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Top 5 free software packages for business

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When it comes to running a company, we’re all-too-aware that money doesn’t grow on trees.

With that in mind, savvy business leaders are always looking for ways of operating where they don’t have to splash the cash. Whether it be using a virtual office to save money on expensive rental costs at prestigious addresses or something as simple as limiting printer-use for work-related purposes, cheaper is often better.

Free, on the other hand, is an even greater option. For this reason, here are five of the best pieces of software around that will help you run your firm more efficiently without even spending a penny.

Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2009

While Microsoft has discontinued its distribution of this application itself, the program is still available via third-party websites.

This package is certainly comprehensive for any small and medium-sized business needs and also comes with the added benefit of being developed by a well-known, major software vendor.

Users can do a great job of keeping track of their incomings and outgoings with Express, creating quotes and invoices, organising lists of customers, suppliers and employees and logging expenses – proving itself to be a great tool for managing your finances.

Google 

While primarily recognised for its search engine functionality, Google has been included on this list because of its sheer versatility in what it has to offer.

Google Drive, for example, it a great way of connecting workers remotely, allowing the sharing of documents in a simple process, accommodating a multitude of different formats including spreadsheets, presentations and PDF files.

Hangouts also lends itself perfectly to mobile working, allowing users to meet virtually for conference calls and even seminars.

Doodle

Need help organising your hectic diary? Doodle can do that and more. This superb piece of free software combines with your email calendar to ensure that scheduling your day is no longer a chore.

It works by having the user list the slots that they are free, before everyone else inputs their available times – Doodle then organises the best time for most people to meet up.

AVG Antivirus

Raising awareness of the need to protect your business from threats emanating from cyberspace is a big priority of the government this year and if you are not already using some sort of antivirus software, then the sooner you equip yourself, the better.

Of all the free options out there, AVG Antivirus is definitely up there as one of the best. It is easy to use and can be downloaded and set up within five minutes.

The non-paid-for package offer basic malware protection and if you are suitably impressed, you may want to consider upgrading to the premium version for more comprehensive coverage.

Adobe Reader

While there are simpler programs out there, Adobe Reader remains the benchmark of quality for other PDF readers.

Allowing you to open, edit, view and share documents, the best thing about this piece of freeware is that it gets all the basics right – you’ll find yourself relying on it an awful lot, which can make it easy to take it for granted.