The reality is, there is no “better” or “worse” in the automated vs. manual debate, there’s just “different.” Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages. Manual testing is performed by a human sitting in front of a computer carefully going through application via SQL and log analysis, trying various usage and input combinations, comparing the results to the expected behavior and recording the results. Automated testing is often used after the initial software has been developed. Lengthy tests that are often avoided during manual testing can be run unattended. They can even be run on multiple computers with different configurations.

This article features the most useful, best small business software tools that are integral to your success and easy to learn and install. We provide a curated selection of the best online small business software, from accounting, to project and email management, document storage, security software and more. This way you can get your small business running smoothly. 

API driven testing. A testing framework that uses a programming interface to the application to validate the behaviour under test. Typically API driven testing bypasses application user interface altogether. It can also be testing public (usually) interfaces to classes, modules or libraries are tested with a variety of input arguments to validate that the results that are returned are correct.
Though you can still read reviews of them here, three of the small business accounting applications we covered do not appear in the features matrix because they're not quite as mature as the ones that are posted here. Sage One Accounting was developed by Sage, a global software company that sells a diverse family of accounting solutions, both desktop and cloud-based. WorkingPoint is still missing some functionality offered by its competitors, such as mobile access and integration with related apps. ZipBooks is the newest; it had the thinnest feature set when we reviewed it, but it's growing rapidly.

Test automation interface are platforms that provide a single workspace for incorporating multiple testing tools and frameworks for System/Integration testing of application under test. The goal of Test Automation Interface is to simplify the process of mapping tests to business criteria without coding coming in the way of the process. Test automation interface are expected to improve the efficiency and flexibility of maintaining test scripts.[18]
This article uses the term “tester” to refer to the person involved in testing software with automation tools. It is not meant to distinguish by job title or technical proficiency. Jim Hazen describes himself as a hybrid, or “technical tester,” because he can write test scripts and develop what he refers to as “testware.” The trend is to hire for multiple skillsets, but that does not mean the non-technical stakeholders involved in software development don’t benefit from automation testing.
Once the software passes automated tests, it may be released into production (depending on the preferred rate of deployment). This process is called Continuous Delivery. The preferred frequency is the difference between Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment. You achieve Continuous Delivery with the steps required for CI. The emphasis on automated testing (and automated builds) for quality assurance capitalizes on the efficiency of successful test automation and is essential to this practice.
Cucumber is a tool for working with the executable specifications. The executable specifications are used for greater collaboration among IT and business teams. This tool is useful for writing acceptance tests for the web application. Cucumber offers feature files that can be used as a go-to-documents by Business Analysts, Developers, and Testers, etc. Initially, Cucumber was implemented in Ruby language but later it was extended to the Java framework.  Cucumber supports languages such as Perl, PHP, Python, Net etc.

With KashFlow accounting software for small businesses, you can invoice your customers, reconcile bank transactions, accept invoice payments online and generate more than 50 reports. The software includes a mobile app for Android and iOS, and integrations are available. It can be used by businesses in many countries, including the U.S., but its payroll features are exclusive to U.K.-based businesses. kashflow.com
Jones defines BDD as the process where teams use domain-specific language to express the expected behavior of an application through scenarios. She points out that this is not magic - there is automation code involved in the process - but that BDD is ideal for developers and testers sharing automation work. Specialized tools like Cucumber, the most popular open source tool for automation code integration, executes this work and is the tool of choice for Jones.

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.
Robotium android automated testing can be performed on several different devices simultaneously, and the tests can run on either an emulator or the real thing. They are also renowned for being extremely robust, because Robotium recognises UI elements by their internal code reference; if you’ve built your product using Java, you can combine Robotium with the JUnit test framework for even stronger results. Yet perhaps the coolest thing of all is Robotium can simulate ordinary user behaviour, like touching, clicking and typing text.
Crispin and Gregory define Test-Driven Development (TDD) as the process of writing and automating small unit tests before writing the piece of code that will make the test pass. TDD is used for continuous integration testing to ensure small units of code work together first. A unit test verifies the behavior of a small part of the code in the overall system. These tests are the primary candidate for the majority of automated tests. Even teams that are not practicing Agile development use TDD to prevent defects and design software (Agile Testing, 2008).

