Free bookkeeping software from the ATO: eRecord v3.0

There are a number of commercial accounting packages available, but if you want to test the waters before leaping into digital bookkeeping, the Australian Taxation Office offers a free financial utility for small businesses called eRecord. It’s intended to help small businesses that are registered for the GST to keep basic records and, of course, meet tax obligations.

Click here to see a screen shot.

Available for Windows 98, 2000 and XP as well as Mac OS X, eRecord 3.0 can print tax invoices, reconcile bank and cash register statements, keep track of employee payments, act as a cashbook, and calculate the figures for Activity Statements required by the Tax Office. You still have to fill out tax forms manually and send them in on paper, though there is a promised upgrade due in mid-2004 that will allow online filing of returns.

The software isn’t an accounting package, and it doesn’t include profit and loss statements, balance sheets, inventory control, and some other functions of commercial software. There are minor annoyances, such as some confusing display fields that look like entry fields. However, eRecord can handle record-keeping functions for more than one business and make compliance with taxation requirements less bothersome, at a price that’s hard to beat.

Price: free 12MB download
Vendor: Australian Taxation Office
Phone: 13 2866
URL: www.ato.gov.au/businesses