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Best Accounting Software for Printing Business

If you’re in charge of managing a printing business, then you’re probably also responsible for managing the finances of your company. To help you do this, you need to work with a professional accounting software program. But how can you know which one is right for you? You don’t want to waste time or money on anything other than the best accounting software for printing businesses.

Small business accounting software free? No, you’re not dreaming! It is possible to earn a good living printing business cards, letters and fliers. Being in the printing business, I have seen numerous businesses thrive when it comes to their printing needs without having to spend a lot of money on accounting software for printing business.

Pancake

The first on this list is web based invoicing/project management platform, Pancake (affiliate link). Pancake isn’t necessarily for print shops, but you can tailor it to your needs. Personally, I have been using Pancake for years and it helps me look extremely professional to my customers.

dashboard

Pancake, lets you add customers’ business information, then send estimates, proposals, and invoices to them. You can easily create new projects from scratch or create a project from an estimate and attach it to the customer’s account. Pancake has built in timers that you can start and stop whenever you are working on a project so that you can track your time and charge it to the customer. This is super useful for billing art time. You can also add expenses to your invoices like t-shirts or special equipment you have to buy to fulfill your customer’s request.

invoice

There is a dashboard within Pancake that allows you to view all activity and get a quick look at what needs your attention and get informed with reports. When an order is done and you’re ready to get paid, Pancake will automatically generate an invoice email that gives your customer a link to pay you or they can be sent to their own “client area” where they can view all of their previous and current invoices. It’s pretty seamless and it all resides on your own servers so your customers won’t be scared off by some third party system. Add users/employees and only grant them access to the areas they need to work within.  I also like Pancake because you pay for it one time and it resides on your server forever instead of having to pay a monthly fee.

This isnt everything that Pancake can do so I recommend you try out their demo site to really get a sense of all of the features. The demo lets you do everything that the full version can do so you can see if it’s the right fit before picking it up. Like I mentioned before, Pancake is not specifically geared toward screen printers, however I do think Pancake would be a perfect fit for small print shops with a small team of employees. The low cost is perfect for printers who fly solo and want to run an at-home print shop.

RunMyShop

RunMyShop is a robotic butler that you buy that runs your print shop for you while you sleep in a hammock drinking lemonade. Okay not really but that’s what it sounds like. RunMyShop was created by the awesome development team at AKT, who have worked on countless projects revolving around the apparel industry. So they they really have their finger on the pulse of the screen printing world. RunMyShop has most of the features that Pancake does but in this case its obviously intended to be used by print shops.

orders

RunMyShop has quotes, invoicing, client info, and all of the features you would expect from a project management and accounting program. More importantly it has print shop specific features like the ability to set the status of a project like “Shirts Ordered”, “Art Approved”, and “Screens Burned”. A large calendar shows you at a glance when orders are scheduled to print. One feature that looks extremely useful is the fact that you get a whole section devoted to third party vendors and printers you might outsource to. Because let’s face it, sometimes your shop might not have the capacity or equipment to fulfill an order, so you’ll need a discrete way to have select print jobs outsourced to other printers.

payroll_history

RunMyShop also lets you really be an accountant with things like employee payroll and time clocks. RunMyShop is web based and runs through a browser so you can log in wherever. Unlike Pancake, there is a monthly subscription fee to use RunMyShop with different pricing plans to accommodate everyone from startups to established print shops. You dont get everything at the startup price and you’ll need to step up your subscription level to get things like payroll and financial stats.

Printavo

I have to say I’ve had a lot of fun during my time using Printavo. It really has every feature you could want and then some, plus it just looks really cool. I remember a few years back, cruising the t-shirt message boards and seeing a post from Bruce Ackerman, Printavo’s creator, announcing Printavo’s arrival and being really impressed. I didn’t have a need for accounting software then but I always kept it in the back of my mind. It’s been cool seeing how much its progressed. It pretty much has all of the features of the first two platforms I mentioned. You can add users or employees and only give them access to the parts of the system they need.

newuser

Probably the best feature and the one that is def my fave is Printavo’s ability to hook into wholesaler’s catalogues like SanMar and Alpha Broder and give you a pricing matrix. This lets Printavo pull up products automatically as you type them into your quotes and invoices. Say you are giving a customer a quote for t-shirts. You can start to type in Fruit of the Loom and Printavo will pull up all of the Fruit of Loom products from Sanmar and Alpha Broder and you can select the one you are looking for. Then when you put in the quantity and imprint locations, it will give you a retail price based on whatever mark-up you have set up. So now you don’t need to bust out the calculator to give a customer a quote. You can always import your own products and prices into Printavo so that they can be called up in later quotes.

imprint locations

Okay one more cool thing. Printavo gives you your own contact form that’s SEO optimized that you can embed on your own site. The contact form is used to find you and request a quote which helps bring in some sweet online sales.

