TinyBooks for Mac is, without a doubt, an astoundingly simple-to-use accounting program. That is surely it's main niche! It's
written for small business owners who pretty much hate accounting and want to do as little of it as they can get away with, yet
still have all the facts and figures that they need to run the business and help at tax time. TinyBooks for Mac fills this need for
thousands of businesses. But, being such a simple program, it cannot include the vast features of the "big boy"
accounting programs...the Quick-this and Quick-that programs, as I like to call them. Those programs are truly superb, but they
suffer from being so overly complex that they leave most users who are not trained accountants in a daze of bewilderment.
So, the real question you have to ask yourself, is if the subset of accounting features that TinyBooks for Mac does provide is
sufficient for your business. I can't be more honest than that. That really is what it's all about. Luckily, unlike most other
programs, TinyBooks for Mac is distributed as shareware and you are free to try it yourself before purchasing. The program that you
download is the real thing, no features are left out. It's a true test of the program. If your business is such that TinyBooks for Mac can effectively handle your needs, there's not a simpler program out there.
TinyBooks for Mac: Accounting Experience
Ken Winograd (the programmer of TinyBooks for Mac) has a rather long history creating financial and accounting software. Long before
the Macintosh even existed, Ken wrote various investment portfolio programs for the Apple II computer. These programs were never
made public and were used exclusively by Ken's friends and family. Later, Ken also worked for a company called Great American
Software where he created the Invoicing Module (along with various other utilities) for their very popular One Write Plus
accounting software for IBM PCs. Ken also was the Lead Programmer (and then Software Engineering Manager) for the very first
versions of software-based Dome Books, published by Dome Publishing of Rhode Island. At that time, the Dome accounting software
supported Apple II, IBM PC, and even Commodore 64 computers. Since 2003, Ken has designed, programmed, published and supported the
popular TinyBooks and TinyBooks for Mac Accounting programs, currently for the Macintosh only. The one common theme in all these years
of accounting experience has been to make accounting simple and intuitive for families and small businesses around the world.
TinyBooks for Mac: Theory of Operation TinyBooks for Mac works by keeping track of multiple accounts which you can customize.
There are four basic types of accounts: Deductible Expenses, Non-Deductible Expenses, Taxable Income and Non-Taxable Income. For a
typical small business, that's about all that's required. As you might guess, the non-deductible expenses and non-taxable
income accounts are included for your bookkeeping convenience, as they are not included in profit computations. But, if you are
using this program for home use, rather than as a small business, such account types are very handy indeed. Business Profit is
calculated by subtracting the sum of the deductible expenses from the sum of the taxable income. With TinyBooks for Mac, you never
have to request a calculation, all calculations are performed instantly any time you add, delete or modify any item.
TinyBooks for Mac: How Do You Actually Use It?
Note: TinyBooks for Mac is a Macintosh application. It requires an Intel-based Macintosh computer running OSX. It also requires a
monitor with a resolution of, at least, 1024x768. Higher resolutions and wide monitors are also supported.
When you run TinyBooks for Mac for the very first time, you will want to create a new set of books (also known as a TinyBooks for Mac
document) for your company or family for the current year. Each TinyBooks for Mac document covers one business (or family) for one
year. To create a new TinyBooks for Mac document, choose the NEW item from TinyBooks for Mac's File Menu.
The NEW item is actually a hierarchical menu with two choices. There's a NEW (for first time users) and a NEW (with import.)
The second NEW is what you'll use next year so that you can easily import all of the customizations that you might have added to
your this year's accounts. For now, though, and for this tutorial, choose the NEW item that is designated for first-time users.
The "Create New Set of Books Dialog" will then appear. It looks like this...
To create a new set of books, TinyBooks for Mac really only needs the following two bits of information...the Company Name, and the
1 - The Company Name - For this demo, you can see I've typed in "The Demo Company" as the name of the company.
2 - The Fiscal Year - Each TinyBooks for Mac document handles "the books" for one company (or family), for one year. You must
specify the business year that this document covers. Most people accept the default calendar year, running from January to
December of the year chosen. In this tutorial, a simple calendar year is assumed. I actually started creating this tutorial
in January 2010, and so TinyBooks for Mac automatically chose 2010, assuming that would be the year that I want this TinyBooks for Mac
document to cover. In this case, TinyBooks for Mac's guess is exactly right.
Note: TinyBooks for Mac also supports non-standard Fiscal Years. To choose a non-calendar Fiscal Year, enter the closing month and
closing year of your Fiscal Year. Once entered, the program will calculate and display the range of your fiscal year for your
verification. Fiscal Years, by the way, are numbered based on the year in which the ending month resides. So, for instance, if
you were creating a TinyBooks for Mac document with a Fiscal Year that runs from March 2010 through February 2011, you would choose
February from the popup menu, and type 2011 into the year field.
After you enter and double-check the required information, click the SAVE AS button. As with all SAVE AS dialogs, you need
to choose a name and a location for this document. TinyBooks for Mac will suggest a default name of "ShortCompanyName-Books-2010"
but you're free to name it yourself. Hopefully, you will rename the "ShortCompanyName" part to something that makes sense for
your company or family. For this tutorial, I've changed the suggested name to be "Demo-Books-2010". Remember, each document
covers one company or family for one year, so including the name of the company (or rather a shortened name of the company) and
the year in the name of the document itself is a very good idea.
IMPORTANT NOTE: All of the most important information that TinyBooks for Mac knows about your company is stored in this one document
that you just created and named. In the future, this is the document that you will double-click to start "doing the books."
Unlike other accounting programs that use multiple files to store such information, TinyBooks for Mac simply stores everything in
this one file. It's easy to find, easy to backup, easy to understand, etc.
Here's the Simple TinyBooks for Mac Tutorial