Though every new small business accounting solution launches online these days, there's still a case to be made for using desktop products. They're more feature-rich than even the top-of-the-line cloud-based applications. They're faster. They're also local, so you can still work if your internet connection goes offline. Over the years, they've all come to depend on the internet for some of their functionality (online banking, integrated and mobile apps, and so on), but you can still access their core accounting tools even if your web connection is down.
Eventually, someone has to write the code. Even if the record/playback tool claims to be codeless, sooner or later your software will produce dates that need to be compared to today's date and formatted, and you'll need to drop down into some kind of code editor. The person writing the code is probably not a professional programmer, but even were that so, it is tempting to focus more on getting the code done than on doing it well.
A distinctive attribute of the accounting platform is that it combines the robust feature set of desktop with the accessibility of the cloud. This hybrid set up lets you access and store data in the cloud while doing other tasks in your local machine. You can use the software to track purchases and vendors and pay bills while its expense management features let you undertake mobile payments and bank feeds. It also allows you to connect to your bank accounts, providing for real time recording of sales and receipts, tracking receivables, transferring funds, reconciling bank accounts, and making deposits.
Customer relationship management isn't just for the Fortune 500. Even one-person shops can benefit from a more ordered approach to managing the sales process, tracking leads, and ensuring that follow-ups are done in a timely fashion. Salesforce.com requires some training and patience due to its vastness, but its exhaustive feature set and affordable pricing options make it a business must-have. ($8.25 to $250 per user per month)
TestPlant eggPlant is a niche tool that is designed to model the user’s POV and activity rather than simply scripting their actions. Testers can interact with the testing product as the end users would, making it easier for testers who may not have a development or programming background. TestPlant eggPlant can be used to create test cases and scenarios without any programming and can be integrated into lab management and CI solutions.
Although this a complete list of the best software for small businesses in each of these categories, there might be other options that work better for your company. Click on the category headers below for a full list of available products. For personalized recommendations based on your business needs call one of our Technology Advisors at 877-822-9526 for a free, 5-minute consultation.
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.
Every software development group tests its products, yet delivered software always has defects. Test engineers strive to catch them before the product is released but they always creep in and they often reappear, even with the best manual testing processes. Test Automation software is the best way to increase the effectiveness, efficiency and coverage of your software testing.
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).
Citrus Framework is an automated testing tool with integration framework for messaging protocols and data formats. HTTP, REST, JMS and SOAP can all be tested within the Citrus Framework, outside of broader scope functional automated testing tools such as Selenium. Citrus will identify whether the program is appropriately dispatching communications and whether the results are as expected. It can also be integrated with Selenium if another front-end functionality testing has to be automated. Thus, this is a specific tool that is designed to automate and repeat tests that will validate exchanged messages.
Xero is an accounting software that is largely known for having revolutionized accounting. Developed to provide the best user experience possible, the solution is easy to use, making tough accounting tasks like double bookkeeping simple even for first time users. For those who require a bookkeeper, the vendor offers certified advisors who are more than willing to assist them. The platform has gained traction in countries like the UK, US, Australia and Europe. It comes with integrations with known third-party applications and accounting tools and the software’s Express Setup feature makes set up a breeze. You can maximize the product’s potential with the assistance of its help center.
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.
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.
Many people have tried to make this point in different ways (e.g. this is also the quintessence of the discussion about testing vs. checking, started by James Bach and Michael Bolton). But the emotionally loaded discussions (because it is about peoples self-image and their jobs) often split discussants into two broad camps: those that think test automation is “snake oil” and should be used sparsely and with caution, and those that think it is a silver bullet and the solution to all of our quality problems. Test automation is an indispensable tool of today’s quality assurance but as every tool it can also be misused.
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.
“The most important thing to consider is the problem you are trying to solve. Many test automation initiatives fail because teams are trying to jump in head first and automate every test possible instead of the most valuable tests according to the goals of development. They find themselves in a maintenance nightmare. Pick the most valuable test you were already performing manually and automate those first.”
Manage relationships with contacts, leads, customers, and vendors with Capsule. This online CRM pulls everything you know about a company or contact into one place, and gives easy access to everyone who needs it. Sales, marketing and customer success teams can easily see what their team has been doing, centralizing data and avoiding double-emailing or manual checks.
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.
Social media marketing is essential to small business success. Social media enables you to reach your leads and customers for a fraction of the price of a traditional ad campaign, making it extremely effective. When you consider that so many people use social media, it is also where your customers are—and that means your brand should be there, too. Here are the best marketing tools for social media.
Many of the Office 2016 features are the same as those offered by other software, but Microsoft stands head and shoulders above the rest in one area: document sharing. If you also sign up for Microsoft’s Office 365, a subscription service, you can store documents in the cloud and invite others to access them. They can view them, add to them or edit them in real time, as long as they’re equipped with Office 2010 or a later version. You can literally have a business meeting with people located all over the globe.
I think we can all agree that automation is a critical part of any organization's software delivery pipeline, especially if you call yourself "agile." It's pretty intuitive that if you automate testing, your release cycles are going to get shorter. "So, if that's the case," you might say, "why don't we just automate everything?" There's a good reason: automation comes with a price.