple-to-use program that even most non-tech savvy users can pick up in a few minutes.
Zachary Systems eZ Account Import
Target Small Business Type: Businesses that want to run paperless, but have multiple incoming file types that need to be converted and imported into their QuickBooks bank registers.
Overview: The eZ Account Import utility gives a simple three-step process for downloading and importing financial information from financial institutions, whether they are in various Quicken, Money or Excel formats. Once the data is set up and mapped, the information can be automatically downloaded in real-time, with users able to quickly add transactions directly into QuickBooks and have each one’s status displayed. Advanced mapping features also allow eZ to memorize payee, account, class and customer information for future transactions.