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I was recently asked a question about choosing invoice software by a new VA that’s just started their business and wondered with which software I suggested they start. The VA said “I've been leaning towards using Freshbooks but then I recently learned that Xero has a great project management feature which can be great for a small business.” My response to them was pretty straight forward. “I have no experience with Xero, which is fairly new on the scene and my little bit of experience with Freshbooks I was not impressed. I will tell you that for US Based bookkeeping, the majority of small businesses (and CPAs) prefer QuickBooks primarily; of course this is mostly due to marketing (think Microsoft vs. Apple). I think you would be best off going with bookkeeping specific software and separate management software (many of which are free and info can be found on this forum.) I then explained that if they had considered and discarded QuickBooks because it is so expensive I could suggest an alternative to the high-priced versions. In 2010, QuickBooks put out a free version of "QuickBooks Simple Start", which is great for basic bookkeeping when you are starting out. My first version of my book "How To Do Your Own Small Business Bookkeeping" was based on QB Simple Start. Because the software was free, I still include a cd-rom copy of the software with the book when folks purchase the book through me. A cd-rom copy means that it is not cloud based and that it will be on your hard drive only. I am not a big fan of cloud-based when folks are starting out as it can be fairly expensive as there are usually monthly if not annual charges involved. So, when possible, I load software on my desktop computer. The QB Simple Start 2010 version of my book with the free software is $24.99 including shipping if you order it directly from me. The full version of my book, which is currently for QB 2014 (and is a completely different program than the QB Simple Start) is available at Amazon for $44.95, but you have to buy the software separately, which can run over $150.00. Please note I don't recommend purchasing any software used as if it has been registered once you can't re-register it without buying a new license, so you would be back to paying for full price software. I have attached sample pages for QBSS 2010. If anyone is interested in purchasing the book/software package, simply pay me for for it through Paypal (send a payment to email@example.com); Be sure and include your mailing address in the notes section of the payment and I will get it right out to you. And, of course, you can always PM me here or email me if you have any questions regarding this or any other bookkeeping-related questions. CLICK link below to DOWNLOAD how_to_bookkeeping_QBSSexample.pdf