Software tests have to be repeated often during development cycles to ensure quality. Every time source code is modified software tests should be repeated. For each release of the software it may be tested on all supported operating systems and hardware configurations. Manually repeating these tests is costly and time consuming. Once created, automated tests can be run over and over again at no additional cost and they are much faster than manual tests. Automated software testing can reduce the time to run repetitive tests from days to hours. A time savings that translates directly into cost savings.
The Business User calls the business application support team phone number or sends an e-mail to the business application support team. The business application support team gets all the details of the error from the business user on the phone or from the e-mail. These details are then entered in a tracking software. The tracking software creates a request number and this request number is given to the business user. This request number is used to track the progress on the support issue. The request is assigned to a support team member.
Small business accounting is an area where there's still a lot of competition, which is healthy, but it makes your decision-making process harder. Consider the chart above and click through to the full reviews, take a look at the screenshots, and take advantage of the free trials offered. What you choose now may or may not be what you need in five years, but the landscape will look different by then. So pick the best match for your current circumstances and dive in!
“When we refer to automation frameworks, it is easiest to understand with the functional testing areas,” says Kandukuri. “You are providing commonly used methods to improve the efficiency of automated tasks. With limited knowledge of how the test case is set up, a tester can fall back on the framework to refer to simple statements and implement the test cases.”
Appium relies on a robust community of users active on GitHub to release updates or to fix any bugs. For enterprise mobility professionals, getting involved with the Appium community allows testers to contribute to Appium’s growth and development. Appium is a full-on coding solution, that can be cumbersome for some mobile testers as it is not the most user-friendly solution available today.

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.
Tipalti is a cloud-based payment automation and management software that is known for helping businesses accurately meet deadlines. The solution helps solve problems that include non-compliance, late payments, administrative overload and complications arising from human error. Time spent on financial management is significantly decreased, solving one of the biggest problems facing accounting teams.
Its architecture is centered around plugins with the help of which JMeter provides a lot of out of box features. It supports many types of applications, servers and protocols like Web, SOAP, FTP, TCP, LDAP, SOAP, MOM, Mail Protocols, shell scripts, Java objects, database. Other features include powerful Test IDE, dynamic reporting, command line mode, portability, multithreading, caching of test results and highly extensible core.
Built for small businesses to enterprises, EasyForm Expense Management provides users with an easy way to control, track, and manage their expenditures to enhance their bottom line. This online expense tracking and management solution paints a clear picture on all expenses through complete visibility on expense records and various reporting tools, such as category and split reports.
With an increase in the adoption of agile and DevOps methodologies, the software testing industry is undergoing a paradigm shift. Test automation is gaining traction as there is very less time left to perform testing.  The automation testing tools not only provides intelligent automation but also provide smart analytics to address any testing challenges. Here is a list of top 5 automation testing tools and frameworks that can improve your software testing outcomes significantly.
It maybe seen as a trying task but the importance of accounting can never be overstated. This necessary process has resulted in the development of accounting software, which aid accountants and bookkeepers in recording and reporting business transactions. In the olden days, these tasks were done manually with the use of bulky ledgers and journals. Thanks to accounting solutions, these processes, along with reporting tasks are now automated, eliminating the need for the consolidation of manual entries.
If the latter is the type of business management software you’re interested in, inquire about the integration capabilities with the vendor. It’s important that any stand-alone applications or other software currently in use at your company will integrate with your business management platform. This way, you can ensure seamless data transfer between systems, offering you greater oversight and control over operations.

The increased demand for automation is trending in our software testing industry, as well. If you check out any software or application testing communities (i.e., uTest, Quora, etc.), you will find software testers urging for various tools that can be helpful in their day to day testing activities, whether it is for desktop testing, web testing, browser testing, regression testing, web services and API testing, and many more.


