There was a TV ad in the 1970s for Trident gum that claimed, “Four out of five dentists surveyed recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum.” (If you’re close to my age, you remember the ad well.)
To paraphrase the ad, I think it’s safe to say that four out of five English majors surveyed who have to do their own small-business accounting would prefer WorkingPoint.
WorkingPoint is Web-based accounting software that is going after the small-business market: solopreneurs, freelancers, consultants and service providers.
Here’s a bit of history on WorkingPoint. Its founders worked for Intuit and were behind the creation of Quickbooks and Quicken. They believed Quickbooks had become too complicated and that the small business software segment was ripe for innovation. Tom Proulx, WorkingPoint chairman, and Tate Holt, CEO, wanted to create a small-business product that was well-integrated, simple to use, and of very high quality. WorkingPoint, based in San Francisco, launched in July of 2009 and has been adding features since.
I have used Quickbooks for the entire 17 years that I have been in business. Do I like Quickbooks? LOL! I have used Quickbooks because I have never come across a better, easier alternative.
This is what I will always want from small-business accounting software:
1. Easy to use
2. Helps me get the job done quickly
3. Answers questions that arise
4. Provides me with backups of my data
After spending several hours playing around with WorkingPoint, it meets three of those four criteria. Here’s my take on WorkingPoint (two screen shots are included below).
Pros of WorkingPoint
1. I think it’s a good value. WorkingPoint offers a free version, but if you want more than two people to have account access, you have to use the premium option, which is $10 per month.
2. The “getting started” instructions are easy to follow.
3. The user interface is attractive and far superior to Quickbooks.
4. I can give clients the option of using PayPal to pay their invoices (not available in the free plan, though).
5. There’s an accounting primer included! This is a cool feature that most of the solopreneurs I know will appreciate.
6. It is easy to select different data criteria when viewing reports. For example, if I am looking at a list of my invoices but I want to see only those that are not paid, it’s very easy to make the change.
7. WorkingPoint has a suggestions forum where users can submit ideas for improvements to WorkingPoint, plus review and vote on those ideas. The suggestion that has received the most support is “download bank and credit card transactions.”
Cons of WorkingPoint
1. I am not thrilled with the idea of using cloud computing for my accounting. I use the cloud for other things, but there’s something about using it for accounting that makes me uneasy. If I did use the cloud for accounting, I would want to receive a weekly e-mail backup of my data sent to me (Bluehost does this for my Web site data), but WorkingPoint at this time does not offer e-mail backups.
WorkingPoint says my data is far more secure in WorkingPoint than it would be on my own computer. I’m sure that’s true, but in addition to WorkingPoint possessing my data, I want to possess my data, too.
2. WorkingPoint works with Internet Explorer 7+ and Firefox 2+. That’s a bummer for people who are devoted to other browsers. Having said that, I used Chrome while testing WorkingPoint, and it seemed to function with no problems.
I am itching to switch to WorkingPoint, but I will not make a final decision on a switch until the end of the year; I do not want my accounting year to be broken in half between two accounting sofware packages.
I REALLY want to move to WorkingPoint, but possessing backups is a deal-maker or a deal-breaker for me. WorkingPoint appears to be responsive to user ideas, so perhaps they will decide to offer e-mail backups of user data.
If possessing backups is not a concern, then WorkingPoint definitely is a tool that will work for The Solopreneur Life, and I encourage you to check it out.
Have You Used WorkingPoint?
What do think of it? Leave your comments below.