Sage is, of course, king of the small business accounting packages in Ireland but with the recession now in full swing, people have been asking about lower cost or free alternatives. With this in mind, it’s worth noting that there are finally some free small business accounting packages available on the Irish market.
TAS books now offers a basic accounting package, aptly named TAS Books Basic does the basics for a small business at no cost.
I can’t help suspecting that in offering a free basic package, TAS is “getting their retaliation in first” against the rumoured release of an international english edition of Microsoft Office Accounting Express which already free in the UK. This package is tightly integrated with the other Microsoft solutions, including Microsoft Office. There is also an easy upgrade path to the inexpensive Professional edition which scales to multi-person and server installations. In fact, the UK version is already quite usable in an Irish context and if you google around enough, it’s even possible to find an unsupported Euro configuration file for those who really want to use it.
Update 1st November 2009: Microsoft are exiting the UK accounting market and will not support Microsoft Office Accounting Express long term
Also getting in on the free software act is Sage themselves, who now offer their Quickpay Free payroll software free for businesses with 1-3 users. Phone registration is required after which you can get free upgrades any time the PAYE/PRSI rules change. The downside of this product is that you will need to buy custom payroll stationery which can erode the value of the “free” offer.
If you’d rather avoid the need to buy custom blank payslips, we’d recommend that you consider Thesaurus as a payroll package. Thesaurus is an Irish company and is generally considered easier to use than Sage Quickpay. Unfortunately there is no free version of Thesaurus, though there is a free trial available if you wish to try before you buy. The standard version costs €140 per annum. We are agents for Thesaurus, so if you wish to source a copy, do give us a call and we can help you.
Links for each of these packages can be found below.
Microsoft Office Accounting Express (link removed due to product discontinuance)
If you have any problems with these steps or any other problems please don’t hesitate to call one of our qualified technicians and we will be delighted to perform the required steps to deal with your problem.
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