FreshBooks

  • Available for: Web application
  • Mobile app: Android, iOS
  • Price: Plans begin at $15 per month
  • Free trial length: 30 days
  • Shopify app or integration: Yes

One of the most popular and well-known small business accounting tools available today is FreshBooks.

A promotional image of FreshBooks accounting software presented on multiple devices
Image source: Freshbooks.

Many of FreshBooks’ tools feature smart assistive technologies and automations designed to make bookkeeping easy. FreshBooks can be configured to automatically reconcile credit and debit amounts and can automatically import financial data from a range of sources. Users can also adjust access permissions on an individual basis. For example, employees can be granted limited access to financial reports, while you can give your accountants administrator privileges.

Pricing starts at $15 per user per month for the Lite plan.

Wave

  • Available for: Web application
  • Mobile app: Android, iOS
  • Price: Free
  • Free trial length: N/A
  • Shopify app or integration: No

Many of the small business accounting software tools we’ve looked at so far have been inexpensive. But for newly launched independent businesses, even inexpensive can be a little too much initially. Wave, an accounting tool designed for small businesses, understands that problem, which is why Wave is 100% free.

A screenshot of accounting tool Wave's main dashboard showing various graphs to represent financial and accounting data.
Image source: Wave.

Available for Windows and OS X, and with Android and iOS apps for invoicing and receipts, Wave is ideal for independent businesses still finding their feet. Wave can do almost everything premium accounting software tools can do, including expense management, banking reconciliation, payroll, and invoicing.

If all this sounds too good to be true, sign up for a free account and see how Wave can help you manage your business’ accounts in less time––all without spending a dime.

ZipBooks

  • Available for: Web application
  • Mobile app: iOS
  • Price: Plans begin at $15 per month
  • Free trial length: 30 days
  • Shopify app or integration: No

Aimed at business owners who might lack experience with bookkeeping, ZipBooks is a simple, lightweight small business accounting software tool that takes the headache out of accurate accounting.

Screenshot of accounting software tool ZipBook's primary reporting dashboard.
Image source: ZipBooks.

ZipBooks keeps everything as simple as possible. The product emphasizes the basics, such as accounts receivables, so users won’t be surprised by any complicated menus or intimidating features. ZipBooks’ statements and reports are similarly clean and minimal, focusing on the essential information entrepreneurs need to run their business.

The product’s Starter plan is free and includes unlimited invoicing, basic reporting, and a single bank account connection. Additional plans start at $15 per month.

Holded

  • Available for: Web application
  • Mobile app: Android, iOS
  • Price: Plans begin at 10€ (approx. US$13) per month
  • Free trial length: 14 days
  • Shopify app or integration: Yes

Even simple accounting can be time consuming, which is why Holded aims to automate much of the busywork inherent to bookkeeping so you can get on with actually running your business.

Holded is a cloud-based accounting tool that offers real-time insights into the finances of your business. Users can integrate Holded’s general ledger with a range of financial data sources to provide at-a-glance overviews of profits and losses, forecasting and reporting, and detailed accounting histories, all with just a few clicks.

Holded is a deeply integrated accounting solution that offers major time savings. Pricing starts at roughly $11 per month, with a 14-day free trial.

Conclusion:

There are tons of accounting software available for small business owners. However, not all of those businesses want a full-fledged accounting software. There are some software that meets the needs of small businesses but with a cheaper price tag. Whether it’s for sole proprietorships, S-Corporations or large corporations, there’s accounting software out there that will fit the needs of most any business. Free accounting software programs are also in abundance, which allows almost any small or large business to meet their financial requirements with little hassle.

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