Test automation helps in reducing regression testing time and cutting down the time to market with significant cost savings on a long-term basis. However, a clear automation strategy and roadmap are key to ensuring the right return on investment on your automation initiatives. With disparate application architecture, multiple environments, third-party integrations and multiple user devices, a standardized and consistent automation approach is needed to ensure high reusability, ease of maintenance and lower upfront costs.
Testers will approach an automated test framework best practices substantially differently from developers. While developers are more likely to program their automated tests, testers will need tools that let them create scenarios without having to develop custom scripting. Some of the best test automation frameworks are specifically designed for one audience or another, while others have features available for both.

Ultimately, choosing the right test solution is going to mean paring down to the test results, test cases, and test scripts that you need. Automated tools make it easier to complete specific tasks. It is up to your organization to first model the data it has and identify the results that it needs before it can determine which automated testing tool will yield the best results.
API testing is also being widely used by software testers due to the difficulty of creating and maintaining GUI-based automation testing. It involves directly testing APIs as part of integration testing, to determine if they meet expectations for functionality, reliability, performance, and security.[10] Since APIs lack a GUI, API testing is performed at the message layer.[11] API testing is considered critical when an API serves as the primary interface to application logic since GUI tests can be difficult to maintain with the short release cycles and frequent changes commonly used with agile software development and DevOps.[12][13]
Cloud-based accounting and invoicing management platform Sage Business Cloud Accounting is designed to cater to small businesses. Its core functionalities include accounting, compliance and expense management. What sets Sage Business Cloud Accounting apart from its sister app Sage 50c is that the former is an add-on service that allows for the integration of the latter to the cloud, resulting in cloud storage and accessibility for all your accounting data. This combination makes Sage Business Cloud Accounting better than ever.
Unified Functional Testing (UFT) is a well-known commercial testing tool for functional testing. It provides a comprehensive feature set for API, web services, and GUI testing of desktop, web, and mobile applications across platforms. The tool has advanced image-based object recognition feature, reusable test components, and automated documentation.
BambooHR has two main plans, Essentials and Advantage. The Essentials plan includes everything for HR administration plus an employee self-service portal and online support. The Advantage plan includes hiring tools, advanced analytics, and integrations. BambooHR is built to grow with a company without overloading with features a really small business might not need.
Hubspot calls themselves an inbound marketing and sales software, but the software modules come as stand alone or integrated marketing, CRM, and sales tools. The CRM is always free, and sales and marketing tools start at $0 and scale from there. From website building tools to lead generation and tracking modules and drip campaigns, Hubspot covers all the bases.
Automation frameworks are combined with specific automation tools to create a sound basis for your specific project goals. Automation tools are then aligned with testing goals. When the framework and tools are combined with common practices and coding standards for testing software, you have an automation framework. Jones offers an example using the most popular open source automation technology used for testing a web browser’s user interface (UI).
Friendly user interface and navigation. Cloud-based accounting applications—for the most part—look great. They're not as graphically rich as some types of online services, but they don't need to be. Graphics are used where it makes sense, like for displaying charts and graphs, and for invoice forms. Navigation and data entry take their cues from desktop software, using static and drop-down lists, icons and buttons, fill-in-the-blank fields, and toolbars.
Robot Framework is an open-source automation framework that implements the keyword-driven approach for acceptance testing and acceptance test-driven development (ATDD). Robot Framework provides frameworks for different test automation needs. But its test capability can be further extended by implementing additional test libraries using Python and Java. Selenium WebDriver is a popular external library used in Robot Framework.
Considering all of its shortcomings, we are lucky that testing existing functionality isn’t really testing. As we said before, real testing is questioning each and every aspect and underlying assumption of the product. Existing functionality has already endured that sort of testing. Although it might be necessary to re-evaluate assumptions that were considered valid at the time of testing, this is typically not necessary before every release and certainly not continuously. Testing existing functionality is not really testing. It is called regression testing, and although it sounds the same, regression testing is to testing like pet is to carpet—not at all related. The goal of regression testing is merely to recheck that existing functionality still works as it did at the time of the actual testing. So regression testing is about controlling the changes of the behaviour of the software. In that regard it has more to do with version control than with testing. In fact, one could say that regression testing is the missing link between controlling changes of the static properties of the software (configuration and code) and controlling changes of the dynamic properties of the software (the look and behaviour). Automated tests simply pin those dynamic properties down and transform them to a static artefact (e.g. a test script), which again can be governed by current version control systems.

