German bookkeeping and invoicing software

34 posts in this topic

Hello All,

 

I recently started a business in Germany and I'm looking for any recommendations on an Accounting, Bookkeeping and Invoicing Software package. I need something that can keep track of customer invoices & payments, vendor invoices & payments, bank accounts, reports (P&L, Sales reports for items, customers, etc.), and MwSt/Elster Formular. It needs to allow multiple people to log in and do various functions at the same time.

 

My US office uses Quickbooks, which is a great program. There is a German version of it, which we were using, but it's only a starter edition allowing only 360 customers and no multiple logins (and there are no better versions available).

 

We then switched to Lexware Financial Office Pro, but I'm finding it extraordinarily difficult to use (10 steps for making one customer invoice) and miss the ease of Quickbooks.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions of other programs to use here in Germany that are easy to use and have all of the required features and won't break the bank?

 

Thanks for all the help.

 

KC

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You could try these guys: Collmex Buchhaltung Software.

 

I use their free service for submitting my Mwst. as I have a Mac and the Elster thingy didn't work on a Mac when they made it compulsory to submit Mwst forms online. That works well and as they offered it as a freeby I feel I owe them a plug! :)

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I did also look into Sage, but my main problem with them is that they offer three classes of products and no upgrade path between them. So, if you choose the small business one you can only have a certain number of users (3 I think) and if you ever plan on having more than that you have to buy the bigger one now, because there is no way to transfer all of your data from the small version to the bigger one...

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DATEV ? Would make cooperation with your tax advisor easier (as many of them use Datev-software). Actually ask your tax-advisor - he might have some experience with software of some of his clients.
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Elster is the standard programme.

It is for tax declaration, not a lot of use for bookkeeping though.

 

andy M

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DATEV ? Would make cooperation with your tax advisor easier (as many of them use Datev-software). Actually ask your tax-advisor - he might have some experience with software of some of his clients.

DATEV is a pain for a small company unless you are using them to do your payroll etc.

 

andy M

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Hello All,

 

I recently started a business in Germany and I'm looking for any recommendations on an Accounting, Bookkeeping and Invoicing Software package. I need something that can keep track of customer invoices & payments, vendor invoices & payments, bank accounts, reports (P&L, Sales reports for items, customers, etc.), and MwSt/Elster Formular. It needs to allow multiple people to log in and do various functions at the same time.

 

My US office uses Quickbooks, which is a great program. There is a German version of it, which we were using, but it's only a starter edition allowing only 360 customers and no multiple logins (and there are no better versions available).

Im not sure what software you are using, but Ive just introduced the German version of quickbooks, which is Lexware Buchhalter, into a society I used to run. It comes in three flavours (normal, "Plus" and "Pro") and we chose Buchhalter Plus because we didnt need the features that the Pro version has, which seem to be exactly what you are looking for. We are pretty happy with the software.

 

"Financial office" is the big brother and AFAIK is essentially a mini-ERP system rather than just bookkeeping software.

 

At the moment Lexware have a "try it for 4 weeks" offer going which might be worth a try.

 

andy "not on a percentage, honest" M

 

andy ;

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I am desperate to find a competent business software programme for a small manufacturing business. Currently we've been managing with GNU cash in English but I am finding that when I want to make small changes with GNU it ends up being a disaster. I am sick of wasting my time with this programme and need something that works better for a small manufacturing business. I've only just heard about Lexware and wondered if there were any further comments on this programme? Our Steuerberater is doing the Lohnbuchhaltung but as he's not so crash hot with English a German programme would be good for him. However, we've got another person who telecommutes off shore who needs access to an English version of the book keeping so anything in German and English would be good.

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anything in German and English would be good.

It doesn't exist. The rules of bookkeeping between different countries as well as the legal requirements and taxation are just too different for it to make sense...

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The Buhl/Wiso software has a somewhat unusual licensing model: you don't buy the software, you "rent" it for about a year. You have to relicense it every year or it stops working.

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Is anyone (in Germany) managing to use a US or UK English language bookkeeping application? Not only would it be good to have software in English for ease of use but also the range of features and choice of platform (Quickbooks for mac) just doesn't seem to exist in Germany. I'd need to work in multiple currencies as well...

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You could try these guys: Collmex Buchhaltung Software.

I use their free service for submitting my Mwst. as I have a Mac and the Elster thingy didn't work on a Mac when they made it compulsory to submit Mwst forms online.

 

I just did a check and it would appear that the Thieving Magpie software still doesn't work with a Mac! Do the Finanzant live in a cave? Or has Darknight come to an arrangement with them?

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In order to find some (free/cheap) bookkeeping software supporting Euros which was in English by default I started looking at what is available to the Irish market and found this: TASbooks Basic. TASbooks is owned by Sage so they should know what they are doing and there is a free payroll application too. There's also other reasonably priced solutions on offer with more functionality.

 

I also found that the German division of Sage themselves offer a range of software designed for small businesses which isn't too expensive at 149 Euro for the bookkeeping solution GS Buchhalter and at the moment they have a very good offer of 249 Euro for their PC Kaufmann Komplett package which includes 1 years premium support and stock control. Interestingly it has an Ebay integration functionality which could be useful for Ebay sellers.

 

We also looked at Microsoft Office Accounting Express (free) and the Pro version but they are only supporting these products in the UK and US markets for which they are designed and it's a Microsoft product so it's bound to be intrusive, badly supported and crap. I'd just feel more comfortable with something from a finance software specialist such as Sage or Lexware, especially if I'm paying for it.

 

Sage UK have some basic free invoicing software to download: Sage Invoiving. Again this is geared up to the UK but could be useful for someone out there.

 

The German version of Quickbooks is available (no Mac version) from Lexware along with their Buchhalter series of software for quite reasonable money too.

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Can anyone provide any more recent recommendations on multi currency and language software that are user friendly like and affordable like quickbooks? I would prefer to maintain my own books in English but also have the capacity to generate reports in German for tax filings, etc.

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Hi PandaMunich-

 

Thanks for the link.  I met with my German steuerberater the other day and we seem to have a disagreement on whether my business activities need to be formally monitored on an accounting software at this point.  I have only been in business for one year in Germany with a very modest activity and client base..

 

Of course I am hoping my practice will grow over time that will justify the cost and extra effort  to enter my activities in an accounting software. But I am very excel savvy to keep my records straight to generate and income statement for both financial and tax purposes.

 

As you already know, I fall into the self-employed /freelancer status. I operate as a sole proprietor under my own name and not as a UG or Gmbh.  My German steuerberater states a balance sheet needs to be prepared and submitted to the Finanzamt and it seems to be requirement that an accounting software must be used.  I really don't agree with that since my balance sheet would only consist of cash and  retained earnings. I run a personal service  by myself with no employees nor do I have any capitalizable fixed assets .Basicially, my balance sheet is cash and  retained earnings.   I am engaging him to prepare my German individual tax return, year end VAT filing and  Gewerbesteuer  -not to do my bookeeping.  What am I missing here?

 

 

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