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A Look at the Best Online Accounting Tools Small-business accounting is moving online, where it's becoming cheaper, more powerful--and a lot more confusing

By Jonathan Blum

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Online accounting packages sure make things seem easy. Linking directly to business accounts, doing sophisticated invoicing, even getting an insight into your taxes--a snap, right? But figuring out which tool works best for your business isn't quite so simple.

To keep you on the right side of the IRS, here are our picks for online accounting tools for companies of all sizes.

Best for accounting-savvy small-business owners

QuickBooks Online Simple Start ($13 per month)
Considering Intuit pretty much invented small-business accounting tools and has 90 percent of the market, it's no shocker the company offers a genuinely effective online product. Aimed at the single-user market--though your accountant can peek at what you're doing--Simple Start lays out company information in relatively easy-to-use, tab-based web pages. Most business functions, such as managing invoices and printing checks, run smoothly. And we're impressed with sophisticated options like customized charts of accounts and complex tax tracking. But making all this capability work takes a surprising amount of accounting knowledge. Be sure to sit down with your bean counter and set up QuickBooks properly so you don't make a royal fiscal mess.

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