The IT industry depends on similar Agile practices of different names to meet the market’s demand for their products and services. Test automation is vital to Agile and the companies using Continuous Integration and Delivery, TDD, and BDD. For the titans of technology and the IT industry at large to reap the benefits of test automation, they must rely on automation frameworks.
Building on these early successes with IBM, Hewlett-Packard and other early suppliers of business software solutions, corporate consumers demanded business software to replace the old-fashioned drafting board. CAD-CAM software (or computer-aided drafting for computer-aided manufacturing) arrived in the early 1980s. Also, project management software was so valued in the early 1980s that it might cost as much as $500,000 per copy (although such software typically had far fewer capabilities than modern project management software such as Microsoft Project, which one might purchase today for under $500 per copy.)
First, you need the right tools. Second, you need qualified testers who need to be trained. Third, you need to invest time and effort in automation infrastructure and to develop tests on top of it. Developing automated tests is a software development effort itself. Tests need to be designed, coded, and validated before you can really put them to use. But the biggest effort comes just when you think you're done.
Katalon Studio is an automated testing platform that offers a comprehensive set of features to implement full automated testing solutions for Web, API, and Mobile. Built on top of the open-source Selenium and Appium frameworks, Katalon Studio allows teams to get started with test automation quickly by reducing the effort and expertise required for learning and integrating these frameworks for automated testing needs.
AccountEdge Pro does more than accounting. It features DIY or outsourced payroll services so you can link accounting to payroll, pay your employees (including direct deposit), track time and prepare payroll taxes. Retailers will also enjoy its inventory-management suite, which integrates with the popular ecommerce platform Shopify. AccountEdge Pro is available on Mac and Windows. Mobile and cloud companion apps are also available. accountedge.com/pro

Test automation eases this burden by automating the tracking and managing of all those testing needs, including how much of the system different tests cover and what other types of testing might be required to cover all the moving parts. In doing so, test automation goes a long way toward helping ensure that teams maintain a high standard of quality at all points along the pipeline. Additionally, it allows testers to focus more time and effort on creating effective test cases to ensure the quality of the software since they’re no longer bogged down in managing all the minutia of testing needs.


The flowchart-based accounting of QuickBooks is as close to a standard in financial management as the small-business world has, and it's arguably the easiest way for nonprofessionals to transfer their books from the filing cabinet to the computer, where they belong. Most actions, from cutting a check to billing a client, are just a click or two away from the start screen. ($200)
 Use Smartsheet to track the schedule and results of planned, current, and completed tests. Share the schedule with your team and collaborate on the details in real time, in one central location. Whether you’re running manual or automated tests, Smartsheet’s broad range of views – Calendar, Gantt, Card, and traditional Grid – allow you to manage progress the way you want. Organize test results with hierarchy and use comments to keep work in context.
If your business still doesn't have a blog--one of the best ways around to provide up-to-date company and product news--you're only about three years behind the curve. Hey, it's not too late to catch up: WordPress installs in minutes (it even offers a free, hosted option on WordPress.com), and the platform is dazzlingly easy to use (the site's home page carries an ad for WordPress for Dummies, but we doubt you'll need to crack that volume). WordPress so simple, your team will be begging to contribute to the blog instead of whining that it's too laborious. (free)
Available in both open source and commercial versions, Sahi is centered around web-based application testing. Sahi is used inside of a browser, and can record testing processes that are done against web-based applications. The browser creates an easy-to-use environment in which elements of the application can be selected and tested, and tests can be recorded and repeated for automation. Playback functionality further makes it easy to pare down to errors.
There is no one-size-fits-all tool for automated testing. It is highly recommended that testers evaluate various tools in order to select what would best meet their automated testing needs. Programming languages and technologies used to develop software continue to evolve, as do the automated testing tools, making cost a significant factor in tool selection. Commercial vendors often charge for tool upgrades, which can be substantial if your software uses emerging and frequently changing technologies. Open source and non-commercial tools, on the other hand, do not incur additional charges but require effort and expertise for integrating new upgrades. It is difficult to find the support and expertise needed for integrating various tools and frameworks into open-source solutions. Emerging tools that integrate with open-source frameworks, like Katalon, offer a viable alternative to both commercial and open-source automated testing solutions.
