This time of year, people’s thoughts start turning to their second most important preoccupation: FOOTBALL! The draft is over, training camps open any minute and heated debates starts over which team has the greatest need at Quarterback.

So we are presented with a challenge. Is there any way we to divert attention from football long enough to get fans excited about accounting. Good luck with that idea.

In order to be politically correct and gender neutral, we assumed the number one, single most important preoccupation for men and women would clearly not be the same. That makes the challenge even more interesting.

If you work at Amazon or Tesla, they’ve already got the accounting thing covered. Today we want to focus on startups and small businesses that don’t have a pile of dough to waste. There are tons of you creating new ideas. The last thing on your punch list is hiring bean counters to count your beans. Accounting, ugh, well here is some great news.

You have never picked a better time to start a business. Accounting software has come light years in just the past 36 months and is likely to get even better as Artificial Intelligence finds it way into the picture.

If there were a 10 best list of good accounting news it would start with: Prices are falling. QuickBooks is the king of accounting software with an 80% share of market. Three years ago, the basic package cost $48 per month for up to 3 users. Today, the price is $5 a month per user. They even give you a free 30-day trial.

Competition is forcing prices down. Names like WAVE, and Billy have all the same features as QuickBooks but come at no charge. That is hard to beat especially when all three services receive the same high customer satisfaction ratings. Think of it like a QB rating in the NFL with any broken bones.

Making a decision on what accounting software to use goes beyond price. Getting it installed and operating was always one of the biggest headaches with QuickBooks. They made a lot of rookie mistakes.

It was kind of like the Tim Tibow situation. If you started with flaws, you could be driven to committing a capital crime trying to find a person able to do a fix.

If you didn’t have a QuickBooks expert on staff, you were well advised to send someone through the complete QB training. This, however, could add up to several thousand dollars not to mention the amount of time.

Over the past three years, QB has gone through a virtual metamorphosis. The game is called follow the leader. This means what is available at QB can be found pretty much elsewhere. This also means price can now be the biggest issue in choosing an accounting package.

When setting up the software there is a video tutorial to get you off on the right path: huge improvement. Next, every one of a dozen suppliers offers a cloud-based system, a critical feature for any business needing mobility.

If you still have X’s and O’s dancing in the back of your head, consider this amazing fact. The arrival of Artificial Intelligence is really going to add kickoff excitement to you accounting chores. AI has already begun making a mark in the tax preparation field. Bean counters need to be aware.

One of the big future benefits will be the ability to change accounting software suppliers quickly and effortlessly. In the past many customers hated QB but had few options and were loath to go through the aggravation of reorganizing their accounting systems. All this means a future of more accounting services and even better prices. You can’t say that about beer and nachos.