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)
The medium size, or small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), has a broader range of software applications, ranging from accounting, groupware, customer relationship management, human resource management systems, outsourcing relationship management, loan origination software, shopping cart software, field service software, and other productivity enhancing applications.

These days, filing cabinets are out of the question, and hoarding information on bits of paper is the fastest way to run a disorganized business…straight into the ground. Thankfully, there’s a slew of collaboration and documents apps that empowers any small business owner to find the information they need at the drop of a hat, right out of the cloud, and available on all their devices.
Jones defines BDD as the process where teams use domain-specific language to express the expected behavior of an application through scenarios. She points out that this is not magic - there is automation code involved in the process - but that BDD is ideal for developers and testers sharing automation work. Specialized tools like Cucumber, the most popular open source tool for automation code integration, executes this work and is the tool of choice for Jones.
Test automation on the other hand is the automated execution of predefined tests. A test in that context is a sequence of predefined actions interspersed with evaluations, that James Bach calls checks. These checks are manually defined algorithmic decision rules that are evaluated on specific and predefined observation points of a software product. And herein lies the problem. If, for instance, you define an automated test of a website, you might define a check that ascertains a specific text (e.g. the headline) is shown on that website. When executing that test, this is exactly what is checked—and only this. So if your website looks like shown in the picture, your test still passes, making you think everything is ok.
The increased demand for automation is trending in our software testing industry, as well. If you check out any software or application testing communities (i.e., uTest, Quora, etc.), you will find software testers urging for various tools that can be helpful in their day to day testing activities, whether it is for desktop testing, web testing, browser testing, regression testing, web services and API testing, and many more.
However, as businesses grow, they’ll likely need to implement more controls over their business processes and better alignment between information and operational technologies. At this stage, they should consider investing in business process management software to help them standardize processes and workflows for multiple departments and improve operational performance. (Not to be confused with general "business managment" software, "business process management" software carries a more specific definition and set of technical requirements. Follow the link above to read our buyer's guide and learn more.)
The takeaway is that testing is a process requiring human intervention. Bas Dijkstra, an experienced test automation consultant, describes how even the term “test automation” is flawed unless you understand what is and isn’t automated. The actual “learning, exploring, and experimenting” involved in manual, human-performed testing cannot be automated, according to Dijkstra. He writes:
Automatically testing your web application is a good way to ensure that new versions of your application don't introduce bugs and regressions. Automation of your web application testing also allows your development team to make changes and refactor code with more confident, as they can quickly verify the functionality of the application after every change.

This table-based example doesn't include if statements or for loops, and the %% sign indicates a variable that can be passed in or assigned. In the past, I have created accounts and users with a standard name, followed by a time stamp, to ensure that the users were unique for each test run. Individual functions, like search_for, followed by what to search and what to expect in the results, consist of code. Those might have if statements or loops in them, but what we expose to the customer is a straight flow.


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.
Quicken lets you manage both your personal and business finances in one place, making it a convenient solution for really small businesses and home-based entrepreneurs who don't need accounting software designed for larger or more established businesses. The downside, however, is that the software isn't cloud-based and is only available for Windows, though it has iOS and Android apps that allow you to view your data. quicken.com
As most people in the software industry know, there are distinct differences between manual testing and automated testing. Manual testing requires physical time and effort to ensure the software code does everything it’s supposed to do. In addition, manual testers have to make a record of their findings. This involves checking log files, external services and the database for errors. If you’re familiar with manual testing, you know this process can be extremely time-consuming and repetitive.
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