The increased level of production is important to companies developing software for rapid (sometimes daily) release. Companies like Google automate testing to scale their software development process and release products that billions of users rely on daily. Google created new testing roles and job titles for their engineers when they realized the benefits of automated testing during their rapid growth. Their efforts resulted in higher quality, more reliable, and more frequently released software.
Not all small businesses need the extra features and support provided with paid accounting services. Wave Financial offers free, cloud-based accounting software specifically designed for small businesses. Unlike other free accounting software programs that limit capabilities, Wave Financial offers a comprehensive set of accounting features without the monthly price tag. [Go here for a full review of Wave Financial.]
Like Zoho Books, Wave Accounting is geared toward smaller businesses, those with no more than 10 employees. The average Zoho Books client employs three to five workers. It’s also more appropriate for service businesses than retail businesses. It can’t handle a lot in the way of inventory, and you’d have to upgrade for the ability to process credit card payments. The same goes for added payroll features. This upgraded version isn’t free, but the cost is nominal.
There’s nothing like having to handle several projects at the same time to test your organizational skills as a small business owner. While challenges are always good, your managing many tasks at once will only leave you drained and feeling swamped. Instead, rely on the following project management tools to ensure you can keep your project on target, and please your clients at the same time.
One way to generate test cases automatically is model-based testing through use of a model of the system for test case generation, but research continues into a variety of alternative methodologies for doing so.[citation needed] In some cases, the model-based approach enables non-technical users to create automated business test cases in plain English so that no programming of any kind is needed in order to configure them for multiple operating systems, browsers, and smart devices.[2]
Like Zoho Books, Wave Accounting is geared toward smaller businesses, those with no more than 10 employees. The average Zoho Books client employs three to five workers. It’s also more appropriate for service businesses than retail businesses. It can’t handle a lot in the way of inventory, and you’d have to upgrade for the ability to process credit card payments. The same goes for added payroll features. This upgraded version isn’t free, but the cost is nominal.
This approach works fine for the first weeks, when running checks only takes five minutes. Over time, though, five minutes turn into an hour, then two, then three. Before you know it, testing locks up the tester's computer or test environment all afternoon. So you start kicking off automated test runs at 5 am or 5 pm and get the results the next day. Unfortunately, if something goes wrong early on, all the results will be corrupted. That slows to a crawl the feedback loop from development to test, creating wait states in the work.
With EasyForm Expense Management, employees will no longer have to physically submit expense reports. Users can take a snapshot of their receipts and easily upload them alongside their expense claims. Thereafter, managers can quickly approve or reject expense claims based on acquired data and audits. The software also utilizes GPS technology for reconciling travel-related expenses by tracking distance traveled during a business trip. Its travel intelligence capability also provides useful insights on how to better optimize one’s cost and spend.
Katalon Studio is an automated testing platform that offers a comprehensive set of features to implement full automated testing solutions for Web, API, and Mobile. Built on top of the open-source Selenium and Appium frameworks, Katalon Studio allows teams to get started with test automation quickly by reducing the effort and expertise required for learning and integrating these frameworks for automated testing needs.
An important part of UI testing is verifying typical use cases. For example, a typical use case for a hotel booking website includes searching for an available room, selecting one, entering reservation details, and confirming the booking. When the test should be successful for the data values provided, it is called a “happy path scenario.” Functional testing also validates the behavior of the application when no rooms are available for the desired date (the “sad path”) as well as when the user enters out-of-range dates for a reservation or an invalid credit card number (the “bad path”). Ranorex Studio’s data-driven testing automates the process of repeating a test for multiple data values so you can effortlessly cover the happy path, sad path, and bad path. Data values can be retrieved from an internal data table, external Excel file or SQL table. Since the test data is stored separately from the test procedure, adding or changing scenarios is a snap. For more complex scenarios, Ranorex Studio supports local and global parameters, keyword-driven testing, and conditional test execution.

Asana is a good project management tool for small teams and businesses that need to communicate frequently about ongoing projects. Look for individual dashboards to watch progress toward task and project goals as well as workflows, reminders, and notifications to keep everyone on task. You can track progress in Kanban boards, list views, or calendars, whatever works best for the individual.
A second common type of test data is the export-to-zip/import-from-zip combination. Teams that do this create a common sample test data set, with known expected results to search, and known users. The deploy pipeline creates a sample environment with a clean database, then imports the zip file. Some of my customers who have a multitenant system, where many users share the same database, think this option isn't a realistic simulation. In that case I suggest finding a way to export, delete, and re-import by account.
Simple, familiar language. The principles of double-entry accounting are several centuries old. You can't get away from some of the terms and phrases that wouldn't normally come up in casual conversation, like debits and credits, general ledger, and chart of accounts. But the developers who have produced today's best-of-breed accounting sites only subject you to arcane language when it's absolutely necessary. You can't get around the fact that double-entry accounting is a complex process that must follow the rules, but these wizard-based services hide as much of the complexity as they can.
Frankly, I’d think twice before entrusting financial data to a free-to-use service, probably even the freemium ones you mentioned. To make my point clear, I have nothing against cloud-based technology, in fact I could not imagine doing business without my smartphone, but when it comes to financials I still vote for local hosting. No bad experience with these solutions though, the choice’s up on you!
A light and straightforward automated software testing tool, Watir can be used for cross-browser testing and data-driven testing. Watir can be integrated with Cucumber, Test/Unit, and RSpec, and is free and open source. This is a solid product for companies that want to automate their web testing. As well as for a business that works in a Ruby environment.
You can buy the QuickBooks disc for a “one-time” cost or download the super-duper version for some more dough, but you’ll probably end up footing the bill for upgrades in future years (and the upgrades cost almost as much as the original software). And some of the software’s features and reports just aren’t necessary for small businesses, so you might end up with a lot you can’t use. QuickBooks Pro accommodates up to three users, but the second two will cost you extra, too. It’s only compatible with Windows.
Interactive home pages. Some small businesspeople love working with numbers, but many just want to sign on to their accounting application, do what's needed, and move on. Interactive home pages, or dashboards on these websites play two primary roles. First, they flag tasks that need attention and provide a bird's-eye view of your finances, with graphs, charts, and tables that quickly summarize real-time income, expenses, and cash flow. Second, most of these sites' dashboards contain links to working screens, so you can pay a bill or send an invoice or transfer funds between accounts—whatever needs to be done that day.
With the growing number of web-based applications this is changing, however, as verifying and testing web-based interfaces is easier and there are various tools that help with this, including free open source projects. Please see below for a list of popular and useful tools, projects, books and resources to get started with automated software testing.
A light and straightforward automated software testing tool, Watir can be used for cross-browser testing and data-driven testing. Watir can be integrated with Cucumber, Test/Unit, and RSpec, and is free and open source. This is a solid product for companies that want to automate their web testing. As well as for a business that works in a Ruby environment.
Lori Fairbanks has years of experience writing and editing for both print and online publications. After graduating from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, she worked as an editor for Creating Keepsakes magazine and then as a freelance writer and editor for a variety of companies, including marketing firms and a medical university. She now writes for Business.com and Business News Daily.
Tipalti is cloud-based accounts payable software for midsize businesses that have international suppliers, though it works with small businesses as well. It features automations for each step of the process, streamlining supplier onboarding, tax compliance, invoice management, global payments, reconciliation and reporting. It provides its users with a white-label, self-service supplier portal, and it supports payouts in 120 currencies and 190 countries. tipalti.com
Angie Jones is a Consulting Automation Engineer who advises several Scrum teams on automation strategies and has developed automation frameworks for many software products. Angie speaks and teaches internationally at software conferences, serving as an Adjunct College Professor of Computer Programming, and also teaches tech workshops to young girls through TechGirlz and Black Girls Code. Find out more on LinkedIn and at angiejones.tech
Spendesk equips businesses and organizations with a set of tools for efficient company expense management and monitoring. Controlling company budget is easily done by allocating a fix amount of money to an employee’s virtual card and accordingly records all transaction details in real-time, allowing for easy spend monitoring and preventing unwanted overspending.
Drawbacks? Well, unlike some of the other automated android testing tools on our list, there’s no open source capability. To run tests, you need to connect your mobile devices via Wifi or USB, which can be tricky in certain locations, and you must install the Ranorex control app on each mobile device before you run a test on it. One final thing to note is that, unlike many rival testing tools, Ranorex does not have a device viewer when recording, so you’ll need access to the mobile device.
Bugfender does not require any physical installation – it can be simply loaded onto any user’s device, even if it’s an obscure model you’ve never heard of. It logs 24-7, so you don’t just get crash reports – you get a forensic view under the hood of your application, even when things are running smoothly, and you get a breakdown of all the devices using your product, which is great for customer service.
But don't despair, there's a whole breed of online accounting tools made just for freelancers and sole proprietors, and we've reviewed them. The best of them are extremely affordable and offer mobile versions, integration with major banks, quarterly estimated income tax calculations, reports that make sense for very small businesses, and more. They may not offer a ton of integration with other add-ons and corporate homepages for employee access—or a bunch of other things you don't need.
To keep track of our ever-growing suite of tests, we also classify the automation status of our tests ("already automated," "blocked," "cannot be automated," "in progress," "to be automated") and define the scope of each test (API, integration, user interface, end-to-end, etc.) Note that we have recognized that not all tests should (or can) be automated.
Not all small businesses need the extra features and support provided with paid accounting services. Wave Financial offers free, cloud-based accounting software specifically designed for small businesses. Unlike other free accounting software programs that limit capabilities, Wave Financial offers a comprehensive set of accounting features without the monthly price tag. [Go here for a full review of Wave Financial.]
During my three years at Socialtext, I helped maintain a test tooling system through a user interface that was advanced for its time. O'Reilly took it as a case study in the book Beautiful Testing. The team at Socialtext uses the same framework today, although it now has several tests running at one time on Amazon's Electric Compute Cloud. Although we had a great deal of GUI-driving tests, we also had developer-facing (unit) and web services (integration) tests, a visual slideshow that testers could watch for every browser, and a strategy to explore by hand for each release. This combination of methods to reduce risk meant we found problems early.
Spendesk equips businesses and organizations with a set of tools for efficient company expense management and monitoring. Controlling company budget is easily done by allocating a fix amount of money to an employee’s virtual card and accordingly records all transaction details in real-time, allowing for easy spend monitoring and preventing unwanted overspending.
You need collaboration and extensive automation to achieve Continuous Delivery. According to Fowler, the rewards of doing so successfully include reduced risk, believable progress, and user feedback. Continuous Delivery is an important method in Agile development. It helps remove obstacles that prevent the frequent deployment of features. Automation testing is a fundamental part of the continuous development practice associated with Agile.  
Integration requirements. While many business management systems are designed to handle the entirety of a business’s operations, you may need or want to supplement your business management software with a stand-alone application. For example, a construction firm might need estimating and takeoff software that integrates with their business management suite.

A favorite among small business owners, FreshBooks offers one of the most user-friendly, cloud-based accounting applications for nonaccountants. It's also our top pick for the best accounting app for iOS and Android devices because of the wide range of accounting tasks you can perform on the go, such as invoicing, time tracking and managing expenses. Read our full review here. freshbooks.com


Selenium is possibly the most popular open-source test automation framework for Web applications. Being originated in the 2000s and evolved over a decade, Selenium has been an automation framework of choice for Web automation testers, especially for those who possess advanced programming and scripting skills. Selenium has become a core framework for other open-source test automation tools such as Katalon Studio, Watir, Protractor, and Robot Framework.
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